For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die – Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a
The Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program year is underway. It began with the new group arriving on August 22nd. As far as I was concerned, this was to be a “normal” year. For you see, my first year was of course, my first year. And so, it was a year of learning. And in the midst of that year, Jon had some health challenges and we spent some weeks in the United States. My second program year was the year of Home Assignment. Not only did we do the regular YAGM work, but we also spent 3 months in the United States. That was certainly not a “normal” pattern. So this year, was supposed to be “normal.” I wanted to make my plan for YAGM and to follow it. No interruptions.
Ha! Life does not work that way. For everything there is a season. And this season is about my mom. She has had brain cancer for 5.5 years. Way longer than expected. But soon after we returned to South Africa in July, we found out that her tumor was growing again and options were limited.
Recently, things took a turn for the worse. My mom had a stroke or seizure and was taken to the emergency room. She was near death and we quickly booked our plane tickets. We arrived late September, expecting a rather short trip for the end of my mom’s life. But she is tenacious. And she is not done living. She has rallied and stabilized. She went from a regular hospital room to palliative care and now to a nursing home.
At the nursing home, they are able to give my mom the physical care that we cannot do on our own as a family. She is also receiving some physical therapy. There are days where she mostly sleeps. And there are days where she is quite interactive. It is an interesting season. I came here for one thing and now it is another.
So what do we do? Flights between the United States and South Africa are very expensive so do not want to return to South Africa only to have to return soon to the United States. An active brain cancer diagnosis is not one where one would expect lots of time. And yet, my mom has proven doctors wrong time and time again.
We don’t know how this will all work. We did decide to enroll the kids in school here inthe United States so that they get some structure and stimulation. They begin tomorrow. Jon continues his Luther Seminary classes. I spend a lot of time with my mom and keep up the essentials of my job that I can do remotely. Other than that, we take it day by day. I guess that’s all we can do.