Saturday, February 18, 2006

Hellos and Goodbyes

I've got job news and an update on my dad. The update on my dad is...well...not a very pretty picture. I don't expect anyone to read it, I am writing it for myself. Feel free to skip it.

The president of the company had to back out of the interview that was scheduled last Monday, so my would-be supervisor just interviewed me some more over lunch. The interview with the president was rescheduled for last Wednesday and it went very well, so they offered me the job (as a software developer, programming in .NET languages). I had to take somewhat of a cut in pay, but my salary will go back to what I was making at my previous job as soon as my probationary period is over. So, Cindy will still be able to stay home with the baby once he or she is born. The 15th of this month I received my last check from my previous job and it was also the day I accepted my new one. God is faithful!!! I started Thursday and am happy that this week was only two days for me. Learning an entire system can be overwhelming and tiring, especially with all that is going on with my dad, but I think I am picking it up faster than they expected.

A little over a week ago I talked with my dad's lung doctor. I explained the situation with my dad refusing to go to the hospital and the doctor made it very clear there was nothing they could do for him anyway. I described how my dad's face was drooping on one side and how he can barely get out of his recliner or walk. The doctor believed the drooping may be due to small strokes. I found out that apparently my dad had refused any kind of conventional treatment because he was convinced the alternative treatment(s) would work, and he still is. The doctor described the cancer as being "everywhere". I talked to my dad's sister who lives out of state and explained everything to her. That was a tough call to make. Cindy and I visited him last Sunday and we said our goodbyes - just in case. I brought up things he had done for me throughout my life to make sure he knew I appreciated all of them. He told me one of his fondest memories was hearing me laugh. I grew up in a small farm town and we only had one public library. On Saturday mornings they had a "movie hour" that kids could go to. Frequently they would show "Laurel and Hardy" films and I'd just laugh and laugh and laugh. I remember it well. I must have five or six years old, but my sense of humor was already very evident. I guess my dad really enjoyed hearing me laugh.

Last Wednesday I got a call from my mom that my dad had fallen. They had to call the paramedics because he could not get back up. They put him back in his chair, which is where he has been sleeping for a couple months due to back pain. Apparently Thursday they had to call a couple more times to help my dad get out of his chair. My brother and his wife and daughter came in from out of state last night. Sometime during the day on Friday my dad had defecated and urinated in his chair because he just couldn't hold it anymore and was unable to get up. I guess that was a wake up call that he needed professional care. My brother convinced him to have an ambulance transport him to the hospital. We both were there with him in the emergency room, just talking and keeping him company as they ran various lab tests. We talked about the sports we had played growing up and the family vacations we took. Somehow the subject of heaven came up. I told him about some of the things I read in the book called "Heaven" by Jesse Duplantis. I believe (as the book describes) that our mansions (more accurately translated as estates) will be tailor made for us. In other words, whatever our tastes and preferences, that's what our heavenly home will have. I prefaced my comments with "Not that we are expecting it anytime soon, but when you do pass away..." We talked about things that he may enjoy having on his estate. That seemed to put a smile on his face.

A nurse came and hooked up my dad to an EKG. His chest and upper arms look downright awful. He looked extremely malnourished and...for lack of a better word...shriveled. It was as if an adult sized head was on a child's body. He had quarter-sized blood spots on his body where he had been bleeding inside his skin due to a low platelet count. He also is very yellow from being anemic. We walked with him as they wheeled him to his room. Once inside the room, one nurse proceeded to ask him a series of questions. It really hit me that for 68 years he had been the picture of good health. He answered no to just about every question. One that made my brother and I laugh was when the nurse asked, "Do you have any vision problems or problems with your hearing?" My dad answered, "No problems with vision...and what was the other thing?" The nurse laughed because she thought he was just being funny, but he really didn't hear her. Once he caught on he did get a kick out of it. My brother and I both prayed for my dad. The verse in my heart was Isaiah 26:3, "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You." I prayed peace and comfort over my dad. He dad is saved and I know I will see him again in heaven. I hope his mind is at rest when he goes. I don't want it to be scary for him or even more painful than it has already been. I am grateful I have had the opportunity to say everything that I wanted to say. I guess that's all for now.


At 2/18/2006, Blogger Aim Claim said...

peace, comfort and prayers...

At 2/18/2006, Blogger Melanie Morales said...

I am praying for your family as you deal with your dad. We went through the same thing with my grandmother - and my mom was an only child so we had to do it all without the support of other family members. It's difficult to know exactly what to do at times. She had falls and mini-strokes that really took their toll. You know my granddad worked really hard in his life to take care of his family - and he had just enough (he died several years earlier) to make sure my grandmothers last months were spent in a private care facility rather than a nursing home. It was difficult to find humor at times; but we somehow managed it.

Congrats on the job!

At 2/18/2006, Blogger CJ said...

First, I am so glad that you found a job. Congratulations on that!

Second, I will continue to pray for peace that passes understanding to fall on your dad and your whole family. Continue to keep us updated.

At 2/18/2006, Blogger wilsonian said...

It's really a priviledge to share in all the ways God is providing. The new job is obvious. But I'm also thankful that you have had the chance to spend so much time with your father, and that you're ready to say good-bye for a while.

Praying peace for all of you.

At 2/19/2006, Blogger Patti said...

Mark, I am so happy that you got a chance to witness to your dad and know where his final destination will be. I got a chance to ask the priest and nun who ministered to my dad and found out that he accepted Jesus (in the Catholic way-we Catholics don't always use the same words). It was so good you could talk to your dad about the important things. I am happy that you got a job. God does provide-but in the end, I think the greatest blessing will be your encounter with your dad. There are tons of jobs-but you only have on earthly father.

At 2/20/2006, Blogger Kitty Cheng said...

Congratulations on the job Mark. Will keep you and your dad in prayers. God Bless!

At 2/20/2006, Blogger hanni said...

Thank you Mark D, for coming back and commenting again. It has made all the difference. I needed some form of hope to grasp onto and it's so fitting (& funny) that it comes in the reference of a movie. I love it - it's so a 'me' thing.
I will definately pray for you and yours, as well. I'm thankful that you have both the assurance of your dad's faith as well as the opportunity to say "See you later". Blessings.

At 2/24/2006, Blogger Motivational Speaker who lives down by a river! said...

I will be praying for you on the transition you will be going through with your new job and your dad. It's hard I know, but God is with you and He will give you the strength to make it through.
Thanks for your encouragement and prayers.

At 2/26/2006, Blogger Patchouli said...

Mark, you are going through so many life changes right now- new job, new baby, dad going home-

The song "Hold Me, Jesus" by Rich Mullins comes to mind:

Sometimes my life just don't make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small

So hold me Jesus, I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It's so hot inside my soul
There must be blisters on my heart

So hold me Jesus, I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace


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