Friday, January 15, 2016

I Thought This Was the End of the Blog

Greetings friends and family, for the last time.  

It is with the greatest spectrum of emotions that I post my last entry to the 4 Webb's blog. After 8 wonderful years and 1,150 posts, I'm ready to call an end to the most visible piece of our experiences as parents of twins.  There are two reasons for this decision.  

First, the twins are turning 8 years old next month and I will encourage them to tell their own story from this point forward.  I'm not sure what form that will take, but it probably won't be a blog site.  Blogs used to be big when I started this.  It's a place where I can add lots of pictures and videos and written stories in a single communication.  Then came Facebook where the stories are shorter and pictures of food are more common.  Then came Twitter with 140 character limit so there are virtually no stories and it boils down to witty comments by famous people.  Then came Instagram where the written words are completely meaningless.  Somehow along the way our society lost the art of story telling and expression through words.  

Second, Kendra's journey through cancer has reached a milestone that shifted so much inside me and I am prioritizing my time differently now.  Ten months ago I sat next to her hospital bed not knowing if she would ever leave the hospital alive or if she would ever walk again even if she made it out.  On Wednesday we woke up not knowing if the CT scan results would show new cancerous lesions.  That would indicate the treatments are not working on the aggressive cancer and she is on her way to her death bed.  The other end of the spectrum would be a completely clean scan showing no signs of cancer, proving the cancer is in remission and the treatments are working.  

The oncologist was smiling as she delivered the good news about her results showing the best possible outcome.  no signs of cancer anywhere and no new spots to go after!  I don't know if I'll ever have the words to express how that day felt emotionally.  Anyway, she'll be on inhibitor drugs and other regimens to keep the cancer from coming back and she'll be tested every few months to make sure she stays healthy.  

Anyway, one of the things I am figuring out through this past week is a deeper level of prioritization of my time.  The blog is time consuming with editing pictures, uploading, and writing.  I've enjoyed the process, but I'm just choosing to spend my time and energy elsewhere from now on.  I normally blog late at night after everyone else is asleep, but those precious few hours will be allocated to a different focus.  

There's one other reason I'm stopping the blog.  This form of communication is too much of a one-way street.  I get more from comments and feedback and interaction and discussion.  I'm not even sure if anyone even reads this anymore besides my immediate family.  Life is too short for me to be spending hours writing about myself and our adventures when there's no way for me to know if it's useful or impactful or even interesting.  It feels more like talking to a brick wall than communication.  Even though I have over 71,000 page views on this blog, I'm convinced 99% of those are my two sets of parents.  

Kendra is even more my priority now than ever before and I want my time usage to reflect that.  The best way I can express how I feel is by this picture. 

Our lives were completely packed to overflowing and then everything stopped in a single day when Kendra was diagnosed with cancer.  Kendra was torn down physically to the bareness of sustaining life.  Nothing else mattered.  Not work, not church, not the house, not the twins, not even myself.  Since that day we've been reshaping what life is all about and how we want to spend ours.  We are starting from a simple, single, flickering flame.  We have nothing to prove and nothing to hide.  We have each other and two great kids and a God who loves us.  Everything else we add onto this may or may not be worth keeping as we run the race of life.  Each detail is evaluated on it's own.  Each person, each hobby, each purchase...  Either it's propelling us forward into our purpose or it's holding us back.  Our primary role is to forget the past (successes and failures) and move forward together as one.

There is a picture I held back from the Christmas season because i've been working through my thoughts on it for a while.  The only picture I had my heart set on is this one.  It shows four generations of wonder women in Kendra's legacy.  Layla, Kendra, Ouma, and GG represent legacy and family and blessings.  This causes me to smile every time I see it because there is life and love being handed down from one generation to the next.  I realize how unique and valuable it is to have all three generations pouring into Layla.  It's not enough for four generations to just be living on Earth at the same time.  Layla is blessed because she has a mom, a grandmother, and a great grandmother who actively pursue loving on her and calling her into the woman God created her to be.   

Another reason I could use for closing down the blog is that we are no longer just the 4 Webbs.  We are now the FIVE Webbs.  This is Max, our new spoiled-rotten cockapoo puppy.

We waited until the twins came of age to be pooper scoopers.  Neither Kendra nor I have any desire to pick up dog poop.  Now that Easton and Layla can fully understand the expectations of getting a dog and what that means, we started looking around.

Kendra found Max on Craigslist.  The original owner is a traveling nurse who is going on some missions around the world for months at a time.  Because of this, we picked up a 14 month old dog for pennies on the dollar.  Max is neutered, his tail is bobbed, shots are up to date, he's potty trained, kennel trained, command trained, and most importantly...  He loves to cuddle.  Kendra is taking Max through obedience school to become certified as a service dog.  She wants to take Max into cancer centers around town to bring the love and life they have to offer.

We take Max everywhere, including hiking.  Kendra is not yet able to make the hike to the top of the peaks with us, but she's working up to it through physical therapy.  Max, however, was born to climb.  He's a strong dog who is full of energy. He pulled them up and down every peak.

January 4th was a big day at our house because the twins conducted their annual measurement on our wall ruler.  As you can tell, they are growing at the same rate and right on target for a seven-year-old.

In this next picture you see David, who has been living with us for four months while he waits for a job in Utah where his family moved.  He recently got a job and will be moving out in a couple of weeks.  It's been very helpful and satisfying to have my best friend around.  I'll miss him and his family very much when he goes because we are having such great bro time and conversations.  Also, you see Kendra playing old-school Nintendo games on the laptop.  She got every game from every system and cheat codes to play with infinite lives.  She'll never be bored again!

This is the lamest way I could ever end an eight year project, but I'm all out of motivation.  My plans are to turn this whole blog into a big PDF file and give it to the twins at some point in the future when they will care.  It's a strange feeling to let something like this go that I've spent hours and days of my life maintaining.  However, it's liberating and hopeful all at the same time.

I started the 4Webbs blog to share the adventures we have Easton and Layla.  I wanted friends and family to know what's going on with us.  I wanted an outlet to express my thoughts, opinions, and beliefs, but somewhere in the past few weeks I realized this doesn't really matter.  There are much more eternal things to pursue and make use of my time.  I don't have time for superficial, fake relationships anymore.  Those who want to create or maintain an authentic, face to face relationship with the 4 Webbs are welcome to do that.  We will also pursue certain life-giving relationships where we can serve and grow.  Life is about what we are becoming, not living up to expectations of others.  I don't say that with a jaded heart, but out of revelation and excitement for a new day dawning for the 4 Webbs.  This is the end of the blog.  We're not turning the page. We're not going to the next chapter.  We're at the beginning of a whole new book and I can't wait to see what God has in store for us.

Be blessed!


Unknown said...

I have loved reading your late night thoughts and seeing pics as the twins have grown. It has been a gift to us, to know more and understand your "too-far-away" lives. This is certainly a gift for the twins, and they will cherish it someday as they read your heart for them and remember so many great times as a family.

We are so thankful for what God has done in your life in 2016, already! Keep moving ahead. Life is in store for you!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that I'm just now reading this last blog from you. I had been using this laptop to see it and had the blog transferred to my phone but the icon went away for whatever reason. Anyway, so sorry for not pursuing the blog on the laptop. I have pretty much quit using it since using mostly my phone for everything except typing documents, etc.
I totally understand why you discontinued the blog. I enjoyed reading it so much and looked forward to each one, especially the early years. It has helped me feel more in touch with how you all are doing and the pictures were so helpful! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the time and energy you spent doing the blog. I'm trying to get our flights figured out to come see you next month and will call to let you know the details. Love ya gobs, MOM