I thought it was about losing a DVD but it was a much greater lost. It was Saturday evening and we were all going to watch a video Joelle had been keeping for a special occasion. She asked me where it was and I told her I didn’t know. She was annoyed at my response and I proceeded to tell her it was up to her to keep track of her stuff not me. She looked but couldn’t find it and got pretty cranky. I was getting annoyed at her at this point. All our feathers were ruffled, I repeated the scolding about not blaming me or her mom and she went into her room upset.

Several minutes later her mom went to talk to her and I could hear their conversation was getting pretty emotional. “All this for a missing dvd.” I thought. But apparently it was a lot bigger than that.

She was reading a book to settle down from the disappointment of not having the DVD showing and she came to a part in the book that upset her very much. It was of a boy whose both dog and grandma died. That triggered a floodgate of tears.

MJ talked it through with her and then they came into our bedroom and talked to me. She apologized for being grouchy and explained about the part in the book she was reading. Then she said she didn’t want me to die and leave her. She started bawling big time. I told her I didn’t want to leave her too. But I also told her I couldn’t promise her I wouldn’t. I am not powerful enough to promise that. I simply told her I am here now and we would make the most of this day and each day.

We talked of heaven as a great reunion. She asked many questions and we all hugged and cried. She went to brush her teeth and MJ and I just looked at each other knowing this was a holy but very unexpected moment.

I don’t know exactly how much Joelle understands about my health condition, We have talked to some degree and she sees the pills I take, gone with me to the doctor’s appointments and even came to my eye surgeries with MJ. She is intelligent and emotionally sensitive. I can’t help but wonder what a shaping of God’s grace in her it is having a dad with a chronic illness.

This touches at my deepest pain-leaving her when she still needs me. Once long ago I heard God whisper to me in my prayer time, “I will take care of the things important to you.” I hold onto those words dearly when I am in these moments when all the pain flows out. I will needs those words when I can’t hold on.

Unlike other diseases such as some cancers, there is no prediction of when my death will occur. I simply walk around with various compromise in my lungs, heart and other crucial organs. Sometimes I feel real good. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I am so out of touch with mortality (like most people in the U.S.). Sometimes I walk so aware.

It is my place of trust and surrender. I cannot control mortality nor can I even control my daughter’s pain.

In this place of disturbance:
Surrender centers.
Grace empowers.
Love comforts.
This morning the three of us sang an old simple worship song to start our day- He is God. Then we prayed together. It was enough. It was good.