No Greater Joy

No Greater Joy

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A New Journey

Just when I thought my life couldn't get any crazier! I have been so caught up in my own little world lately, finishing the kids' school year, music, painting the church nursery, organizing VBS, working on the house, and the list goes on. In the midst of all that came one of those phone calls everyone hopes to never receive. I knew my grandmother had been losing weight for a while with no explained reason. The doctor was getting concerned and after his own testing could not find out the cause. He sent my grandmother to get a screening to see if there was any cancer anywhere in her body. I knew a phone call was coming, but it wasn't what I wanted to hear. It was Saturday, June 6th. I was on my way to Dubuque for a graduation party when I talked to my mom on my cell phone. I asked how her appointment had gone the day before. The devastating news followed that she did have cancer. The waiting game began to find out specifics about the cancer. All we knew was it was stomach cancer and that there were also spots on her liver. A week and a half later came "the rest of the story". It was bad, stage 4, with less than 6 months of life left, maybe a few more if she takes chemo pills.

Crying is an understatement. Those of you that know me well can just imagine the river of tears that followed. This is my grandmother. The lady I lived with for half of my childhood, who took my mom, brother, and I in. She and my grandfather provided the security and family stability my brother and I probably would not have had otherwise.

My grandfather passed away in 1997. My grandmother has held her own for the last 12 years. She has never driven, and even my grandfather did the grocery shopping when he was alive. My mom has taken the reins and takes my grandmother places she needs to go and visits with her frequently. People from her church faithfully make sure she arrives each Sunday morning.

The first week and a half I had a terrible time sleeping as my mind would start imagining the scenes that will someday take place. I can't help but wonder will she have to suffer? Will she outlive the doctor's estimates? Will God perform a miracle? What will her funeral be like? What will it be like to go home and not go to her house anymore? Then it's the other questions of when can I go see her? Can we afford this trip? How long will I stay? Will Sean be able to go? Will I really have to drive 17 hours in 2 days with 3 kids?!

I am learning to let God take control of all these questions. I can honestly say I am really not worrying about any of it now. I am confident that He will take care of all her needs and He will provide my needs and work out the details for our family.

This is getting long, but a few things about my grandmother...
Her name is Doris Evelyn Nichols
She is 83 and remembers some of the first cars and getting electricity for the first time.
She loves teaching Sunday School to adults and writes all the verses she studies over and over and over to help commit them to memory and keep her mind sharp.
She loves the 23rd Psalm.
She hasn't been hospitalized in over 27 years (I think I remember that right). :)
She told the doctor she is so blessed she is to have cancer at the end of her life instead of in the middle of it.
She is going to try the chemo pill so "others will know she's trying and wants to live".
She is happy for what awaits her after this earthly life.
Her maiden name is Watkins.
She is the only grandmother I've ever known.


Darleen said...

What a special lady of God. I pray that I will be as special to my grandchildren as she is to hers. Her love for the Lord is so contagious just being around her. Her memories are and will be cherished forever.

e preston said...

Your grandmother is quite a woman. I would like to meet her. God has certainly blessed your family with a great lady. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate all that you are doing with VBS. I know how hard it is for you not to be able to leave for GA right now. I pray for your time with your grandmother that it will be extra special when you get there.