Over the past several months, I & several of my siblings have been busy compiling photographs, old & ( relatively ) new for a slideshow presentation for our parents 50th anniversary celebration next month. It has been quite a chore ( still not done ), but it has been a real trip as well, down memory lane!
As we prepare for for this celebration, it is with tears in our eyes, and grief in our heart that we struggle on while our dear brother lays in a hospital bed, stricken with a very aggressive form of leukemia! His family, while reeling from this hardship, found out that they would have to abandon their home and most of their belongings ( even the clothes off their backs ). Health inspectors found that, because of bat guano in the eaves & attic, along with dangerous mold in the basement, the house had become so toxic to them that it must be condemned!
Aside from all this, preparing the photographs for the slideshow has been rather a joy! These photographs, most of which had to be first scanned into a computer, were then uploaded to a Picasa web-album, so that I on this end could download them ( and in many cases 'crop' them ). Going through all of these pictures was almost like visually recounting all the joys that we have experienced in our growing up as Shank Children!
Our father & mother ( may God bless them with a long life ) are by no means typical parents! Although they had their struggles like any normal couple, because of the Love & Faith of our Heavenly Father, they persevered and are ready to celebrate 5o years together in a few weeks!
On a happier note, our brother seems to be responding well to his treatment ( mostly because of his faithful attitude, I believe ), and is looking forward, after a month in the hospital, to rejoining his family in a new ( but temporary ) house!
Both he & his family have been receiving much support, both emotional & financial from all corners, and so it is with great joy that we rejoice with them as they prepare to enter into a new sort of life, hopefully with these events firmly behind them! No prognosis yet ( that we have heard ) on the continuing effects that this illness will have, but we can be pretty sure that it will take its toll, to whatever extent, on him & his family.
We have every confidence, however, since our Heavenly Father is still in the healing business, that he will overcome this and all difficulties to come, as he & they persevere in the enjoyment of His Kingdom!
As we continue our preparations in the midst of our sufferings, we are all looking forward to seeing ALL of our friends & family, when we come together in just a few short weeks to celebrate, not just Dad & Mom's glorious 5o years together, but Life itself, that Glorious Plane of existence in & through our Gracious & Merciful Heavenly Father, and His Son!
Charles Haddon Shank