Thursday, May 27, 2010
Let me start by saying that I so appreciate the many well-wishes, thoughts and prayers for my sweet little dad who is in the hospital. He went in Sunday night to ICU and was finally moved to a private room yesterday. I don't know what will happen (who really knows what God has planned for anyone??) but I do know that he has been in a LOT of pain and he is pretty drugged up. So sad. But he's tough and I do mean tough! He has beat unbelievable odds and defied death multiple times over the past 30 years. Whatever happens, I will always have the best memories of my dad. I will always remember his adorable sense of humor and his ability to make me smile. I will always remember his strength of character, his love and devotion to my mother for almost 60 years (on June 17th!) and I will always remember his words of counsel and his willingness to listen to me when I have felt like curling up in a fetal position.
Brad and I were supposed to leave this morning for our annual trip to Louisville to meet up with some of the nicest people you will ever meet, to celebrate the music of the Beatles, at a 5 day music festival called "Abbey Road on the River". It is one of our most favorite trips each year but we both had a strong feeling that we needed to stay close by for my dad and family. It was a tough decision, it was an easy decision!! Whatever happens, we will be fine...that's what having a great family ensures!
On another note, I was privileged to attend a Parole Hearing for a man whom I really don't know, but Brad has known him for years and I know his amazing wife and children. 51 of us loaded into cars, vans, SUV's and drove 2 hours south to the prison to support this man who many feel has been falsley accused of some heinous crimes. I have to admit that since I don't know him, I can't make the call...but I don't have to. I was there for his wife and children. When this man was brought into the courtroom, his countenance was amazing! He had an aura around him that almost glowed. I felt a peace about him...strange, I know,for a man who has served 8 1/2 years for a crime in which he adamantly claims his innocence. The irony in this whole thing is that if he pleads "guilty" and takes the sex-offender classes, he will be let out! He is being punished for NOT lying (according to his plea of innocence) and therefore will serve 15-Life. When we walked into the room, I had NO CLUE what his accuser looked like or where she was but I knew instantly because of the darkness that surrounded her and her mother...so wierd! I tried not to judge her...it was all a very surreal experience.
It was heart-wrenching to hear the details of what he has been accused of and disappointing as he was denied and told that he wouldn't be up for another hearing for 5 more years. His beautiful 19 year old daughter wept...her amazingly strong mother comforted her, her little brother was numb. We left the building, gathererd together to rally around this sweet family. Most were in tears. I wrapped my arms around the wife's neck, told her how sorry I was and she said to me, "I know this is strange, but I actually feel good...God is in charge!" I hugged his daughter as she was crying and she said to me, "I'm just so worried about him..." His wife will tell you that this whole experience is the best thing that has happened to their family. They have become stronger, closer and although she is fighting for his freedom, she wouldn't change a thing! Her faith is unbelievable and stands as an example to everyone who knows her...I came home emotionally drained...
It made me realize how blessed I am. How this may be one of the toughest times of my entire life but that it is NOTHING compared to what other people are faced with. It made me realize that I can get through anything with real faith and only with the help of my loving Heavenly Father. I am so thankful for that!
So, as this is Thursday and I usually do a "Thankful Thursday" post, I want to end by saying that I am so thankful for Lifes Challenges...I don't look forward to them, I don't enjoy them and I don't always do well with them, but I know that they are given to me because the Lord has faith in me! He knows that I can handle them because He will never give me more that I can handle...If I try to do my best during difficult times, I will emerge from the refiners fire stronger and better.