So what is hospice anyway? It is a term they use to give care to people not expected to live longer than 6 months. My Dad entered this journey yesterday. Not because we have the CT scan results back yet, but because he has lost 7 lbs in a week. He lost 3 lbs the week before. His CEA tumor marker is at 4.0, high normal is 2.0...He is up doing work still, and is eating. But the cancer is winning...I have been crying almost all morning since I heard this. Not because I didn't expect it, on the contrary, I knew it was coming...and I know that God is still God on the throne and that my Dad will be soon rejoicing in no more pain, no more weakness, or no more tiredness, and will be beholding something ever more wonderful than we can experience here. But my heart is still broken...and I ache for soon not having my earthly Father...for things that will not be on this earth...for relationship past that never was nor will be in this stage of eternity...
I am not even there with him. I am home for a month on a much needed respite. My kids need it. I need it. I was sick in bed on Monday but am feeling much better today although my emotions are raw. My brother and sister were with my stepmom and Dad at his oncologist appointment. We are so thankful for a gentle oncologist...my Dad, always trying to be strong for them...I talked to him today and he said he feels good. (except for the fact that I see him wasting away from every new picture I see and I hear about his tiredness from my sibs) I pray now that his homecoming will be merciful and peaceful, and that he will experience joy in the time before he goes.
I am so thankful that my siblings have been a wonderful group of support for him. He and my Mom did a nice job raising strong children that love him and persevere through hardship. My Mom died in 2000 of breast cancer that had metastasized to her brain. We rallied then as we rally now. We do not know how long he has. My Dad in the above picture was right before we left for the airport...it is our traditional goodbye picture on the couch. What I didn't say was after that he was blessing and giving my children a benediction...I had sobbed on the way to the airport because I just do not know how he will be when we return.
It is okay to mourn for now. My family will continue our respite. This is one of the promises I hold on to. Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! Ps 126:5