It’s early. I woke before dawn and watched daylight break through the darkness. I glance at the cup a dear friend sent to me and read the prayer printed on it.
“May God grant you courage, and through His grace provide the peace that lies in knowing He’s always at your side.”
More than ever I need to know this. We, my husband and I, need to know this.
My friend sent two different but special mugs. One for me and one for Bob.
The other mug says:
FAITH, is being sure of what we hope for. Hebrews 11:1
Our hope is in the Lord. Our hope is knowing that He will give us strength and courage to walk through this valley. And as the prayer on the cup says…and through His grace provide the peace that lies in knowing He’s always at our side.
Bob went to sleep with those words on his lips last night: “I believe.”
There have been bursts of glory knowing God is near as His overwhelming presence carries us. It’s actually more than knowing it. We’re experiencing it.
We arrived here in this place, 170 miles and three hours away from our home, at the end of August.
It is the beginning of December now and we are still here in our home away from home. In this apartment 2 miles away from the hospital where Bob is being treated for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, we are living our new normal.
Bob spent 34 days in the hospital during his induction treatment. Now he is having his treatments out patient as we wait for news about a stem cell/bone marrow transplant.
A donor match hasn’t been found.
We’re running against time and soon the transplant team will be making a decision to do either an umbilical cord blood transplant or use a 1/2 match from a family member in an attempt to save Bob’s life.
Chemotherapy alone will not keep the aggressive fast growing cancer in remission.
Without the quick decisions and chemotherapy program that Bob’s doctors designed for him, he may not be here today.
We were whisked away within days to begin his treatment. They didn’t waste any time.
Bob is in remission receiving chemo to keep it there until a transplant can be done.
A couple of weeks ago, we found flowers on the doorstep of the apartment where we’re living. A gift from friends back home. I clipped and arranged them, put them in a vase and they have been giving us many days of joy.
As we look around at the gifts and cards that so many friends have sent we’re overwhelmed with gratitude.
My sister and her husband have been coming at least once a week. Dave stays with Bob and Judy takes me out for a while. My other sister, Diane and her husband Andy visit and Diane meets Judy and I for lunch often.
The doctors and nurses ask me, “What are you doing to take care of yourself?” It’s easy to forget that if I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be able to care for Bob.
My sisters have been lifesavers for me, rescuers who won’t let me slip into depression or neglect my emotional or mental health.
Our sons; our daughter-in-law ~ ~ they’re like life-saving medicine to our hearts.
My brothers, my parents, many friends ~ their cards, their calls, their texts, their visits, their prayers are bathing us with hope and courage. We have an army of prayer warriors standing with us in prayer.
We arrived here in the summer…
Saw the beauty of autumn come…
then slowly slip away…
and stood amazed at the winter wonderland of our first snowfall…
Through the seasons of change and waiting, we are refreshed by the love and prayers of so many people.
In the fights of life, people can be conduits of great joy and deep refreshment. Margaret Feinberg
There are many friends and family members fighting this fight with us.
Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people. Philemon 1:7
(All photos were taken by me in or near our home away from home. I believe God has given us the ability to find and create beauty in the middle of this messy often painful world. I hang tight to Him and to His promises and will continue my search for beauty through my lens)