A couple of days planned off for the Perseids has turned into another marathon driving trip to Chattanooga yesterday, and today raining with good news and bad news.
I talked with Mom over the weekend and Dad was admitted to the hospital to try to get some food in him. His chemo treatment hadn’t upset his stomach, but it had made his throat so sore he couldn’t swallow. He suggested admisssion, to try treating his throat and getting some nourishment in him. He had dropped down to 116 pounds.
Mom called Monday morning, and told me to get in the car and head toward Chattanooga. Dad had developed double pneumonia, and things looked grave. Needless to say, Darla and I were headed toward Chattanooga within an hour.
We’ve now visited Dad twice (today), and I cannot remember having seen someone so frail. He is in ICU, is breathing with a ventilator, and has every tube conceivable hooked into him. This morning, he recognized that Darla and I were there, and even squeezed my hand. Mom and I both think he was trying to talk to us, but with the tubes down his throat and nose, it was impossible for him to say anything. During this afternoon’s visit, he was sedated, as he is struggling against the respirator, and needs to let it carry the load for a while.
It does look grim. The doctors are saying if he gets out the hospital instead of when. They are talking about rethinking his cancer treatments if he gets out. They are telling mom that his passing from pneumonia would be much easier than from cancer. His oncologist says that dad’s a fighter, though, and that if anyone can beat this, he can.
One of the things that has been weighing heavy on me since our last visit was dad’s salvation. Once this severe setback happened, I couldn’t help but sob at my weakness — I didn’t talk to dad a couple of weeks ago when we were here about trusting in Jesus, and I thought that my chance had now passed, for dad’s in no shape to understand much of anything right now.
God works in mysterious ways though.
This evening, the Mountain Preacher called to see how dad was doing. Now the Preacher had been down to see dad earlier in the afternoon, apparently just missing us. I gave him the update I had, and before I got off the phone, Darla asked to speak to him. She asked him if he knew anything about mom and dad’s beliefs. The Preacher said that they were Methodist — I didn’t know that! — and that a few days ago, he had had the chance to talk with dad while mom was out of the room. He asked dad if he had a “talking relationship” with the Lord, and dad said yes!!!! The Preacher told Darla that dad said he didn’t want to go now, but if it was his time, he was ready. The Preacher told Darla that he felt comfortable with dad’s future. I cried for half an hour after hearing this news, and it still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. I think that there was one reason for that call, and that was that the Preacher had been sent to put our minds and hearts at ease.
A tremendous weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and a huge lesson has been learned. I won’t make the same mistake to wait with mom. Who knows — maybe she is already saved?! Becky and I prayed over dinner tonight, and mom asked to grab my hand and be included…..
We had already scheduled having Molly spayed today, and Emma next week. As we rushed out of town yesterday, we dropped them both at the vet, and had both of them done today. We also had Molly x-rayed because of some problems we suspected with her elbows. While the spayings went well, Molly’s x-rays were bad — she has moderate to severe hip displaysia. The likely option will be surgery, and we’ll know more about that next week after a consultation with a specialist. This is heartbreaking to us, but the good news is that we found it early, and the surgery will make her complete and whole, without pain, and living a good, healthy life.
Now, as for the gentlemen that sold Molly to us, we will pursue some vigorous contact with him, and try to figure out what to do. There will be a page dedicated to this. Look to the side for its appearance soon. I will be publishing the details of our purchase, Molly’s heritage, paperwork and e-mail trail, and will continue to update it through this ordeal. Am I expecting trouble? Not really. I’m expecting indifference, as that has been shown to us already as we’ve asked for Molly’s paperwork from Russia so we could get her registered with AKC in order to compete in draft and agility. Our repeated requests for her papers have met silence, despite the opportunity for the seller to make another $150 as his “fee” for acquiring the papers. My guess is, though, with this hip problem in her history, that she will not be competing in either draft or agility. However, we have a wonderful, beautiful, wise dog, and we will soon be able to add “healthy” to the list. As for her story, and the continued saga, stay tuned, and look to the sidebar for Molly’s page.