Some dates are easy to remember. A potent occurrence or event or emotion has seared the date into your memory. April 1st is one of those dates for me.
One year ago today, Lucas and I had just returned home from a long road trip from Idaho to California. We had spent a glorious week with both Lucas' California family and my family (minus Tyler and Meagan), fulfilling one of my mom's dreams to take her grandkids to Disneyland. As Lucas and the kids and I drove back to Idaho, my mom's health took a serious decline. She was in horrific pain as my dad worked hard to get her through the flights and car rides back to Arkansas to her oncologist. When they finally got to the hospital, the news was not good. Mom's cancer was rapidly progressing, and the doctors predicted that she might have as little as 2 weeks to live.
Lucas and I scrambled to find a plane ticket so I could get back to my mom. The best one we could find was the next morning, April 2nd, flying out of Portland. We left before dawn to drive 7 hours in the wrong direction so Maggie and I could catch a plane to Arkansas. Max and Lucas would fly in to join us the following weekend for Easter.
I remember standing in my closet in Idaho, unpacking my bag from California just to repack it for this heart-wrenching flight to Arkansas. I stared at my hanging clothes, numb and trying to decided what and how much to pack. I pulled a black dress off the hanger and let the material slink through my hands. Based on everything I had heard from the doctors that day, I was going to need that dress. It made me angry, and so very sad.
I know my loving and gracious and eternal Daddy was holding me in His strong arms that day. I wonder if, in the midst of His compassion, He still smiled a bit, knowing the best was yet to come. He knew He had a gift for me that I couldn't fathom in that moment: another beautiful year with my mom. A new job for Lucas and a move to a home 1.7 miles from my parents' front door. Grandmama's tea parties for Maggie. The forever gift of learning to read from Grandmama to Max. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Two Easters.
One year later, this week has been hard on me. I returned home from India to face the reality that Mom's health is again in a precarious position (at least from a human standpoint). She's in the hospital getting blood transfusions. She's not able to tolerate a full dose of chemo that, even at its best, only offers a few months of life to the 5-15% of patients with whom it is effective.
However, I know that the same loving, gracious and eternal Daddy is present with us today just as He was one year ago. He is no less powerful now than He was then. The ordained days for the beautiful life of Vicki Dees has not fluctuated. And I believe, in the mind's eye of my limited human thinking, He is still smiling just a bit, knowing that the best is yet to come.