Tag Archives: loss

Time

This has been such a surreal time for my family and me. Dad has been in the hospital for the past two and a half weeks. We have been camped out more or less at the hospital during this time. Sometimes I am not sure what day it is.

Mom has been at the hospital almost all the time. Every few days she goes home to take a shower and get a change of clothes. Us three kids, Bill, Kitty, and I take turns keeping her and dad company. It is not easy to get a good night’s sleep in a hospital waiting room. I spent last night trying to get as comfortable as possible on a small sofa.

This is all very strange. Dad has been fighting for his life trying to recover from a routine surgery that went wrong. He seems to be mostly out of the woods, but his progress is slow and halting. He has good days and not so good days. But more accurately, he has good hours and not so good hours. He showed a lot of spunk earlier today but now is exhausted.

I seem to be the type of person who doesn’t freak out but remains calm and steady. But there are moments when I am alone and I allow myself to feel the anger and frustration. Why did this have to happen? If only…

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Checking In

I haven’t written a blog post lately. Life has been a bit hectic. My dad is fighting for his life in ICU at Harrison Hospital in Bremerton. He went into surgery last Monday to reattach his colon which had to be diverted into an ostomy in November when he had a twisted and obstructed bowel. After three months of recovery it was time for him to get hooked back up, so to speak.

Things seemed to go well earlier last week, but he didn’t start to bounce back in a way we would expect.  Instead, the newly reattached colon burst and dad went into septic shock. He has been in ICU for three days now and it is touch and go whether he is going to recover or not. Your prayers are greatly appreciated. Specifically, his body needs to fight off the infection and his kidneys need to start working. Although he is 86, he is strong and it is obvious that he is fighting hard.

People react differently in times of crisis. I find that I am pretty stoic, I don’t freak out, I look at things fairly objectively, I try to remain positive. I have read that the most effective component in prayer is when the person who is being prayed for knows that people are praying for them. In Dad’s semi-conscious state, we have let him know there are a lot of people praying for him to pull through. So I am just continuing to pray.

When it’s Dad’s time to go, then afterward I will most likely fall apart. Now is not the time. I can’t extend Dad’s life by worrying. This is all in what some call the “God Box”, i.e. it is something that I have absolutely no control over.

Well there. I have eeked out a few thoughts. We’re all hanging here at the hospital, waiting for progress.

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Interrupted, part 3

I just finished reading the memoirs of a current TV personality, Craig Ferguson. If you don’t know who he is, he is the host of one of the late-night shows. He follows David Letterman on CBS. And he is one of the funniest people on TV.

In his book, he tells the story of his 15+ year battle with alcoholism. He’s been sober now for about 18 years. At one point, Craig refers to God as someone he still doesn’t really understand. I bring the alcoholism thing up because the AA tradition refers to “God as we understand Him”. So Craig, having been through AA and sober for 18 years, still doesn’t think he understands God much.

And my first reaction was, “oh, that’s too bad”.

A lot of people who, like me, have decades of Christian religion under their belt, express similar sentiments when we encounter people who just don’t seem to “get it”. They can’t quite figure out God. We shake our heads.

But then this got me thinking. How many people can honestly say that they understand God? That they’ve got Him figured out? That they know what He’s up to in light of things that happen?

Let’s be honest.

Two violent events occurred two weeks ago, one global, one local. First, there was the devastating earthquake in Haiti, resulting in 150,000 deaths, many more injured, countless more homeless, flattening the city of Port-au-Prince. And on the local front we have a young man whose parents go to our church, who was senselessly murdered in his apartment.

Life interrupted.

So, to be totally honest, I have to ask God, “why?” Is that okay? Is it okay to ask God, “What are you up to?” Is it okay to have doubts? Violent, life-interrupting events like these open up the age-old question about why God allows such devastating things to happen.

Yes, there are those out there who like to pretend they know what God is up to. Pat Robertson recently stated that the Haiti disaster was the result of a curse on a nation that has “made a pact with the Devil”. Similar proclamations were made by John Hagee after Hurricane Katrina–that New Orleans “had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that”.

Is God really like that? Powerless on the one hand and condemning on the other?

I personally don’t believe so. Here are two things I believe with every fiber of my being: I believe that God is love and I believe God is in control. How such beliefs can be reconciled with events like these are beyond anyone’s ability. I am not going to pretend to have the answers and I don’t think anyone else should pretend to either.

Setting these questions aside, (what else can we do?), I am deeply touched by the love, support, and care that people have poured out to those in such dire need. When awful things happen, do we philosophise, do we pontificate, or do we respond with love? I never cease to be amazed at the power of love through action.

To quote Lenny Kravitz, “Let love rule.” I just looked up the lyrics to that song on a website called “answers.com”. Isn’t that ironic?

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