On Eagle's Wings

On Eagle's Wings
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Second Chances

Twenty-seven years ago found me in some dark, hard places of life. Having recently been widowed, and with my mother suffering in another state with the worst stages of her cancer, I felt so alone. With the loss of my husband, I had given up hope of ever having a family, and now this: my brother was diagnosed with lymphoma and a very grim prognosis. But,

The point of walking with God

is to

keep on walking

Fast forward two years!
I met my future husband and, in the middle of that budding relationship, learned that my brother was a good candidate for a bone marrow transplant! Great news!
And even better news: I'm the perfect candidate to be his donor!

July 5, 1987 - After my sad good-byes to Jay, off I go from Dallas to Seattle, where the transplant would take place. My brother and his wife, Susan, along with their 2 year old toddler, Chase, had traveled there on a road trip a few days before from Tulsa, Oklahoma and met me at the airport.
What I remember that day: It was cloudy and, brrrrr, 57 degrees. 
Chase had a flower to present to me, and, after driving around Seattle, I saw the apartment where we would live, along with other residents in the building who were experiencing the same process.
Phil and Suz at our little apartment in Seattle

The magnitude of all this is too much for this little blog. And, after pondering it the last few days, it would require many pages to tell it all. But what stands out is that every time we turned around, God was hearing the prayers of many and doing something wonderful for our little family far from home.

"It was the worst of times - it was the best of times." It was a scary time for all of us, and the loved ones we left at home, but we took time to enjoy our stay in Seattle and explore the great Northwest before the transplant process would take place. We had some fun seeing the sights.

Chase checking out the gorge

Jay and I on Mopeds

The Real Journey Begins

Bone marrow transplants are pretty common these days,
and I don't know the current statistics for survival, but I do know that too often,
we would return to our little apartment building to see a family packing up and leaving Seattle.
Some departed with great enthusiasm about their return.
For many who left, they would be returning home with one less family member.
Family, Friends, Church ... we experienced one blessing after another throughout this valley.

The Day of Release
Freedom ... and Reunion with Susan and Chase

Thankfully, my brother's transplant was a success and he is still around and doing fantastic.
To our dismay, our precious Mother left this world while we were there. We know she is with the Lord and rejoiced at her graduation, but still ...

Second chances: my brother got one in life,
and he and Susan just celebrated 35 years of marriage.
Don't they look even better these days?

Their son Chase is now a Captain in the U. S. Army and training for Special Ops.

Me, the one who so desperately wanted to give life finally had the opportunity to be an instrument in God's hands to give life to my dear brother, Phil.
Phil, Susan and Chase

Two very fine men

So much to give thanks for. Thank You, Father. You are great!
You really do miracles so great! There is no one else like You.

The End of the Story? No.
Married to Dear Heart Jay that year,
and along with that came Sara and Jason.
My blessings. :-) My family.

The family God has blessed me with.
Not the greatest picture,
but you get the picture.


Judy Martin Bowyer said...

Connie, I love this story! I have heard you talk about this experience, but it comes to life here through your expression of feelings and the good use of photos. Thanks so much for sharing this life-changing experience.

Sweet Tea said...

That is AMAZING! Totally amazing.
Your story is one of great faith and answered prayer.
Your family is beautiful and I'm so glad your brother and his wife are doing well. Chase? WOW! He grew up "good"! LOL

Joyce said...

I'm visiting from Sweet Tea today. I loved this post and your perspective. Sadly I know too well the risks associated with transplant as my sweet niece passed away this year after battling leukemia. she had an anonymous donor since there were no siblings. So glad your brother was given the very precious gift of life.

Welcome to blogging!

Shelly said...

Oh, I LOVED this! Really helps to put things in perspective. I'm visiting from Sweet Tea and I'm a new follower, too. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts! God bless you richly~

Linda Chapman said...

Everyone has a story and I LOVE yours!! I am now your 'newest' follower! Looking forward to getting to know you!!

Say What? said...

BEAUTIFUL story. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to visiting you often.

Bobbi said...

This is such a beautiful story! So glad to have found your blog!!

Nonnie said...

Joyce, I am really sorry to hear about your niece. My Mom also died of leukemia after having suffered with it too long. Cancer is cruel.

Nonnie said...

Thanks to all of you for dropping by. I am looking forward to following you too - (I kind of have already been following you through Sweet Tea's blog)!

Anonymous said...

I am visiting you via my "sweet tea" friend. Thank you for sharing that beautiful post. It is truly inspirational. Bless you.


Suzanne McClendon said...

{{{Hugs}}} Your story makes my heart cry, both sad and happy tears. I am happy that you were able to help your brother, but so sorry about your husband and your mama. So much all at once...I am glad that you have faith in Heavenly Father and that He saw you through these difficult times. {{{Hugs}}}