Monday, October 26, 2015


4 Ezra 2:27 “Be not weary: for when the day of trouble and heaviness cometh, others shall weep and be sorrowful, but thou shalt be merry and have abundance.”


There is no other word to describe how I’m feeling right now. Helpless! One single word. Oh, I’m feeling a river of emotions but helpless is at the top of my list.

I’ll start with… my dad is dying. Don’t be so negative you might say but as you my readers well know, I’m the optimistic one. I always see the bright spot in any given circumstance and I’m struggling so hard to dig through the gray mire and find some sunshine to cling to here.

A little background: My dad had heart surgery twenty years ago and he’s had a stent placed on an artery of his heart, he’s survived throat cancer, five years clean now, and he also suffers with emphysema. He’s been on oxygen for quite awhile now and last week he was taken to the emergency room because he couldn’t breath, his oxygen wasn’t working. He was told to use the oxygen when necessary and my dad used it 24/7. Little did he know that THAT was doing more harm than good.

A little over a month ago when he had his visit with the Cardiologist, the doctor looked at him and said, “I can’t believe you’re still alive.” You see, all the x-rays show my dad has a heart that looks like a mangled car wreck but it is still driving.

Last Friday, as the doctor did his work, and the nurses did theirs, day after draining day I sat here feeling helpless. You see, I can’t just hop on a plane and go see my father. I’ve made ample use of my phones free minutes on the weekend and the not free minutes during the week. I have called and talked to him, talked to my mother and well… no one wants me home for fear my father will get the impression that he’s dying. If everyone comes and sees him, since no one sees him while he’s alive, coming to visit will surely speak volumes that he is near death.

Tuesday my mother had offered to pay for my trip back home but later when I told her the astronomical airfare prices, she quickly said, “I can’t afford that!” I understood but was hurt nonetheless. I think I overestimated the quote I gave her not knowing $1500 was for three adults, three days, round trip.  And that is not including the hotel I’d need to stay at or the rental car that we’d need. No, going home just isn’t an option.

Then there’s MY disability that would hinder travel. I can’t just be squished onto a tight-seated plane with the arthritis in my back. A three hour car drive to Omaha then boarding the plane to fly two or more hours only to have a layover in N.C. to take off again for another two hours of flying to Baltimore. After the flight I’d never be able to walk off the plane, with limited legroom, I’d definitely need a wheelchair. That is NOT how I want to visit my father, with not nearly enough time to ‘visit’.

Helpless! There IS no solution except prayer.

I had said on my Family Facebook page, “I might never get to see my family again.”

My sister retorted, “That was YOUR choice.”

Yes, I chose to leave Hell! I chose to find LOVE even if it took my last breath I would find and KNOW what love is, what family is all about, what my God had planned for me and I would not look back. Yes, MY CHOICE! That wasn’t my reply to her but something similar. I wrote, “Yes, I wanted to see what REAL love was and I found it.”

A dear friend who I confided in told me, “Joni, you don’t need that family, you have your family right there with you and your spiritual family to uphold you.”

He was right. As hard as it may be NOT going home to put my father to rest. I am at peace knowing that he knows I’ve found what I was looking for and he can die a happy man.

After writing, I don’t feel so helpless. Thank you sweet Jesus!

4 Ezra 12:5 Lo, yet am I weary in my mind, and very weak in my spirit; and little strength is there in me, for the great fear wherewith I was afflicted this night.


benning said...

Yes, you have more than one family. But it's never easy to watch a parent passing on. Not close, and not from afar. But God is there, with you, with Dad and Mom, too. And that's as it should be. As for your sister, well ... :P And yes, we all seem to have at least one of those in our families. ;)

Pray, WRITE a letter to your Dad, and stay positive. He's going to be departing, and you can not stop that. Pray for a good trip for him, and a soft, happy landing, too. *HUGS!*

Janet said...

Dear Joni,

Follow your heart and have faith in your own choices. They are the right ones.

I think writing a letter to your dad is a wonderful idea, and the power of prayer is great.

My dad passed away quickly with an aneurysm. I was at the other side of the country. What matters most to me is knowing the love we shared will always be with me.

God bless you real good, Joni.

joni said...

Thank you Ben.

Thank you Janet. Both with comforting words at this time. <3

My poem was accompanied by a short letter of love and hopefully, I pray, it reaches him.