Monday, May 9, 2011
She has started to fear some of the procedures at the hospital. Please pray for her and for the doctors as they enter the operating room yet again. The doctors know her very well...and they understand the complexity of her little body. I am so grateful that they listened to what I had to share with them regarding pain medications. Maisy does not tolerate pain medications well anymore. She has been through so many surgeries, it seems that her body can not handle what it used to. The typical pain meds make her very agitated. While I don't want her to be in pain, the agitation is often worse than the discomfort of major surgery. They are going to try a combination of things that don't involve narcotics to try and make her comfortable.
Maisy Grace is such a gift to us. She really has an amazing ability to spread sunshine...one of God's good designs for her life..through her disabilities, her struggles, her miraculous health these days...God is using her to touch the lives of so many. And I am praying this evening that Maisy be granted peace, comfort and healing through her surgery and hospitalization. God knows everything about Maisy-- inside and out...may He guide the surgeons hands and grant them wisdom.
Will you please pray alongside us?
at 9:33 PM
25 years ago today, I woke up wondering if all that had happened the day before was an awful nightmare. But the feeling of bloodshot eyes and a gut wrenching sadness was far too real. My father was dead. By his own hands, he placed a shotgun to his temple and pulled the trigger. It was gruesome, devastating…final. It was over.
And we were left to pick up the pieces. To clean up the mess that was created by my Father’s final moments. It was a horrific experience that was burned into my memory…that has faded little over the years.
It seemed as if should have been a gray, gloomy day…one that makes even the cheery of us feel down…but it wasn’t. It was a bright and sunny spring day..one that seemed filled with hope and promise for the future.
My father left home at age 14 to work on his grandparents farm. He never much liked school but had a brilliant mind. He was artistic and could draw things with incredible detail. I remember his handwriting so clearly—it was beautiful, firm and yet flowing. And yet at the end of his life, I remember his shaky hands that no longer allowed him to clearly sign his name. Many inventions were put to paper by my father…some of his inventions materialized. Our car was equipped with a bar with three lights like a stop light…it was designed to let the driver know if they had started accelerating to fast…no jack rabbit starts with this device in our car. We had one of the first automatic garage door openers in the neighborhood. My dad created it. It made us proud of him. On paper, he designed hydraulic lifts and even a self parking vehicle that allowed anyone to parallel park successfully. In this last years, he ran his own hydraulic repair business.
I was the youngest of 6 children. I only knew a father who drank too much. My siblings were older..they knew a different father….one less “lost” in his alcoholism. He only drank beer, the relatives said. He couldn’t be an alcoholic. He is such a good man. That is what his customers and acquaintances said. He would always offer a beer to anyone who stopped by. He moved out of our family home on my 18th birthday. I was the last of the children to enter adulthood. He must have had a sense of duty to stay until the children were grown.
I knew a man who only stayed in the garage. He rarely came in the house except to eat. He ate to live, he would say. He didn’t live to eat. My Mother didn’t drive and so he drove us where ever we needed to go. He was there physically but absent emotionally. He was so distant –I never felt like I knew my father. My Mother struggled with her own issues…anxiety mostly. But, doctors always tried to call it depression. She fought that diagnosis—if someone had recognized her struggles, would she have reached out for help? We will never know. It was a different time...and she struggled with so many health issues also.
My father was not always angry, but it was the unpredictable nature of his anger that caused so much harm. Out of nowhere, he would burst into the house and cut the electrical cords, or threaten harm to himself or others. It didn’t mean much to us at the time..because we had heard the threats so many times. I was just a child. He wasn’t physically abusive to us...but none the less I had a plan in case that ever changed. I knew where I would hide if he came after me…I kept a spot in the back of the closet where I thought I could hide if I was afraid. No child should have to live in fear…
We walked on egg shells..afraid of so many things. The police had been called because of his threats to commit suicide a few years before. I lived wondering if he would be found dead. I feared the day when we would get the phone call. On the day, when that call came, the emotions flowed..from sadness and despair to a feeling of relief. It was over…finally over. And there was the guilt for feeling that relief…
What was it that brought him to this point? When I was young, I was so angry. I thought, How could you do this to me? Were we not worth staying alive for? I could not believe that he could inflict so much pain on us as his children. It took me years to realize that it wasn't about us, because he couldn't even see us through his pain. It was about him...and his pain.
It took me years to see that my father's suicide was not about me. Not at all. But, at the time, it felt like it was all about me—the rejection, the abandonment, the anger and the loss. For years, I refused to even conjure up an image of my father in my own mind. The pain was just too deep. And yet, I loved this man who had caused so much hurt.
25 years later, I can now see things differently. My father was just a man who had never faced the hurts and struggles of his past. At 62 years old, he could see no other way out. As he came into the only home I ever knew, smashing his way with a sledge hammer though the house…as he shot at my mother and then after she escaped, shot himself. My heart goes out to him…to have lost all hope is a horrible existence. The anger is gone. How lost, alone, desperate must have he felt.
I believe my father suffered from depression that he treated with alcohol. He suffered many years…and so did we. God had protected him and those around him in ways that we probably will never fully know. He drove drunk for decades without ever getting into an accident until the day he drove his car thorough the back of that same garage that he spent so much time in…on the day that he died.
He was sick. I was a child. I was scared, lonely, and always waiting for the unexpected to happen. That was no way to live for a child. I think of my precious children who have experienced their own stories of pain. I experience there pain sometimes too personally as I sit alongside of them and hold their head in my lap. I caress there heads and reassure them that they were just a child...that it was not their fault. As I tell that them that all of their feelings are okay..and that they did not deserve to live in fear.
I am so grateful for God's protection and grace in my life. Just months before my father died, my relationship with my heavenly father came alive. It was that faith that has carried me through. And it was my heavenly Father who took the rubble that was left of my life and molded into something beautiful. God has used my past to give me a driving passion to reach out to the lost, the lonely, the fatherless…and to point them to the same Father I found when I gave my life to Christ Jesus. A father who will never leave them nor forsake them. A Father who is strong enough to carry the whole world within His hand and yet tender enough to touch and heal the broken heart of a child.
25 years ago, my father who was lost and lonely and scared saw no other way out of the pain he felt. I wish it had been different for him...I wish he had known of the love of His heavenly father. His legacy, as complex as it was, is carried out in his children....His struggle through life has driven me all of these years to extend a hand to the hurting, the lonely...and the scared. I love you Dad...
at 4:05 PM