Fear can paralyze. Knock you to your knees. Sucker punch you square in the face. Take your breath away.
That's what happened yesterday evening. After a series of events my brother found himself frustrated, an elevated heart rate (170 beats per minute), unable to breathe, and I imagined scared to death. The ambulance came and transported him to Fair Oakes Hospital. They were able to stabilize his breathing (130 beats per minute) although still above normal but stabilized. Chest x-ray, ct scan and other tests were done. Fluids were pumped into him. Since Friday, swallowing has been difficult so he hasn't had much to drink and hasn't been able to take medication. His white blood cell count is high. Not surprising because he hasn't had treatment since January.
I asked my mom why hospice wouldn't give him fluids or a feeding tube but that isn't the job of hospice. They just make you comfortable and try to manage the pain. There is a part of me that thinks this quick decline could've been prevented. That there has to be a different level of treatment between chemo and hospice.
Maybe I'm grasping at straws or trying to blame somebody because I want my brother to live. Maybe God's plan is coming to fruition just the way He planned. I'm having a difficult time trying to understand why God, the loving God, the Healer, the worker of miracles, the God of second chances isn't saving Doug.
I believe, God, I do. Doug has been brought to you time and time again. You gave him second chances. You give all of us second chances. He came back to you, chased after you and loves you. Then out of no where...BAM...sucker punch.
I've claimed hope. I've been inked as a reminder but as a friend reminded me today, the greatest of these is LOVE.
Deep in my heart I know Doug will be made perfect when he gets to meet Jesus face to face. He won't be in pain and he will have his beautiful infectious smile on his face. But for those of us who love him here on earth are left with a deep void. God, help me see you in all of it. Help my heart so that it doesn't become hardened. Keep it tender.
So, today we wake up. Today is a gift. I can only live for today.
The transMission song, All Things New, is playing in my head. It's amazing how much the music and lyric can speak truth and cause your heart to be stirred. Thank you to my friends that have the ability to hear God's voice and produce melodies.
All Things New
Words & Music by Phil Laeger
Arranged by Marty Mikles
In early twilight when the day is breaking, edging out the night
My song will rise to You, my life will sing Your praise and breathe Your light
Your perfect love is like this radiance that warms the day anew
And I will join with all creation, singing, "Glory, God to You"
Your mercy and compassion
They are new every morning; a new day is dawning
Your faithfulness and Your tenderness
They are drawing me to You
And You are making all things
Your mercy and compassion
From time eternal Lord Your spoken Word brings everything to life
Your Spirit hovers over chaos, separating dark from light
While we were dead in sin, Your Shepherd voice was calling us apart
You shine the knowledge of the glory of Your Son into our hearts
Shine Your Son into our hearts