Wednesday, May 25, 2011


"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10

It's a strange place to have one foot in regular life and normal routines and the other foot in a foreign land with unfamiliar paths and unknown landmarks.  That's what's it's felt like recently.  There have been days of normalcy.  Emma has had a great few weeks since her last round of chemotherapy.  She attended school almost every day except when she had clinic appointments.  A friend asked her over for a playdate, out to dinner and then to a musical. She went to Joseph's soccer games, participated in the Relay for Life and walked this year as a survivor, and went to church.

I could "almost" relax as I dropped her off at her friend's house and I "almost" felt like she would be fine.  Twinges of worry were there.  Those never go away.  I had the thoughts, "What if she gets a fever? What if she gets overtired and doesn't realize it and has an emotional crash?  What if some other unknown complication hits her body and I'm not there to witness it or help?"  Irrational maybe, but those thoughts run through my mind each time she is away from me.  It's like she's a toddler again and I'm a hovering mother.  It feels out of control.  It's uncomfortable and exhausting.  I don't like it.

We've raised our kids to be self sufficient.  We believe responsibility given at a young age will foster independent and capable kids. (it's our theory anyway) They put away their own laundry....even if it gets stuffed into the drawers sometimes.  They empty the dishwasher....even if the teaspoons and tablespoons sometimes end up in the wrong section of the silverware organizer.  They feed the animals, they ride motorcycles, they shoot airsoft and paintball guns....all with proper instruction beforehand and warnings to be responsible.  Sometimes they are good at following the rules, sometimes they push the limits and break the boundries. (some of our kids are guilty of this more than others.....ahem.....Joseph!)  We may let our kids do more than some parents are comfortable with, but it's risks we have been willing to take (within reason and with proper safety gear). They are kids and they are growing, maturing and learning.  We don't really hover.  We experience joy as we see them learning to be responsible and maturing young people.

Now, we have a daughter who is by far the most naturally responsible and mature of our three children whom we can't allow to experience the freedom and carefree life that she was once accustomed to.  We have to say no when she wants to ride the dirt bike.....she could injure herself or her port which is placed within her chest wall and feeds right into her superior vena cava....her heart.  We have to say no when she wants to spend the night at her friend's house....she could spike a fever and need immediate treatment.  We can't sign her up for vacation bible school or Girl Scout camp without reminding her that her attendance to those events will be based on her blood counts that very week.  Possible disappointments lay ahead.  We hover over the possibilities for her....hoping they will work out, but realistic that they might not. 

Today we are hovering with a fever.  Emma has had a low grade temperature for the last 24 hours.  We kept her home from school today to keep tabs on it and to call the Dr. if it reached over the important 100.5 degree mark.  100.3, 99.8, 100.7. 100.0, 98.9, 100.9  were temps throughout her day.  We finally called the Dr.'s office when one thermometer read 100.3 and one read 100.7.  Tylenol dose and appointment tomorrow is the plan for now.....unless she spikes higher tonight.  I'm hovering in my mind.  I don't know which way it will go.  I'm not planning ahead and I'm not going to be disappointed if it turns out that we have to be admitted.....well, not too disappointed.  It's never fun.  It's always worrisome and it's just what we have to do.

Someday, we might have our feet on the ground a bit more....more to feel the earth more predictably under our feet.  But, for now, we hover, being held silently and securely with the hands of God.  We are learning to relax and let go.  The less we fight against the invisible forces pushing us around in the air, the more we can feel the gentle, caring, protective hands of our Father carrying us and guiding us where we need to go.

Learning to let go......

"Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9



  1. oh my sweet sister in law (my sweet best-est friend from since i was young) my heart aches for your new normal. i want to scream it all away for you, for her. in place of screaming, i pray...continually. hovering with you in spirit...

  2. Emma and Rebecca, we are praying that you can perk up and chill out! We love you so much and pray you don't have to go down to the hospital. I know Vee would rather be with you than at school. She is so ready for it to be over and misses seeing you. She made you something special this past weekend and we got the pool uncovered so once our school is out you will have to come over.

    For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then My faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken," says the LORD, Who has mercy on you. Isa. 54:10

  3. As I listen to Joseph and my boys playing and talking in the front room, I am reminded of how I've witnessed you and Jon raise your children in the ways that you explain. You have always done such a great job of creating boundaries and then letting them figure things out. Jason and I have secretly taken lessons while watching you.

    I know it must be hard for you to experience this new style of parenting now because it's not a style that you have chosen. We will pray that there will be many doses of patience and understanding for ALL of you... That God will continue to shine his grace on you... That Joseph, Ben and Emma will all come out of this with their own lessons learned on what parenting looks like. It's never been hard to see the mountains of love you have for each of them!

  4. Dear Jon and Rebecca and Sweet Emma Kait ~ Wow! I found your blog through Dawn's blog today. Dawn's a FB friend, although we've never met. And, so I've spent the past 2 hours catching up on Emma's Journey. What a Precious, Precious girl you have been Blessed to parent! I fell in love with Emma and all of your family. I will put you at the top of my Prayer List.
    I KNOW, I really know how difficult this journey can be. I am walking my own journey and I'm so glad I found you all. It's different, to find others who walk this walk with Jes*s! You see and experience everything a bit differently. That doesn't mean it's always easier, but I cannot imagine doing this without Him to hold on to. I do have a blog, but I don't write much about my cancer. But, I'm glad you are doing this for Emma Kait. You will look back and be in awe of how many times He's carried you! Particularly on days like the day you typed this post.
    I want to share this with you: I was given a prognosis of "terminal" in Oct. 2008. Cancer on my brain stem, with no treatment options. Six weeks at most. HA! I looked at that team of "experts" and told them that "I have The Great Physician"! Each time I return for my appointments they are astonished. I'm not! I don't know what the future holds for me, in regards to cancer and I choose to not live in fear. When we are born, we all come here knowing that we will leave this place. That's a given. But, the best that I can do is to live each day to the fullest. And, I do.
    I will continue to follow Emma's journey and believe that she has a long life ahead of her!
    Love to you All! ~ Jo

  5. I love you Emma Kait, I hope you get better every day and I see you in church again. I hope you don't have to go into the hospital again. Love, Lily


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