It's not often you see me write posts like this one. I'm not very good at it and I'm not sure how to do it. There's no fancy terms for what I have to say. So I'll just say it. Yesterday I was writing on my blog about the funny things I did at the office to pass the time. Today I'm in a wholly different world.
My father is dying of cancer and his family needs help. Its not an overdramatization, simply the truth I have been forced to come to terms with in the last 30 minutes. I'm writing this while I'm still able to... I've tried to start this three times already and can't seem to get the words out right. Janet called me half an hour ago and asked if I'd read the news on Caring Bridge, where Becky writes updates about my Dad's health. One hour ago I thought my Dad was doing ok.. was going to be better... now I think I'm finding out that he really might die. I go from blurry eyed to bursting into tears and can't seem to tell when its going to hit me. It's like its not real except for in small moments of lucidity and I'm trying not to break down. I don't know how to handle this. Anyway, none of that is important. I'm not writing about me. I'm writing to ask for your help with my Dad and his family.
My father is 60 years old and lives in the mountains of Georgia with his wife Becky and my little sisters, Tasha and Tommie-Lynn. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer about three years ago and the short story is; they told him he was cured. Two years later he went to the doctor due to minor pains and shortness of breath only to find out the cancer had returned with vengeance. This last year has been a tremendous strain on him, on the family, and on all of us who love him. He went to one doctor who told him he had no hope except chemo, and then went to another who told him he had plenty of hope without chemotherapy. I'm not a doctor, but you can read the entire story on CaringBridge.org (see details below).
My father is one of the last true craftsmen in the world, a carpenter who still works wood in the old ways. He started teaching me these skills before I was old enough to hold a hammer like his father taught him. At this rate, I don't know that my daughter, his grand-daughter, will get to enjoy the memories I have from sharing his life. I lost my grandfather when I was a little older than she is now, and I remember every day how much I missed out by not having him around in my life. I don't want to go through life without my father too, and I don't want my daughter to go through it yet either. Our lives are measured in a finite number of years, I know that. I'm just not ready to accept that God wants that from him yet. There is still love and strength left in him to share. I know there is.
His business has suffered greatly over the last two years. The extreme fatigue and medical procedures have taken their toll on his work schedule and his ability to provide for the family. With no one to work in the shop, there is quite simply no way to generate the income necessary to afford the medical bills, pay the regular bills, and keep the farm running. The family has already pawned what can be pawned, sold what can be sold, and is trusting in God to help them get through this horrible crisis.
I believe firmly in God, and I have seen Him do some amazing things within my lifetime. I also believe that God gives us skills for a reason, gives us ways to make ourselves better for a reason, ways to help others for a reason. My skill is this... the Internet. I don't know what else to do, so I'm going to use this one skill I have in abundance to put this on the Internet and ask for your help. I'm going to post this anywhere and everywhere I can. I'm going to ask anyone who has the know-how to do the same. If you want to post this on your blog, do it. If you want to email the link, do it. Whatever you can do to help, just please do it.
The plain and simple truth of it is that his family needs financial support. If they don't get something going soon, they're going to lose the power at the house as well. I'm not exaggerating for the purpose of tugging at your heart strings and I'm not making any of this up. I'm just not capable of that kind of deception. This is the only way I know how to ask the whole world at once for help.
Here's the deal:
There is a PayPal donate button below. That button doesn't have a dollar amount beside it that I'm asking you to donate. It doesn't have a requirement. No one but me will ever know how much you give and I'm only going to be thankful for every dollar that comes in. Each week, maybe even each day, I'm going to dump the PayPal account and send the money to Becky for bills, for keeping the lights on so the kids can have power, for putting gas in the truck to go to the store, and to help pay for the extraordinary costs of his treatments. The drugs are extremely expensive and the effect they have on his body is almost as debilitating as the cancer itself, making work almost impossible.
If you can give one dollar, five dollars, or one hundred dollars... it's all appreciated and it's all a blessing to the family. This money isn't going for anything except caring for my dad and helping our family fight to keep him alive. If you want to donate, but want some sort of guarantee where the money is going, feel free to ask me. I'll give whatever you need if it will get help for my Dad. You don't have to have paypal to donate. Everyone reading this has a credit card, debit card, or paypal account I'm sure. Paypal accepts all forms of payment.
If You Want More Information:
My stepmother Becky is posting on Caring Bridge almost daily with the updates from the doctor, with news, and with requests to be in your prayers. If you want to read the site, simply go to http://www.caringbridge.org and enter "tommyjordan" (with no spaces) in the search box. I'm not sure why you can't just go directly to the page, but you have to search to see it the first time. After your first visit, it seems to remember your preferences. If you want, you can subscribe to updates and you'll get a notice whenever something new happens on the site. Becky has been real faithful about putting new updates on the site as often as she can, usually a few times per week.
You can help in other ways too:
Put the donation code on your site, or blog:
The code for the paypal link is very easy to use. If you want to help by putting this donation and a request on your blog or web site, I will be happy to send you the instructions to do so. It takes only a moment of your time and will help spread the word. Leave a comment on this post or email me and I will give you the code you need.
You can pray for him
I've seen God do things people say aren't possible. I've seen it first hand in my life. Science is a wonderful thing, but I believe the gift of being a doctor, the gift of inventing technology to improve life, all comes from God. Maybe science can save my Dad, but doctor's don't think so at this point. They think its too late for chemotherapy to save him. It's not too late for God to save him. It's never ever been too late for God to save anyone. I don't know if He will, or if He will choose to let my Dad pass from this world sooner than I would like, but I know the power is there. God listens to prayer everyday, every night, from each of us. Take just a moment to ask God to work a miracle for my family. Ask God to allow Tommy Jordan, Jr to share our world a little longer, to spend more time with his kids, to get to know his grand children better, to give him the time to be with his family in health and in sound-body, to use his God-given skills to provide for his family, and just to be here with us. Please. If you want to leave your prayers with the family, you can do so on the Caring Bridge web site. Refer to the instructions above if you need to know how to find the site.
One last request from me:
I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to ask this... I guess I'll just ask you to pass this on. Send it to whomever you can. Email them the link, post it in a forum if you think it will help, just please spread the word. I don't know how well this post will circulate, but I'll keep it at the top of my website for as long as I need to.
I can't think of anything else to say. I'm asking for your help for my Dad. Please help if you can. Please feel free to leave your comments below.