this is how i deal.

I couldn't sleep a wink last night, which turned out to be just fine. My nephew woke up around midnight having had a nightmare and I managed to get to him before he woke my sister or brother in law. As I hugged him tight and cuddled him back to sleep in the darkness I couldn't have felt more in tune with how he was feeling at that moment.

I passed some of the time editing photos and writing last night's post, yet I still found myself fighting for sleep around 2:45am when I heard my sister's door open and saw her attempt to creep past me on the couch. After alerting her to my consciousness, she came over and sat down with me. We talked for a while and then listened to an Acappella song called Peace Be Still that has helped calm her in the past. I'm so grateful for that one on one time with her in the darkness last night.

This morning was a blur as we rushed out to the hospital at 6:45am. My mom and step dad attended to my nephew this morning so we could go to the hospital first. They admitted her and she was taken to get her MRI before being prepped for surgery. Sean (her husband) was able to stay with her this whole time while I waited and met with the incredible outpouring of support from visitors showing up to wait with us. By the time she was being prepped for surgery, my mom had arrived and Sean came to get us to wait with Alicia for the surgeon to arrive. After quite some delay, we were shuffled out around 10:30am and she was taken to the OR.

We're currently waiting on news. Their plan was to do a biopsy first and send that off, then continue to remove the remaining tumor. It's been an emotional morning, but I'm so proud to have witnessed nothing but strength and joy in my sister as she waited for the surgery to get underway. I don't think I heard anything but lighthearted jokes come out of her this morning.

The outpouring of love from everyone has been nothing short of incredible. We've had visitors waiting with us from the moment we came through the doors of the hospital this morning. We've also been showered with donuts, chicken biscuits, coffee and hugs while we wait. Shortly after they took my sister to surgery, the 20 or so visitors formed a huge circle in the middle of the waiting room to pray with us. If that's not proof of God's shelter during the storm, I don't know what is.

I've been personally updating Alicia's Facebook page and will continue to do so until she is recovered enough to handle it on her own. Please keep all the positive comments coming. I know she will be overcome with joy when she sees your incredible support and response today.

I'm currently nestled into a corner of the waiting room editing photos and listening to music. It's how I'm dealing. We're going on three hours waiting now, but just got word that the surgeon will be out to give us news in about 15 minutes.

(Unfortunately, I wasn't able to sneak my DSLR into the surgery prep room with my sister, so I had to settle for iPhone photos, but I know you will all understand.)