Most of you know that my dad has been battling lung cancer for a few years now. And most of you know, or can imagine, that cancer has changed many things in our family. But something you don’t know, something you can’t know until you are in the thick of it, is how quickly things change. Daily. Sometimes hourly.
A month ago I was convinced that my sweet daddy was dying, that he wouldn’t live to see the summer. I believe that all of us close to him felt that the end was soon. He had been admitted to the hospital for a week, much of the time he wasn’t himself, and his weight had plummeted below 150 pounds. Worst of all, he hurt. He hurt quite a bit.
I had reached the point when I no longer angrily demanded that God heal my dad. I had stopped trying to bribe the Lord into doing what I wanted. Instead, in what feels like a horrible betrayal, I had begun to plead that my father could go quickly. That his ordeal could be over.
And just when I felt I had come to terms with everything, to understand what was going to happen next, my dad began to improve. He’s still an invalid much of the time, walking outside to get the paper takes every bit of strength he has, but he is himself again. The pain, while not gone, has receded and he has gained a few pounds. He can talk without much coughing and he enjoys having us around him. Death no longer seems to be hovering over him.
So last week I had begun to hope and to make small plans. We’re resigned that cancer is eventually going to end my father’s life, but I started to think that we’d have the summer. That my son would make it to ten years old while his grandfather was still alive. That we’d all go to the family reunion in July.
But everything changes, and so quickly. Hope flares, then fades, then blooms again. Every doctor’s visit brings news. Sometimes good and sometimes….sometimes like today, not so good.
I’m not sure what to pray for anymore. But I have to pray. I need to. So I just say, please. Please do what is best for my daddy. Please. And make me strong enough for whatever that may be. Please.