I've had to grapple with my own emotions and allow myself to hurt a little, but then to also get over it and recognize the reality of what is happening in Dad's life. As a parent now myself, I understand the logic behind wanting to run and hide when you are in pain. There is something inside of us that wants to protect our children from being afraid. And I think Dad knows that if I were to see him too much while he is sick, it would stoke my fear. The fear of losing him, yes, but also the fear of seeing such a giant in my life appear so weak and so feeble. Even though he is still very much a giant in my life.
So, the past few months have included very limited conversation. He'll take the phone from Mom long enough to tell me about his latest treatment, and then he hands it back to her before he goes to bed. I know he has a week off between each of his chemotherapy treatments, but I haven't seen him recently during one of those weeks. I've had to fight back a little bitterness knowing everyone in my hometown was seeing Dad when he was feeling good, while I was here, away from him.
But, as has been shown to me in the past, God is still good. So very, very good. I have to remember that He views my life in a much bigger picture than I could ever imagine, and that all of these small moments are pieces to a much larger story that I will only recognize once I look back on it. I've learned to appreciate the small blessings, if there is such a thing. All blessings are huge, I think.
A few nights ago, Dad called me. He called me. He hasn't called me in months. He called me because he wanted to talk. I couldn't believe it. He was feeling well enough to stay on the phone for about 30 minutes and it was incredible. I was giddy with excitement. And, beyond that, he gave Cub and I the green light to come visit him this weekend. It has been hard to orchestrate visits because his white blood cell count has been too low for him to be around babies and he hasn't felt well enough to see anyone. So, this is very, very, VERY good news. And I know my Mom is beside herself, ready to cuddle her little grandson again.
I don't know what the weekend will look like, but I'm already praising God for it. In a situation where it is so easy to dwell on the frustrations and the questions, God continually brings His gentle reminders of hope and peace. And of good days.