"It is well. It is well with my soul!"
"It is well. It is well with my soul!"
BLESSED! - Blog written by Steph
The weekend is here and we go home soon. I am overcome with so many emotions as I reflect on this journey and anticipate our return home. I’m finding myself a bit anxious about leaving Houston and returning to reality. God provided the ultimate environment for Tom and I to walk hand in hand through this journey together. I am looking forward though to the next few months of continuing to care for him at home.
This has been surprisingly easy on me. All I have had to do is accompany Tom for treatment / appointments and take care of him. No other responsibilities. Who can leave their home and family and not have a single concern? Only those of us whom God has blessed with wonderful friends and family. While my emotional side missed the kids, family, friends, (Honey) and life events, I never had to think about anything but Tom. I hated seeing him suffer, but my complete faith in his healing, gave me such a peace.
This journey has opened my eyes to see what is truly important in life. First and foremost, our relationship with our Lord and Savior! The love, peace, strength, and confidence He gives us is ALL we need for anything we endure. To God be the Glory that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. We have the promise of eternity, so we have nothing to fear of this world. Our biggest concern should be – who doesn’t know the Lord and how can our lives lead them to their Savior! This is our purpose and our goal as we finish the race God has placed before us.
The second thing that I have learned that is truly important in life is the love of our family and friends. God has blessed us abundantly with such amazing people in our lives. My heart is overflowing with love and gratitude for how blessed we are to have so much love in our lives. We lack for nothing. My only prayer is that I can return this incredible love to others as they have loved us. My ultimate desire as we return to our normal lives is to show everyone how much I dearly love them and what they mean to me.
LIVE, LOVE, and LAUGH! The third important thing that I want to intentionally focus on is to live life to its fullest. Unfortunately, with my extreme OCD, I spend so much time on details, that I miss out on life. This experience has shown me how important life is and how we need to live each moment in the present. This truly will be something that I will have to work on. Relaxing does not come naturally to me. My desire is to make more time for my husband, my children, my sisters, my mom, my family and my friends, and enjoy every moment. I want to look back on my life and say that I spent every minute loving and enjoying the people God placed in my life. My relationship with Tom will be at the top of my list! After 33 years of marriage and 4 children, we have traveled many roads, mountains, and valleys. He is the most important thing to me, and I want to spend the rest of my life showing him how much I love him. This, also, will require intentionally putting aside time for him. Ultimately, I will be blessed by every moment with him. After being alone during this time, my romantic heart wants to move to a secluded home on the ocean and never return, but reality is I would miss everyone. We are so very blessed with a love that is FOREVER! Then, with Tom at my side, I want to spend every available minute with family and friends, savoring each and every moment! No regrets.
I would have to say that the most impactful part of this experience has been meeting our precious friend, Lane. He captured a piece of our heart the very minute we saw him. We will always love him. He is a 9-year-old boy who has been fighting his cancer for 3 years. He has an old soul that loves John Wayne movies, horses, rodeos, and hunting. The first day that we met him, we left the hospital thinking – “how can we complain or be weak when that little boy can fight so hard”. We were blessed to see him every day at radiation. He was a true nugget of God’s love for us. I brought him a little surprise each day just to experience the joy of seeing a smile on his face. Tom’s last day of radiation was Thursday, but we made a trip to the hospital on Friday to celebrate Lanes last day. He will still have to finish out his chemotherapy treatments, but he is done with the brutal radiation. I found myself crying that morning at the thought of saying goodbye to him. Then, I fell apart when he arrived in a hospital bed. He had been admitted to the hospital the day before with low blood counts and a fever. He was receiving blood, on oxygen, getting many antibiotics and needing morphine. He looked so little and so fragile. It broke my heart to see him that way. We had our little gift and a balloon for him, but I would have sold everything I have if I could have made him smile at that moment. When his radiation was over, they wheeled his hospital bed over to the celebration bell. When they asked him if he wanted to ring the bell, with his eyes closed, he said, “I want Mr. Tom to do it for me.” How can a heart explode anymore with love? This will do it. I cried all day. My heart is breaking to leave here and not be a part of his life. His mother promised that we would keep in touch. I invited them to come see us in Oklahoma and told her we would love to have Lane any time. When we return for our follow up appointments, I look forward to seeing his precious face again. Please, please pray for a complete healing of Lane so that he can live an amazing life.
What is important in my life?
I am going to spend every moment, of every day, living my life to the fullest and focusing on these important relationships. My prayer is that I show my love for others.
In Christ’s Love,
TOM O'KEEFE BLOG