Monday, November 7, 2011

Life's Ups and Downs

I apologize for the absence over the past few days. Things have been rather crazy on a personal level and I have been busy dealing with all of that. While I try to keep things lighthearted on this blog and leave all the heavy stuff out of cyber space, today I’m making an exception to the rule and am going to let you all know what’s been going on.

Last Thursday my paternal grandfather, Ben, had a bone marrow procedure; after which he stopped breathing and was put on a ventilator and placed in a drug-induced coma to keep his body from having to work too hard. My dad, aunt and I rode up to Nashville together and the situation looked grave at best. My dad and I came back home later that evening not knowing whether or not my grandfather would survive the night. It was frightening to say the least.

On Friday morning, my granddad was doing much better – off of the ventilator and out of the coma and was sitting up in a chair and talking. He was still a little foggy when it came to details and whatnot but for the most part it was nothing short of what to us seemed to be a miraculous recovery. God answers prayer, people! My dad went up on Friday by himself and came back again that evening and said he wouldn’t have believed it if he had not seen it with his own eyes.

As it turns out, my grandfather has a bacterial infection, and has had for some time that caused his heart to stop and for him to stop breathing. It’s the same bacterial infection that my cousin, Bennett, had a while ago and caused him a great deal of pain and misery. Something in the Parker gene pool perhaps? The doctors are now treating the bacterial infection (no, I can’t remember the name; in fact, I’m not sure I was told) and with any luck, my granddad will be back to bossing my grandmother around as if nothing ever happened.

The other event that affected our family also happened on Friday and has to do with my brother. Many of you who read this blog (oh, who am I kidding only people I know read this blog), know me personally and know the struggles my brother has had with addiction over the years. This past August, he moved in with my parents as a last ditch effort to help him overcome his addiction and get on the right path.

As far as anyone knew, he was doing really well. You have probably seen on this blog where he and I spent a lot of time together over the past few months and it was really great to have a sober, functioning and reliable sibling for a change. For the first time in what feels like an eternity I allowed myself to hope – to hope that Justin would overcome his addiction and find the willpower within him to continue to turn his back on the daily temptations in his life. Hope – it’s a dangerous emotion.

On Friday, Justin went to see his probation office and failed a drug test because earlier in the week he had stolen two pain pills and taken them. Once again, hope was shattered. He is now in jail, awaiting sentencing for violation of his parole. He will be headed back to prison for as many as six years, more likely three with good behavior. It’s a crushing blow and one that is very hard to put into words. I told Jackie this weekend that I think I should write a book about being the sibling of an addict – it wouldn’t be an easy breezy read, that’s for sure.

As I said, I usually don’t write about this sort of thing on the blog, because who wants to stop by here and get all depressed, plus everyone else has problems of their own and really don’t want to hear about the problems my family is dealing with; but this time, I wanted to share for a couple of reasons. One, I would like you to remember my brother in your prayers. Pray for his safety while in prison and pray that he might one day be able to truly overcome his addiction and live a sober and full life. Secondly, I ask that you pray for my parents as well because those two have suffered more heartbreak than should be possible in this world. Each time my brother screws up, I see both of them age because it literally takes the life out of them and either he doesn’t realize or doesn’t care; either way it’s sad. We will now have to spend another set of Thanksgivings, Christmases, New Years, and birthdays without Justin around. It’s a heavy load for our hearts to bear. I know the Lord will not give us a burden that is too large to bear but at the same time, it doesn’t necessarily make things easier. We will all get through this time, but it won’t be without some difficulty and tears and I just ask that when you say a prayer, remember us Parkers from time to time. And while you’re at it, go ahead and lift one up for my granddad as well. He is already doing so much better but a little prayer goes a long way.

Again, I’m sorry for all the seriousness on here today. I figured some of you might be wondering why it was that Justin was around a lot and then not at all. I’ve pledged to be nothing but honest in life and that goes for the things I say on here too. Thanks for stopping by and I promise to be back tomorrow with something a lot lighter and more cheerful.


Candy said...

Love you girl! Will be praying for your whole family. Glad to hear your Grandad is doing better. I'll be thinking of you and your parents.

Kimberly Washer said...

Praying!!! Love you!!!!

Jackie said...

I feel your pain in more ways than many could ever understand. Watching the pain a parent goes through when they have exhausted all efforts yet continue to help when the afflicted no longer wants it is one of the most painful experiences I have ever witnessed. You are a constant thought and we are truly sisters because God knew we would battle the heartache of watching our brothers succumb to a disease that has no cure but we will always hope for recovery.

Erika said...

I am so sorry that you are dealing with so much right now.
I will definitely keep Justin and all your family in my prayers.
Glad your grandaddy is doing better and will pray for his continued recovery.
I am thinking of you, friend.

Alison said...

I'm so sorry Natasha. I remember when Justin was in and out of our college age group. He was always such a personality. Also, I've watched my uncle go from being a happy, functioning married father to letting alcohol turn him into a wreck that doesn't even know where his wife or daughter lives. He barely scrapes by on what should be a decent pension and Social Security because he drinks so much. He might even be in jail right now, we don't even know. He will occasionally call my mom, but that's it. When his own mother, my grandmother, died, no one knew how to find him to tell him. So, I don't say this to discourage you and I'm sorry if it does, but I say it to tell you that I know how terribly hurtful addiction can be to those around the addicted.

I'll be thinking of you and I'm so glad your grandfather is doing better. Take care!

Lisa said...

I'm sorry to hear that! I know your whole family must be having a difficult time. I'll be praying for you all. Love ya!

Melissa said...

So sorry to year all of this. I will definitely be praying for your family!! Love you, girl!