The title today is kind-of thought provoking for me, because the events of this week have been both ups & downs at the same time. Billy's dad died on Wednesday night after a valiant fight with lung cancer during the past year. He was diagnosed just after we left Texas for Costa Rica last summer. Early this summer, it appeared that he had beat it and his doctors said that he was cancer free, so we rejoiced in this healing. We had a great visit with him in June as he finished his treatments. He was in great spirits, but continued to have troubles breathing due to the incredible damage in his lungs from the tumor and the radiation/chemo treatments. On July 2nd, he was hospitalized because he couldn't keep his oxygen levels up and he had pneumonia. At that time, a new, aggressive tumor was found in his lungs that was being fed by an artery and was inoperable. He was not in any pain until this week - Praise God! On Tuesday, he began having lots of pain and began to deteriorate quickly. Everyone's prayer was that he would not suffer and his trip to heaven would be swift, which it was. On Wednesday night, with Billy's mom and sisters at his side and Billy on the telephone with him, he died. The whole family was together and everyone was able to say goodbye and they loved him (including Billy via phone). So, of course, everyone is sad at the loss and going through a period of grief. But also, we are so grateful that he wasn't in pain for long, that he didn't linger and waste away for a long period of time, that he didn't suffer, and that everyone had the opportunity to see him and love him and tell him goodbye. It seems strange to find blessings in death, but they are there, and there are many of them.
So Billy has gone back to Dallas to be with his mom and his sisters for 3 weeks. This, too, was a happy/sad decision... he was happy to have the opportunity to go home (via frequent flyer miles) and help his mom out and happy to have the opportunity to see Ryan and Miles again. At the same time, he was sad to leave Peru, sad to leave the ministry, and sad/worried about leaving me and Sarah for 3 weeks. We haven't ever spent more than 3 days apart - in 22 years! He cried as he said morning prayers over breakfast... this has been an emotional roller coaster.
Please keep Billy in your prayers as he travels (he has been on a bus for 8+ hours today, and will catch a flight in Lima tonight for another 12 hours of flying). Please pray for his peace and safety and for God to be a comfort to him in the next few days/weeks of grieving.
On a happier note... Alfredo the plumber is finished!!! Hallelujah! After he cleaned out our tank and hooked up the pressure pump, the hot water heater "exploded"... not exactly, but it sprung a multitude of leaks in it's sad little rusty body due to the high water pressure that Alfredo hooked up. So then began the saga of buying a new water heater and getting that installed (2 days of no hot water). But all is well now... we have hot water, we have water pressure, we can take real baths and showers, and we can fill the washing machine! I was amazed to find out that it isn't really supposed to take two and a half hours to do one load of laundry!
Now if I can only master the chair in the office... the office chair and I had a fight… more like a rodeo. Unfortunately, the chair won. I wasn’t able to stay on for the required 8 seconds. It threw me off and into the corner between the sofa and the wall. Charlotte (the puppy) found the whole show quite amusing – she looked up from her nap on the sofa, yawned, cocked her head at me, and went back to sleep. I’m okay… good thing I didn’t break a hip or anything! Liz doesn’t return to the house until next Wednesday because of Peruvian Independence Day holidays!!! I would have been lying here for a long time, with Charlotte and Oreo (the cat) licking my face and me dying of frost bite since the office door is wide open. Sarah probably wouldn’t have ever noticed… she would just watch cartoons in the house and feed herself out of the fridge and the pantry like those orphan kids you see on the news. Maybe someone would have noticed that I didn't show up to Friday night worship or Saturday Kid's Club, but I don't know - it being a holiday weekend and all. Anyway - good thing I wasn't hurt. Guess I should put this chair in "time out" like I used to do when my students fell out of their chairs in class! HA!