Thursday, September 15, 2011

Life & Death

Last week, we found out that my father-in-law decided to go on hospice.  After four and a half years of fighting prostate cancer, he decided he was finished fighting.  He has been in some kind of rather severe pain for a while now.  The hospice folks have been super amazing so far, even going so far as to bringing meds by at 11pm one night.

Obviously, this has been very difficult on all of us, but we are hanging in there.

The title of "Life & Death" comes to me now, because Jared and I are now in the phase of life where everyone is having babies.  We got through the "everyone's getting married" phase about a year ago, and are now in the "everyone's pregnant" phase.  Seriously, I think if we counted, it'd be somewhere between 15 and 20 people who we know that are pregnant.  It's a strange paradox to be looking so forward to all the new life that will be entering our world from October to April, while sitting next to a man who won't be with us in a few months.

I find myself gazing into the future months with anxious anticipation, all the while praying that God would slow time right now.  It is a strange place to find myself.

Here's a photo of Jared and his dad from last summer.

John & Jared
John & Jared, July 2010
 John is one of the kindest people you will ever meet in your life.  He would do anything for you.  He is the best listener and adviser.  He cares for every person he encounters whether he's known them his whole life or only for a moment. 

People have been responding to the family with many memories of John and his overwhelming love.  One of my fondest memories of John is from the first time I met Jared's parents.  John and I deheaded shrimp for about 45 minutes on the driveway of his house in the warm Louisiana sun.  He was impressed (I guess) that his son's girlfriend was interested in deheading shrimp with him.  I explained that as I child I used to watch my great uncle (Uncle J.R.) skin and gut live catfish at my grandparents' lake house in Texas.  Deheading shrimp was fun for me.

It was the first time that I really got to know John.  He told me that he grew up on a dairy farm in south Louisiana.  He told me stories about Jared and his other children when they were kids.  In all of the stories that he told, he conveyed how much he loved his family and his flock.  Being a pastor for 35+ years can really make you love people or hate them.  And John has always chosen to love people.

I am so lucky to be one of those people whom he has chosen to love.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful and so true. We think the same thing around our house - life and death, thrilled to be loved by John, so thankful for the life lessons he has taught us. Thanks for sharing, friend.