At 3 a.m., this morning, I wish Dave a Happy Father’s Day. We’re not sleeping… again. He says, “Thanks,” and it warms my heart. It’s what we always do on holiday “eves.” So many times at midnight, we proudly rush to be the first to shout, “Happy Birthday!” Or, on Christmas Eve, at 4 a.m.; when our son Nick helps us wrap a ton of gifts; because we can’t finish the job, I obnoxiously yell out, “Merry Christmas!” We’re all so tired at this point, but it’s funny… well, kinda! Early eve before Father’s Day, I wrap my arms around Dave, and lay my head into his neck where it fits just right. I softly say, “I wish you didn’t have cancer.”
“Me too,” he says, and we hug each other tight, and both of us say, “I love you.”
We’re a family who likes celebrating special occasions, making one another feel wanted and loved. We gather together, regardless of who’s sick or struggling. We’ve done it for years: through the flu, NICU twin babies, my son, Nick’s, three year suffering through eosinophilic esophagitis (an allergic autoimmune which ravages the throat, making eating extremely painful). He received a miracle healing for a disease which has no cure! We’ve navigated through important celebrations with my severe nausea during my pregnancies; and invasive surgeries, depression, anxiety, and more. My son and I both still struggle with autoimmune diseases which bring pain and fatigue. And this year, it’s the worst ever, for the dad in our family. Dave’s battling rare stage four colon cancer.
We’re celebrating anyway! Though it’s been a stressful week, these last couple days, Dave has done well. His blood clot seems to have dissolved. He’s been able to eat a little more. do some things around the house, and even drive his car. He likes driving; it makes him feel like his normal, capable self. So we’re thanking God that Father’s Day is the day before his chemo treatment the following day.
Today, Dave will be able to enjoy a relaxing day, while we celebrate at his pace. Our kids all made brunch; with eggs, pancakes, and bacon. We all ate the table together, which is a gift. Our sons cleaned up, while our daughter took the dog for a walk in this beautiful, breezy day. He’s watching some golf, and we have presents for him (of course!) and we’ll order dinner with gift cards donated by generous friends and family. We’ve planned a movie night, and Jake and Abby left early this morning to pick up Dave’s favorite… strawberry rhubarb pie.
The dad in our family has stage four cancer… but he also has Christ. Because God is The Father of our family, the silver lining is being able lean on strength through Jesus. Jesus lives within us, changing our hearts; and he’s willing to remove our burdens of fear, anger, and overwhelming sadness. My prayer has been that we can just simply all be together on this special day, showing Dave how much we love him. We love hanging out together as a family; so it’s a Happy Father’s Day for us… because we can.
Yesterday I sat outside in the warm sun, with a cool breeze rushing like waves through the greenest trees. I showed my daughter how half of each tree looked a lighter green, as the wind blew the leaves upwards, showing the paler color underneath. She pointed out the pine trees, where we could see color changes, as well. My eyes traveled up higher, out toward the perfect, cerulean blue sky. It was jewel blue, the kind of day, where there’s not a cloud in the sky. I thought: What if I look way up, and see just one cloud in that spot?
I looked right above me, and laughed. It’s as if I knew it would be there. One wispy cloud was waving at me. But then I felt sadness. I was thinking about Dave being up there in the sky, when I wasn’t there yet. And as quickly as the wispy cloud came, it began to disappear. It changed quickly, and then I couldn’t see it anymore. And then I felt really sad, yet the sky was so happy and blue. I started thinking about signs God sends us through nature, and wondered if this was a sign for me. So I started praying for Dave, for his miraculous healing, while sitting there in my moss green Adirondack chair. Please God… a miracle… Dave… cancer… healing… our children… my husband… in Jesus name.
After praying, I looked up into the blue sky again. That little wispy cloud was back! Out of nowhere. I haven’t really asked God much about it yet, but I feel that little wispy cloud was just for me! Hope. It might be a fighting cloud that gets blown by the wind, but resists, and makes it back to its rightful place.
Early Father’s Day 5 a.m. I’m still not sleeping. Neither is Dave. I look outside and see the huge blood moon with a thick, black shadow underneath. It looks like it’s in 3D. I look over to the left and see a long, thin, bright light. It’s colorful and shimmering. Is it an airplane? But it’s not moving. So I venture outside. It looks like the Christmas star, where the bottom tail is longer than the rest of the points. It’s in line with the moon. I’ve never seen a star like this, except at Christmas one time, when Jupiter was blazing. Further left, I see another one just like it. It’s higher up, in perfect alignment. Fascinating!
I take a chance, and the wet grass feels cool on my feet as I walk down to the tent, where my son, Jake, is camping out with his sister. I quietly call out their names, so I don’t startle them. They come out looking like moles, with their eyes squinting from the low light. But Jake humors me, by walking back a ways with me, so we can see the bright silvery lights over the dark treeline. He says he thinks they’re planets. I bet he’s right! I go back inside, and tell Dave to look out the window. He sees it too, and I’m glad he didn’t miss it. By 6 a.m., we finally fall asleep.
After brunch, I find out that the moon is a waning moon, appearing as a half-moon; due to the Great Conjunction, which occurs every twenty years. It’s when five planets can be seen in alignment, before sunrise. Some planets can be seen at night, as well. After checking some diagrams, I think what I saw near sunrise, was Jupiter to the left of the moon, and Mars further left. I’m not sure, so please let me know if you find out! Through June 27th, you can still view this amazing celestial sight! How incredible is it, to view five planets with the naked eye? It’s so cool to practically see them orbiting in space!
If God can create this amazing solar system, then surely he surely he can take care of Dave during his cancer! “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor” (Ps 8:3-5 NIV).
Joy is knowing that Dave has the same Heavenly Father we all do; our one and Only God in Heaven. Christ truly will cancel cancer, because with strength through Jesus, we live victoriously! Joy is celebrating today, and knowing that whatever the future holds, one day our whole family will spend eternal Father’s Days in Heaven! There will be no sickness, no fears, and no tears. We’ll be there with our family and friends who love Jesus too! Being saved means that one day, we will all wake up, not wondering if we can have a happy day. Because every day will be joyfully happy for the rest of our eternal lives.
Happy Father’s Day to Dave, and all the wonderful dads out there. You are loved! Keep looking UP!
“Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail” (Isa. 51:6 NIV)
Our entire cancer journey, in order by dates, at the bottom of this first post:
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In Christ, Angela Royse Pelleman