Thursday, July 28, 2011

And sometimes, life throws you in for loops.

I was chatting with our neighbors and found out that one of them had just lost a family member to pancreatic cancer.  It was sad, and quick, but sad nonetheless.  So, instead of what I was going to do last night, I decided to make her a card.  I knew I wanted to try out somethings new, and I did, but I hope she really appreciates the effort.  So, above is the card I made her.

I have a ton of paper for scrapbooking that I don't think would ever be relevant to a boy, so I decided they would be great paper I could use for cards :).  I also sewed some old buttons I had lying around that matched the cards as well, and I think they add a nice touch :)  Just wanted her to know we were thinking about her during this time of grief.

I remember what watching someone waste away due to this illness.  I watched my uncle pass away close to a year ago because of the exact same condition.  He was as healthy as anyone I could have known, and went to the doctor complaining of some stomach pain.  Diagnosed and died several days later.  It was difficult to watch, but I knew my aunt needed me there.  My uncle was the "dad" I never had in a way.  My parents were not in any position to be parents, although they wanted to.  They didn't have much money and they both have major mental issues they are struggling with.  Having a child on top of all of that, you can only imagine...

When my uncle was diagnosed, he was still in the hospital.  They had just told him that there wasn't much they could do because it was end stages by that point.  I came in to see him, because I had a feeling it may have been one of the last times.  It was the last time I saw him coherent anyway.  And he was so happy to see me, you have no idea.  I had no one to watch my baby son, so I brought him too and he was happy to see my baby.  He told me how proud he was of me, that I worked my butt off my whole life.  He was so proud of me for finishing college, and proud of me for providing so well for my family.  He presided over my wedding as a gift to me, and he was proud of me for the man I chose.  He did tell me he had only one regret, and before he had to face God, he had to ask forgiveness for ONE thing.  For a reverend to say that, that was profound.  So, I sat next to him, in so many tears I couldn't count.  He told me of his one regret, that he didn't adopt me; for instead I was sent into foster care, which could have turned out much worse than it did.  He said he was selfish since he had just sent his last child off to college and wanted an empty house, but now he regretted every minute of it.  

I forgave him, because I knew in our lives, God had a plan.  I told him he  did what he could and I certainly forgave him.  I never would expect anyone to adopt a child when they aren't ready, and never would have asked.  But he came to me in my college years and more than made up for it.  I thanked him for everything he had done for my family- he bought us our first car, presided over our wedding and didn't ask for payment.  Never asked for a thing in his life actually.  I brought Christmas presents and he said he doesn't want me to give him anything.  I had handmade their gift and it wasn't expensive, so he appreciated it anyway.  He also wouldn't ever tell me his birthday for the same reason.  Seeing his face light up after my forgiveness was priceless.  Knowing that I had no hard feelings and I wasn't upset with him about it I am sure made things much easier for him to say his goodbyes.

But it was profound, to see him go from asking for forgiveness to barely able to stay awake and speaking incoherently.  The day he passed was sad, but at the same time, I knew he wasn't in pain anymore.  He was right where he wanted to be, so that made things better.

But, sad story aside, I wanted to pass some of this love to my neighbor, and the best I have is my card making skills.

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