The Journey to Freedom

The Journey to Freedom

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Invite to Dinner!

We have been here for 18 months.  We have fed hundreds of people. Tonight we were invited out to eat.  One of our mothers in our Thursday class asked us to come to her home for dinner and meet her husband and have dinner.  It was wonderful.  I volunteered to bring desert.  She made homemade chicken enchilada that were wonderful and a delicious green salad.  She made a homemade cheese queso that was really good with chips and the enchiladas.  We knew her children but it was fun to meet her husband.  What a great family.  It is so wonderful to see happy young families.

I forgot to write something about our Gettysburg trip yesterday.  They always stop and have lunch at a buffet place.  We walked in with 31 people and they usually try and stick us out of the way which is great.  As we were leaving two ladies came up to me and said we want you to know how impressed we are with your group.  When you walked in with all those young people we thought our lunch would be ruined with noise and people budding in lines. She said we didn't even know you were there.  Those young people are so well behaved.  I told her that they were a group from Brigham Young University and I thank her for complimenting them and told her what great young people they were.  It is great to be associated with such wonderful people.

This morning before Church I found an update on Jordan Romney Robertson's husband.  We have been praying and fasting and putting her husband's name on the prayer roll for well over a year.  She posted this current update.

The end of the line

It is with a heavy heart that I write what will be the beginning of the end. 

Our hearts broke on Thursday, March 3. Jacob had an MRI in the early afternoon, and his surgeon Dr. Smith came in around 3:00 pm and told us the news.  The MRI looks terrible. There is cancer in multiple spots in both the left and right hemisphere of Jacob's brain, and it has even reached the brain stem. There is nothing more they can do.

It is surreal to live through the day you've been dreading from the beginning. Dr. Smith came in with three of his nurses, one of whom we have been especially close to for these two years. He talked to us about the next steps and answered our questions. Then he needed to leave. But before he left the room, he got emotional and expressed to Jacob what a privilege it was to be his doctor and that he just wished he could have done more. Each of the nurses hugged us and expressed their love and sympathy. In a world that is so cold and cruel, their willingness to be with us in that moment and reach out to our aching hearts as vulnerable human beings was an act of pure charity. We will always cherish our time with these wonderful, dedicated, and compassionate medical professionals who did everything they could for Jake. 

Jacob and I had some time alone after they left and just held each other and wept. Our children came down with Jacob's mom after school and we told them and wept. Jacob and his mom called his dad and wept. We called my parents that evening and wept. We communicated with our siblings late Thursday night and weep with them too. 

Because of how rapidly the growth has advanced since the January 29 surgery, the doctor expects that Jacob will probably pass away in the next month or two. The shunt seems to be of no effect, as his difficulty in speaking and moving his right side is clearly caused by advancing tumor growth. That difficulty will continue to increase.

Mercifully, GBM is not a horribly painful death. Rather, Jacob will continue to lose strength and function and begin sleeping more and more. It is a peaceful fading away.  We have communicated with hospice and will begin with their services on Monday.

We plan to have our siblings come together to visit us over two weekends in the coming two weeks. Jacob's parents will stay nearby for the duration and my parents will be available also. 

In truth, Jacob just wants to spend the rest of his days at home with me and with our children. We have found untold peace and strength as we have shared so many precious days as a family and trust that it will continue to be that way. 

I am sure there will be many things to plan, organize and orchestrate. We came home from the hospital Friday and are just getting our bearings as we take this a day at a time.

I have assumed so much of the organization of Jake's care and maintenance of our life, and for whatever time remains want only to spend my days caring for him and soaking up his presence.

As I wrote in a previous post though, there is nothing like being wrapped in the comfort of soothing words. We appreciate so much knowing of your love, your sympathy and your support. Those messages are a great lift and encouragement to us. 

Please know that although we are heartbroken, we feel a peace that is overwhelmingly calming. Before his surgery in January, I read the story in Matthew 8:24-26 where Christ entered a boat with his disciples. As a great storm arose they awoke him for fear that they would perish. He hushed the winds and the sea and there was a great calm. These verses were an answer to me. I felt that that as we proceeded with surgery there would be a great calm in his disease and Jacob would continue to live. 

But instead another miracle took place on that surgery day. I felt the vice grip of fear that, for two years, has been wrapped around my heart dissolve. The suffocating fear that has under girded this journey was swallowed up and replaced by a great calm. I no longer feel afraid. 

As we sat waiting for the MRI results, I was reading in Luke 8:22-24 the same story of Christ on the raging sea with his disciples. And as I read it this time I knew that the calm would not be in the situation. Coming events would still rage and be extremely difficult for our family. But the calm would be inside of me, and inside of Jacob, and inside of our children and inside of our loved ones.

The calm is Christ. 

So as you read this and weep, seek calm in the One and Only source that there is.

It hit me really hard.  I couldn't help crying and I have felt a little rain cloud above my head all day.  I could stop and cry at any moment.  I know Jordan but I hardly know her husband but my heart has been breaking all day.  Maybe it is the many prayers and the fasting we have invested in the hopes that Jacob could have more time with his family.  Maybe it is the baptism promise that we enter into that says we will mourn with those that mourn. What ever it is our prayers will continue for this sweet family for quite sometime to come.  Life is really hard.  


  1. That is a wonderful compliment to receive about they youth. It makes me grateful that we teach out youth to be respectful. I have thought about Jordan and her family daily. My heart still aches for them.

  2. That is great to get such a great compliment. I didn't know the Romney family that much, I knew/know who they are, but that is all. It's so sad.