We're facing another one of those moments you know is coming but are never fully prepared to navigate. Frank's father is extremely ill. Last week was Spring break here so all the girls made it to NC to visit Grandpa. We were already scheduled to go Thursday of this week.
After surgery last Thursday morning, Dad Hawley had a serious respiratory reaction. Kristin (who was at the hospital) called and said, "Mom! Get Daddy on a plane as soon as possible." We did.
(Weeks ago a friend had seen down the road of Dad's illness and had insisted that I promise to call if we needed a plane ticket at some point. What a Blessing!)
Decisions came quickly, the phone call was made, a bag was packed and he was at the gate in less than three hours. Pretty good since we're a full hour from the airport. Because things were so unstable with Dad, it was decided that Frank would fly; I would cover the service this weekend then drive to NC.
Fortunately, I was already scheduled to preach Sunday after teaching workshops at a conference Friday and Saturday. Because John and Joy made it back Saturday and because our leadership team was supporting him in prayer and because I had the details covered, he was able to be fully there once he hit the hospital door.
One leader had prayed over him, "Father, help Pastor to disengage from FL and know it's okay to be a SON for this moment." What a powerful prayer. Frank took in the message and has mentioned it to me again several times during our short phone conversations. Simple words can be powerful.
Dad Hawley is still holding his own but is most often confused due to the extreme pain and large doses of morphine. Someone from the family is with him around the clock.
In addition to Dad's health crisis, the NC family have been trying to get Mom Hawley relocated to a small apartment where she can have help if she needs it. (That's why Frank and I were originally going up this week.) But imagine the mammoth task of sorting through 30 years of memories with a dear grandma who has a story attached to each piece of paper and every article of clothing.
Frank and Kristin have worked ten and twelve hour days with her trying to lift the load for his brothers and their families. Everyone is shuffling work and school schedules in order to be available. It's times like this you're thankful for BIG FAMILIES!
I leave tomorrow for the first ten hour road trip I've done alone in a long time. Listening to books and music and podcasts should help the time pass as quickly as the miles. (Yes, there will probably be a few phone calls in there, too.)
My mind is racing to find the thread that will tie all this into a tidy package of encouragement for you, dear readers. I guess that thread would be the one that keeps me tied together during all the crisis moments of life. Those moments when you know snap decisions will have long lasting consequences. Those moments when you lean into the arms of One stronger than yourself.
"You will keep him (her) in perfect peace because his (her) mind is focused on YOU!"