Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Buried Grief - My Unresolved Pain

As much as I've open up my entire heart and nearly shared each of my grief walk's feelings with all of you here, reading PapAmore ... to that same extent ... I have purposely left out much of my life's story.

Grief multiplies grief ... and with each new grief it seems you must also relive each past grief as well.
Or such has been, for the most part, my own personal experience.

There's something I feel like I should share here ... because I can no longer ignore what I feel is PapAmore's encouragement to do so.

But it is so hard to do so ... to have someone else read, and thus decide to trust them with,  even the mere general words I've above written here ... terrify every part of me.

But as PapAmore bestowed upon myself so much of the strength and encouragement to push through then, I know he'll also help me continue to push through now too.

But ...... I'm not sure how to share this, I don't even know how nor where to start ... for so long bottling this thing of which I speak up seemed to be the only to live through and with it.

There was a day ... when my heart stopped singing
There was a time ... when my inner light extinguished
This was the day the hope within my soul truly burned out.

One of my fears is that however I write this, it will be wrong ... and however I say this, it will come across wrong.  If I talk too much about me while sharing my experience ... surely I'll come across as self-centered.  If I say too much about the devastation this life event has caused ... surely I'll come across as damaged for life, a redeeming worthless cause.  If I don't say enough ... surely I'll be sugar counting things and if I say too much ... surely I'll seem still obsessed with it all.

Which leaves me with ... either taking another 18 years trying to figure out the best way to share my story ... or ... to just let my inner life-script just spill out ...

It's coming up on eighteen years since I've last spoken with my best friend, Ben.

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

Monday, August 15, 2011

Parenting Lesson by Papa - Never Give Up

Papa, I'm thankful for so many things about you. Most of all for your spiritual guidance which was always evident in every aspect of your parenting. You've left us with such an awesome legacy and parental example. Of which both blesses and at times overwhelms me as your child. Blessed by the guide you've given as to what to do yet overwhelmed at times by feeling like I'll in reality never fully be able to live up to it ... ;) To be honest, I've personally found parenting to often be that time of your life when you're assumed to be at a place of life knowledge where you now know the most but personally have come to find out that in reality you've reached the lifepoint where you know the least. :S But, I'll keep trying - thanks too for teaching me how to never give up - I use that one a lot. xoxoxoxo
For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Whisper of Hope I Long to Hear

I still hear you whisper His hope into my ear ... you never really left us, you never really will ...

And while I slowly inch my way towards somewhat being able to minutely understand His plan ... my heart still misses our Papa, my thoughts at times still pester me with what ifs and if only.

I miss your laugh, I miss your teasing, your goofy just like me. Our inside jokes and endless banter, the dumb humor that often only we could see.

I miss the walks, your midafternoon "pop-ins". I miss having sparkling clean windows, recently fresh coats of paint, an impeccably swept front porch and neatly edged yard.

I miss your oil change reminders (oh my word, I think I'm past due), your put it in perspective talks.

I so painfully much miss the way you loved and cared for my girls ... that's what hurts the most of all ... that's what I know I'll never get - why were they jipped out of so many years with you? How ever can I even begin to pass on to them all that you have given to me?

Please whisper His hope to me again, Papa?

I miss life without you missing.

Whispering Hope lyrics

Soft as the voice of an angel
Breathing a lesson unheard
Hope with a gentle persuasion
Whispers a comforting word

Wait till the darkness is over
Wait till the tempest is done
Hope for the sunshine tomorrow
After the shower is gone

Whispering hope
Oh, how welcome, thy voice
Making my heart
In its sorrow rejoice

If in the dusk of the twilight
Dimmed be the region afar
Willn't deepening darkness
Brighten the glimmering star

Then when the night is upon us
Why should the heart sink away?
When the dark midnight is over
Watch for the breaking of day

Whispering hope,
Oh, how welcome, thy voice
Making my heart
In its sorrow rejoice

Whispering hope,
Oh, how welcome, thy voice
Making my heart
In its sorrow rejoice

(Thank Donald Ross for the reminder of the hope whispered from Him ... praying with that hope that your missing son will soon be found -

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Have Thy Own Way, Lord ~ So Sang Your Life

You didn't just sing this song - you lived these lyrics ... you've given us so much - more than enough to truly and completely still have you here.

Thanks for pointing us towards Him ... see you in heaven, Papa ... xoxoxoxo

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July Fireworks - Bitterweet Beauty Without You Here

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Questions for AML Patients to ask their Doctors

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

General Questions
What type of AML do I have? What does it mean to have this variant of the disease?
Do you know how quickly it is likely to progress?
Can I enroll in a clinical trial? How would this affect the quality of my treatment?
What is the recommended treatment for my stage of AML?
If I don't have insurance coverage, what are my options?
Which center would be able to provide the best treatment for my leukemia?
Are there any other options besides a bone marrow transplant?
When should I start treatment?
If I have this treatment, what are my chances of survival?
If I have treatment, will my AML return?
What are the results of the cytogenetic testing?
What are the results of the immunophenotyping?
What can I do to lower my risk of infection during chemotherapy?
Can the leukemia spread once I am on chemotherapy?

After Induction Therapy
Are blasts present?
Do I have any infections?
What is my prognosis? Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to improve my prognosis?
Are blood counts returning to normal levels?
Has complete remission been achieved?
Why do I need more treatment after I achieve remission?

For Chemotherapy
What are the names of the drugs that will be used?
How many treatments will I need? Can I go home afterwards?
What will I feel like after my treatments? Work? Children?
What are the possible side effects of these treatments? Will my hair fall out? Will I be nauseous? Will I be exhausted? Will I get mouth sores?
Is there anything I can do to lessen the side effects?
If I am taking chemotherapy, can I eat all kinds of foods?
Will chemotherapy affect my sex life?
Will chemotherapy affect my chances of getting pregnant and having a normal baby? OR
Will chemotherapy affect my chances of fathering a child?

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

What is Non-Hospice Palliative Care?

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Now THAT'S (Pap)Amore!

Lol, this a good photo of how I most remember you - a permanent fixture in my mind's eye and core of my heart.

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

happy papa's day, dad ... xoxo

We will never out grow you and will carry you with us always ...

"Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes." ~Gloria Naylor

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

In Older AML Patients, Decitabine Showed Survival Advantage Over Standard Therapies

CHICAGO—In a Phase 3, multicenter trial involving patients ≥65 years who were newly diagnosed with de novo or secondary acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the cytosine nucleoside analog decitabine (DAC) demonstrated an overall survival advantage over standard therapies, including physician's advice (treatment choice [TC]) of supportive care or low-dose cytarabine (AraC), according to data presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's 2011 Annual Meeting.

Xavier G. Thomas, MD, from the Hospital Edouard Herriot, Lyon, France, and colleagues performed a randomized, controlled, open-label trial that enrolled 485 patients with poor- or intermediate-risk cytogenetics, and ECOG PS 0–2. They were randomized to either supportive care (n=28) or 20mg/m2 AraC SQ once daily for 10 consecutive days, every 4 weeks (n=215) or DAC 20mg/m2 as a 1-hour IV infusion once daily for 5 consecutive days, every 4 weeks (n=242). The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). Additional endpoints were complete remission rates, safety, event-free survival, and relapse-free survival.

The results showed that patients randomized to DAC had a median duration of treatment of 4.4 months versus 2.4 months for those on the TC arm. The protocol-specified final analysis with 396 (81.6%) deaths showed a statistically nonsignificant but favorable trend for increased OS for patients treated with DAC, with a median survival of 7.7 months vs. 5.0 months in the TC arm; HR: 0.85, 95% CI [0.69–1.04]; P=0.108. When censored for disease modifying therapy, there was a significant improvement in OS for patients treated with DAC, with a median survival of 8.5 months vs. 5.3 months in the TC arm; HR: 0.80, 95% CI [0.64–0.99]; P=0.044.

An updated unplanned OS analysis with 446 (92%) deaths showed the same median survival with strengthened, albeit nominal evidence of the DAC effect (P=0.037) (0.82, 95%CI [0.68–0.99]). The secondary endpoint of complete remission (CR) + complete remission in the absence of total platelet recovery (CRp) rate was 17.8% (DAC) versus 7.8% (TC) with overall response (CR + CRp + partial response) of 2.5 (P=0.001). Safety rates were consistent with the known DAC safety profile and without major differences between the treatment arms. The most frequently reported Grade 3 or 4 hematologic adverse events were thrombocytopenia, anemia, neutropenia, and febrile neutropenia.

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Just to have you back again ...

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Poems in Remembrance of Fathers

What would I give to clasp his hand,
His happy face to see,
To hear his voice, and see his smile
That meant so much to me.


The rolling stream of life rolls on.
But still the vacant chair
Recalls the love, the voice, the smile
Of the one who once sat there.


Nothing can ever take away
The love a heart holds dear.
Fond memories linger every day,
Remembrance keeps him near.
Remembrance Poems for Fathers
He had a nature you could not help loving,
And a heart that was purer than gold,
And to those who knew him and loved him
His memory will never grow cold.


More and more each day we miss him
Friends may think the wound is healed
But they little know the sorrow
Lying within our hearts concealed


You’re not forgotten, father dear
Nor ever shall you be
As long as life and memory last
I shall remember thee.


His memory is as dear today
As in the hour he passed away.
Remembrance Poems for Fathers
The blow was great, the shock severe
We little thought his death so near
Only those that have lost can tell
The sorrow of parting without farewell


We often think of days gone by
When we were all together.
A shadow o’er our lives is cast,
Our loved one gone forever.


And have you gone, forever gone
And left us here to weep
Till we are called to follow you,
And in the grave to sleep.
Yet since you could no longer stay
To cheer us with your love,
We hope to meet you again in
The bright world above.


One precious to our hearts has gone,
The voice we loved is stilled;
The place made vacant in our home
Can never more be filled.
Our Father in His wisdom called
The one His love had given,
And so on earth the body lays -
His soul is safe in Heaven.


No one knows how much I miss you,
No one knows the bitter pain
I have suffered; since I lost you
Life has never been the same.
In my heart your memory lingers,
Sweetly tender, fond and true;
There is not a day, dear father,
That I do not think of you.


We think of him in silence,
No eyes can see us weep;
But still within our aching hearts,
His memory we keep.


Silent is the voice we loved to hear;
Too far away for sight or speech,
But not too far for thought to reach.
Sweet to remember him who once was here,
And who, though absent, is just as dear.

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Just wait - peace will come

I miss your calming presence ... wish you were still here to say "it will be okay."

If ever you are feeling like you're tired

And all your uphill struggles leave you headed downhill

If you realize your wildest dreams can hurt you

And your appetite for pain has drinken it's fill

I ask of you a very simple question

Did you think for one minute that you were alone

And is your suffering a privilege you share only

Or did you think that everybody else feels completely at home

Just wait

Just wait

Just wait

And it will come

If you think I've given up on you you're crazy

And if you think I don't love you well then you're just wrong

In time you might take to feeling better

Time is the beauty of the road being long

I know that now you feel no consolation

But maybe if I told you and informed you out loud

I say this without fear of hesitation

I can honestly tell you that you make me proud

Just wait

Just wait

Just wait

And it will come

Just wait

Just wait

Just wait

And it will come

If anything I might have said now has helped you

If anything I might have just said helped you just carry on

Your rise uphill may no longer seem a struggle

And you appetite for pain may all but be gone

I hope for you and cannot stop at hoping

Until that smile has once again returned to you face

There's no such thing as a failure who keeps trying

Coasting to the bottom is the only disgrace

Just wait

Just wait

Just wait

And it will come

Just wait

Just wait

Just wait

And it will come

Just wait

Just wait

Just wait

And it will come

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Poem About My Papa by Anna Grace Elizabeth, age 9

I used to have the most memorable man in my life
But now all I have are memories

When I die I will see him again
But for now all I can see is his body in the ground

I know he is having a good time
but I still miss him

He is watching down over me
and that does make me feel better

I hope I can see him again soon
because he was one of the best people in my life

The first one I had ever smiled out on
I love him with all of my heart

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink
By his Pizon, Anna Grace Elizabeth, age 9

Sunday, February 27, 2011

God's Words of Comfort (as recited by Papa's Mimi, age four)

(of which were prompted to Mimi, *ie. Maggie Rose* by his Anna, Mimi's big sister *ie. Papa's Pizon*)

Psalm 121 (song of ascents)

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD watches over you-- the LORD is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life; 8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

Friday, February 25, 2011

My Grief - My Status

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

(Sorry I was such a snothead, Papa ... if only I'd known then what I do know now  ... ;)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Finally Found Back My "Happy When I Think Of You Grin"

It's been missing for much too long ...


I can sincerely and joyfully currently laugh now when I remember you!

Ah ... feels like I've gotten so very much of you in so many ways back again too by being able to do so too ...

Best part of which (undoubtedly and without question most of all to you) ... is that your little girls of mine have found theirs back too ...

There's lots of new reclaimed smiles around here, Papa ... all of which have been brought on by allowing ourselves the freedom to freely and thankfully REMEMBER the endless amount of delight we never really lost in and from you.

We've really missed you, "Super Silly" Papa ... xoxoxoxo

Sorry it took so long ... and I know, bygones ... what's done is done ... am just being happy with and for the now. 

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I want you to remember him

Please tell me you remember him
Assure me that he mattered

Don't try to use a bandaid
To fix what now is shattered

Share with me your memories
Of him within your life

When you avoid the topic
You're stabbing me with a knife

Let me cry around you
Assure me that that's okay

Allow me to hurt without him
For that's all I've left today

Say his name outloud sometimes
And let me do so too

Don't pity me for mourning
All that I knew was true

Forgive me when I'm angry
Understand from where this comes

Give me something to hold onto
I need more than pity's crumbs

When you speak about him
I remember that he's still here

Pretending he never existed
Is my life's greatest fear

He never really left us
He never really will

Please see what I have lost
THAT'S what helps me climb this hill

Written by Sara Huizenga
For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

Two Years Closer to Heaven and You

It's not my fault ... I could have done better ... you should still be here ... I'll never understand.

See you in Heaven ... love me ...

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Father, C.S. Lewis

Oh my word, I LOVE this article so very much ... reposting here as well ... reminds me so much of my own Papa ... <3

By Douglas Gresham, Stepson of C.S. Lewis, The Maltese Islands,

My Father, C.S. Lewis

So many people know and love the author of the Narnia books. He was important to me too. Very important...

The story begins so simply. During World War II, four English schoolchildren—two brothers and two sisters—are sent to live in an old country house to escape the bombing of London. One day they stumble upon an ordinary-looking wardrobe in a strangely empty room.

If you’ve read C. S. Lewis’s beloved books for children, The Chronicles of Narnia, you know what happens next. The children are swept into a magical land where they meet mythological creatures, talking animals, an evil witch and the Great Lion Aslan himself, perhaps the most compelling and enduring image of God ever to appear in a story for children.

For many years now I’ve been blessed with the job of being what you might call the caretaker of Narnia. I help run a company that oversees all of C. S. Lewis’s writings. No movie, stage play or anything else based on the Narnian chronicles gets made without my permission. You’d be surprised at some of the strange things people want to do with the books. Once, someone came to us wanting approval to make a musical of the first book in the series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in which the reindeer pulling the White Witch’s sleigh suddenly turn into dancing go-go girls. A screenwriter thought American audiences would like the story better if a scene involving enchanted Turkish delight candy featured a bewitched cheeseburger instead! However, the Narnia movies currently in production, including The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which opened in theaters in December, have avoided such errors.

Actually, it’s not quite accurate to call what I do a mere job. It’s more like a moral responsibility—a way of paying back one of the most profound debts of my life. You see, I’m not just a fan of C. S. Lewis. I’m also his stepson. Lewis (I’ve always called him Jack, the nickname used by everyone who knew him) married my mother, Joy Davidman, when I was 10 years old. Four years after that my mother died. I was estranged from my father, who lived in America. Suddenly a 62-year-old professor of medieval English literature who’d been a bachelor for almost all his life was the closest thing I had to a father. Jack was as grief-stricken as I was. And yet he did everything he could to raise me. I saw a C. S. Lewis few people knew, and I grew to love him deeply.

I didn’t feel that way on first meeting him. My own father was a successful writer, but he was an alcoholic and by the time he and my mother divorced he frightened me. My mother got to know Jack Lewis after writing to tell him how much his books on Christianity had meant to her. The two began corresponding and then my mother moved to England and enrolled me in school there. I was excited to meet the author of the Narnia books and I pictured someone from Narnia itself, maybe a knight with a sword. What I encountered instead was a bald, stout old man dressed in a shabby tweed coat and with tobacco stains on his teeth and hands.

I was crushed—until I began to get to know him. Almost immediately I noticed how funny he was. You always knew which room of the house he was in because someone was laughing there. One of the first things he did was invite me out for a walk in the woods behind his house near Oxford. Jack loved trees and animals and gardens. More than that, he knew exactly how to talk to a child. He was straightforward and took me seriously, not like some grown-ups, who get cutesy and condescending around children. He asked me what I liked to read and told me his favorite childhood books, including the Bea­trix Potter stories, which he said he still loved as an adult. Most of all we talked about Narnia. We often spoke of it as if it were a real place, as if a faun or a centaur might appear in the woods at any moment. It was a delightful game.

I was enrolled at a boarding school, so I mostly saw Jack during the holidays. Perhaps what I loved most about him was how much he loved my mother. She was diagnosed with cancer only a few months after she and Jack married. Doctors told her she had just months to live, but after much prayer she made what at first appeared a miraculous recovery. She and Jack had four happy years, including trips to Ireland and Greece and—what I most remember—evening after evening of sitting by the fire at home or around the dinner table talking. They talked about everything, especially books. They suited each other exactly. I had never seen my mother so content.

Then suddenly it was over. My mother’s cancer returned in force and in 1960 she died. Her last words were, “I am at peace with God.” To the world Jack presented a brave face, continuing his scholarly duties and keeping up a vast correspondence. At home, though, he often wept openly. I tried not to do anything that would provoke his grief and he did the same for me. I was a teenager by this point and he wasn’t in the best health. But he welcomed me home every holiday, kept close tabs on my progress at school and even bought me a motorcycle when I was older.

Two years after my mother died I learned that my father had been diagnosed with cancer and, rather than face the disease, had committed suicide. I was now an orphan. Jack knew just what to say to me. He didn’t offer trite condolences—he knew too much about pain and grief for that. There had been tragedy in my family and he didn’t try to sugarcoat that. He could have washed his hands of me but he didn’t. Instead, he made me a part of the last years of his life.

Jack died in 1963, when I was 18. At his funeral I saw a candle burning in a simple candlestick on his coffin. Others say they remember no such thing. But I am certain I saw that candle. Its flame burned unwaveringly through the whole service. It was a perfect image of Jack’s love—for me, for my mother, for anyone blessed enough to have come into his circle of friends.

Jack Lewis embodied values that sound old-fashioned these days—courtesy, duty, loyalty. He was steadfast in his devotion to me and so I now do my best to remain faithful to him. What would I have done without him, alone there in England with no one to turn to? I had gone as a child hoping to meet a knight in armor from a fairy tale. I got something far better, a father who understood that what children need most of all is unwavering love.


PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

It's not for naught, thanks for the lesson, Papa

Hey Papa,

I was thinking ...

My life has been and continues to be blessed by the presence and impact from and of parents dedicated towards being like Jesus' hands on earth ...

Because of You

I think this has been both a blessing and a curse.

The good part of me seeing the blessing, while my fallen side sometimes feeling burdened by this "curse" of knowledge that has shown me the real reason behind and for our presence on this earth.

I know that this here and now isn't what it's all about ... that our present is temporary and we are but just passing through. And your presence, in my life confirmed my conviction in that "even if" our entire reason behind everything that we (at least know we should) do would somehow be (it's not ;-) for naught ... it would still be worth it to live for Him.

I miss you ...

Thanks for tearing up while watching Shadowlands ... you've taught me so much about living ... xoxo

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011 ... one year closer to being forever with our Papa ... much left to do for many in the meantime ...

You know what I really miss Papa?

I miss your funny ...

We used to be able to go on about the dumbest things for hours ... and even if no one else around found the humor in the joke ... it didn't matter ... as long as I knew for certain that you would get it ... and every time (amazingly) you did ... ;-)

I used to think I was hilarious .. but since you've been gone ... well ............... let's just say I've been forced to invest more energy into the non-funny parts of me too ...

We miss you ... that's not ever going to go away, is it? :'(

For PapAmore', Arend 'Odee' Lenderink