Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Hope seems to be more tangible. Much easier. More real.
I don't know if it is because the bad news doesn't seem to be coming as often.
Or if it is because I have totally thrown myself into the Williams Warriors fundraiser.
Or if it is because there is
in my moms voice again,
which is like a breath of fresh air.
I don't know what it is, maybe it is a combination of everything but for this very second in time my life seems to be "normal" again.

While sitting in church on Sunday I found myself recalling the events of the previous week.
How it felt like I was sucker punched when my dad said, "they have found cancer."
How I didn't think that it could hurt any worse... until it did.
How I sobbed into my husbands arms after finding out how far the cancer had spread.
How he sobbed into mine.
However, among all the feelings of hurt, sadness, pain, and difficulty there was one overriding feeling of love.

The thought kept coming to me, "you have learned. If you do not share it, why have you learned it?"

At that moment I knew
I couldn't take my dads illness away.
I couldn't take my moms heartache away.
I couldn't change the facts.

However, I COULD share. Share what God has taught me.

It is amazing to me how the Lord teaches and allows us to learn. I have sat in and taught lesson after lesson about our Savior, about His atonement, about His love. All of them done with every energy of my heart. However, it is amazing how once we think we "know" something the Lord kindly allows us to
dig deeper,
to study harder,
to understand better.

What a blessing it is that He not only suffered in Gethsemane for our sins so that we can return to Live with Him again but that He suffered for our pains, our weaknesses, our sadness so that He completely understands as well.

I remember when I was in labor with Cade.
It got to point that I found myself thinking that if the contractions could stop for just 10 seconds so that I could get 1 deep breath then I would be okay.
They didn't stop.
But we both made it through.

I found myself thinking the same thing as the tears flowed for my dad. That all I wanted to do was escape. For just one minute. Just to breath.
It was then that it occurred to me. Even though it hurt... a lot. I was not holding this burden alone. The Savior completely and wholly understood.
He had walked that path and was now walking it with me.
I could breath.

How thankful I am that He didn't just take the pain away, although I wished for it.
In these short yet eternal 7 days I have learned more about the Lord, His gospel, and myself than I could have ever imagined.

I am sure there are more tears to be cried. More aches to feel. More sleepless nights.
However, now I understand, even more than I did before, that we are not expected to hurt alone.
He is there.
Arms wide open.
All we must do is turn to Him.

It might still hurt.
But we will NEVER be alone.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Our unexpected journey begins

I am tired.
Not very often am I at a loss for words, however at them moment all I can say is I am tired.
My family has been living in a bit of a shock wave this past week.
My dad, who just turned 50, who has been healthy, active, and as good as could be was just diagnosed with colon cancer.
When he called to break the news I didn't know what to say. It didn't seem real. He seemed hopeful that it could most likely be taken care of with surgery. Not fun but doable.
My sister had a meltdown. I did not.

We made it through the next few days and the phrase, "my dad has cancer" sunk it and became part of life. I felt hopeful, optimistic, and didn't allow it to rock my world too much.... until yesterday.

The morning after his CT scan my parents called and asked me to conference call my sister. At that moment I wanted to say "no," hang up the phone, and live in the little hopeful box I had created for myself. However, that was not possible.
Once Alli made it on the phone my dad broke the news. The cancer had spread. Far. It had made it to his bladder, liver, and one lung.
Although he was strong, I was a puddle. The tears came. I had a melt down. My sister did not. I once again had no words... only tears.

How could this happen? He fits none of the profiles for this disease. He has taken amazing care of himself. He is young. He is MY dad. Things like this just don't happen.
After the phone call ended all I could do was stare. Stare and wonder, "what now?"

Cade saw my tears and told me it would be okay as he snuggled on my lap. Beckam held my hand all day. I was not alone and was so thankful for the numbness that eventually enveloped me.

I spent the day trying to understand how accepting the Lords will and having unwavering faith in miracles could really be connected and not just independent concepts. How can I be obedient to the Lord and His will but yet have faith that He can heal my dad? It wasn't meshing in my head.
I cried and prayed. Prayed and cried. Read and cried. Cried and read.

In the end I still cannot exactly wrap words around the Peace and understanding the Lord has blessed me with thus far. I know that I am at the beginning, in a small way, to understanding the atonement on an even more personal level.

Understanding how much the Lord loves us.
How well He knows us.
What His plan is for us.
How He will bless us.
We might not understand but one day we will.

All we can do is have faith in Him, hope that things will be okay, and go to work taking care of others, charity.
Throughout my life, whenever things have been heavy, overwhelming, or difficult my dad would give me a little pep talk and then tell me to wrap a blanket tight around myself and pretend that it was his big strong arms giving me a big hug. It always made me feel better.

At this moment, my blanket is wrapped around him.
The Saviors arms are wrapped around me.

We will make it. We will continue to press forward with faith. We are sealed as a family and will be together forever, with our arms tight around each other.

I love you daddy. I will always be your baby girl.
You can do it. You are the strongest guy I know.