Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1, 2010

It’s been quite a week. Quite a week. It really has been a journey within a journey for our little cowboy. On top of the uncertainties of his own health, he’s been trying to grasp and understand why his cousin, Noah, is gone. Jessi, too, has cried every night at bedtime. They want their “Noahee” back. But God has called him home, and our Lord has the final word. Once again, the kids are hurting and daddy can't make the pain go away.

Kathy and Garrett burned up the road between Denver and here to take care of the hospital necessities and to be with the family as much as possible. With everything going on, I made the decision to bring them home. The time has come. The Ross Tribe has been through enough bumps, dips, arroyos and hills and we need to be together, in our own home. We'll continue to fight this battle, but want to do it on familiar ground. I called the folks at the hospital and explained my plans. I didn’t ask for permission. I just told them that this latest blow is too painful for Kathy and Garrett to take long distance. After some discussion, the doctors agreed. Garrett has completed what we hope will be his last chemo-infusion last week and now it’s just hurry up and wait until the next biopsy. They feel, too, that with the dry roads of summer we should have no problem getting Garrett up to Denver for his check ups a few times a week. If we're still in this fight come winter, we can always go back. We just need to be home for a while. We need to decompress. I told them that I believe to let Garrett sleep in his own bed, be with his complete family every day and play in his own yard will do more to help his heart heal than our other options right now. He and Levi (Noah’s brother with stage IV cancer) also need to be with each other. They feed off of each others’ highs and lows, and share that common bond that those of us not fighting every day for life just can’t comprehend. It's kind of like men who have gone through war together. Only they truly can understand that bond. I can tell you it's a wonderful thing to witness. Kathy and Bonnie, too, (Noah and Levi's momma) need each other close.

Today we were split again as Kathy and Garrett had to head to Denver for his appointment at the hospital. I stayed behind to see Noah one last time in this life, and to kiss him goodbye for all of us. It still feels like a bad dream. Later today and without much fanfare, Garrett came home. Tonight, we said our prayers together, in our own home as a family, knowing that tomorrow we don’t have to be apart. Not anymore. At least not for a while. We know that we have to go back periodically, and will have to stay up there for a short stint during the biopsy surgery, but for now we’re ok. For now, we’re home.

As for Garrett’s checkup today, not much change but he feels good. He’s ecstatic to be home and we really have to watch him because he won’t stop playing until he gets sick. The heat is especially tough on him. But having this boy playing this hard is a good problem to have right now. His face and eyes are still puffy and his pulse rate isn’t where we want it, but we’ll get there. We will get there.

Saturday we will send Noah on his way. Sunday, Noah’s ashes will be scattered across his favorite mountain range. Meanwhile, I still seek the words to help Garrett and Jessi deal with more unexplainable pain.

In one week’s time, two members of this family have come home. One here, and one there. Both are in a place where they will find joy and heal among those who love them. We’re so thankful that God blessed us with the time we had with Noah. He loved Garrett and Jessi so much and never, ever failed to let them know. They adored him in return. They will carry that love until they see him again, when there'll be no more tears. The real tragedies are found with those who leave this earth never having felt this kind of love.

Continually blessed, constantly consecrated in His grace and Mercy.

In victory,


Monday, June 28, 2010

June 28, 2010

Garrett had a good Sunday and a good checkup on Monday. There's no significant changes either way with his heart function,but one valve seems to be working a little better today, which makes this post very difficult to write. I want to sound excited that the weekend didn't cause any lasting issues but Garrett, and the whole family, took another kick in the guts this morning. Garrett’s cousin Noah was found dead this morning by his father. Noah, in his mid 20’s, was like a big brother to Garrett and the brother of Levi, Garrett’s cousin who is in stage 4 cancer. We don’t know a lot right now, we’re just trying to wrap our arms around this latest fork in the trail. It's hard to comprehend. Kathy basically helped raise these boys and they are as close with us and any family we have. She is absolutely devastated.

As could be expected, the entire family is ripped to the core right now. Kathy and Garrett came down and we spent the day with the family trying to make sense out of a senseless loss. To lose Noah so suddenly for no apparent reason, in the midst of Levi and Garrett’s battles has truly rocked us back on our heels. Many are asking what more we have to endure. I’m seeking the words to try and explain to Garrett and Jessi. The words are hard to find. They love their Noah deeply. We all do.

Please keep Noah, his folks and his brothers in your prayers. We hold firmly to the belief that God’s plan is a perfect plan. There has to be a reason. I will wake tomorrow and ask my Lord how I can serve him this day. I will not secede from my mission, but I honestly have more questions than answers right now. We will do everything we can to completely give this to the Lord and pray for some sense of peace in this chapter of the journey. We can never forget Christ's words to us when he said to "deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Me." By the Grace of God, we're trying. The void left by this loss will be palpable.