Thursday, October 16, 2008

Growing up, and keeping the faith

For the first time last Sunday, I saw my mom as being old.

She'll turn 74 in another week or so, but was never old until Sunday.

I try to make sure we talk, even if only briefly, once a week. She watches the kids often enough, so that usually takes care of it. She was over just the previous Monday, but around 4 p.m. Sunday, I decided to call and talk.

She didn't sound right. A bit slow in her talk and possibly disoriented. I found out she had had a migraine for several days -- she had them when she was younger, but not recently, as far as I know. So, I thought maybe it was the medicine talking.

I paid her a surprise visit (about a 25 minute drive), and didn't feel any better. I left, returned home and later that evening, after talking with her again, my wife and I decided to be "better safe than sorry." So, I convinced her she should go to the ER. My niece (living with her) called 911, and I was on my way back across town to meet the ambulance at the ER.

By 5 a.m. Monday morning, I was back home -- after a CT scan showed some blood around my mom's front right temple, she was transferred to another hospital and admitted. My sister was there too, for most of the early morning.

Right now, she doesn't seem serious, as the doctors think the blood will dissipate, and there shouldn't be any permanent damage. But, she can't be alone so she is staying with us for a couple weeks until the next CT scan to check things out.

But, things like that aren't supposed to happen to my mom. Yes, my dad died nearly three years ago after a long battle with cancer. I never really saw him as old, just sick -- but he never really was sick until towards the end.

So, that's part of my current story.

The other part has to do with timing -- and why things happen when they happen.

I was laid off in August. So, I've been looking for a job, seeking freelance work and other activities. On Monday -- that same Monday when I didn't get to bed until 5 a.m. -- I had a third interview for a really cool and nearly ideal job. From talking with a company representative, it seemed like I was its primary candidate. I was very optimistic.

But, Wednesday, I found out the company was going with someone else.

Think what you want, but there's a "big picture" reason why I didn't get that job now. With four kids, a puppy and now my mom -- sometimes confused and disoriented -- living with us for a couple weeks, there's no way my wife could handle it all if I went back to work soon. She even said that this evening.

So, I'm still at home, continuing with the freelance projects underway and seeking a job.

That's no coincidence. That is God's will.

I have always been a strong believer in God and had faith in his role in my life. But, since my wife became pregnant with our youngest daughter, my faith has grown exponentially.

Another strong example is when Hanson approached me and hired me -- at a salary that enabled my wife to stay at home after our daughter was born.

And, since being laid off by Hanson, there have been enough times, even minute ones, where I can see why I was laid off when I was. The latest with my mom is definitely not minute, but the timing of me being laid off is definitely a clear indication that it is part of God's will.

In many ways, I feel a sense of relief believing that my life really is not in my hands. I still play an active part, and need to do my best. But, ultimately, it's not up to me. Ultimately, it's up to God.

And, I just need to keep the faith.