An entire season has passed – summer is coming to an end now. About 40 of those days and nights were spent in the hospital with Jacob fighting this monster. Only a couple more days and school begins again. I feel some guilt over the lack of summer activities for my boys. We never even saw a lake!
A new season of school. Evan and Noah return to John Calvin and Kaleb remains at home. Evan and Noah are looking forward to being in school, but being away from Jacob even more is upsetting to them. I am hoping that some routine and schedule and schoolwork to focus on will be helpful to them, though. Distractions can be a wonderful thing. Jacob should be entering a whole new season of his life – high school. Not beginning grade 8 and joining in with his friends in the excitement of the change in schools, meeting new friends will be very difficult for him, and for Ray and myself as well. This should be a very exciting time in Jacob’s life – but that has been taken from him for the time being.
A season of anxiety. The all pervasive heaviness that we feel is always there – but the reasons for it sometimes change. The upcoming week will be difficult, anxiety filled, and very painful. School beginning, and not beginning for Jacob. PET scan, MRI and CT scan to check for any spread of cancer and to determine final decision regarding removal of the tumor and part of Jacob’s leg. Funeral for a very precious girl – Monique Brand. Meetings with the surgeon and oncologist to go over scans and start surgery prep. Another round of chemo. And Evans 10th birthday. After this round of chemo, the next step is surgery. We know that there will be a large amount of anxiety in the weeks before, and also for the days and weeks and months after during recovery. We are not resisting what needs to happen in any way – we want the tumors gone – and fully accept that means Jacob’s leg and mobility will be forever altered.
A season without Monique. The Brand family are very dear friends of ours. On August 30th, Monique left her familys loving arms and entered the arms of her Loving Saviour. Monique will be missed badly. Her sweet smile, her sassy comments, her unique style, her artistic talent, her love for animals…we grieve, but we do not greive without hope. Monique’s Mom said to me in a recent conversation as we talked about Monique and Jacob – that this is a season of our lives. This will not go on forever. No matter the outcome, it is a season. To look for Gods love and care, even during the dark days, and you will see it. How God continues to show Himself, even in small ways. It is a painful season though. The ache in my heart physically hurts. Monique – you were such a precious gift to have on this earth with us for almost 20 years and you will be dearly missed and I am so grateful to have been a part of those years. I picture you playing with your sister Danielle and your brother Jeremy in heaven. No more pain. No more sorrow. No more tears. No more sickness.
A season with a “nanny”. Nanny is such a terrible word. In any case, as Monique’s mom reminded me, we can see God guiding our lives. We have been trying to find a suitable caretaker for the boys now that school is starting so we do not have to keep uprooting them. They need some normal and they need their home. Every drop off to different homes through the summer had the boys crying. Our neice Emily has decided to take a year off of school to help us full time. This is a huge relief to us and will take a load of stress off of our entire family. Before she was even aware of the need and want for a caretaker, I had told some friends that if I could pick anyone in the world to do this job, it would be Emily. I knew she was going to school and that it was just a pipe dream, but a couple weeks later she sent me a text saying “ I would like your kids to call me Aunty Emily.” Answered prayer.
And so begins many new seasons – we do not enter them alone. This road is hard – and unbelievably painful at times, full of uncertainty of what the future holds, full of heart wrenching pain watching your child suffer toxic effects of drugs and altered mobility and being unable to change it for him – but we continue to rest in knowing that God knows. And that He cares. And that He does have a plan, somewhere, somehow… and that Jacob is His child.