We are sorry, but the first attempt to post this left many people unable to read it because of a glitch. Here it is again. Thanks for the previous comments…they were much appreciated
For two months now this has been the reality of our lives. So just how does it change your life and how do you make choices? Tomorrow (Tuesday 9th December) is our Silver Wedding Anniversary – yes, 25 years of marriage. Something to really celebrate. However is this our last? How do you celebrate such a landmark at the same time as being aware you may never celebrate this date together again? We have chosen to meet at a restaurant slightly nearer our flat. I explained the situation to the waitress when I booked the table and she told me I could choose any table and she would make a note in the diary. I have chosen a quiet table in the corner next to the fire so we can chat easily. Jeremy will then come back to our nearby small flat for the night, rather than return to the Vicarage. In the summer, I made a silver dress to wear and Jeremy gave me silver shoes for my birthday.
So what about Christmas? We should have fourteen at our table – our core seven (as we so hope Ben, now quite ill again in Brazil, is returning due to Jeremy’s diagnosis), our daughter-in-law, Jeremy’s brother and his fiancée and both sets of parents. The theme will be silver and gold to reflect both sets of parents marking their golden wedding anniversaries and our silver. We will enjoy the fact that Jeremy won’t be shattered from work in the days leading up to Christmas. We can also attend a party hosted by friends on Christmas Eve. Only once has this been possible in the past when we hosted a party on Christmas Eve 2007 as Jeremy was off work then also. Christmas will be simple, reflective and above all, focus on our saviour’s birth. It will be fun but poignant too.
Then onto much bigger, long term decisions. Where does Lydia go to complete her education, bearing in mind we already live in two homes, one of which we will not have if Jeremy doesn’t survive? What happens if she does A levels where the course is assessed with one exam at the end of the year? If Jeremy were to leave us in June, presumably having been very ill leading up to this, her entire year could be jeopardized.
What for Josh? He had hoped to go to New Zealand for a gap year. Does he really want to risk being that far from his terminally ill Dad? What should he do having completed his A levels? The world is his oyster and yet it feels restricting knowing he might not have his dad much longer in his life.
Throughout we have tried hard not to clutch at straws. However when three emails arrive from three separate sources in twenty four hours, do you consider their suggestions? When they suggest many have been helped by following an alkalizing diet, do you take notice? We have decided to follow it, but not without confusion. Initially looking up a list online, we followed it carefully. It was very restrictive and at first took Jeremy to a more acceptable weight. However this week we have been alarmed at not only his physical state but his mental one too. Do we carry on? We are now following one recipe book and taking the advice only found in there. His diet is more varied, he is eating more food and generally looking much better but are we right to carry on this regime?
What about future work for both of us, let alone where we are to live? Do we sell our flat in Crediton and buy a flat in Honiton where part of our support network is? If Jeremy doesn’t survive, will a flat provide a sufficient base? Can we afford a house with three bedrooms at this stage as it would seem silly to buy a flat to then have to sell it to buy a house using death-in-service payments if that is the course we have to face? This of course has a massive impact on our working lives. Where do I look for work? Can Jeremy continue in his line of work should he respond in some way to the treatment, taking into account the long hours his work requires? Should he look at retiring on grounds of ill health? This would mean loosing the Vicarage which is our family home: so the questions continue.
What we do is wait, pray, think and try to gain a sense of what God may be saying; look at all the realities and possibilities and then think carefully on the verse in Jeremiah which says “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you.” Do we trust that? YES we do. We will just keep walking this path we have been called to walk with our faces firmly set on Jesus knowing God can achieve abundantly more than we can ever expect or imagine. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see. This is a tough time especially with the worry of Ben but God has promised to be faithful. Thank you Lord.