Monday, January 31, 2011

"You Do For Family"

"You Do For Family" is probably not the best use of the English language. It is probably a slice out of the King's English, poor grammar, butchering some participle that I am dangling and 'ain't' even aware I done it. However, "You Do For Family" is a phrase that I strive to teach my children, who are both adults now with their own children and to try to live by it.

What does it mean? Sometimes it easier to discover and do than at other times. Sometimes it requires sacrifice and going out of your way to do things that may not make any sense at all. Going the extra mile or miles and sometimes you have to do that 3 or 4 times just to cover all the bases. Sometimes you have to be alone, pay an extra fee, pick up the check, or even spend lots of hours doing things you would rather not have to do.

Since November my wife and I have had to demonstrate and live the mantra of "You Do For Family." You see in October my brother was diagnosed with a very rare disease that has caused his muscles in his legs and torso deteriorate. He can seldom stand without help from a seated position. November my father-in-law was diagnosed with lymphoma after undergoing a surgery. He has been undergoing chemo for the last several weeks. The Friday after Thanksgiving my older sister was admitted to the hospital with abdominal pains, gallbladder was the early diagnosis until spots on the lung and then the liver were confirmed as cancer. I had my own bought with melanoma and it was surgically removed and so far so good. My bride of over 32 years now had gallbladder surgery in December and has improved so much from that surgery.

So what all of this have to do about "You Do For Family"? Well over the last few months we have made multiple trips to care of family. To visit, to sit through surgeries and making hospital visits. There have been trips to Georgia through the back roads of the mountains to pick and deliver things to help others get better. We have had the pleasure of picking up someones feet and legs just to ride in a car. Sitting through chemo treatments while the patient slept you get to watch vigils and pray during the time frame. There have been prayers, lots of prayers with and for people traveling through the valley of the shadow of death. During final visits I was able to serve my sister by helping carry her body from her home to the hearse as I was the only one who could emotionally and physically do it. As we were traveling to the funeral home our daughter-in-law called that she was in early stages of labor, weeks too early.

Now here's the neat thing about "You Do For Family" mantra. My church family has been amazing for and to me. Prayers, calls, txt msgs, emails, stopping in the hallway, cards and concerns have meant the world to me. You see we are family! Even today as we were about to begin the funeral of my sister Becky I see my Pastor walk into the room. He had driven over 3 hours just to sit with me and my wife through the service. This is something that "You Do For Family"

So through the last few months of what others would see as extremely difficult times, and sometimes they were, my God has sustained me, us and our family. Sometimes you may get down, short, put out and otherwise upset but Jesus has said he will never leave me nor forsake me. This has been proven over the last few months in my own life. Even now as I type these words my wife is with our son and daughter-in-law awaiting the arrival of a new life. I am home and she is there and we are separated once again but remember "You Do For Family"!

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