I've been at a bit of a loss for words after the past week. It was truly a terrifying thing to pack a bag in an hour, making certain to include a nice dress because you are headed home to help your dad fight for his life. Definitely not an experience I want to repeat.
But now that we are on the other side and dad's life is in the clear, I think this experience calls for some reflections on life, family, and the mystery of love and healing in the world.
Although it was certainly not the way we would have liked for a family gathering to take place, it just so happened that dad's illness gave reason for me, Matt, sis and Caleb to head to Texas to spend some quality time together (with mom too of course). It reminded us all what wedding vows and our commitment to family really mean. Our family has always been a special one and this event was a reminder of how much I truly love each person and their unique contribution (including our newest male members of the family). I think we are all a little bit more comfortable with one another as we cried together, laughed together, and prayed earnestly with and for one another.
The week was also a reminder that prayer is powerful and that sometimes "family" can extend beyond blood relatives. If it weren't for our "other mother" Carolyn, dad might not have made it to the ER in time. I was reminded of how important friendships and church families are in this world. What would we do without them?
And then I was reminded of the mystery of life and love-that greater power in this world, our Creator and Sustainer. So many events occurred in just the right order to get dad where he needed to be and then to get our family together to help support and encourage one another. Our love for our dad and for our God transcended all that was happening and opened up a way to see something greater-a way to appreciate life and healing. A way to appreciate a Mother God who holds us under her wings and a Father God who wipes our tears when we hurt.
I am thankful to be standing on the other side of this trauma in our lives. Although dad still has a long journey ahead, we have a lot to learn from where we have been. And so we will tie our shoes and press on....