Dear Friends and Prayer Warriors,
First of all, I want to thank you all for your prayers for our family. It has been an interesting few months to say the least. In January, hospice had called mom and I in, to inform us that dad had taken a turn for the worse…They put him on oxygen to help with breathing without choking. He had also stopped eating. They were certain that dad only had a few days left. Now, here we are almost to April, and dad is still with us, reminding me once again that Gods timing is perfect and only HE knows when HE will choose to take His child home. We are thankful for the hospice staff, as well as the nursing home staff, who continue to take such good care of dad. His condition has baffled all of them, since they are not familiar with this Lewy Body Dementia. The one thing that we are sure of, is that this disease is completely different than any other dementia disease that we (or them) have ever seen. One day dad seems like he could go on for awhile and the next, we wonder if he will survive the hour. It has been extremely difficult on mom and I as we feel like a yo-yo in this whole process. We are thankful for Gods provisions for us through this time, but we are both exhausted. I left in January with the Dartts on tour, wondering if when I said goodbye to my dad, if that would be the last time I would see him. Here we are 3 months into the year and he is still hanging on.
Many people have asked about his condition, so I thought I would give a brief physical update. Dad has been pretty much bound to the bed for the past year. They sometimes get him up for showers if they feel he is strong enough, but for most of the time, it is bed baths. His eating patterns change daily. One day he may eat 100% of his meals and other days, maybe nothing at all. It just varies on how he feels. He was choking on food and drink, causing fluid in his lungs and that still continues from time to time. He is no longer on the oxygen, but he does get breathing treatments as needed. His weight loss is what all of us are shocked by. I have never seen my dad so small!! His legs are the size of my wrist! He is down over 240 pounds since this all began.
I have pleaded with the Lord to take him home! There are days I have even begged the Lord to take him…In some ways I feel its the best situation for all of us involved, but obviously there is a reason, a purpose in all of this that God is trying to teach us. What exactly? I have no idea, but I do know that each day that my mom goes in to that nursing home, she is a witness to so many people there. While I was home this last month, I observed something about my mom. From the moment she walks into the nursing home, she knows nearly every single person that is in there…both working staff and residents. She goes by the room, and speaks to each of them on her way in, or on her way out. She has taken CD’s to some of them, prays with some of them and communicates to a few that can’t even respond. I have seen my mom grow leaps and bounds over the past year. I realize now that last year when hospice had us planning dads funeral, that mom was not ready. She would not have been able to cope. A year later, I see a woman who is stronger than ever, who has grown in her faith and in her christian walk. On our gospel cruise in February, I had my mom speak at the ladies seminar one afternoon. She was so mad at me for making her speak, but I knew it would be good for her. I told her that she just needed to share whatever was on her heart. In the 10 minutes she spoke, she had most of the room in tears and wrapped the whole meeting up with her words of encouragement. I believe that God has something BIG in store for my mom down the road. I don’t believe He is finished with her…nor is He finished with any of us. We, as Gods children, are constantly growing, being stretched and molded into His image. Its an ongoing process that will continue as long as we are living here on earth. I am so thankful that God doesn’t give up on us when we feel like giving up. This may be one of the reasons God is keeping dad around…for our own growth. As I see him laying there, unable to communicate with us at all, sleeping most of the time, I think wouldn’t God have more use for him in the angel choir?! He could be free from the pain, suffering and sorrow here on earth and have his brand new body, free from the troubles here on earth. But maybe its us that really need dad down here, to encourage us to be stronger than we thought we were, and by allowing us to depend more on our Heavenly Father than we ever thought we could.
As things continue to move forward, however long it may take, the needs are still there. At the end of the year, we lost several supporters (monthly giving). I began to fret, worry and stress! But, God has used some amazing people each month to help fill in the gap and continues to supply our needs. Yes, it is month to month. No, nothing is ever completely certain; however, God has brought us this far and I know He will not leave us now. There are many ways I am trying to support mom….I recently added all their music to iTunes for download. The Dartts allow me to sell mom and dads CD’s on their sales table each night, but as those CD’s continue to run out of stock (like so many have already) iTunes has all 20 recordings that you can download for years of enjoyment. I am thankful for some very special people who made that all possible! With Easter around the corner, albums like ‘He’s Alive” , “Hallelujah Praise the Lamb”, and “Because He Lives” will make your heart rejoice!
Also, I have set up a new form of accepting donations through GoFundMe.com, along with the already set up PayPal account. Using Facebook as a social network to help spread the word. We have many needs right now that seem to overwhelm us. Instead of dwelling on them, we are just asking for help and prayer from you, our friends, and then letting God do the rest. We will continue to walk by FAITH as we have the past many years. I have seen miracle after miracle that God has provided, and I know He has a few more in store for us. So, mom and I will keep pressing on. I will remain on the road with the Dartts ( we are currently on our 4 month tour to the West Coast) until mom calls me home, and needs me there with her. We will walk this road together, finding God’s strength, peace and guidance. We will sing praises unto the Lord for His goodness and mercy, for even in this valley we walk, we always have something to be thankful for!! As we look around us, we see so many hurting people. Mom and I are blessed that God picked out this valley for us and has chosen to hold our hand through it all.
And to you….the prayer warrior, the faithful supporter, our friends….We thank you that you have chosen to walk with us. We could not have made it this far without you…your cards, your phone calls, gifts and prayers. Please know we love you! Keep on Keepin’ on!
Looking forward & upward.
To make a Donation to the Speers, please make checks payable to: “Billy Speer Ministries Inc”
and then mail to:
313 Brandywine Lane
Springfield, TN. 37172
Or through PayPal - BJSpeer@Darttmusic.com
or through GoFundMe.com
Email Paula - PaulaCspeer@aol.com
Email BJ - BeejSpeer@msn.com
Check out www.BillySpeer.com and download music from iTunes!
(Check the website for a listing of CD’s to find on iTunes)