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Monday, November 11, 2019

Walking out the Chaos in an Ordinary, Everyday Life

This month past has been hi-jacked by Chaos.

Pure and Simple.

Complete disorder.  Run amok.  Disheartening lows.  Crazy highs.

We moved into our long-dreamed-for Log Cabin  {Finally!}  With boxes piled high and scattered belongings in complete disarray, we can at last say, We are Home!

It's a happy chaos, this putting our life into order one messy box at a time... How we've longed for this day!

And within moments of crossing the threshold of that dream, the call came from nurses that dad was being rushed to the Emergency Room.

Breath coming in gasps, his COPD had flared and became life-threatening within hours.  Hours became days, stranded in the hospital, speaking in hushed whispers, living out of overnight bags and hanging onto each new report... Life in Chaos... striving for calm, but losing the battle as we struggled with the truth of this insidious disease.

I've decided that the clean, quiet, sterile halls of a hospital hide a frightening, scary, dark side.  Ordinary people are facing overwhelming news and difficult prognoses behind most every door we passed.   Throwing lives into turmoil...a miserable kind of chaos to be sure.

The roller-coaster ride of this COPD journey found us heading home with dad after a week of breathing treatments, heavy-duty antibiotics and LOTS of steroids.

The chaos of that week faded back into a grateful "normal" as dad found his smile (and his appetite... thank you prednisone!)  With thankful hearts, we hugged him hard and headed for a brief respite to recoup .. fall camping with friends in the hills of central Texas...

But the very next week found us back in the Emergency room with dad's breathing even worse than before.  Doctor consults, tests and IV's, the concerned murmurs... Chaos returned with a vengance.

COPD is an agonizingly slow descent into sheer panic.  The air hunger, the labored breathing, the subtle, sly loss of everyday activities we take for granted, the terrifying feeling of suffocating in the dark midnight hours... this is a chaos of the hardest kind.  Fighting an implacable disease that does not relent.

No winning. No cure. No Hope.

As dad's breathing worsened, his doctor gently approached us with the difficult news... there was nothing more that could be done to ease the ache in his lungs.

Air left the room.

We have long prepared ourselves for this moment, but there is no preparing...

Dad is transitioning into hospice care and our hearts tremble between an anguished grief for the road ahead and an intense relief that there is a comfort available for which dad is so desperate.

The hours and days to come?  A Hard Chaos that we are determined to walk out well.

We have been in this place before.

Mom walked it out almost 8 years ago, and Dad remembers well the compassion and grace offered by the hands of her hospice team.

Now, he faces the work of this last mile.

And we will be there each step of the way, he does not walk alone.  It is the prayer of our heart, the sacrifice of family from far and wide, that ensures he will be loved much in the days ahead.

That love can turn the chaos into peace... of that I am sure.

Resting in the God who makes order out of chaos and chooses to love us better than we could ever imagine.

That is Peace for tonight.

1 comment:

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