Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Pray for Ronnie!

Before I was born, Ronnie and Darla Lorenz and Sam and Judy Thomas became friends. As time progressed, babies were born and a life-long friendship was deepened. Almost every memory I have of growing up in church involves the Lorenzes. We even vacationed together. Crazy antics ensued. We were in and out of each other's homes almost every weekend. Darla ended up being my father's administrative assistant for years in the Abilene School System. Ronnie calls me "son". I call him "Pop" or "Dad". Darla, still to this very day, calls me "Fred"...a story that dates back to when I was in middle school and auditioned to be Friedrich Von Trapp in "The Sound of Music".

When I was 14 years old my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I still remember the car ride around town with Ronnie as he carefully tried to explain everything that was happening with my dad. My dad would live another 7 years. The jokes, the antics, the weekends together, the laughter with the Lorenzes never stopped. Dad still played jokes almost daily on Darla at school. And all four of them would sit and would talk about their hopes for Robyn, Brooke and me. Ronnie and Darla were there in those last moments of my father's the very night he died.

Years later, on the weekend of our wedding, it was Ronnie who stood at our rehearsal dinner and spoke in place of my father. He also read scripture during our wedding (and it was the wrong one...which still cracks me up). As Maddie, Ella and Sam were born they were introduced to the world of Nanny and Ahbaba. Nanny (Darla) still had a box of things my dad liked to use for practical jokes. They helped keep his memory alive and have helped them know my dad.

In moving back to Abilene, one of the greatest parts of each Sunday is seeing Ronnie. Every single Sunday I can count on hearing, "Hey, Son!" And I would respond, "Hey, Pop!" I know right where to look while leading worship and see this couple who are more a part of my life and heart than I could ever describe.

Last Thursday, while I was still in Nashville, Ronnie suffered a massive heart attack. I got the call from Brooke that they were taking him to the ER and just froze...feeling every one of the 844 miles that separated me from that ER...from Ronnie, Darla, Robyn, Brooke and my mom and family. As I arrived back home Friday, Sheryl, the kids and I hurried to the hospital to see him.

It's been 6 days since his heart attack. He is still in CCU and showing signs of improvement. He opens his eyes and can squeeze your hand. He seems to recognize us. But there's really no way to know what's going on in there. None of us can know. So....we wait. We wait without real concrete answers. We wait hoping for miracles. But, as Brooke has reminded us several times, either way, God wins.

Life would be so much easier if things would just happen on a predictable schedule and with predictable results. But, as I think back over the things I've learned in life...some of the hardest lessons have come through times of uncertainty. So, what beauty is there in uncertainty? For me, I have to find the things that ARE known. Knowing that God is a good Father and He's with us. Understanding that one day God will restore ALL that is broken...this is worth waiting on.

That's about all I know...except that even through this heart wrenching week there have been many moments of laughter. Memories shared, tears shed, hugs given, hands held. This is what life looks like in community and I am so grateful to Ronnie, Darla, my mom and dad for living it out all these years. It's why friends mean so much to me as an adult...I'm convinced of it. They proved and continue to prove the value of lives shared in good times and in bad.

I'll leave you with some little gems I've found over the last few days and just ask that you pray for Ronnie. You can also follow his CaringBridge by clicking here

1 comment:

judy thomas said...

Babe, this is sweeter than I can even say--you are right--I do not know I would have done without my Lorenz friends--you are right about it all; and with God's help we will have many more years of antics and joy.