It’s been almost two years since I started this blog with this entry:
Just a word about the Finally, then . . . title for my blog. I don’t mean for it to sound ominous. It’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek as I recall several places in the New Testament where the author invokes this “concluding statement” and then proceeds to write page after page. The fact is, we don’t know (most of us) when FINALLY will happen to our earthsuit. But, we don’t walk around with our head in the sand when symptoms appear suggesting major life-threatening conditions. So, this blog may last a few weeks, months, or years -as the Lord wills! Meanwhile, I’ll pass on some “concluding statements” you might find helpful as you run the race (or crawl the path).
Oh, and a word about HOME. I like how C. S. Lewis put it: “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” I really like his use of the word DESIRE because I’m coming to believe that what we DESIRE is the most important thing about us!
And what two years it has been. Riddled with great health for 58 years of my life and having more energy than should be legal (at least some thought so), I was alive and well!
Somewhere in the course of things my DNA misfired and decided it needed to protect my system from something so it turned my bone marrow into scar tissue and proceeded to mass-produce white cells in my spleen of all places! I’ll spare the details but I’ve been to specialists and prayer meetings and tried home remedies, essential oils, even a few non-essential things, too.
The best we could do was use an oral chemo (trans. “poison”) to kill off as many excess white cells as possible to prevent the spleen from blowing up -or whatever happens when your body has zillions too many white blood cells. It was a month-by-month chess game: I’d get blood drawn, see the big number after WBC and we’d decide how many pills I have to take every day. The next month it may be way down and I can cut back -no clear science on this.
Well, the time has come, as it does for everyone, to face the fact that the meds surrendered the fight. My surrender to that fact came this past Sunday after another trip to ER only to discover that because of the “advanced state” of my cancer, thrush (yeast infection) in the mouth and throat was “normal.” Oh, and my WBC was at 136,000 in spite of how many pills I was taking. After a week of not being able to eat because of the mouth/throat pain I lost another 12 lbs.
Do I have you fully onboard my pity train? Sorry if it sounds like the rantings of a lonely opportunist. I don’t mean it that way. It’s a soft way of leading to this:
I am officially OFF MEDS! except pain-blockers (YEA, pain-blockers!!!) I am officially on HOSPICE!! No More Hospital trips, Dr. appointments, etc.
So, what happens next? I don’t have a clue. I hope to make some calls today to folks who’ve observed this happen before to see what we might expect. I suspect that it won’t take long for those WBC’s to take over one or more of my organs, declare a coup, and bid me adieu. Days? Weeks? If it’s going to be days and nights filled with more and more pain meds, sooner sounds better to me.
Meanwhile, lift up my precious bride and our dear children. They’ll have lots of my half-baked ideas to take out, not too many nest eggs to harvest, and a whole life ahead of them.
I am eternally grateful for a heritage that includes a deeply embedded confidence that “The Lord is my Helper, what shall I fear?”
We’ll hope to get the rest of the Jesus Trilogy scheduled on the blog and then, maybe, someday, in print. At the end of the day, when it’s all been said and done, “Just give me Jesus!”
Dan and Becky,
A quick reminder of who I am (Ronda’s Cousin)… When you knew me I was a young mother of 20 in need of spiritual guidance. My daughter Kayla Suzann Mitchell took her first steps in your home in Wylie Texas, to you Dan (I believe you were teaching a particularly informative sermon from the fire place) . I had the privilege of being a part of your family for about a year, however, that year seems to have been similar to “extended release” pain meds….the lessons and wisdom you and Becky imparted to me as I watched you home school and grow a God centered family, have been internalized and lived out slowly over the last 25 years (really that long! Kayla turned 1 the July we moved out)! I have been married for 21 of those years, YES God is faithful to send what/whom we need Becky thank you for assuring me of that; and that is my prayer for you as well, God WILL SUPPLY ALL YOU NEED during this season of your life! Kayla has 3 younger siblings and 2 older step sisters. I want you to know that you impacted my life in ways that only God could convey unless I wrote a biography on this blog! In short I have gone on to get my teaching degree, graduated one home schooler and am getting ready to send my oldest son to play football and attend college at Howard Payne University. Kayla is a mom of 2 and married to a wonderful man living in Fairbanks Alaska. After 2 years of serving in the USAF, she is in the Alaska National Guard and attending U.A.F working towards a nursing degree. I give these details not to say “look what I have done” but rather to reiterate what Ronda said, you will most certainly hear “Well done my good and faithful servant”! Without your willingness (and certainly Becky’s) to pour into my life (and Kayla’s), living out the example of a Godly husband, father, and spiritual leader, my story could have been so much different! Mine is just one testimony of many that could and will be told of how God has used the Small family to influence this world for HIS kingdom. My prayers are truly with your wonderful family as you all travel this difficult journey with the grace and dignity that is such a part of your ongoing legacy!
I will leave you with some of my favorite memories of my time with you in hopes that they will bring a smile to your face:
-Jeremiah, WOW! What a legacy his short life must have left! I am forever changed from watching the video of your family reaching out to those he loved and served! My Micah is so much like him, scholarly,seeking God’s will for his life and FRUGAL LOL! I will never forget Jeremiah’s white high top tennis shoes! New and wiped daily (if he had to wear them) because they were new and he was saving them for camp!
-Matt’s Energy and the many tracks he and Jeremiah built in the school room for their mini cars!
-Sarah – such a little mother to all the others!
-Caleb and Karen- Playful babies! Karen and Kayla being taught to “take hands” during prayer! Kayla is every bit as strong willed as this time showed us she would be!
-Family reading time and pulling the TV from the attic to watch the Gulf War coverage! My favorite past time with my kids has always been reading aloud to them!
-Daily Bible reading before meals!
-Homeschool coop with Becky!
Blessings, much love, and continued prayers from the Lasater family and FBC Alvarado Texas!
Dear Dan and Becky,
It has been 5 years nearly since Katie and Sphen’s wedding, and there,we were able to barely say hello. We have been informed and praying for Dan and family. We pray God enfold you all in His loving arms.
We thank you for all the guidance and love that you poured in to children’s lives, and especially in to ours. We
see Christ in all you do.
Marianne and Gordon
Dear Family, It is a joy to know that our soul is secure in the sea of grace. Life here on earth is but a moment, but you all have walked with God through time as is. Just think of the glory, perfection that awaits! My prayers continue for all the family. May God’s comfort be rich and engulf you in His grace. Virginia Todd Selah, Wa.r
Oh, I like that: “Our soul is secure in the sea of grace.” Thank you, Virginia, for your articulate expression of a basic tenet of biblical truth, rooted in the very nature of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Your comments are humbling and sobering. Bless you and Becky as you face the parting. Please say HI to My parents. 🙂 Praying that the strong arms of Jesus will be around you as He welcomes you home and Becky as she returns to home without you.
Love to you both,
We will be praying for you all Dan. Thank you for taking your precious time to do the paraphrase. It has blessed me
Dan, it was good to see you last week at the conference, albeit for only that short chat in the elevator lobby. I enjoyed, too, some brief fellowship with your dear wife. Although I have not known you or your dear family much more than a year, I have come to experience your life and faith as a powerfully expressive paradigm of reality for sincere followers of Jesus. I, as you, have been blessed with nearly boundless energy (most days). Yet the Lord’s profound and holy “way” in your life rivets my attention (and desire, as you put it today) to a much larger story than the rhythmic pace of daily life serving Jesus. Your life story is a “new song” of Christ-centered melody and harmony, rhythm and dynamics, adding a unique motif in the Lord’s truly awesome symphony by which He will be praised for all eternity. We have much to look forward to, regardless of our temporary earthly state of health and length of life. You, brother, are serving as the Lord’s helper in preparing His people for that great day! Thank you. My prayers for you and yours increase this 30th of April 2015. Under the same feathers, Ron Bechtel, Gig Harbor, WA
Bitter sweet news Dan. I have no doubt you will hear “job well done” when you step over to the other side. You know when my youngest boy was born we were trying to come up with yet another boy name. We weren’t as creative as you guys at picking out names. So, in our quandry, we decided to name him after the most Godly man we knew on earth, and his name became Daniel….after you of course. He’s a fine man, loving husband, amazing son and much more. Thank you for everything you and Becky poured into our lives!! My heart aches for your family but I know they know full well you have imparted all you knew to them, where you will be waiting for them and that my friend will get them through their sad and lonely days. We love you guys and continue to pray. Rhonda and MiMi