I, like my dad, am very adept at hiding when I'm in pain. That is, except from those closest to me (Jack and to a certain degree, my children). I hate this feeling of sadness because it seems so very selfish. I'm sad because my dad is very sick and he's all the way in Wyoming - too far to drop in and check on him. I'm sad because I don't want to lose my daddy. I'm sad because I don't want my children to lose the best Papa Jim that ever existed. I'm sad because I see the sadness and hurt in my children when they talk about him being sick. I'm sad that I can't be with my mom right now. I'm sad because my dad is about to go through hell for a very long time. He's going to hurt, be so very sick, become weak, and all the other things that come along with chemo and radiation. I'm just so very sad.
I'm also grateful. I'm grateful that my dad is a man of God. I'm grateful that we are a family of faith. I'm grateful that my dad is not one to let anything get him down. I'm grateful that so many people love him - praying people. I'm grateful for the kind hugs and thoughts and words from everyone around me. I'm grateful AND humbled by the encouragement given to me by friends who have had their share of hell themselves, dealing with the diagnosis of cancer and long, hard treatment of their child/grandchild. (Oh, I love that family and boy, does my dad ever love that family, too!) I'm grateful that my dad didn't let stubbornness get in the way of seeking medical help for a "sore throat and ear ache" - Praise the Lord for modern medicine! I'm grateful that I have a strong mother - steadfast and loyal in every way. If y'all only knew all that my mom has been through and put up with over the years - she would definitely get some kind of medal and probably even a cape. She's a true super hero. I'm grateful that my children have more faith in God than many adults ever have in their entire lifetime. I love hearing the fervent prayers of my babies on behalf of their Papa Jim. I'm grateful for my husband. He just loves me through everything, even when my emotions make me a crazy person. I'm grateful that my husband loves my father. I'm grateful that he is not only my husband and best friend, but he is now my brother-in-Christ ( another Praise the Lord! I'm so proud of him!). I'm grateful that my God is bigger than any of this! How much harder would this be if we were not believers in God?! I can't even fathom it.
When I look at it side by side, I have so much more for which to be grateful than to be sad. We are a strong family. We love the Lord. We love each other. We have been through so much already and I'm sure this won't be the last. One of my dad's favorite quotes is from Winston Churchill. "Never, never, never give up." Well, I won't give up and I can guarantee you that my dad won't either.