Monday, December 2, 2013

Superman PJ's and Blue Guitars

Hanging the star with Daddy
Today is one of those days when I looked all over for you; you were nowhere to be found. I looked for you in your bedroom, my bedroom, Evan’s bedroom, I checked Facebook and wandered around the house aimlessly and you were gone. Just gone. And the energy left my body and the air left my lungs. I felt like I couldn’t breath and I didn’t have the energy to do anything else. I hear people complaining about the weather, their cars getting stuck, the garages snowed in and I thought about the times we spent at the hospital on these days. I would cuddle up into your hospital bed with you and look out the window and I felt so secure. You were in my arms, we were in a safe place and I knew I was the happiest I could be right at that exact moment. I knew that I understood happiness. That despite everything going on around me I could be happy just having you near. The blowing snow, the cold wind and the sounds of the blizzard make me feel so alone and my arms have never felt so empty. I feel like I want to drive the Children’s hospital and try and find you there.
Today Evelyn told me she visits you through cloud tunnels that go to heaven. Oh what I would give to fall into a cloud tunnel right now, just so I could see your smiling face and maybe feel your skinny arms around my neck. I wish I had the innocence of a child and maybe I could see you, sense you. But instead I am left with my adult inhibition and my unbelief.
What a great moment…...

That is a smile of pure joy. He loved his cousins so much and
just being in their presence made him smile
Yet I also understand that I can only know this type of pain because you did teach me such amazing joy. I feel the level of sorrow is equal to the level of joy that has been lost. So in a very weird sense I should feel enlightened by the pain – it shows me how great of a loss your shining little life was. And i should be so lucky to have known this type of love. Some days I am so grateful for the ‘lessons’ we have been taught and learned over these past few years. I see many people ‘living life’ with their children, their jobs, their houses, they are busy and then busy some more. We were these people. We knew we needed some counseling, we needed support in our marriage, we needed to seek out friends who would support us in our effort to become a stronger married couple, we needed to find a church that suited us but we were ‘too busy’. Too busy to step out and look for this help. In these past years we have been forced into situations that required us to seek this help and face the problems head on. You can’t hide from grief or from the weaknesses in your marriage; they grow exponentially when they are avoided.
Is this true love or what? 
The grief I feel because you went to heaven will never diminish because the joy you brought to me can never be altered or reduced. I will never get used to you not being around and I will never stop missing your silliness. But new joy will find me and I trust that God will fulfill his promises. When I am missing you the most I try my hardest to think about heaven, I think about the moment you first experienced its glory and wonder. I would have loved to have seen your face the moment you met Jesus and the peace you felt as you left the body that let you down so horribly and entered into a heavenly body that was strong and able. I KNOW I am going to hold you again. 
Superman pj's and a swollen chemo face
I had a vision at church the other night when they were signing your song, “Our God”, I closed my eyes and immediately a picture of you in your superman pj’s (the ones you used to wear to the hospital) standing on an alter with a beautiful blue guitar, and you were so intense on the music you were creating. You were signing with all your heart and together with the crowd you were praising Jesus and his faithfulness. There was no question about goodness or sadness just pure praise. And I could hear you begging me, “Mommy please sing with me”. I opened my mouth and tried to get some words out but sobs heaved from my heart and I just mouthed the words instead.  I know you want goodness for us and you want happiness in our hearts. Everyday I try to think about how I can honor you, your name and your fight. I am hoping one day it will come to me and I will step out onto that proverbial ledge and fly the way God intended.
I love you so much Christian. I wish I had a thousand pages with a thousand “I loves you” each. There is no measure to the love that a parent has for his child so there is no measure for the grief they experience when a child returns to his heavenly home. Through the darkness I see God guiding us to find ways to make this life better for others. Especially around this season when I am missing you so much I want to pretend it is not happening. But to ignore Christmas is to ignore the birth of Jesus Christ and to forget everything that you loved so much. The spirit of Christmas was all over you and I know that you are encouraging your daddy and I to try and make this time special for Evy, Ryan and Joshua. I can see your gigantic smile and silly laugh when we enjoy ourselves. I know you are laughing too when Ryan comes over and asks me to tickle him, “tickle me mommy!”
 Memory tree ornament we hung for you at the ACH

Even though you have been gone for almost year the days almost seem more difficult now than when you were first gone. Last year at this time you were getting so sick and even though we hoped until you took your last breath, I wondered if I would have to say goodbye. All of the thoughts and emotions I experienced in those last few weeks are replaying themselves in my head like a tape that I can’t shut off. I am so grateful that your pain is over, you are now limitless and spend your days walking the streets of gold. Evan is convinced you are playing with the lions, tigers and elephants. Ryan is sure you have an amazing game of street hockey that never ends. I thank you that you stay close to us. I love you all the way to the ice planet Hoth and back. Please keep guiding, guarding and protecting Luca with your precious hands. Merry Christmas Mr. Grinch, “MAX GET MY CLOAK!!!!”

Friday, November 8, 2013


The last self portrait you took - love your eyes… beautiful and healthy

Dear Christian.
Its November 8, my birthday. My first birthday since 2007 without you. Last year you proudly handed me a bouquet of flowers as I made my way downstairs in the morning, but this year there will be no flowers from you. I will never forget how a few days before my birthday last year you brought down your wallet from your bedroom, dug your hand into the change section and pulled out some coins. You placed them in my hand and told me to buy whatever I wanted for myself. You were the kindest soul I have ever met and I know you would have given me the world if you could have. Instead I used the money to put together this picture of us and I will never forget how we spent our last birthday together.

I don’t have much today say today. Just another day that should be a celebration of life but will in fact be a day that I miss you more than the last. I am so grateful I have a video of you telling me you love me and singing me happy birthday. I know you will sing to me from the heavens and rejoice in every smile and laugh I can muster. I miss you so much; there are no words to describe it. Looking through my photos tonight I can see how many great moments we had together, some amazing ones at Disneyland and Florida but some of the most special moments we shared were just you and I hanging out in bed together. You and I enjoying the safety and love of each other’s company, you and I will be connected forever, until we meet again in heaven.

I love you and miss you all the way to Hoth and back.

Today I am thankful for
1.     my videos of Christian
2.     Joshua smiling at me (nodding when I asked him if he had been talking to you)

3.     Chocolate cake
Miss your silly ways…..

Monday, October 28, 2013

Snow Day

Ryan watching closely...he thought you were the best! still does....

Dear Christian
It snowed today. Immediately I thought of you and how excited you would have been to see the snow. I am sure you would have asked me when we could put up Christmas decorations. Ryan was so excited when he saw the snow that he ran around the house, laughing out loud as he looked out the window. He happily shoveled snow, wearing some of your clothes, your jacket, your pants, and the mitts that you got for Christmas last year but never got a chance to wear. I wonder if you were outside with him watching him tromp around in the snow, moving little piles of snow from one place to the next.
This looks just like a little Christian

Looking out the window and seeing all the white on the roofs and trees makes me sad beyond compare. It introduces another season that will come and go without you. Without your infectious smile, your lighthearted ways, your loving embraces and your kind soul. Halloween at Daddy’s school just will not be the same this year. Almost every year since we have lived here in Airdrie you were a part of the Halloween celebrations. Eating treats and snacks in the classroom while watching a movie with Daddy’s students, then proudly walking beside daddy in the Halloween parade. You were always a big hit. Starting your very first year when you were a puppy, then a duck, then a tiger, Darth Vader (in the hospital with the ladies after your huge surgery) and finally Captain Rex (only one of the coolest Star Wars characters there ever was!) There are endless things that happen in the day that make me want to run up into my room and fall into bed and never get out again; the sound of Evelyn’s voice, watching Ryan play with your Batman toys, seeing Ryan wearing your old clothes, finding your Spiderman toque in the winter bin. I purposely look away from your photos and your things but today I buried my head in your old track pants that you used to love to wear, I held your Spiderman hat in my lap and I wondered if I would ever be happy again.

Christians first halloween
Sweetheart please don’t think that I am without joy. There are many moments in the days and weeks that bring your daddy and I joy. I have many moments of delight: when I spend time with our dear friends, when I see Joshua smile at me, seeing Evelyn’s face light up when she sees me after preschool, watching Ryan and Evy becoming good friends. But the underlying current in my life is just mediocre. I long for the day when happiness finds its way back to me. But I honestly fear it never will. We will “get used” to this new normal but happiness may not abound. People often ask me, “How are you doing?” I am never quite sure how to answer. I think I know now that the proper response would be, “I am not happy, but I have moments of joy”. How can I possibly be happy when one of the biggest loves of my life is gone?
I have been reading a book called, “90 minutes in heaven”, about a pastor who suffers a horrible car accident, dies and spends time in heaven before returning to earth in a beat up and batter human body. He questions why God has chosen this horrible and painful path for him. Over time God slowly reveals his purpose and plan for this pastor.  God has spoken to me many times while I have been reading the book. It has ministered to my soul and reminded me that God loves me and has a great plan for our family. The waiting and trusting part is just so painful and hard. The author quotes a verse from the bible that goes like this:

      2 Corinthians 5:1-4
For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down, when we die and leave these bodies, we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies alike new clothing. For we will not be spirits without bodies, but we will put on new heavenly bodies. Our dying bodies make us groan and sigh, but its not that we want to die and have no bodies at all. We want to slip into our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by everlasting life

I read this and I know that I am going to see you again. And not only will I see you again but also I will embrace you, smile at your loving eyes, kiss and touch your sweet face and stand together with the angels and sing. Sing just like we used to do in Church together. When you would stand on the chairs in the first row and play your imaginary guitar and feel the music. We will be together, our whole family, in paradise. Until this day I want to honor you by being the best mom I can be to Evelyn, Ryan and Joshua. I want to love your daddy with all my heart so you know he is taken care of. I want to make sure that your name is never forgotten and people remember what an amazing little man you were. God has a plan for our pain and I trust Him to hold us up, to clothe us better than the birds and provide healing for our permanently broken hearts. Today Ryan and I were listening to some of our music out loud in the living room like we used to do, he heard the song, and “All who are thirsty” and he yelled out, “oh cool Mom come down here and listen to this song”.  I know that part of you is living in him. He loves to stand at the front of church and watch pastor Doug play the guitar, and the drummer beat on his drums. Music runs in his body just like it did yours.
Loved Halloween at Daddy's school

So Halloween will come and go. My birthday will (hopefully) quietly sneak past and then the monster of all holidays, Christmas. I am not sure what I am going to do when I am faced with Home Alone. Will I be able to put up the Christmas decorations? I know that your sister and brother will be so excited about it. They want to make cookies, just like you used to. Peanut Butter with Grammy was one of your favorites because you got to squish them down with the fork. Sigh. I long for you and the life we used to know before you got sick. At the same time the lessons and love we learned from your journey are priceless to us. But what an expensive price you had to pay. Not in that you died (I can only imagine your glory) but all of the horrible things that you endured until that point. I pray every night that God would show me you, that I might catch a glimpse of heaven and see how beautiful it is for you. Then perhaps my heart would be at peace. Until I see you in my dreams I will trust God and His promises that you are so full and beautiful and singing and playing a real guitar with the angels. My little turkey pants please continue to walk with us and watch over your brothers and sister. They know you and love you and sense you. Ryan plays hockey with you in his dreams and Evy speaks about being in heaven. Whenever the sun shines through a window on Ryan he says, “Look mommy, Christian is shining on me!” I love you all the way to Alderaan and back.
Captain Rex and Daddy AKA "Chewy" 2012

Today I am thankful for:
1.     First world problems (thanks Pastor Allen for reminding me)
2.     Great books at bedtime
3.     The sound of a new born baby cooing
Halloween in the hospital 2011 (post surgery)


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

White gloves

I will never forget how you used to show us how much you loved us

Dear Christian

Tonight your daddy and I were walking around the store when daddy spotted some white stretchy gloves. Immediately he thought about last Halloween when we had to run out to Wallmart to find you gloves so you could look like Captain Rex. I remember you wearing the white gloves that were not so ‘stretchy’ on your tiny little hands. You proudly wore your Captain Rex costume and carried your toy guns around the gym for the costume parade. Nobody bothering to remind us about the ‘no toy gun’ policy at school because, well, your Christian and everybody wanted what was best for you. Even if it meant breaking the rules!!!
The best Captain Rex - ever!!!!
You are everywhere to me. You are every airplane that goes over our house, every cool cloud I see in the sky, every full moon that lights up your bedroom in the middle of the night and every silly face your brother and sister make. As fall descends upon us and we watch everybody else return to ‘normal’ life we struggle to find normal. We struggle to move through each day while watching other families get excited about new schools, new activities, new friends and new experiences. We try to not think about you too much as the pain just seems insurmountable. But you are everywhere. Evelyn asks about you a lot these days. She wonders about heaven and how you got there. How come the doctors couldn’t make you well. She suggested that we should have tried some different medicine or maybe we could have used some of her blood. It breaks my heart to think that she even has these thoughts. She misses you so much but just don’t have the words or abilities to express it. We talk about you all the time and tell her how great heaven is. I told her about the amazing animals you get to play with, the beautiful weather and of course that you get to be with Jesus. That you aren’t sick anymore and don’t have to go to the hospital for needles.

Your brother Ryan is such a little crazy that I think you guys would have had a blast together. He was so frustrated when I went to the hospital to have Joshua. He didn’t understand where I had gone, as the hospital always meant something scary or painful for you. Then we came home with a new baby, which I think he was even less impressed by. Referring to Joshua as “it” and telling me to put it away or take it upstairs. Then your daddy went back to work that made him even less happy and he started rebelling by pooping on the floor and getting into anything and everything that wasn’t secured. Many mornings Grammy found Ryan downstairs in the kitchen getting into something he wasn’t supposed to. One morning he was standing on the countertop trying to reach the candy shelf, the next he is pouring out Josh’s tummy medicine, he attempted to make coffee another morning and the list goes on. He is so cute, big and smart. I try not to think about how well you guys would have gotten along. Playing hockey, batman, star wars and golf. He tells me most mornings that you guys were playing hockey and making playdoh in the night. He seems to know you and love you speak of you as though you are just away on vacation. I pray you keep speaking into his heart and his mind so he never forgets his big brother.
Baby Joshua
As for daddy and I we are trying our best to move ahead each day. Daddy is trying very hard at work but some days you are just so present in everything he sees. A special book at school, Green Egg and Ham, or even just roaming the hallways that you used to run down. As summer turns to fall and the next holidays loom, I wonder what will become of the Crowell family that used to be so involved in everything and liked to organize family events. Will I be able to watch everybody else celebrate and enjoy the holidays that will only bring me strong reminders that something is missing? Something will be so wrong on Halloween day, Thanksgiving turkey dinner, my birthday, Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. No, I think this year, my sweety, I will check out and choose a different road, one that isn’t so painful and full of reminders of what we should have as a family. We should be a full family of six but we are not. We are a family of five with one empty seat that can never be filled. It can’t be filled with new babies, jobs, or any length of time. I will miss you forever. My heart will be broken forever. Each night when I lay my head on the pillow I am thankful that I am one day closer to eternity. One day closer to holding you and knowing full love again. Until then I pray you continue to watch over us, watch over your brothers and sister. Please continue to walk with us and show us God’s glory. I love you all the way to Tatoieen and back. 

Friday, September 6, 2013


Fantastic 5th birthday

Dear Christian
There are few words today. Just wanted to say how much I love you and miss you. I know the party is grand in heaven, as it is everyday. I know you are with us today and loving everyone of us with all your soul. We are having your favorite for supper, pizza from Domino's. A few weeks before you left us you told me that when you got out of the hospital you wanted pizza from Domino's so tonight is just for you. Evan and I made cupcakes that I know you loved. You loved to help me make them and then eat them, well mostly you just licked the icing off the top. But today with heaviness in my heart, I am trusting that God has a grand plan for all of us and that I will see you again in heaven. One day we will celebrate together again. Until then I will think of you everyday and miss you every minute, love you all the way to the death star and back my sweetie.
Awesome 4th birthday celebration
3rd Birthday - the love of golf begins.....
1st birthday - the love of our lives

Your "birth" day - one of the best days of my life

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Happy 3rd Birthday Ryan

It has been a very long time since I have written anything. You would think with the passing of time that things might get easier, maybe the pain might dull a little – but it doesn’t. We grieve in silence, behind our closed bedroom door or when we are alone together at night. Sometimes I cry in Evan's room at night when I am reading her stories. She asks me questions about Christian, why he can’t come back from heaven. And do I miss him? I try to read her stories but my voice quivers and I try my hardest to hold back the tears. I feel so much sadness for a little girl who will never know her older brother again. Despair for the questions that I can see are in her eyes but she doesn’t want to say. I look at pictures of the two of them together and the pain in my chest is tangible and I wish I could put my hand inside my chest and ripe out my heart. Does Evelyn think that Christian has abandoned her? I wish there was some way that I could explain to her so that she wouldn’t be lonely or wonder why he doesn’t come back. All of these emotions, feeling of sadness are unbelievably strong and seem to just linger below the surface. Far enough down that if I don’t look at any of his pictures or sit still for too long I can keep them there.

I am sure more people would assume that after a while the pain would be less but all that happens is that we feel left alone. While everybody else’ life continues on, usually at rocket pace, ours seems to be heavy and unmoving. Not that I blame anybody, before Christian died I wouldn’t have gotten it either. I don’t feel anger for people around me who are happy. I want to be happy too. Today was such a tough day – the first day of school. What would have been Christian’s first day of school. Instead Chris went to work in his new classroom directly across from the kindergarten class. And I spent the day replaying the past two years in my head, feeling like we were living this surreal life. When would I wake up from this nightmare?

August was a month of celebrations, a true testament to the fact that no matter how much we grieve, how much I want to just lay down and die, life moves and I can’t stop it. Ryan celebrated his 3rd birthday, I can’t get over the fact that he is only four months younger than Christian when he was first diagnosed. Ryan is so clever and big! He is smart and knows how to work his parents! At the same time I see Christians sweetness in him and I know his heart is going to be just as loving. Last night while I lay in bed crying Ryan comes over to the side of the bed and says, “what’s wrong mom? Do you miss Christian?” I love that little man and the squealy laugh you get when you tickle his sides.
First bath with Daddy

We also have a beautiful new baby boy, Joshua Christian, born on August 17th after four very speedy hours in labour and delivery. He is beautiful and calm in every sense of the word. Chris and I like to say that Christian had a few words with him before he came out and told him that he had to be good to us. I think Joshua is already listening to his big brother. He is an amazing addition to our family and I know how proud Christian is that he carries his name. I look forward to telling Josh all about Christian.
Its difficult to put anything on paper these days. My feelings seem more muddled each day. Despite some serious damage (will spare you the details) I incurred during delivery I can’t sit still. Even lying down with Joshua to feed him usually ends in tears, as it is quiet time that allows my mind to wander, it drifts over to Christian and the events of the past few years. I think grief runs in waves and right now I am fighting to keep to my head above water. I pray to God that He will sustain us while we learn to live again.

Today I am thankful for:
1.The videos of Christian on my phone that I can watch anytime
2. Joshua Christian Crowell
3.Evelyn and Ryan playing together, dressing up in princess dresses together and Evelyn binding his feet together with a skipping rope and pulling him behind her in the ride of car.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A letter from Heaven

Dear Mommy

There are so many things I want to tell you, so many things that I now know and understand. Mostly I want to tell you how much I love you. Before I got sick and came to heaven I told you all the time that I loved you, I was zealous about my family and the love I felt for everybody around me. I wanted to make sure you remembered me saying it to you. “I love you mommy, I love you more mommy, I love to you Hoth and back”.  I know you miss me, I know you sit at night when you are alone and cry. I know that you dwell on my most difficult days in the hospital, the days I was so sick and the days you couldn’t take away my pain. But there is something so very important I want you to know. I don’t think about those days. They are done, gone and over and I want them to be over for you too. I know it’s hard to think of me crying and screaming in pain but I have won the battle and I now live amongst the most amazing glory that you could never imagine but will see one day.

When you are feeling such despair I want to you to try and remember our best times together. The nights we cuddled in bed, the nights we fell asleep with our heads together, the giggles and laughs we shared. The nights you spent “counting my back”, the baths we took at midnight, the hours we read my favorite books and watching my favorite movies over and over and over again. I want you to think of the dance parties we had in our living room and the fun we had at the park. The afternoons we went swimming and the midnight games of Yahtzee. These are the moments to relish, the love we shared and felt, the bond of a mommy and her son. Even though I am not with you in the physical sense I am always walking, sitting, lying and watching over you. I never want you to regret any decisions you and daddy made for me or didn’t make for me. Everything turns out the way God intended and you must trust this. Never feel sorrow for times we didn’t share together because soon we will be together in paradise, forever!

I speak to you through my soul because the English language doesn’t have the words to describe the awesomeness, the beauty, the glory, the fullness and magnificence of heaven. I will never leave you, my spirit and soul walk with you always, and when you are most sad, inconsolable and full of despair – feel me crawl up into your lap and wrap my arms around your neck. Incessantly kissing your cheek like I used to when you were heartbroken – you know it made me sad to see you upset and full of misery.
I wish that I could release you from the trauma of the past few years. I know it has been difficult for our whole family. Now is the time to trust in the plans that God has chosen for us. I see and understand everything; it is understandably unbearable for those of you left behind. Those of you who don’t get to see what I see, who don’t know what I now know. But you can trust in the Lord and know that His plan is perfect. If you had the option to see things in reverse you would understand but your faith will have to guide you through.

Never stop talking to me because I am always listening. I am so excited about our new baby. I am excited to be a big brother again even though they will never know me in the way Ryan and Evelyn did. I want peace and calm in your heart. I want to see you shine like you used too, to not be afraid to step out onto the ledge and go for the desires and dreams God has put in your heart. Mostly mommy never ever forget how much I love you and how special you are. You were the best mommy for me and you made my short life so very special.
Love Christian

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Relay for LIfe

Dear Christian

Good afternoon beautiful. It is such a gorgeous sunny day in Truro, I can’t help but feel a little sad when I think of the things you would have loved to have done on a day such as this. Golfing with daddy, heading to the park to throw rocks and play or just jumping on the trampoline in the back yard. You are constantly on my mind and I wonder on an hourly basis if things will ever change, will I ever stop missing you?

Friday night your nanny organized a team to participate in the relay for life, in your honor. She did such an amazing job bringing awareness to pediatric cancer. All of your aunties where there to walk in your honor. We cried a lot and thought of you constantly. I am so proud of all that accomplished in your short life, I am so proud of all the lessons you taught others about perseverance and joy. I feel so blessed to be your mom and I am making a huge effort to accept that your time on earth was so full and you truly lived and loved as much as an adult would. My thoughts have shifted lately to trying to figure out what is was you taught me over these past few years. I know I have doubted many times my ability to love and be loved and I think that you smashed that out of the water. I could never imagine loving somebody as much as I have loved you. There is nothing on earth that I wouldn’t have done for you. Ultimately in ends up that the one thing that I had to do for you was something that I didn’t want to do – I had to give you up. I was forced to reconcile you back to God, the creator and perfector of everything. For in Him I trust that you are safe and healed. In Him I trust that you are beyond happy and at peace.  Lately my memories bring me back to your last few days on earth. I think about the love and peace that your daddy and I felt for you. And understanding what I now know, I can feel peace thinking that the two days you spent ‘unconscious’ you where being ministered to by God Himself. That He was showing you how amazing heaven was, how much love you would feel and how free your body would be. I know you were not afraid to die and that God allowed your body to hold on so that daddy and I could be as ready as possible to let you go. If there is one thing that I would love to give you it would be a life free from the pain you knew so well. It would be freedom from the limitations and frustrations we experienced. And now you have this gift and my pathetic understandings of our earthly time don’t allow me to fully grasp your situation. That God has set us up to spend eternity together. And these days, weeks and months that I have spent crying and moaning your loss will seem like spit in the wind when we are finally reunited.

Evelyn and Ryan still talk about you lots. We always say hi and “I love you” when we look to the moon and the stars. I am grateful their pain is different and they don’t spend their days wishing things away. I am so thankful that they, like you, constantly seek joy and fun. That they put smiles on our faces and remind us of you on a daily basis.  Ryan is such a busy two year old and is in constant need of somebody to play with. He loves hockey almost as much as you loved Star Wars and anybody who plays with him becomes his new best friend. Evelyn is a beautiful and gentle soul who quietly misses you but never says much about it. She enjoys being with Ryan and staying busy with her stuffies. Please continue to watch over us and help us to understand you are near. I love you to Hoth and backJ

Love Mommy
Daddy and Ryan on the beach in NS

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

One way ticket

Dear Christian
Tonight as I lay in bed with Ryan we talked about you in heaven. He told me that you were coming back. But I told him that once you went to heaven you couldn’t come back, you stayed there with Jesus forever. He said we could take a plane and go and visit you but if we couldn’t come back then I had to go with him. Oh how I wish that was true, that I could jump on a plane and six hours later hold you in my arms. But the distance between us is so much greater, yet I know we are closer. The honest part of me has to admit that I just don’t believe it. Where others grieving see clouds and butterflies to remind them about their missing angels, I don’t see anything. I don’t see your face except in weird random dreams, so frantic to see your face that I try desperately to go back to sleep to try and experience it again. Every now and then I will feel a cool breeze come over me, like I did almost on a nightly basis in the hospital before you died. Or the other day I could smell the plastic from your GT while Evan and I were at the swimming pool, at first I was mad because I didn’t want to remember that part of your journey. But the smell seemed to follow me throughout the day and I did feel as thought you were walking with me but then I haven’t smelled it again.

Love the look on his face - so beautiful
Parts of me are already starting to forget what normal life was like with you. I guess we didn’t have much of a normal life, racing to the hospital in the middle of the night, constantly fretting over fevers and medications, watching every pound you lost or gained and praying for the day that ‘normal’ would crawl back into our home. I am worried that I will start to forget how you felt in my arms, what your voice sounded like asking me for food, and how you looked when you slept beside. I will never forget the feel of your leg over mine as slept, you rubbing my face with your skinny little hands and the way you made your brother and sister laugh with your silly faces and antics. Something’s in this world are priceless and unforgettable and you my sweet boy are one of those things.

There are so many great things about your brother and sister that make me smile; Evelyn is constantly meowing like a kitty cat (especially first thing in the morning), Ryan has taken to rubbing my arm and telling me he loves me. They love to make each other laugh (that is when Ryan isn’t screaming at her or biting her!) and truly love and protect each other. Ryan talks so much and is so busy I know that he would have been driving you crazy in all of your Star Wars toys and messing up your stuff. He pretends to be Darth Maul all the time and I think you two would have had many Star Wars light saber duels in his room. I miss you. There is nothing else to say but I miss you.

Everyday my prayer is, “God help me”. There are no other words I can utter or moan but I feel peace knowing He hears me. People you say, “oh you must be so strong, I couldn’t do what you have done”. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Your daddy and I do what we are doing because we don’t have any other choice. Just like the seven other parents whose baby died from cancer today and the seven other children who will die tomorrow from cancer. To lay down and die, to not get out of bed, to walk around in a coma, to turn my back on Ryan and Evelyn these are not options, they are things made for movies – not real life. The real answer is that God sustains us when we are not sustainable and He carries us when we cannot walk. There is and never will be an answer to why you are gone, there is only faith that God has you wrapped safely in his arms. My faith tells me that one day I will see you again but this day will be the beginning of forever in paradise. Save a place for me.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Nova Scotia

Dear Christian
i will forever miss that joy in your face....
It seems as though it has been a long time since I have sat down and written you a letter. Sometimes I just don’t know what to say to you; sometimes I think I can’t handle the pain of missing you. The writing of letters to you always ends with me in sobbing and painfully trying to hold myself together. So perhaps instead of lamenting over my broken heart and the missing you so much that I want to vomit, I will tell you about how much fun your brother and sister are having in Nova Scotia. It has been difficult being here without you. Every house, every person, every park, every smell and sight bears a memory of you. To this end I am forever grateful for Evelyn and Ryan and their uncanny ability to always find fun and laughter. Daily, if not hourly, they make your daddy and I smile. Tonight in the car ride back from Nanny’s house Evelyn was telling knock knock jokes (which was of course your deal first – she learned from the best!) When she was done with her joke she looked over at Ryan and said, “ok its your turn to make me laugh now!”  
Ryan or ‘George’ as Rod as so aptly named him is absolutely loving being out at Nanny’s house. He is walking in your footsteps with his love of the dogs, his desire to ride on anything motorized and of course his endless pursuit to find somebody to play hockey with. Tonight Ryan and Daddy spent some time out on the grass in the back yard hitting the golf clubs. I know you were standing with them, I know you watch over your little brother and sister. Most days when I find myself in tears and having a pity party my belly starts to roll over onto itself and I like to think that you are telling the baby to give me a literal kick in the arse. I find comfort in knowing how close you are to your new sibling. How you can explain God to them, share love with them, and that they will in fact know their older brother in a way nobody else does.
We have spent a little bit of time at the parks but the weather has been so cold. I haven’t been able to take myself to the trails at Victoria Park where I spent almost every day last summer. I spent almost every minute of my runs and walks thinking about you and praying for you. And now I fear that the memories of you would haunt my time there. That being said I know how much you desire for me to be happy and at peace. I will try my best to go and walk and be with you and God and nature and everything that ever lead me to that park in the first place.

Evelyn loves playing in ‘her room’ at nanny’s house. They like to pull out your Star Wars tent and play inside together. How my heart aches with you not inside the tent with them. There have been no light saber battles and I worry that nobody will ever be able to teach Ryan as much about Star Wars like you would have been able to. I find myself constantly turning over Nanny’s pictures of you in her house because I can’t bear to see your sweet face constantly staring back at me. I feel your presence so strongly in her house and I know it was a place you loved to be, you felt at home, you felt normal and I know that Evelyn and Ryan feel the same.
Well sweet heart I cannot write anymore this evening. Please know I think about you almost every minute of everyday. My silent pain is constantly in the pit of my stomach and I find peace only in thinking of you in heaven, watching over us. I love you so much. And like Evelyn says, I love you to the clouds and back.