Over the years I, along with my family, have invited you to be a part of our journey, even if it has been from a distance and primarily through what we share in our writing. I know this offers merely a glimpse of what is true for us on a day-to-day basis. We joke at The Dale that someone should make a documentary about what we see and do there, because otherwise how could one believe it? Words, as effective as they are, don’t always capture the essence of an experience.

I’m sitting in the hospital, uncertain about Dion’s health and what the future holds, and can’t muster the language to describe what this feels like, for myself or anyone else. Dion was admitted last Thursday, a day after our twenty year anniversary. Multiple Sclerosis has been with him the entire time. There is a weariness that has settled upon our family. We are tired of the struggle. Though we are routinely given strength that is not our own to manage, we quite frankly want a break. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

Our reality is this: we need to equip our house to accommodate Dion’s needs, or move. Moving is a difficult thing to imagine. We intentionally chose to be rooted in our neighbourhood and are now surrounded by a large network of support. It is the only place our fifteen year-old Cate has ever lived.  My brother and his family live on the same street and just one block away. Until her death, my mom lived around the corner in the same hospital Dion is in right now. For me, the house is a more than a shelter, it is a refuge. The reality is doing renovations will take less time than selling the house and waiting on an accessible condo to be built. We don’t know how much anything will cost, but know that in order for this to happen we will need to humbly ask for your help (and will soon let you know how).

I am constantly praying about all of this. I don’t understand why our road has been so repeatedly marked with suffering, though I know that it is in the dark places I have encountered great light. As I listen to the following song, I’m reminded that God remains my sanctuary. Somewhere in all of this is we will find hope. And mercy. And grace.

Turn the light off, go to bed
Tell me all about the day you had
Lay beside me, it’s time to rest
You can close your eyes, you’ve done your best

Let me be your sanctuary
Let me be your safe place to fall
I can take away your worries
The refuge from it all

All this time
We have together
Is our shelter from the rain
I will share the weight you carry
Let me be your sanctuary

We have weathered through the storms
Taking comfort in each other’s arms
When the dark clouds come again
I will lift you up and take you in

Let me be your sanctuary
Let me be your safe place to fall
I can take away your worries
The refuge from it all

Oh, this time
We have together
Is our shelter from the rain
I will share the weight you carry
Let me be your sanctuary