There are moments in life when everything comes to a stop in a second, and from that second on, nothing is ever the same. On Wednesday, our family had one of those moments. All day long I spent frantically running around getting ready to leave for my trip to Nebraska. Our last stop of the day was Bible Class, and my plan was to come home, put the kids to bed and go straight to bed myself, since our 4 a.m. wake-up time to leave for the airport was going to come too quickly.
But, as we walked in the door from Bible Class, the phone was ringing. My mother-in-law, who had stayed home to watch Martha, said, “Your brother has been trying to call you”. It was late enough in Nebraska that I paused for a second, wondering what THAT was about. Something told me it wasn’t good. And then I answered the phone.
I was right. On the other end of the line, my brother handed the phone to my dad, who proceeded to tell me that my sister was in the hopsital and that I needed to call her because she wanted to talk to me. What? Huh? That moment – it was THE moment for our family, where life stopped for a second and began with a new reality.
The reality we are now living with? My sister Sarah, at age 34, has stage 4 breast cancer, with spots on her lungs, liver, and lymph nodes. We are still waiting on official diagnoses, and results from bone scans, and prognoses and all kinds of not so fun things. The tenative plan (she will see an oncologist next week for the confirmed plan) is to move forward with aggressive chemo as soon as possible.
I didn’t get to bed on Wednesday night as early as I expected, and my trip to Nebraska has gone quite differently than I expected. We’ve had fun yes, and it’s been WONDERFUL to visit with my brother and his wife and to hold my nieces and my new nephew. I’ve been SO blessed to be staying with Laura and her family and to watch Samuel’s pure joy while he plays with Elias and the other boys. But mixed in with all the good has been absolute devastation and fear as we learned just a little more with each phone call to and from my sister.
My parents, who were here visiting too, have cut their trip short and are heading home to CA. My brother and his wife are taking the baby and flying to CA tomorrow. Samuel and I will fly home to Vegas tomorrow, and then Allan and I will figure out how and when to get to CA ourselves. Our family needs to be together. We need to gather our strength together and give as much of it to Sarah as we can. We need to hug each other, be teary-eyed together, and laugh together. (Because, yes, there has been laughter amidst the fear and pain of this news).
So, if you are reading this, if you know me or don’t know me, can you please say a prayer (or a thousand?) for my sister Sarah, for her husband Ron, for her two children Austin age 8 and Hailey age 7. Can you say another one (or two) for my parents who are traveling today (saturday), and my brother and sister in law who will be traveling tomorrow (sunday). And just another one or two for all of us as we find our new way with this new reality into which we’ve been thrust so quickly.
May God Bless You and Yours…