In the first few hours in the cold ER next to my suddenly-on-his-deathbed-34 year old-husband, I made no definitive plans…except one. If he didn’t make it to June 19, no matter where we were at the time, I would load up our 4 children and make our way to the nearest BJ’s Restaurant I could find. I don’t know why that was a place my thoughts wandered. I must have been thinking about maintaining a sense of normality for the kids, searching for ways to keep his memory near; and Father’s Day for us means a trip to the BJ’s and a dated glass to add to our collection. We’ve been doing this since 2008 (Jesse’s 5th Father’s Day), missing only the year we first moved to Northwest Houston because we couldn’t locate one…and we bought him a cup in the same style that year to fill in the gap. 😉
Today, sitting in the restaurant with Jesse and just our little girl, I remembered for the first time the plan I had made many months ago. It came rushing to my mind as fresh as though it had just been settled. I remembered the smell of the room, the confusion in his eyes, the startling feeling of “knowing Jesse was going to die”, like the blood flowing through my veins had turned cold. And I remembered the peaceful feeling of “knowing God was still sovereign and ever near” that quieted the fear and reminded my heart to keep beating. I remembered the relentless fear and the encompassing Hope, the sunrises, the mourning, the wondering and wandering, the loss and gain, the sense of purpose…God is in the shifting, beloved friends. Moving fluidly with us from one moment to the next, pushing us, holding us, cheering us on, cautioning us, sustaining, providing. He is the Sense in moments of seeming senselessness.
9 1/2 months in and I can say with absolute certainty that God does not waiver, does not fail, does not forsake. He. is. Good. When you are cupping your dying husband’s hand in a sterile ER and telling him thank you and goodbye, contemplating how to tell his children he isn’t coming home and thinking about what you will do on their first Father’s Day without him, and when you are sitting across the table from the man you married on a day you did not anticipate spending with him thinking about all of the plans you made to celebrate him without him near. God does not waiver, does not fail, does not forsake. If the 9th cup we brought home on Father’s Day today is the last cup Jesse is there to pick up for himself? God will still be good. He will still be on His throne. He will still be a good Father. He will still be God. Should that day come for us, He will be in that shifting, too.
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
A few weeks ago, we began noticing some troubling side effects from Jesse’s seizure medications. We talked through this with his oncologist and stopped using one immediately, then started slowly lowering another one in hopes that side effects would dissipate. We made plans to raise his newest med to keep his seizures under control as well. As we lowered one, the side effects of one of the others became more prevalent…so we made the daunting decision to start lowering that one as well. The process of adjusting seizure medications for Jesse is tedious and usually very, very slow. His body is exceptionally sensitive to adverse side effects, so we move with caution in all ways regarding such powerful medications.
He has been on a full dose of 3 meds and partial of a 4th (with a 5th thrown in on occasion) for months. But…today marks day FIVE completely off of two of his main medications! He came off of them in two weeks, which is nothing but miraculous. He has had only very mild seizures and infrequently (but that’s typical with the weaning process), and he is so much more himself. He is now only on ONE full dose medication and a very low dose of his new med, which we have not raised because he hasn’t needed it. We are praising the Lord for such an extravagant gift and for the healing He has brought to Jesse’s brain that is allowing him to come down on so many medications so quickly while his seizures also dissipate in frequency and severity. We are asking Him, too, to use this to open the eyes of those watching Jesse’s story unfold and draw people to Him. Praise Him with us, guys. He is worthy!