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Tide Chart for Care

Summer 2011


Day: Thursday: High Tide

“You should go, get out of the house. Go to the beach—it will be good for you. We’ll take care of him,” they told her. She obeyed. I would have too.

Day: Friday: Low Tide 

A phone call: “He fell. He’s not doing well. Stay at the beach—we’ll take care of him.” Nani stayed with us in Brookings, Oregon. We were at Rainbow Rocks, a second home to me as I grew up among the rocks and tide pools, caves and waves.

Day: Saturday: Lowest Tide 

I felt guilt in many ways later on.

I was happy, texting a friend shortly before he left.

There’s always just so much time before everything changes.

The people on the other side of the phone said it would be all right. I believed them. We said goodbye to Nani, who was returning to Medford.

Later, Dad told us he got a call from Nani. “She says Papa is not doing very well. We need to pray.”

Praying didn’t help. We weren’t even there when Papa left this earth.

Day: Sunday: Dead Tide 

I said goodbye to my friend, crying.

“Come visit, okay?”

I didn’t.

I returned to our church, and my dad held me as I cried.

Grandpa Gary said gently, “It’s so hard.”

Papa had died that morning.

We had gotten the call right before I left for church that morning.

I’m not afraid of death—I’m afraid of devastating goodbyes.


October 2012


Day: Thursday: Low Tide

“They’re in the hospital again.”

I responded—praying, and sending them gifts: American Girl books for our little sister, a card for our brother.

Day: Friday: Lowest Tide 

“They’ve been diagnosed with another life-threatening disease.”

I yelled at God, and He listened patiently with understanding.

I watched as an autumn leaf fell in the forest, and I was filled with fear.

So helpless.

I sent a cacophony of cheerful letters with funny stories to make him laugh; Princess Adventure stories I scribbled out in-between homework for our little sister; letters of my random adventures in Bellingham for our brother; an Israeli Elam stone for him to slay the Goliath he faced; a knitted blanket enfolding Ginger, one of the dolls I took camping when I was little as our family drove down to Brookings, Oregon to visit Papa and Nani.

Day: Saturday: Despair Tide 

“The antibiotics are making his liver fail. And her kidneys are doing badly.”

I prayed harder. I begged God for peace and healing. But I knew He sometimes didn’t answer the way we wanted.

I called Dad. “They’ve been through this before, and God has healed them before,” he told me. His adult perspective helped calm me.

Hannie emailed me with an update. “I don’t know what to say,” she ended the update with. “Home is looking better every day.

I replied, not having energy or strength for despair: “God is faithful. If He brings them to these hard times, He’ll carry them through. Lots of prayers.”

I began work on another story; one about elves, fairies, childhood adventures, and going off to school. I sent it to them in a letter to the hospital.

Maybe I could make them better by giving them good cheer; I would will them to get better.

Day: Sunday: High Tide

“They have been released from the hospital and are going home.”

Thank God. Thank. God. He is faithful.

            ~~~Arielle, Lyric Final