Saturday, January 11, 2014

Gene's Cancer Worsens

Gene, Mother's Day 1978
Sunday February 5, 1978

Dear Gene & Perry,

Hazel told me about Gene in a letter last night, so I called the folks here in Vernal and told them and they are all fasting and praying for her today that the Lord will grant her a blessing in the way He sees best. I know it can be very discouraging, but as your Dad always told me, "Don't get discouraged. That is the devil's tool." And I know it is hard to do sometimes.

I bawled yesterday. That old arthritis has got in my left knee so bad. This winter both knees are so stiff--made me feel real bad to have the other leg go out from under me. As long as I had one good leg, I could go and do what I pleased, but I haven't left the place since the Sunday before Christmas. And since it snowed, I haven't stepped off the porch. Yet I know my lot isn't near as hard as some others have to bear.

Hazel said your dad and mother were ok now. You have a man there in your home that really has faith and is willing to have the Lord's will to be done. I hope they can stay well. May you have peace and the blessings of the Lord with you all through this. My love to you all, Aunt Thelma [Elmer's sister]

Gene’s Testimony, June 6, 1978

I was walking through the back door to hang up some clothes today, and Father Manwaring stopped me just as I was about to go out the back door.  I could see he had something to say--something on his mind--and he said, “There were two people that I knew that their doctors said weren’t going to live anymore, and they’d given up on them--told them that they weren’t going to be able to live. One of them was an accountant, and the other one was a woman--I think maybe a relative of Grandma’s.”  He said that those two people did live, that they amazed everyone, and that they overcame the cancer conditions that they had--totally and completely amazed everybody. And he said that people do live even when doctors say that they won’t--that it can happen. And I said, “Yes, I know that’s true.  It does happen that people can be made whole and well again. Those doctors are so sure that some will not or cannot, can totally recover. I don’t know why these things happen; all I know is these things. Only the Lord knows when it’s time for people to be called home, or people to be told or shown that their lives will be extended here yet. I know that’s true.”

Pierce, Gene & Richard, June 3, 1978
I took the clothes out the back door and hung them on the clothesline. I was thinking about my blessings and the happy thoughts that have been in my mind these past few days. I wanted to be able to express something like this to Grandpa Manwaring when I came back in the house. After I finished hanging up the clothes, I came in, and I patted Grandpa on the hand.  He looked at me, and I said, “I am such a blessed person, and I am happy, and I am so content and so happy and feel so truly, richly blessed of the Lord.  I can’t help but kneel and say quickly to my Heavenly Father, ‘Thy will be done.  I will go where you want me to go dear Lord. I will do what you want me to do.’ I know the Lord’s hand is over me and His power directs all our lives. So I know that whatever happens to me, whichever way that it goes, if the Lord calls me, if I go to the other side, it will be because He did call me. And if I stay, it will also be because the Lord wants me here on this side.  Whatever it is, it will be my mission continuing here or possibly on the other side. It’s got to be good, no matter what it is. I shall rejoice whichever it is because I know it will be the Lord’s will.” I smiled at Grandpa when I said that because I wanted him to know how happy I am, and truly how I feel so content and happy about my life and the way I feel right now.  Grandma even said, looking over from the couch, “He wanted to see you smile.”  And I patted his hand again. I smiled, and he said, “You bet.  That’s the way it is.”

Yesterday, when I was lying here, I felt very, very tired.  And I was hurting--I was hurting all over because I was so tired I guess.  And I was beginning to feel something of a desperateness. I was thinking, if I am getting sicker then I’ll start feeling like this. And if I keep getting sicker, I’ll be feeling more like this all of the time.  And I started talking to the Lord, and I was saying that it seems so--I don’t know exactly how to say this--it seems so important for me to feel good.  I mean physically--I think I mean a happy, spirit kind of good. I like to feel like that is kind of the identity of my personality; maybe that when I’m happy that’s the real me. Is that right, do you think? Well, anyway, I was trying to explain, as I talked to the Lord, it’s important for me to feel good. I know it is important for everybody to feel their best, and I think it is what the Lord wants us to be is our best.

Well, I want very much to feel my best all the time. I think that’s a real important ingredient of my make-up--that I’m sort of feeling on top of things and feeling my best.  And so I was explaining to my Heavenly Father that even though here I am in this particular condition, I feel that it is very important for me to continue to feel my best, and be all I can to have myself be feeling my best. I was saying, if it’s truly this condition that’s rapidly overtaking me and overturning me, then would it be impossible Dear Lord for me to continue to feel good? And everybody’s telling me how good I look, and how good I feel, and then I was coupling those thoughts with reflecting upon my patriarchal blessing which tells me in the very last paragraph at the bottom of the page that I would have vital strength and health to the last of my days.  And if this could possibly be, and that’s what I want to happen, and I’m praying and I’m asking my Heavenly Father to help me.  Could I have this blessing?  Could it truly be that I could even be well and feeling good and looking good and maybe even beautiful to the very end to the very last day ‘til the last hours?  And I thought that something intervened, so that I know that Heavenly Father grants me my blessing and told Heavenly Father that I’m living for them, as I needed so eagerly those blessings in my patriarchal blessing. I have always been so terrifically impressed with the patriarchal blessing that was given to me and eagerly, always eagerly, looking forward to the things that would unfold to me in my life.  And as I came through my life and watching those things that were promised to me truly come about and come to pass, I know if these prayers and if these blessings that I have asked for are worthy, then the Lord is going to grant them to me. He surely will.

[Through 1978, Gene's condition worsens. Perry and Gene try to remain positive, but the cancer continues to spread. They go on several little trips to try and get Gene's mind off the pain. The following is an entry from Perry's journal:]

At Crater Lake, Oregon, June 1978

June 1978: Gene and I have had a beautiful trip to Crater Lake, Oregon.  We chose this place because we knew Gene would not be able to stand or bear a long distance drive in the car.  Here we could fly close.  We flew to Klammath Falls, then rented a car and drove to Crater Lake.  It is truly a beautiful place.  We rented a place at the Lodge and then later a cabin.  We drove around a lot, walked and took pictures--just being thankful.  We drove down along the Rogue River where there is much beautiful scenery, stopping occasionally just to enjoy it.  Gene got to feeling considerable pain on our way back to Klammath Falls.  We stopped and she took one of her pain pills.  This made her quite sleepy.  When we got to the hotel, I took her in and put her to bed and she slept for several hours.  I could do nothing but wait.  I read some and occasionally went out and wandered around.  I couldn’t concentrate on television, and didn’t want to disturb her.  Finally she awoke feeling better.  We had dinner and flew home early next morning.

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