Monday, July 23, 2012

True Beauty and Real Super Heroes!

This is blog about some very special people...our handsome oldest son, Jason; our beautiful daughter in law, Becca and our adorable first grandbaby, Kimber.  As you can see in the pic below, they are a lovely family.  With natural beauty.  So full of life and love.  What you can't see in the picture is just how deep that strength and beauty goes.  We're writing about them today to pay tribute to that strength and beauty that has never before been so radiant, so apparent and so very much on display in their lives as it is right now.  Let us share with you a piece of their story.  Please excuse us if we come across a bit braggadocios in the process...we are guilty as charged and we readily admit our pride and our respect for these two beautiful people and our wonderful granddaughter.

Their story began way back in their freshman year of college.  They weave their way through their respective Bachelor's degrees, decide they want to spend their lives together, hitch their wagons in April of 2005 after completing their college degrees. Jason works as a police officer, while Becca is our family computer whiz taking her talents to work each day and making the world a better place for all of us to log on.

Fast forward the clock 6 years since the wedding.  Jason & Becca decide its time to expand their family.  In September of 2011 they welcome into the world the beautiful, talented, intelligent, full of life & personality, Kimber Rose (ok, ok, remember we're the grand parents here!).  To say that she was an instant hit is an understatement.  She brought joy and pride to her parents, while grandparents have been pretty near out-of-control ecstatic with the addition of little Kimber to our lives.

In May of 2012, after having some concern about a lump discovered, Becca goes to the doctor to have it checked out.  In a whirlwind of appointments, tests, examinations and questions, and after only a few days, she is told that the lump discovered in her breast is malignant and that she now has a new enemy named invasive ductal carcinoma.  The diagnosis alone is intimidating for most people.  But Jason and Becca chose to believe for the best, embrace life and one another, and begin the fight...together.  It is predictable that at such a time as this most will have a plethora of thoughts in the privacy of their prayer closets and alone that begin with a simple "why?".  Most would assume the worst.  But we never once heard a negative word out of either one of their mouths.  Jason was strong and focused while taking on the logistics of situation, e.g., scheduling appointments, baby sitters, re-figuring finances, filling out a mountain of forms, etc.  Becca on the other hand, might have wrestled with the more ephemeral, spiritual questions that tend to arise at moments like this, but we never knew it.  She was focused on the task at hand, i.e., winning the war in which she had been cast without her permission.

So the doctors armed Becca with chemo and radiation as her weapons of warfare.  Complete with prognostications and pamphlets explaining the side effects and adverse reactions, off to war the two of them went.  Jason to the desk to fill out the insurance papers, and along side Becca while she took her place in a recliner chair positioned beside an IV drip.  Initial results have been extremely encouraging and both have engaged the battle as courageous soldiers.

On other fronts, friends and family have also taken up arms.  We are all aware that there is another weapon of warfare that the physicians could not provide...prayer!  While we could not fight the battles within the doctor's office or the drip of an IV, both Becca's family and ours understand that there is a war in the spirit realm that now includes us as well.  Now all the theology classes don't mean a thing.  All the sermons preached and statements of belief suddenly are real.  This isn't some preacher on TV making promises, this is real life.  Was Jesus' blood shed for salvation only?  What did Peter mean when he said, "by His stripes you were healed"?  All of us made a decision that Becca's diagnosis must bow and Jesus' sacrificial beatings, death and resurrection provided all the firepower Becca and Jason need for life!

Now to the best part of the story to date.  Jason, Becca and baby Kimber came to visit us this past weekend.  It was the first time we have seen them since she has been undergoing chemo.  It is the first time we have seen Becca since she has lost her hair.  We were not quite sure what to expect.  Would she be sensitive about her hair loss?  Would our boys say something embarrassing and inappropriate that would trigger emotional buttons?  How are Becca and Jason really handling all of this challenge and how can we provide some solace and encouragement for their world that has obviously been rocked over the past few months?  What we found was astonishing to us and our questions were quickly answered as the 2 entered the house.

Jason and Becca, with Kimber in arms, entered our home with a radiant glow about them.  Becca was not wearing a hat or scarf or any type of apparel that may somehow hide her battle wounds.  No, quite the opposite!  She entered the house and began talking to us immediately as a confident, poised, and secure young woman.  Throughout the weekend she spoke openly and frankly about her life and challenges.  No hesitations, no self-pity and no pessimism.  There was a notable presence of inner strength that dismisses "the normal" in favor of grace and the security of love.  I'd even say that she had a glow about her that seemed to radiate in much the same way that a woman does during the second and third trimester of pregnancy.  Instead of giving into what the world would say she should hide, Becca has embraced her own thought process.  It is a thought process that is defined by positive self-esteem, a beauty that goes well beyond how long her hair may be, and a security in one's self, spouse and God that goes way deeper than most of us will ever experience.  Rarely have we seen such a display of security and peace with one's self.  In a world defined by its 97 pound supermodels with painted makeup faces and self-esteem directly linked to their near-anorexic appearance and airbrushed hair, it was down right inspiring and refreshing to witness Becca's strength, confidence and true beauty.

Jason, on the other hand, could have been subject to the "there's-nothing-I-can-do" pity party.  No one would question that. Only thing is, he has decided not to attend!  He, no doubt, has had his moments of speculation.  Such moments make or break a person.  Jason, like Becca, has found an inner strength.  Part of it may be his strong, unshakable faith.  Part of it maybe the strength that spouses find when they realize that one can put 1000 to flight, while two can put 10,000 to flight (Deut. 32:30).  Part may be that he understands the love and strength of family.  Whatever it may be, Jason has embraced the challenge, stands strong with Becca and maintains the positive faith necessary to navigate choppy waters.

We just wanted to say how very proud we are of them.  Not everyone could travel the path as they are.  There is no sense of heaviness, only cheerfulness, optimism and life.   We sit here this morning after they left last evening, with a sense of peace, renewed optimism, faith and love that only God can provide.  But lets not forget that while He provides, God delivers the goods through people like Jason and Becca.  We are thankful for all that God is doing in their lives, as well as, ours.  We cannot wait until we hear the words, "You're cancer free!"  We know that Jesus has provided for that.  We were privileged to spend time with these 2 unique people whose inner strength and beauty transcends all worldly expectations and an energy that we found to be completely contagious!  Until we talk again, we'll just be busting at the seems!...