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He is Risen…Our only hope!!!

Happy Easter Everyone…We hope yours was a blessed reminder of the Hope we have in this life and the next because Jesus conquered death. And our hope is also that by conquering death he conquered life and all that might come at us. He is not only in control (sovereign) but with us through it all. THAT is what keeps us going and keeps us hopeful. Not that we don’t have hard days and weeks, but we know at the end of every struggle is God’s plan for us working together for good.

And this was one of those weeks. As I mentioned Joshua has had a lot of pain in his hip/groin/leg for the last 2 weeks at least. I lose track as we go from one thing to another. It came out of the blue and has gotten progressively worse. He had an MRI last week which showed no change of the spot that has been on his hip since his diagnosis, as well as no fracture which the Dr. was even more concerned about I think. Because of the pain and having to get around with a cane (actually his putter…the young man’s version of a cane…pretty cool actually) and feeling the most comfortable in his bed, we missed most of the Holy week celebration. So he was determined to try to make it to Mass either Sat. or Sun. I wasn’t sure given the time frame of Easter Vigil and the hard pews etc. if either would work out. Our priest suggested him sitting in the narthex outside the sanctuary in the comfortable chairs which I thought was a great idea and come a little late on Sat. night. Well, Sat. night I got one of the worst migraines I’ve had in awhile and I knew the incense would be a problem so I was under the assumption we’d go Sun. morning. But he really wanted to go Sat. night as well which he did. He took the advice to go a little late but did not take the advice about the chairs. He sat in the pews and also participated in the kneeling, sitting and standing that takes place during the mass. That was not in the plan, but I was not there to monitor and he really wanted to be in the sanctuary. (and decided that a little pain would help him connect with the message of the cross and what Jesus suffered for us). While I’m sure it did, as he really enjoyed the Mass, he did end up with greatly increased pain by Easter morning. He couldn’t attend with me and stayed home in his bed where he had the worst incident of extended searing pain that he’s had to date. He said it took about 20 minutes for it to calm down as he hung his leg over the side of the bed. The pain is always there but not always the searing sharp pain. To be honest I was frustrated about his choice the night before, but who am I to say what the Lord wanted to do through that experience?. It’s just very hard to see him suffer.

Consequently, we won’t be going to Chicago this week again for his class. The drive there and the three hour class is just too hard when he’s in this much pain and so immobile as far as sitting, getting in and out of the back of the car, and getting up and down. Walking is actually easier some times. So he’s pretty bummed about that and feels very badly that he has to miss yet another class. A friend is going to fill in, thankfully, but it’s certainly not what he was hoping for and he doesn’t like to let them down.

And so far we still have NO clue what is causing the pain, so that is our goal this week. We’re hoping the Dr. with Physical Medicine and Rehab. will have some ideas after looking at the MRI or in discussion with him. Please pray for wisdom for him. The oncologist didn’t seem to have a lot to say about it as it didn’t seem to relate to his cancer.

I want to thank both Dave Coates and Lovar Kidd. They responded immediately to my request for hiring someone to do my lawn. I’m not sure if they will let me pay them or not, but Dave spent all day last Friday working on it. The yard is bigger than it looks from the front, so I’m hoping they can share the load. What a relief and burden that takes off my shoulders. It was hard for me to keep up with when I didn’t have Joshua home to care for, even with a riding mower.

And friends continue to come visit, text, or send cards, some with monetary gifts in them. We are so thankful. God just continues to take care of us in so many ways and yet I find myself still feeling so overwhelmed at times, anxious, or just plain frustrated with all the stresses that are just a part of this whole process. I’m trying to not let it spill over to Joshua, he has enough on his plate. But I’m sure it does. He’s a pretty perceptive guy. But I feel so inadequate or ungrateful at times, seeing all the amazing things God is doing and yet having such a hard time keeping up emotionally without feeling so overwhelmed most of the time. It’s just so hard for me to have a back log of so many things that need to get done and not be able to get to them in the proper time frame. I am one to like order and a certain amount of simplicity, so having my world in such an upheaval is very hard for me. Sounds very much like the homily we had at Mass today…thanks Fr. Dave…I am trying to ‘listen’ and believe that things will get better or turn around in time.  In fact Samuel has been going through my mind lately, “Speak Lord, for I am listening” so I guess that’s my cue.

Again, I want to thank everyone who worked on the Online Auction. I heard today that it was very successful. Thank you so much, all of you.

You’ve probably noticed on line the video that Roger Routh put on of the acceptance of the Bishop Dingman Award for his work in the area of Peace and Justice that we attended in Des Moines last weekend. It was a wonderful night, and despite his leg problem he was able to give almost an hour long acceptance speech. I was very proud of him and he did a great job, considering his current physical state. He stood the entire time. Thanks for the video, Roger and all that you have done for us.

One positive thing that took place last week was going to physical therapy. Joshua laid out his ambitious goals, and the two young therapists listened and were positive in suggesting they just get started…but that they take it slow at first to see what his body can handle at this time. I breathed a sigh of relief as Joshua tends to assume he can do what he sets his mind to. Or maybe it’s just ‘wanting’ so badly to get back to some kind of normalcy giving him a little more hope. It’s got to be so hard to be stopped in your tracks as suddenly as he was. He’s done such a good job of not complaining and wanting to accept whatever God has for him to learn through all of this.

Well, I think that about covers it. I hope the next time I write we’ll have an answer to the cause of his hip and leg pain. And we’ll be doing what we need to do to let it heal.

We hope you are all well and you have blessings abounding.

Love to you all,

Kristi and Joshua

Go Team Josh!
Ups and Downs...Such is Life!!

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