Bad, Sad and bittersweet

(Glendalough National Park, Co Wicklow, Ireland / Julie Cook / 2015)

Another long hard day.

Today promises to be much the same as there are to be more tests and scans
in the early hours of the day.

We sat side by side in an exam room at the Oncologist’s office.
The pleasantries all neatly said and done,
the facts were placed before us in not so easily digested wording.

Dad sat slummed in the wheelchair as he wrung his hands nervously round and round.
Frail and feeble I thought I was looking at my grandmother 30 years prior.
I wonder when his skin became so thin and translucent…

The doctor excuses himself to go check on the latest scan reports…
The air now thick and heavy in the exam room as we wait,
with the unspoken words of what will be…

Dad turns to me and asks…

“Reckon where we go when we die”

Sirens go off in my head as this question of skepticism is
percolating up from somewhere deep inside a Baptist turned Episcopalian…
as a lump forms heavy in my throat…

“We go to heaven Dad”

“How do you know?”

“Because He said so Dad.



“Where do you think we go Dad?”

“Maybe it’s like you were never born…
you just aren’t any more…”

“No Dad, we go to Heaven,
Cause He said so”

“Well….I guess I can see Ed…”
(my brother who committed suicide almost 25 years ago…

“And I guess I can see MaryAnn
(my mom who died from cancer 30 years ago, today would have been her 83rd birthday)”

“Yes Dad, you can…
(and here’s where I know we need to lighten this train of thought)
but I think Mother may ask you what’s up with this Gloria business…”

“Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have done that should I?”

“No Dad, probably not but it’s a little late to think about that now…”

And so went the course of the day…
Heavy thoughts hanging over our heads…

We went from one doctor today to another…
Then I cried the whole way…
driving back home as I sat in and out of a sea of cars…

And I have to be back at 8:30 taking him for more testing.

It’s all bad and yet it’s all good.
It could be worse, yet it could certainly be better…
It’s hard and will not be easy…

Yet as hard as it is,
I know…
without a doubt
He knows
and He hears,
and He sees…
And He is in our midsts….
and that a better place and time awaits….

For it is by grace you have been saved,
through faith—
and this is not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God…

Ephesians 2:8

21 comments on “Bad, Sad and bittersweet

  1. says:

    And what a blessed gift for those facing death. All the heavy thoughts, the tears and sadness will be washed away in the blood of the lamb. My prayers are with you, my friend.

  2. DJ says:

    I hope you guys have a better day, Julie. I know these days are testing and difficult to say the least.

  3. All I can do is sit here and cry along with you, Julie. I feel that all-to-familiar pain from last year as I walked that same path. Now my dear friend is traveling it – I love you, and I am deeply moved. That promised gift born out of such a deep love for us is what will sustain you…both!

  4. Lynda says:

    I’m sitting here weeping and praying for you and your family. Life is full of paradox – here you are worried about your dad who is wondering what the next life will be like and then there is your son beginning a new life after graduating and securing a job. There is such an ebb and flow to life. It is difficult to understand and to journey through but we know we are not alone and that is our great hope and strength. Blessings and prayers.

  5. Still praying for you and yours Julie. Trials and tribulations can really suck at times, maybe even most of the time. Yet eternally cared for…

  6. Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
    Please pray…

  7. Man oh man, I’m so sorry and so wish I were there to hold your hand. More prayers going up for all of you sweet Julie! 🙂 ❤

  8. Sheila says:

    Thin and translucent. I never thought about it before, but old folk’s skin IS like that. It’s as though their body, even their skin, is fading away – knowing that the soul is getting ready to enter eternity. Our prayers are with you that he may give you the right words to ready your father for his journey into eternity. This life is not the end!

  9. Sorry for the late response, Julie. We have been on the road and not much time to check and read email and blog posts. Please now you and your family are in our prayers.


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