When I left my dad’s side in August, he was in the hospital, with stage 4 peritoneal mesothelioma, malnourished, and on oxygen. I’d watched him sleep for hours.
I struggled with leaving him there. Flying home to be with my husband and 4 children and leaving him there. Living 4,200 kilometres apart and leaving him there.
Two words tried to swallow me whole this summer.
Fear was the driving force behind my decision to stay as long as I did. One week turned into two, two turned into four, and four turned into eight weeks.
I was afraid that I’d miss something, afraid I’d given him the wrong foods, or the wrong supplements, or forgot to give him the right meds. Afraid that if I went home it would be the last time I would see him.
While I was driving by myself one night between the airport and my parent’s house, trying not to cry. Trying not to let the What ifs listed above eat me alive. When I heard from within so clearly, “Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.” I didn’t know where in the Bible exactly that was but I knew it was for me. I felt a swoosh of warmth fall over me instantly. The tears dried up. The What ifs hushed.
That Scripture verse found in Zechariah 4:6 became an anchor to my hope that my Dad was in good hands. There’s nothing I could do to fix him or hurt him. He was in God’s hands, not mine. I felt a huge load lift. I felt peace fill my soul.
I told my sister about it immediately and being the extremely talented sister that she is… she put her brush on canvas. My dad is holding the painting so my sister could take a picture of her finished work. I can’t wait to hang it in my house!
I had to work out a few things this summer which were based in fear so peace could reign. So I could leave him while he was still in the hospital. So I could come home and be present, to be a wife and mother. So I could be free to be nearly 4,500 klms away at this time in his journey.
My dad is now at home, getting stronger each and every day. He is having his 3rd chemo treatment today. His oncologist is impressed with his progress. He has blown past all of his doctor’s expectations. Each day is a gift. Each new day is a day his doctors told him he wouldn’t have. He spends his days encouraging people through Facebook, reading his Bible, and praying for and refreshing others. He spends his days giving back. His days are spent in gratitude and in true peace.
“Those who love your teachings will find true peace. Nothing will defeat them.” Psalm 119:165
I felt a need to come here and read some of your posts today. I hope you are well. Your Dad was an amazing person. Your sister is very talented and I think your mom and Dad built an amazing family. Hoping you have found some peace after a really hard time.
thank you so much Paula. xoxox