As I write this post, my cousin, Doug, is in surgery to remove a tumor from his trigeminal nerve. The tumor is right in the center of his head between his brain and his brain stem. It is serious stuff and all of your prayers on his behalf would be greatly appreciated.
Doug's surgery started at 9:18 a.m. and will probably last 6 to 8 hours. They will biopsy the tumor, but right now the doctors are pretty confident it is benign. The main concern is that he could have permanent double vision and hearing loss. The doctors are not sure if the feeling will come back in his face and there is the possibility that the pain could get worse, which seems . So, please, please, please...offer up prayers for his health and for there to be no complications. These doctors are good, but God is better and is in charge right now.
Doug has obviously been on my mind a lot lately, and it has taken me on a trip down memory lane. Doug is my oldest cousin and we are 11 years apart. (I am the youngest of the family.) In between the two of us are his three younger sisters and then my older brother. The six of us spent our summers at my Grandparents farm in Nebraska and we sort of grew up with each other. We played together, put on programs with crazy skits together, worked together, had adventures together, teased each other and fought with each other. I think that we would all say that we love each other very much. My cousins seem more like siblings than cousins to me. I have spent my life idolizing each and every one of them as well as my brother, all for different reasons.
I can vividly remember hearing my cousins and older brother sing all the words to THE most popular songs of the late 70's and early 80's and getting so frustrated with myself because I didn't know the words and had a hard time even understanding what the words to the songs actually were. I thought that they were so cool, and I wanted to be cool just like them. I only cared about knowing the words because they did. (Looking back it is kind of frightening that this mattered to me, but you can't reason with a pre-teen girl.) I also remember how I was in awe of Doug because he was soooo adventurous. He would try anything, and I was always a little more on the cautious side (otherwise known as the boring kid). Now I have Nathan who reminds me of Doug on almost a daily basis!
As all of us have grown older and started our own families, we just don't get to see as much of each other as I would like. They are all still some of my greatest heroes -- still for different reasons but now also for some of the same reasons. Over the years, my reasons for admiring them have obviously changed. It is not so much about the fact that they know the words to all the songs or will try just about anything anymore. It is now about the character that they show during tough times. With Doug, it is about the way he jokes to keep everybody from worrying about him. It is also about the way they love their kids and how they are raising them to be servants of God. All of my cousins and my brother have seen a lot of good times and a lot of hard times, but they have all upheld the knowledge that God would see them through and be by their sides during the good and the bad.
On this blog, I have shared my boys' favorite superheroes, so now it is time for me to share some of mine. Doug, Sandra, Jane, Linda, and Steve, you are all my superheroes. You have been since the day I was born. Thanks for all you that you have taught me and continue to teach me! Mom and Judy and Larry, you guys were the ones who taught these guys how to use their super powers and become these superheroes. Thanks even more to you!
And for everyone else out there reading this, be sure to tell your superheroes thanks today!