Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Life Lately...

 Hello Dears
It's been a while since I've written a post or finished a project for that matter.  My head has been fuzzy and I feel terribly disorganized.  I've been trying to fall back into my normal daily life but I'm just not quite there.  I still count the days that have gone by sine my dad passed.  I just feel that my thoughts are scattered and it's hard for me to focus. I've been sleeping a lot.  More than usual.  I go to bed early and I wake up late.  But maybe that's just all part of the process.  

I'm getting there slowly. 
I'm adjusting and coping with each day that passes.
I finally managed to finish this little romper.  It feels like I've been working on it forever.  I started this in early September when I went to Kansas to visit my dad.  I thought it would be an easy quick project but with everything that was going on it just laid in my basket without ever getting picked up. 
Once I came home I didn't have much interest in knitting or crocheting.  But I did pick up my needles every now and then when I wanted to give my mind a break from the thoughts and memories that consumed me. And little by little, this lil romper came together.
 I enjoyed making this so much that I'm now working on my second one.
 I used an ivory color worsted weight cotton yarn I found at HL.  It's so very soft.  I thought it would be perfect for a baby garment. I added a lilac flower for the sake of the photo but really this could be for either a boy or a girl.

The pattern is one I purchased called Deea Baby Romper.
You can find the pattern here.

The weather has been so nice and pleasant here lately.  We are still enjoying warm weather here in New Mexico.  I'm hoping it lasts a little longer.  I'm not ready for the cold temperatures just yet. 

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:19

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

My Daddy's Journey to Heaven...

  “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 34:18

It's a strange feeling mourning the loss of your father before he even passes.  But that's in fact what happened.  Anticipatory grief can be just as intense as the conventional kind of grief that's felt after a death.  At least it was so for me. I cried more before my dad died than I did after.

There was always a sadness and heaviness in my heart knowing that my dad had stage four gastric cancer.  The fear of the possibility of death was always there, but we held out hope for some kind of miracle....some kind of treatment that would slow the tumor down... that would stunt its growth. Until that one day...

 That one day when Dad was in the hospital, his body severely weakened by malnourishment caused by the removal of his stomach, that he was ready to have "the talk" with his doctor.  One thing I've learned is that doctors don't always tell you the whole truth.  They only tell you part of the truth in an effort to keep hope afloat.  Dad was ready to ask them the big question.

 How much time do I have left?

They danced around the question for a while.  They came back with a question of their own.  If we can get you healthy enough for chemo, would you want to pursue that option?  Dad responded, what are my chances of survivial?  If they are not good, then I just want to go back to my home in Texas to die there.

The doctors understood his need to know and they left the room to consult one another.  One oncologist and two surgeons. The two surgeons came back later on that day and talked candidly with my dad.  They said they all agreed that Dad was not a good candidate for chemo because he was so weak.  And that the tumor, which was surgically removed three months earlier along with his stomach, had come back with a vengeance.  It had regrown to the size of a brick and was now attacking his liver.  His time was short and they said if Texas is where he wanted to be, then they needed to act fast to dismiss him from the hospital in Kansas to get him home to Texas. They never gave hime a time frame.  They said only God knows the answer to that question.  They only said it would be very soon.

All the hospital staff understood the gravity of his situation.  They understood Dad didn't want to die in a hospital.  So they indeed acted quickly.  They set up all kinds of procedures and meetings.  Things that would probably take days to do under normal circumstances were all happening in a matter of hours.  Social workers helped us set up hospice care. The surgeons installed a biliary drain to his liver.  The mass on the left side of his liver was squeezing it restricting the bile from properly draining.  Because of this he already had Jaundice and an infection. They said Sepsis could kill him faster than the cancer so the drain would "give him more time".

He was dismissed from the hospital on a Saturday morning.  We took him home so he could rest for the remainder of the day.  The next day, Sunday, we helped him into a mini van.  The back seats had been taken out and replaced with a twin size mattress.  We filled up the van with pillows.  Anything to make him comfortable for the five hour trip back to Texas.  We all followed in our cars.  We made a train so to speak.  Following Dad on his journey to Texas.

It was an emotional drive for me.  I think I cried the whole way over there.  Just knowing why he was going home made my heart fill with grief.  That's when the mourning process started for me.  When all treatment for prolonging his life ended and his journey home began.  I shed many tears during that time.  Some in private.  Some while with him when I hugged him and held his hand and told him over and over I loved him. I played with his hair.  I kissed his face.  I gave him medicine.  I helped feed him when he would try to eat. I fed him water through a straw when he was too weak to help himself anymore.  I did all those things knowing where this was leading.  Knowing we didn't have much time left.

Dad passed away on a Thursday evening September 29th. He was in hospice care only eleven days.  I've been through my share of hard times.  I've had a few broken hearts before. I'm even a cancer survivor myself.  Uterine cancer back when I was nineteen years old.  But I've never gone through anything as traumatic as this. It's torture watching your dad suffering in pain and fading away right in front of you.  And there's nothing you can do about it except be there for him and love him the best you can.

I spent the last three weeks of Dads life with him.  A time I will always treasure.  I took lots of photos and video.  I was afraid that with time I would forget certain things like the sound of his voice.  So I took video after video trying to capture all those small moments. There are so many wonderful memories I will carry in my heart forever.  There are also the few moments I would rather let go and forget.  Like those last three days when we all just prayed, Lord please take away his suffering or take him home to heaven now.  Three days full of despair, distress, sorrow and emotional pain.  But they are the last few moments of my dads life so I will take the good memories with the not so good ones and carry them both in my heart forever.

How can it be that a disease can move in so quickly and squeeze the life out of someone?  It took only three months from diagnosis to the end.  Cancer is horrendous.  I've seen what it does to someone and it's not pretty.  Dad fought a good fight.  He was so brave and faced his end with so much grace. He never complained.  He was the one to comfort us and tell us everything was going to be alright.  Just like daddies do.  He found comfort in his faith and did not fear death because he was sure where he was going and he knew he'd be in a better place, forever with Jesus.  About a week and a half before he died he said, Soon I am going to be with the Lord, and for that, there is happiness. He had us all in tears but I am comforted with the knowledge that life doesn't end with death.  I haven't lost my dad.  I know where he is.  He is in heaven with the lord just as he said.  And that brings great comfort to my heart.  He is in better hands now with The Great Physician.   No more suffering, and no more pain.  And I have faith that I will be reunited with him one day.

 My son playing How Great Thou Art at his funeral.
 It was one of his favorite hymns.

My beautiful, sweet, precious dad...
...how can you be gone so soon...

...until we meet again.
Nov. 21, 1946 - Sept. 29, 2016


 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Matthew 5:4 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My Sweet Daddy...

Oh what an emotional journey this has been. 
 I have so many emotions going through me at the moment I can't even describe them.  

My father who has been battling gastric cancer for the last three months has been sent home to hospice care.  I don't even know what to say about that except that I'm full of sorrow and dread at what lies ahead.  He put up a good fight and I am so proud of him but unfortunately the tumor proved to be too aggressive.  What a horrendous disease it is.  I hate what it's done to his body and I hate what it's done to our family.  It's taking a precious soul away from us in such an awful way.  

I'm keeping this short because I'm finding it hard to express myself.  I traveled to Kansas last week to be with him and I just came home on Sunday night to check on my family.  Now I'm heading back to be with him again.  

I think grief comes in waves.  Sometimes I am able to control the tears and I think I'm alright and handling it well and other times the tears just flow and it feels like my heart will burst. 
I pray for grace to see us through this.  He's been so brave through these hard days.  I'm so proud to call him my father.  


Monday, September 5, 2016

New Knitting Book...

Hello peeps!
Hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful relaxing weekend.
Saturday was youngest daughter C's birthday.  She turned sixteen.  So we drove in to a nearby town and took her out for breakfast and then took her shopping.  Well actually it was just me and her shopping.  Hubby followed us around for a while but then he headed for the car and took a nap in the drivers seat.  Dads are funny sometimes.

Hubby loves bookstores so we suggested going to a bookstore so he could do some shopping too.  We looked for a Barnes and Noble but there wasn't one in town.  Only bookstore in town was a Hastings so we stopped there.  As many of you already know, Hastings stores are going out of business so all the books were marked down significantly.  

I found a few craft books to bring home.  I paid ten dollars for all three books.  The used books were marked down 60 percent.  I got one book on embroidery, one on fabric softies, and one book on knitting.
I absolutely adore the patterns in this knitting book.
How cute is this halter top?
 Or this pretty sweater?
 Or this adorable baby cardi?
I tell ya, I can't wait to try one of these patterns. 
 Hopefully this newbie knitter can handle a project like this.
  It will be fun trying at least.

We also stopped at a Bath n Body Works.
I couldn't resist buying this candle sleeve.
Since Fox is my last name I'm a little partial to these furry little creatures.

I'm progressing on my blanket slowly. 
 I worked on it quite a bit while the Olympics were on but now that they're over my poor blanket just sat in this basket without being picked up for a few days.  I did take it with me on our little road trip this weekend.  I managed to add a few more rows to it.
 This is how it looks right now. 
 Just a few more rows and I'll be ready to start my next color change.
It's coming along slow but I'm in no hurry to finish it. It's an enjoyable project and the pattern is simple enough to make it road ready at a moments notice.

My new favorite app.  
It's new to me anyway.
  I just discovered it and now I want to transform all of my pictures.  
It's addictive, really.
Try it. 
 I know you'll love it.


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