How do you tell someone you love that things are going terribly wrong?
When illness comes,families start a process of "moving from there to here".
It was no different for us. In March I became ill with an infection that required me to enter hospital for surgery. This is something that had happened to me before, so we all had an idea of what to expect. In fact, the healing process was so fast that I was convinced that I was on the highway back to health. It was not related to the cancer I am fighting now
My girls commonly open telephone conversations with "How's Dad?" or if talking with me,"How are you feeling?" They know I work too hard with a passion for people and the Gospel. they know I haven't been feeling well these past months,and they know how frustrating it is for me when I am not well.
The answer that Karen and I give the girls are the "Mommy and Daddy" answers designed to be truthful, but comforting and hopeful.
But they know. We have a very close family.
Let tell you that my that wife and family have been a rock for me, and share a little about our children and grandchildren.
Compared to some families,our children are physically not too far away from us. Chanda, who is married to Jason Byrne a Journey Millwright, is our oldest . They have two children ,Joshua and Emma . Chanda works as an L.P.N. at The Hoyles Home in St. John's .
Elissa is our second oldest. is presently residing with us in Gander . She has trained as a Journalist and has a passion for writing. She is working in retail and hoping to do as much freelance Journalism as possible.
Lacey (Number three) lives in Dartmouth with Husband Daniel (Danny) Sturge. Danny is an Avionics Tech with our Armed forces,posted at Shearwater. Lacey is a Veterinary Assistant,and the loving mom of our youngest grandchild Delilah. This is a tough time for Lacey because she is the only daughter who hasn't been able to get to me yet for a hug (yet) since I became ill.
Ashton is our baby. Recently finishing a degree at Memorial University in Environmental Studies ,Ashton still lives in Corner Brook where she too seems to have discovered a passion . Hers is for cooking and a certain young chef (Dave) that we haven't gotten to know very well yet.
Obviously this has been deeply painful and personal for my girls. They have grown up in a family that has given great value to the Christian ideal that Church is family. Over the years they have opened their hearts and arms along with mine and Karen's so many times that we perhaps have taken their love and grace for granted.
I an thankful that I can say at this stage of my life that my relationship with my daughters and their loved ones is truly one of God's greatest gifts in my life. The closeness we feel is incredibly powerful . You may see some of their writings in this blog,I leave that to them. I thank God for their ever present love.