Saturday, March 29, 2014

Never alone..not even at Bass Pro...

Survival bracelets.  Jacob loves to make them.  So how do you pass time at the hospital?  That's right you make bracelets - well Jacob makes them.

So yesterday Jacob decided it was time to make some survival bracelets.  Given that is NOT a video game I'm all in.  So I start calling around, looking for surplus stores where you can find this stuff.  I made one call to Bass Pro in Denver and get the operator.  I told her what I was looking for and she transferred me to a young lady in the sunglasses department.

Survival Bracelets

"So do you have any parachute chord?" I ask. "You mean to make bracelets?" she asks.  "Yeah.  I have a son that's going to be in the hospital for a long time."  "I'm sorry - what's wrong?"  "Cancer." I said.  The young lady asks me if I can hold on a minute then gets back on the line and says "I have two bracelet kits in stock - will you be coming today to pick them up?"  And I told her I would.

So I drive to Bass Pro and get directions to this young lady's station in the store.  I arrive and introduce myself as being "that guy".  She pull's out a huge bag containing a shirt, a hat, a beginner's fly rod, fishing tackle and a pair of polarized sunglasses - then announces that the bracelet kits are down in there somewhere.  "Take it and tell him to get better she says".

I almost lost it. It was overwhelming to think that there are strangers who care for our Jacob. Another pointer from the Master "You are not alone".  We  ...are not alone.  So if you ever feel alone, know this - you are not.

So we make bracelets, we get blessed by people God puts in our path. We do chemo therapy, he gets sick and cracks a joke about it.  I hope, I really hope that as nurses and doctors and friends come in this room Jesus is made much of.  I hope that as we do our laps around the hall and we meet people they sense his presence and smell the hope that is Jesus.

As I write this, Jacob sleeps. Chemo is catching up..."not fun" as Jacob says.  We are hard pressed and tired but we are never alone.

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power 
is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; 
perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, 
but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, 
so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive 
are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be 
revealed in our mortal body. "
II Corinthians 4 7-11

And you know what?  Life is being revealed in all of this.  Love the Lord and hug your kids today.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Valley and Courage

Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  Cancer.  Words a parent never wants to hear.  We heard those words yesterday.  "He'll need chemo - right away".  Jacob needs chemo. Who would have thought this boy who has already faced being abandoned - thrice, watched his friends get adopted while he stayed behind, who finally found home would be told "-cancer".

As I sit here in Children's Hospital in Denver, my son is in surgery, getting a 'central line' added to his chest. Through this line will pass medication that will make him feel terrible while saving his life.  Six months of chemo perhaps - a very, very long road ahead. He's heroic this boy.  He came out of his second of perhaps many more procedures and the first thing he says is "are we done already?"
Jacob at Denver Children's Hospital

We are stunned.  Our lives changed forever in one meeting with a doctor.  We are stunned - he is peacefully eating jello as I write this.  We love this boy.  He gets tubes in his chest - we cringe, we empathize - Jacob watches Tom and Jerry.  He gets blood drawn, pressures taken - we wonder when it will end - he plays a round of madden  on X box making Denver actually beat the Seahawks. All this since Saturday mind you. This convinces us that Jacob will not just get through this - he going to thrive. He
is courageous and it makes me so proud
to be his Dad.

We've seen our share of valleys and here is what we know:  it is there and only there that you get to walk right next to Jesus.  We're now on the edge of one of the scariest valleys we have ever seen or imagined - We know Jesus is there, waiting to walk with us through it.  And as we stare down into the unknown - Jacob goes running past us, yelling at us to catch up -he's running right down in there.  We're going.  It seems like Jacob already knows that's where Jesus is and that is where he'll meet us - down there.   We know that no matter how hard this gets we will NEVER be alone.

"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Joshua 1:5

We will keep you informed in the coming weeks.  This is going to be a marathon - not a sprint.