There is nothing graceful about watching someones body shut down.
But when that person is the father of your husband, the grandfather of your children, the man who took you onto the dance floor at your wedding as you celebrated your marriage-my father in law..........it becomes much more real.
It's no different than seeing anyone you love suffer. No different than embracing the thought of this world without someone you love. No more different than it has been for those of you reading this blog who have seen cancer snuff out a once vibrant loved ones life. And if not cancer, then some other beast that has taken them from you.
Death is the inevitible part of this life. Physical death anyway. I hold steadfast faith in God, so for me death is not the end but the beginning. But dang it sure does make the rest of our physical lives hard, while we wait to join them.
Dan's dad is struggling. He's tired, he's swollen from steroids, he's unable to sit up for very long, he's not eating, he's unable to stand up by himself. And Dan's mom is giving her all to care for him. It's becoming so hard for her because he really needs a lot of physical support. But she's still giving her all, even though it is hurting her body.
Dan has gone over to spend the next few days with them. There is a doctors appointment today and various other tasks. Later this morning the kids and I will join them. We're going to clean the house and deliver lunch and stay with papaw while the others go hear what the doctor has to say.
Which isn't going to be pretty, I'm afraid. How could it be? The obvious signs are there. They have begun. This once vibrant, funny, strong man is melting away right before our eyes. My prayers are constant for the Lord to allow him to hear his whispers, for his heart to be filled with the joy of our Lord. For him to be filled with that peace. For Ginny to feel that peace. Not that the grief and mourning won't still be there- because they will. No one who is loved ever leaves without causing pain.
Last night my heart was heavy. I was thinking about how the world is continuing to circle around despite the horror in our family. Girl scout meeting reminders, canned food collections, school book fairs, sports practices, library books due, constant work stress. It all just keeps marching right along, despite the horrible monster that has moved into our family. I was angry. Angry that all I can do is make a pan of food, pick up items at the grocery, scrub toilets, there is nothing of any significance that I can do.
And then I heard the kids in all their excitement running in and out of the house. A night time game of tag had begun with the neighborhood kids. So I grabbed my drink and headed to the deck. And there in the silence of the night I heard laughter, giggling, shoes running across gravel, squeals. Happiness- right there in my back yard. It was the reminder my heavy heart needed. It gave me the strength to finish cooking the chicken and make apple dumplings to boot.
This is a scary part of my life. Of our lives. Thank you for letting me share it here, to kind of dump it out and think it through. It's hard not to focus on this all the time. It's hard to think that this could go on like this for months- surely God won't ask his dad to suffer like this for months??? I don't want him to leave, but it's hard to see him suffering so. I can hardly breathe when I think about the tasks before our family in the weeks to come. And then the years after where we try to find a new normal without him.