Sometimes there are no words to say or hear that make hurting hearts feel less pain. Better...what is better? Okay...will we be ok? Everyone says we will. Deep down, I know that and I believe that...but in the meantime....Okay seems so very far away.
It has been a blessed week here in MN. We arrived just as Daddy was transitioning to home. I was able to make Dad his Mom's famous Poppyseed and Nut Rolls. I even made him Devil Dogs. While he doesn't have much of an appetite, he has loved those precious bites. Rachelle cooked a pork roast this week (with the help of um...Grillin' Magic) and was elated to receive Dad's approval! Those were special little wins for us both!
We have had several moments of grace. Several moments of clarity. When Dad is clearest...he is telling anyone who will listen about Jesus. Anxious moments are driven away by him expressing his love for the Lord, explaining what Jesus did for all of us, and how we can be sure of an eternity with God in Heaven.
We have enjoyed sharing memories with each other. Tonight, Bob and I reminded Dad, who was wearing his World Series t-shirt that we just watched our beloved Cubbies win the World Series. We have talked about baking our favorite Christmas cookies. Sang a few favorite songs. During one song, "This Could Be The Dawning of That Day," Dad wanted to know who heard that song. We explained it was just Bob, Mom, and myself in the room, with one hospice nurse standing near. He was adamant that she come over so that he could explain the song, explain Jesus, explain Salvation. We all were blessed to hear that she already knew Jesus and were touched at how much she allowed Dad to pour out his love for the Savior in that moment.
On our most recent Daddy/Daughter date, about 3 weeks ago, I took him to see Hacksaw Ridge. We watched as the hero single handedly saved 75 men from being slaughtered, by dragging them to safety and lowering them down a cliff. The hero cries out to God after each man is lowered, "Just one more...give me strength for just one more." I know that is Dad's cry too. He wants to see as many people come to Jesus as possible.
Friends, we are still believing for our miracle. Dad has coined Remission By Christmas. We know that there are two kinds of healing...healing here on Earth - that is what we long for so deeply....and our Ultimate Healing to be with Jesus in Heaven. Dad explained to a slightly overcome grandson, Dominic, how wonderful it will be to someday receive that healing! In the meantime, he wants to still be a Grandpa, Dad and Husband. He still has souls to reach, college students to teach, fish to catch, and grandsons to mentor.
Honestly, the last 3 months have been a blur. According to our very loving and caring hospice nurses, the progression of this illness is steadily increasing. They no longer feel that we are dealing with months or weeks, but rather days. The last two days have been exceptionally stressful and painful as we see signs that the nurses are more than likely correct.
Mom (Cathy Jo) faithfully remains at his side, loving and caring for her best friend - her love. Bob and I are struggling to balance time with Dad, our spouses and kids. We don't know really what is the right thing at any given moment.
What we know...Jesus loves us. We are loved by a Good Good Father. We rest knowing that a healing will come. We trust that God knows what is best and remain faithful in our pursuit of Him. We look to Heaven for our Miracle. We know it will come.
Please continue to pray for the Bernard Family. Now more than ever, we need to bombard Heaven. I know Mom and Dad would love to hear from you! Feel free to send an email of encouragement to email@example.com. We will be sure to read each one to Dad and let him know how loved he is by so many of you!
You'll see articles from all of the Bernard family here. Maybe even a grandson will post now and then!