I love the beauty of fall — crisp morning air and stunning sunsets. A reminder of the bounties of life. A knowledge that our labors are rewarded as we never stop striving to grow, strengthen, cultivate and transform.
This fall has brought great learning opportunities for our family. During the past two months, we have been with my mother and prayed for her health as we continue to watch the devastating effects of a major stroke. Richard and I have also reverently bowed our heads and prayed fervently for safety and protection of our children. Finally, I have felt my body change as I become more dependent on oxygen support to accomplish my daily tasks. I am slowing down just a little. Throughout the fall season, we have reached deeply in our souls as we relied on the fruit of our labors. The learning and faith that has developed over many years. The determination to raise our eyes to the heavens and follow Him. Our commitment to never stop striving. An understanding that all is well!
I listened carefully as I observed my mother dedicate her energy to learning tasks throughout her speech therapy. Some of her conversational speech has returned. She still struggles to recall names of pictures, letters, and sounds. I smiled as I recalled her teaching kindergarten students these very same concepts for more than 30 years. The right side of her body is getting stronger and she is able to walk with the help of a walker. Amazing! She is a strong woman who is willing to work very hard to return to independence! We are cheering for her each step of the way! She inspires each of us to not give up — to continue to strive to become our very best self!
Our children continue to be watched over and blessed. Richard and I will always recognize the divine intervention they receive. We have experienced some of our most frightening and also most joyful moments during the past few weeks. The delight comes from the joy of gathering and spending cherished time together. Halloween was a delight! I loved seeing the trick or treaters come to the house! Both of the kids came home to help answer the door, share goodies, fuss over me, and chat. It felt so warm and cozy. I count that night as a great memory that I hold close to my heart. A reminder that as we continue to strive to love each other, as our Father loves each one of us, we will receive tender mercies that are more than we can describe. Continue to strive to love your family in deep, eternal ways. The blessings will come!
My last blog was written during my most recent hospital stay. I ended up being hospitalized for eight days as I fought a nasty infection. I was finally discharged with a high level of oxygen support. CT scans indicate there is moderate progression of the cancer with additional metastasis of lesions on my vertebrae. I also struggle with increased pain with lesions in the sacrum area. Here is the good news! I still have some healthy lung tissue without any disease. I have not been on active treatment during the past nine months and my quality of life has allowed me to experience so much of what I love. I have portable oxygen tanks that allow me to leave the home. Friends and family have learned to come to the house and visit when I have a difficult time getting out. My oncologist has found a new clinical trial that I may be a good candidate for. It does not include any immunotherapy which is a huge bonus for me. We are waiting to see if I have been accepted. He wants to help me so badly. I am surrounded by both an amazing medical team and care givers. I strive each day to live life to the fullest! To capture the simple things that bring such joy. To love those around me with sincerity.
I read an insightful letter from the son of a dear friend. In closing, he included this beautiful thought: “Never stop striving until you see the face of God.” What a beautiful compass as we continue to try — to learn, to think, to love, to become, to understand things of the eternity. I love each one of you! Remember, never stop striving in this season of bounty and gratitude!