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Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Down our street and around the corner there lives a family of six.

Their oldest daughter is 7 and the youngest is 2, with two little boys in between.

I've had roughly a dozen conversations with the mom and the dad. None of our kids are the exact same age, and while their oldest goes to the same school as M, I'm not sure how much their paths have ever crossed.

For the last year this family has been on a journey. A journey to the depths of their souls where no family ever wants to go, but many have to.

Last fall, Mike, the dad, who'd been laid off, hired back and laid off again, was diagnosed with cancer in his throat.

It was shocking and serious and right from the get-go, the community rallied around.

Meals, and offers of babysitting, a benefit and auction to raise money. Donations from family, a trip to Disney world. Memories, memories, memories.

They've struggled, not just with his health, but financially too.

And he fought, and they prayed and he fought some more.

They say that God has been good.

On Friday morning, the family posted, what was most likely one of their hardest updates to post on their CaringBridge site saying that they have decided that they will not fight anymore.

They're not giving up. They're not losing hope. But much like we encountered with my mom's own journey, there gets to be a point when the risks and consequences of treatment, chemo in this case, outweighs the benefit.

As I read the words on my screen and as I have dwelled on them since Friday, tears have rushed to my eyes.

I am sad for those children.

All four of them. Who've already gone through the ringer watching their daddy go through this. Learning more than they should know about this ugly, icky disease.

And knowing, that short of a miracle, their daddy won't be here on earth with them much longer.
I am sad for him.

This is most certainly not the life he imagined. Not the ending he had envisioned in his short, healthy life. He knows what he will miss and reading his words on his online journal bring to life his raw, true feelings.

And I am sad for his wife.

I have no idea how they are handling it. I expect, much like they've done this last year, they are rallying together, getting help for the kids and anyone else who's offering it. But I have no idea.

And knowing that there is nothing we can do but pray for this family is devastating. We are praying with them for a miracle and peace.

It is easy to look at what we don't have personally in our own lives, isn't it?

It is easy to focus on the little things, get upset with J about being late, or one of the kids for not listening or making a mess. Taking for granted the house we live in, the things we are able to do.

J is healthy and alive and has a job that keeps him busier than busy. Our family is healthy. We've got insurance and family and friends nearby.

We've got everything we need and more, don't we?

Something like this puts all my complaints in perspective.

Perspective enough to thank God for all the blessings we have in our life, most of all our health.

And each other.

I am beating the cancer. If miracle, I beat it. If death, I beat it.
It can't follow me to heaven!! Either way I win!! -Michael Talley


Blogger Jen said...

Wow. I don't even know what to say. My thoughts and prayer's go out for this family right along side you! Where two or more are gathered, right?!

September 22, 2009 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger Beth and Nate said...

Wow...that's intense. My prayers definitely are with this family. And it puts things into perspective for me too, so thanks for sharing this, I think we all need to be reminded of our own blessings sometimes.

September 23, 2009 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger Rodman Life said...

Before I was even to the end of your post I was realizing how blessed I am with the healthy family and friends that I have and how easily I think nothing of it. This hit me, especially since I am away from home. Thanks, for putting things in perspective for me, I need those kind of reminders!
This family will in my morning prayers...

September 23, 2009 at 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

Hey Samara, thanks for this post. I am praying for that family, and crying with them. Guh, why can't Jesus just come back and fix it all!

September 23, 2009 at 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AGH!! I'm am praying for this family. Thanks again for putting things in perspective. Life is to short.
I Love You..
Auntie Laurie

September 24, 2009 at 9:13 AM  
Anonymous Jes said...

My thoughts and prayers are with them. Every day is a blessing. It is easy to lose site of the things that are really important, but one never has to look very far to see something that puts everything in perspective again.

September 26, 2009 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger darcie said...

Will add this family to my list of prayers - yet another reminder to count our blessings, however small they may feel at the time - because one just never knows.
peace and hugs - xoxo

September 29, 2009 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger Ann-Marie and David said...

Thank you for this post and my own dose of perspective. I can not imagine going through what this family has gone through, and I am praying for them.

September 30, 2009 at 7:09 AM  

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