Over the past year, I have really grown to hate Tuesdays. Many of Roscoe's surgeries and procedures happened to fall on Tuesdays. Also we learned about his fatal brain hemorrhage on a Tuesday, but those aren't the reasons why I hate Tuesdays. The reason I hate Tuesdays is because of fasting.
Our original 20-week ultrasound appointment was on August 5th, 2013. Since we learned of possible problems in that appointment, I have fasted every Tuesday* since by avoiding any form of food or non-water drink all day (at least 24 hours). I prayed and pleaded with God to give Roscoe any energy I would have received that day from food, to extend his life just that much longer. All told, I fasted for 53 or 54 days during this past year. That translates to over 100,000 calories or 28 pounds of fat. A few weeks I fasted twice if there was a big procedure, and once I fasted 3 days. One Friday I fasted for Phin. As every Tuesday drew nearer, I started to dread it. As each Tuesday night drew to a close, I felt relief that it wouldn't come for another six days.
My experience with fasting improved my ability to control myself in other areas, but my main focus was to show God how earnestly I wanted Roscoe to be saved. He knew how much I loved Roscoe, but maybe he just wanted me to prove it to myself. I don't know if my fasting had any impact on Roscoe's outcome, but I made a promise to God that as long as he kept Roscoe alive I'd continue fasting every Tuesday as long as he was in the hospital. When I started fasting in August, I thought I'd be done with it by December and Roscoe would come home, but God had other things in mind. The fasting stretched out through January, February, March, and then after April I started realizing I didn't know how long it would last.
I tried to keep my mind focused every Tuesday on an attitude of earnestness, dedication, and prayer. Sometimes my attitude wrongly became "If you do this for me, I'll keep fasting" which was really me attempting to manipulate God into saving my son. After fasting so much, I had to actively remind myself why I was doing it and keep the focus on Roscoe and prayer. I don't bring all of this up to draw attention to myself (Matthew 6:16-18). Mainly I want to give everyone a complete picture of how hard we tried to save Roscoe and perhaps why God let him live so long beyond September 17th, 2013. We did everything we could and we have no regrets about what else we could have done. No stone was left unturned.
Next Tuesday, I won't be fasting. Roscoe's last day of life was my last day fasting. It will be a strange feeling to eat normally, but it will be an even stranger feeling to not pray for my son's health or visit him in the hospital.
*Full disclosure: Some weeks we had a work event where they served food, so I'd fast on Mondays those weeks. Just in case anyone from work reads this and thinks I was bending the truth. :)