10 June 2015


Two-fer (twofer, two fer, 2-fer, etc.) is short for "two for one." It can refer to: Buy one, get one free, a discount sales promotion offering two items for the price ...

Today can only be described as a 'twofer'.

Russ has had a very rough week but yesterday saw him far more clear-headed and able to eat. He managed to take a short walk into the garden and made a few business calls. Great. Really good.

We had every confidence that this morning he would be even stronger. Today we faced a long car ride to Plattekloof to see Dr Spies for a 2 hour intensive assessment. The ride was uneventful; no traffic and Russ felt fine.

The appointment was inspiring, educational - everything we could have hoped for short of 'the magic bullet'.

The journey home was not good. Russ became increasingly nauseous and uncomfortable. I had to pull over and the unfolding events were traumatic and left us both panicked and fearful. Thankfully I was only 10 minutes from home at the time.

The afternoon was awful for him. Awful for us to see him struggle.

Tears. Our tears, the kids tears. My folks and the tribe all gathered to pray for him.

My prayers - messy, desparate and mildly rebellious.

My mom's prayer - strong and searching.

There was tenderness in the trauma.

Within minutes Russ was relieved of his pain. His vomiting stopped. His nausea dissipated. By this evening he was animated and 'eating like a bird' but eating something nonetheless.

And so the ride continues.

Up and down.

Joy and sorrow.

Two sides of the same coin.


02 June 2015

The Real Deal

Things became very messy on a recent car trip. Or just very real.

The kids and I were on our way to the hospital to see Russell last week. There was some Christian cd playing and the lyrics (that normally are so encouraging and faith-building) just set my brain on FIRE. And not in a good way.

I turned the music off and began a rant of note at God. Seriously, He and I had words. Serious words. No holding back from my side whatsoever. Tired, I was. Tired of all the platitudes and endless songs full of hope, joy, mercy and unfailing love.

My three kids sat in stunned silence. I turned the music back on and carried on driving. Within seconds I was compelled to turn it off once again.

'Any of you kids have anything you would like to say to God right about now?'


'You sure? He knows what you're thinking anyway.'

*shaking of heads*


I reach to turn the music back on.

'Wait! I have something to stay to Him!'

'Sure, buddy - go ahead - say what you feel.'

"Stop it!"
"Is this what we deserve?"

I did not even try to answer any of his questions.

This is my son who I catch with silent tears running down his cheeks.
My son who will not allow me to hold him when he is sad.
My son who insists he is FINE when he is hurting.

Finally he is opening up his heart to me and to God to ask these hard questions. He didn't even need me to answer them.

He just needed to vent to the only One who can graciously take our pain and give us the strength to keep going regardless of whether we ever find the answers.