Friday, September 4, 2009


Do you ever have those "spinning moments?" You know, when so much is going on, and there are seriously SO MANY things to do, create, fix, clean, and cook that you don't even know which direction to turn? Sometimes this is a bad thing. No one likes to feel dizzy and nauseous, right? However, the spinning is occasionally fun. I might just close my eyes and suddenly stop and point. Okay, I landed on the stove. What should I cook now? ;-)

But, really, boredom is a foreign term for my family. How can anyone ever be bored when there is still so much left to learn, read, do?? Think about? Pray about?

Although I've been very busy lately with school and extracurricular activities, interests and hobbies, I continue to find myself lost in thoughts and memories while I watch the kids play. I suppose when a family is hit by disease, it's natural to reflect on life, goals, decisions, the past and future. (Yes, I sit here "spinning" again...)

My grandmother just had surgery. It was nothing like her last Whipple surgery, but difficult nonetheless.

Papaw wrote,
"this should take care of that terrible nausea and vomiting she has been experiencing for the last two months. But you must realize that it solves nothing in relationship to the tumor--pancreatic cancer. Dr. MacFarlane told us, though, that he saw the tumor and felt it and that it is localized in one spot which is good news because sometimes it just spreads rapidly throughout the whole area. I remind you that the doctor, with our consent, is discontinuing chemo treatments and is ordering hospice care after she goes home.
What you should be aware of, though, is that without chemo and without bowel blockage perhaps, probably, she will have a much better quality of life for whatever time the Lord gives her on this earth."
She has been fighting this cancer for years. Right there, that defeats the odds. Do you realize that pancreatic cancer's 99% mortality rate is the highest of any cancer, and the average life expectancy after diagnosis with metastatic disease is just three to six months?? Pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. for men and women, and only 4% of patients survive beyond five years. Because there is no cure or early detection methods, effective treatment options are extremely limited. It was a miracle that she could even have the Whipple surgery.

It's easy to NOT think about hard things, right? Until it hits too close to home. For me, death has never really hit close. I've only been to one funeral in my life, and it was for a co-worker of Fred's, a young man I had not met. I grieved for his family, and prayed for them... but the crisis didn't touch my heart like it would have for someone I loved dearly. Do you understand?This is my Mimi, in Monterey, CA in 1998

I have not lost my Mimi yet, and I know I will only be "losing" her here on earth when her time comes. But these times on earth have been so GOOD, and it's hard to let go.
We've been great friends for as long as I can remember.(Mimi and Papaw with 8 great-grandchildren, at my house in 2008)

I used to sit on the edge of her bed while she french-braided my hair and dressed me up.(This was taken at their house in Arkansas, riding on my pony in the screened-in porch,
after Mimi had braided my hair and then my doll's.)

She always let us help her cook, roll out the cinnamon rolls, decorate cookies,

from the time we were very little.(Yep, that picture above is me. Yes, I was a blond. And I wore boy clothes.
And the picture below shows two of my little boys baking with Mimi last year.)
I remember watching her sew, grade papers, host parties, decorate her home... all of the things that I do now as an adult. There were walks by the beach, afternoons for tea parties.(It was a bad-hair-year. I don't know what my Mom was thinking!)

Mimi and Papaw made every birthday and accomplishment a special occasion.
Fine dining for an 8th birthday.
They've never been "too old" for anything! I remember vacations upon vacations, walks and bike rides, swimming and wind-surfing (okay, they just watched me do that!)
Above, a family vacation to Denver, CO. Papaw in a hotel pool with five little granddaughters.
Below, a bike ride while on vacation in Monterey, California (one of the most beautiful places on earth.)
(From left to right: me, Julie, and Amy in front)

So many amazing memories...

Here we're in Mimi and Papaw's backyard. Notice the huge garden & the bike next to our wagon.
We had so much fun there!

This was taken last year. Mimi shows my little ones what she has made for them.

Earlier this year, going to visit Mimi and Papaw in Washington.
I guess it's good to end the post with a sunset.
When her time is over here,
her new dawn will be more glorious than we can imagine.


Kringle said...

What a delightful blog :)...
thank you for sharing!

sara's art house said...

I will pray for her! And for you all!

What a sweet post. And yes, I feel like I am spinning all the time!!!!! Never any dull moments here either.

Anonymous said...

wow - that's all I can say - sd

seesawfaith said...

This brought back so many thoughts and feelings about my Mom's battle with colon cancer. Somehow you develop this kind of peace about the situation so that when the time comes, you don't completely lose yourself in the grief. I struggle more with the everyday things, like the memories you have pictured, then with the anniversaries, birthday, death, etc. I miss her at the times and instances that bring back the good memories, and I totally get the comment about knowing this is just the end of the time you are together on earth, but you will have eternity to spend with her, but you will miss the GOOD times here.

I really like your blog, and found several similarities in your profile.

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

SeeSawFaith, you put it so well. Unfortunately that was the calm before the storm. For I have lost it all tonight, with the shadow of death hanging so close. I just want to weep and scream. Why do we have to lose those that we love? I don't care how old she is. I love her and I want her here with me. As a Christian, I know that she is going to a better place. I know she wants to go. But the selfish child in me is throwing a tantrum. I will miss her.
Especially the daily things, like you said.