The last two weeks have been among the most difficult of my 41+ years. Someone said it's like an emotional rollercoaster, but I feel more like it's an emotional climb of Mt. Everest.
On August 6th, my parents made an emergency return from their mission in Peru. A few days later, my father was diagnosed with a malignant pancreatic tumor. To complicate matters, the tests that were performed to assess the tumor resulted in an extremely severe case of pancreatitis that caused most of my Dad's organs to not function properly. As a a result, 5 of the 14 days my Dad has been in the hospital were spent in the ICU.
At this point, we still don't when my Dad will be strong enough for surgery. And it won't be until after the surgery that we know the extent of the tumor that is in my Dad's pancreas and bile duct.
But even during this incredible challenge, there have been many sweet moments.
When I've been alone in the hospital room with my Dad, we've had very special father-daughter talks. He has shared with me his testimony, thoughts and beliefs. At times, the Spirit is so strong I feel more like I'm in the temple than a hospital.
I had the privilege of being at the hospital when Elder Russell M. Nelson unexpectedly walked in the room, spoke with Dad, and gave him a Priesthood blessing. It was an amazing experience.
There have been other moments when I've been in tears at my home, or the office, or in my car, and the Spirit has calmed me almost immediately so I can carry on with the things I need to do.
And I've had the privilege of reading the many guestbook messages posted on this website http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/cliffordwhetten along with other emails to my Dad and Mom. I've always known they are wonderful people, but to read how Dad and Mom have touched the lives of so many others has been a blessing.
I have had many friends, neighbors, co-workers and extended family members offer me their support. Your kinds words and sweet acts have lifted me up when I've felt sad. Thank you.
My husband continues to be a rock, and wonderful support to me. And my girls are understanding that their Mom is going through a rough time.
Although this is an incredibly difficult experience, I have been truly blessed. I have learned a lot about myself in the last two weeks. My testimony of the Plan of Salvation has been strengthened. And I have come to know what it means to have the Comforter in my life.
I am thankful.