Pinkie Toe Swear

Tonight is the 12th night in a row that Liz is laid up in a hospital. She is miles from home on another stormy night in North Texas. And as the wind howls outside her window and as she stares out at the skyline of Dallas, with no lights on but the dark glow of the old television set on her wall and the never-ending flashing of the IV pump, the real turmoil fills the rooms around her.

Not much has changed within the last few days. Liz continues to receive the new blood-thinning medicine that has proven to work better than the Heparin she was receiving before. Her chest has started to hurt more today than the previous days. As the clot(s) persist, and perhaps grow, the inflammation and fluid around her heart may also increase. Liz’s right arm is starting to hurt a lot worse. Wednesday can’t come soon enough for her. Wednesday (not sure of the time), will be when her next surgery is.

This next procedure will be quite a bit more intensive than the last few. The doctor will not only be attempting to remove to clots, but also, taking out her power port from her shoulder, but also placing a specific type of catheter in her chest. And as of right now, the balancing act of try to keep her blood perfectly thinned,  has became a not-so-fun game.

I know that so many are praying. I ask that you do not stop. Please allow His love for all of us be felt through you via your prayers, notes, texts, visits, and, well, more prayers.

And I gotta tell ya, on this end of things, it is all getting a little tough. Not because I don’t have help and not because I can’t handle it, it just feels like a lot sometimes. I feel that there are so many directions in which I need to be thinking, all of them important but are prioritized, that I can’t always keep them straight.

Today, inside, had a little breakdown. Over-analyzing everything and very affected by people’s words and actions. I can recognize when I becoming easily offended and that it has more to do with where I am at than their intent. The roller coaster of where to be and what to be has become a factor in my sense of feeling drained so often. I feel very “loud” inside tonight. Brain won’t shut off. Heart won’t stop pounding. And yet, life has to go on. Liz, the kids, job, rent, people who need a friend are all still there. The stress of where Liz is never ever ends. The sense of urgency in needing to do right by my kids is constant. And the pressure of truly wanting to do the next right thing is my Northern star.

There goes the weekend. In twelve hours, the work week begins. Another week begun…Liz spent close to six days home in the month of April (give or take a couple of days.) My kids have spent countless hours with so many of my friends and family members. Its takes a lot of people to help a man to walk.

But then, another dot hit my life’s time line. This evening, got home with the kids after another long day and finishing it off with a visit with Liz. Madison was the first one to hit the shower and the other kids with talking to one another outside the door, awaiting their turns. I was milling around doing different things in the kitchen and bedroom when it happen. I looked down the hall and saw Logan, Hudson, Candice, and Samantha all laying in the floor, on their stomachs with their legs bent and feet in the air and their chins resting on their hands. They were home. They were together. They were spending time together. They didn’t know Dad’s world was weighing him down…oh so I thought.

This got me and I hurt while I type this……I look away at something when I see Logan’s head turn towards me and I hear him speak. What he says breaks my heart and makes me that I have failed them at keeping them from the magnitude of all that is going on. Not sure what their little conversation was about or how it got to this, but his words are still echoing in my mind. He said, “…yeah, but I think he’s tired. Just look at him; daddy is very tired.” My little seven year-old life soldier knew that dad was wearing down. And for the next 45 minutes, I put life aside and got taught a little something about livin’ tonight.

I walked towards them, got down on my hands and knees and got into the same position they were in………and their faces lit up. It was no longer just them being home or them loving on one another…dad was really and truly with them. We talked about school and storms and church and friends and then started making silly faces and voices. For 45 minutes, as each one took turns getting their showers done, I stopped trying to live life, but instead, let life live through me. I got to her Madison laugh a lot (just my favorite laugh on the planet.) Hudson got the biggest kick out of repeating EVERYTHING everyone said. Candice wanted to brush Sam’s and Madi’s hair. And Logan kept bragging about all the stuff he knew.

At some point, I had kicked off my shoes and Logan wanted to compare feet size. So he put his foot up to mine and we started foot fighting a couple of seconds later. He was laughing. The kids were laughing and it all came down to three simple words and an act from a little boys heart. Once the foot-wrestling stopped, and my socks had come off, still in his laugh-voice, Logan says, “Daddy, I really love you. And I pinkie toe swear it.” And with that, he attempts to wrap his pinkie toe around mine. My God, through my kids, at the end of a hard week, reached out to me and reminded me not of His control or power or might, but rather of His love, hope, and willingness be on the ready for when I realize I have taken the reigns from Him.

Tomorrow begins another very busy, very long, and very stressful week and I would ask that through your prayers, messages, and help, that you will walk with us. But, before we get to tomorrow, we rest tonight.

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4 Responses to “Pinkie Toe Swear”

  1. Liz Dixon Says:

    Donny, Wow! Love this post. I can see it now the scene of you down on the floor with the kids. That is the amazing man I married who longs to be an amazing father. And you were just that tonight. Our kids love you so very much and I know moments like that they will remember for days and months to come. Your a great daddy! I love you sweetie!

  2. Bruno Duarte Says:

    Hello Donny and Liz,

    I first heard of your troubles by donny’s father Don.
    I’ve been praying for you an i hope that the surgery is sucessfull.
    May God bless you all

    Best regards from Portugal
    Bruno

  3. Steve Boyett Says:

    Praying for Liz and you. May the Lord give you all rest in Him!

  4. Diana Jo Barton Says:

    I’ve been ‘googling’ looking for an update on Liz and surgery and just found Donny’s Dixon Stadium site! So glad you write, Donny. I’ve followed your family since hearing about you around 2005… member of Prestonwood for 20 years. How the two of you are managing, I do not know. The demands on you two young kiddos are enormous! One thing I am wondering is whether you sold your home in 2009 (read about it being for sale in 2009 on dixon quads site…) I pray your housing needs are met and that you all have a restful night of sleep tonight. Praying for you. I, too, remember you…

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