Tuesday, March 17, 2009

twice crushed life

Lightening isn't supposed to strike twice.


I thought Trevor was our lightening. Our cup. Raziki yetu.


But a little over a week ago the second strike flowed through invisible phone lines from half a world away. And burned into our hearts. Knocking us to our knees.


******


Our passion for Tanzania sparked after a honeymoon visit to Jonathan's family. We were married (with their blessing) before they'd ever had a chance to meet me. I like to tease that by the time they laid eyes on me...I was non-refundable!


::smile::


At that time they were nestled in the Uluguru mountains. Learning Swahili. Involved in ministry. Pouring their lives into serving the people of the region. That two week African immersion radically changed these newlyweds. We returned to life in America...only for the purpose of preparing to spend our lives in Tanzania.


If you've followed Trevor's blog for any length of time...you most likely know that we spent two years living our honeymooners dream. Before lightening struck. And our life course was Changed...


*****

But Jonathan's parents (and sibs until they all scattered for college) have spent the better part of 15 years in Tanzania. Not just talking about how to serve humanity. How to bring Hope to those desperately needing it. But actually living it out loud!


They've served in SO many ways...offering Hope...financial aid...counsel...unconditional love...


Launched an English medium school where over 200 children are being given a chance to have an education that is usually only granted to the Elite!


And this summer were making plans to open a medical clinic!


We've always been so proud of them. Of the way they've chosen to use their lives.


We are SO proud of you!


*****

We couldn't shake the feeling. That something wasn't right. They had FB-ed us that Dad wasn't feeling well. And that they were heading to Nairobi Kenya...where the "real" doctors can be found.


After a week of testing...but little communication...they called with the news. The crushing news.


Jonathan's dad had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. And encouraged to be on the earliest flight back to the States if he wanted to seek treatment here. And be close to family.


*****

They arrived last week. In MO. Close to the twins. The youngest of their children. And immediately began a battery of testing. With Jonathan & I (and a whole slew of prayer warriors) praying...hoping...that the equipment in Kenya was old. Faulty. Wrong.


It was not.


And our hearts are crushed under the heaviness of the diagnosis.


*****

Babu (along with Bibi...and the rest of the family) will begin the fight of his life this week. Chemo is being arraigned. As well as travel plans for Jonathan...and Toby...and possibly Bristel...to spend a weekend Chicken Soup of the Soul-ing them. All of us giving love. Prayers. Support in any way we can.


And if you're a believer in the comfort of prayer. I'm sharing this with you so that you'll join us.


*****

13 comments:

Adesta said...

Oh D. I am so sorry to hear about Jonathan's father. It is so hard to be so far away from a parent when they are battling cancer or any disease for that matter. I know because my father battled bladder cancer for 17+ years before passing on in 2003 and by then I lived in a different state.

Know that I will keep you all in my prayers and my heart while this battle rages. Sending lots of love and warm hugs...

JSmith5780 said...

You've all been in my prayers since the day you told me. Of course, I along with your family, hoped that the docs in Kenya were wrong.

Tell Jonathan and the kids to travel safe, and well be thinking of you all.

Tell Babu to fight as hard as Trevy as fought!

Abbe said...

danielle -- i have tears in my eyes. i was SOOO hoping things in kenya were wrong too. more than i even realized until now. know that you all are on my heart and mind constantly. i hope that j and the kids get to visit uncle tom and chicken-soup the heck out of him. and know that i'll be praying. keep things posted as you can.... you're the best communicator out of the bunch of 'em! :) xo

Carolyn M said...

Prayers.

Mmmmaaahvelous said...

I will pray and pray for Johnathon's dad and all family members to have strength and hope.
Thankfully they are back in the US where they are much closer to family.
Prayers for all.
M

Melanie said...

I am so sorry to hear that, and if ok I will add you to our prayer list. I have been thinking about you guys since your one post that you suggested something was wrong.

Hugs

Melanie

baby trevor's mommy said...

Thank you everyone for the thoughts...emails...and prayers! It means a lot. Jonathan & I have always been SO independant...don't need anybody people. But Trevor has taught us how much support from others is vital! By all means...add Jonathan's dad (tom) and family to your prayer lists.

This is just totally unexpected. J's dad is only in his 50's. J is the oldest of the four siblings...and the only one with children. The twins are still in college...with their whole lives ahead of them. You can imagine how crushing this is to all of us.

We have a realistic streak...so while we're praying for healing...we're preparing for the reality that is Pancreatic Cancer.

My personal request is that you would pray for wisdom...and comfort. My heart is breaking for my husband...and children. Right before the call we were telling Toby & Bristel how when they were 13 they could spend a couple weeks in Tanzania helping Bibi & Babu. I can't even count how many times these days I've just held Jonathan and told him I don't know what to say...or do.

And sometimes the only thing you can do is hold eachother...and cry...

...danielle

~Mama Skates~ said...

that's the hardest - what to tell the kiddos....my heart aches for u sweets! sooooo many prayers coming ur way! just hold em - J too...hold em & cry & let em know u're there! that's all u can do - what an evil, heartless thing this cancer is! but how faithful & loving ur family is! & how good our God is! i love u girl! let me know if there's anything i can do 2 help!

xoxoxox,
sharon

Adesta said...

D, I was lucky enough (if you can look at it that way) that Marissa was only 9 months old when my dad passed. Her memories of him are what I tell her of him. Do I regret that my dad wasn't able to share in more of her life, you bet, but I also am so thankful that she didn't have to go through the heartbreak of losing him as I did. He was 58 when he passed away, much too young, but I always said it wasn't the actual cancer that killed him. Although the bladder cancer had spread to his brain and liver, I think what killed him was the depression that set in after he suffered two strokes and was left paralyzed on his left side. For a fun loving kind of guy, that was a hard blow to take and it just sent him spiraling and I think that's what ultimately did him in.

therextras said...

Joining you in prayer.
Barbara

Katie said...

Danielle, I'm so sorry about this news! I will hold you guys in my best thoughts and send you thoughts of strength and peace.

(shoot me an email at katie @ twintasticmom . com when you get a chance...of course I don't mind if you follow Lily's blog! :) )

Shanna Grimes said...

Prayers and hugs for you and your family. It's so gut wrenching to receive news like that, especially when it's a close family member. Stay strong. Love and hugs to for you all.

KC's Mama said...

I am praying along with everyone else. I'm so sorry. You are right. Lightening is not supposed to strike twice. I know that we don't always understand God's plan, but knowing that doesn't take the pain away. Your family will get through this, because you will come together and support each other. I am thinking and praying about each and every one of you.

Love Karen