Friday, March 28, 2008


In life there is hardship, pain, and loss; it's just part of living in a fallen world, a fact of life. Though we try desperately to avoid it, we can't.

Death seems entirely surreal to me. My mind simply can't grasp the absence of life. And even though I know intellectually that my soul lives on for eternity, I can't imagine what that will be like, can you? As humans the best way to think about death is to not think about it at all, right? If we pretend it's not there, than maybe it will never find us. Then one day it starts knocking on the door of someone close to you. All of a sudden, it is hard to hide. You feel desperate, like taking that someone hostage, a standoff with the grim reaper, trying to protect them from the uncertainty of that last breath here on earth.

On my trip down here to Augusta, I could feel the fear seeping into my veins, fear of seeing my dad in a weakened state; fear that he might not have peace and assurance of his eternity, and fear of dealing with my dysfunctionally perfect family. Thankfully God has given me the grace, strength and support to do what needs to be done, to just be here with my dad, and to do it without feeling alone. My husband, who happens to be in Massateusetts this week, calls daily to check in on me and is willing to let me be here as long as I need. My mother-in-law watches the boys without complaint all day long so I can take care of dad and give my step-mom a very needed break. Mom and Becca, my sister, provide me with a much needed outlet. Pat,great friend from my college days, has stepped in to provide support and escape when need be. And friends from every era of my life call and send emails just to let me know that they're there. These are my cheerleaders, and I couldn't do this without them. I can see Jo, Angela, Jen, Clare, Katy, Michelle, and numerous other friends on the sidelines in their cute outfits and pompoms shouting, "H-O-T-T-O-G-O, Hillary Pennington is Hot-To-Go," while jumping, kicking, and raising up spirit fingers. You all need to know that I see you, I hear you, and I love you. Keep cheering because the game is not over yet, far from it.

And thank you, Jo, for your inspiring comment on my last entry. I've often thought about writing about my dad. Maybe when this is all over, I can compile these entries and publish a memoir of sorts. Who knows? I think I would have to gain some self confidence in my abilities first. You guys might enjoy it, but the bigger question is whether it would offer anyone else inspiration or comfort. And for that matter, if a publishing company would see the merit in it as well. Oh well, not dwelling on that now. It's not the time.

So I started out talking about taking my dad hostage from the grim reaper and ended up with cheerleaders. Talk about one extreme to the another. Hey, maybe I am hunkering down in a house with my family, surrounding my dad while death stands outside waiting for a moment of weakness and all of you are behind the police line in your cheerleading uniforms holding a pep rally. Dumb analogy, but it's hilarious in my mind.

Back to reality for a moment: Dad is having a CT Scan in about an hour. This should give us a better picture of what is going on. I'll fill you in when I can. He'll be in the hospital at least until Monday, as will I.


Jo said...


Katy said...

You know I'm only a phone call away! And I'm with Jo!
H-O-T-T-O-G-O! We'll make sure Neil doesn't starve!