Thursday, January 31, 2013


Dear Christian
Its almost 200 o’clock in the morning and sleep just doesn’t come. It has been like this every night since you have been gone. I come down to the living room and look at all your pictures. I miss you so much. During the days I try to stay occupied with Evy and Ryan but at night, when it’s dark and quiet, I have nothing else to think about, but you. I replay the night you died. I keep thinking about how sick you were and I feel so angry that you got to that point. I don’t know whom I am angry at but it just seems so unjust to me that a five year old boy has to suffer through what you did. That parents have to watch their child starve to death in front of their eyes. I am angry that science didn’t have any other solutions to save you. I am angry with our God who didn’t come and rescue us like we prayed He would. Most of all I am angry that life has to go on without you. I told your daddy tonight when we were lying in bed that life just seems so pointless now. I don’t have the motivation to do much of anything. I can barely play with your brother and sister. I am so sick with a cold that I can’t talk so I can’t even read Evan stories at bedtime even though she begs for me.
I miss you so much yet I can’t seem to cry. When I start to speak about you to people I feel my throat start to close up and the tears well. But its pointless – I don’t have the ability to explain my feelings or myself and there is NOTHING that anybody can say that will make my heart hurt less. I am still in disbelief that you are never coming back to me. That I will never hold you again. I wonder how other parents survive this pain, but I know they do and I know we will. But I just don’t see what the point is in life now. What is the purpose of my day? People say that the things that I write make them feel better and bring them closer to God, but I think that God must be speaking to them from somewhere else because all I feel is heartache. It brings me no measure of peace to know that your life affected others – because you are still gone – and that is the truth. I know to other people this will seem harsh and shallow but I would trade all of that to have you back here lying beside me in bed with your feet in my face.
Christian, if only you could speak to my heart and let me hear and feel you. I feel so disconnected from that little boy that consumed me for so long. I have a gigantic hole in my soul where your love used to fill. The love that only you knew how to give. That you could take my hand or my chin and look me in the eye and tell me that you loved me all the way to Tatoieen and back. And I would reply that I loved you all the way to the death star and back. It was a competition to see who loved each other more and now I don’t have anybody to reciprocate that unyielding, unfailing and unconditional love with. I know that Evelyn and Ryan love me but for some reason you had the ability to show love as an adult would. You had the ability to make others feel love, and not the typical love of a five year old; but a deep soul changing love that transcends my understanding. And now this emptiness just sits here in the pit of my stomach. I look at myself in the mirror and see dark circles under my eyes and I can’t even bare the reflection.
The only solution to this nightmare I am in is that at some point I will be able to stop missing the physical you and begin to experience the spiritual you. I understand that your soul lives and so your love lives. I just don’t have the ability to feel you and I so desperately long to know and love you again. I am most certain you are right now watching me cry on the couch as I sit here and type, perhaps you even have your hand on my shoulder trying to tell me that everything is going to be all right. That soon I will get to join you and I will know the glory that you live amongst. As of right now I have a jealous feeling of everybody around me who dies because they will get to see you again before I do. How dark a thought is that? I am sorry sweetie that I am so sad, I don’t know how else to be. I am happy for you, so happy. But I am sad for daddy, grammy, nanny, papa norm, Ryan and Evelyn (who cries for you but doesn’t understand where you are) and all the people who love and miss you. I pray you come to your brother and sister in their dreams and minister to them. That you explain to them how amazing heaven is and that you are going to take care of them. I pray you help them to understand with a child like faith. I hope one morning I will wake up and Ryan will tell me that he played with you in his crib last night. Or that Evelyn will tell me you came to play princesses with her. And she will finally know a peace about where you are.
If nothing else I am grateful that I can write to you and say hi and tell you I love you. That you are watching us and loving us even if we can’t feel it. One day when my sadness dissipates I will write you letters and tell you what your brother and sister are doing (just in case you miss something!) I pray one day I can write letters to you with peace and understanding in my heart. I am assuming you have already met Jayden in heaven – I pray you guys are best buds and running around playing soccer. Some time in the next little bit your daddy and I are going to go on a road trip and try and have some fun with Evelyn and Ryan. I pray you will come with us, help to guide us and protect us. That you will be an angel riding in our car, easing our sadness. I pray you will play with the kids at the pool and join us for our nighttime hot-tubs.  As I write I think about our picture of you in your Oilers jersey wrapped tightly in my arms, I think about the last round of golf you and your daddy played together in LA. I think about the last two star wars guys you got from ebay and the last Hero Factory man daddy and uncle Peder built for you. I think about the hours I held you after you were gone and the small hand squeeze I got before they finally took you away. I think of all the lasts and pray that one day the hurt won’t be so intense. I miss you. Please come to me and ease my pain.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

January 26

Dear Christian
It has been almost two weeks since you had to leave us. I miss you so much I don’t have the words to describe how bad my heart hurts. I asked a friend of mine (who also had to say good bye to their baby), if things would ever get better. She suggested that I talk to you as much I could. I tried to talk to you but each time I opened my mouth tears would fall from my eyes and I couldn’t come up with the words I wanted to say. What would I say to you if you were standing in front of me right now? I would just tell you how much I love you, how proud I am of your courage. I would grab your body and squeeze it tight and rub my face in your scruffy hair. Christian, I don’t think that the English language has the words essential to describe how we all miss you. The pain is physical, it is real and I pray that one day there is escape from it. I have never in my life encountered anything as permanent as death. It sounds obvious, but I never understood until now. Everything else in life that sucks has the potential to be better, you have the hope that things will improve and your situation can change. But there is no changing the fact that you are gone from my everyday life. I can’t bring you back and no amount of faith, prayer or belief can change any of this. So where does this leave me? Well it leaves me missing you most of my day. It leaves me having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. It leaves me with the inability to even look at your picture. I have to try and find some way to guard my heart.
The past two years of my life have been utterly consumed by you, by cancer and by fear. Now we instantly live in a moment with no hospital, no cancer, and no fear but also no you. I find relief from my grief knowing that you no longer have to feel pain, that I don’t have to hear you say, “mommy, my tummy hurts”. I wouldn’t put you through that again for anything. Not even to have you back. That phrase is so engrained in my brain that I actually feel nauseas when I hear it. I can only fathom what you have endured over these past few years and to know that you are now free brings me some measure of peace. Your daddy and I went to the movies the other night; we went and saw, “Les Miserables”. I asked Grammy if it was a bad idea to see a movie like this and she asked me if I could feel any worse, of course the answer was no so we went! And at the end of the movie when Jean Valjean was dying, Fantine (already in heaven) came and sang to him. She sang the words,
“Come with me where chains will never bind you,
All your grief, at last, at last behind you,
Lord in heaven, look down on him in Mercy”

Immediately I was brought back to those last days in the hospital when you lay in your hospital bed. The perfect picture of what people might imagine when they think of what a cancer patient looks like when they die. You where skinny beyond measure, you were swollen from fluid retention; you were incapable of communicating or showing any emotion. You were in essence already gone. This was not the life any mommy wants for their precious five year old baby. So I know that God did in fact show you mercy. He did end your pain and your suffering. He ended years of limitations and grief. He gave you the most amazing eternal gift that I would never ask you to return from.
But Christian despite my excitement for you, there are those of us left behind; your mommy and daddy, Evelyn, Ryan and your grandparents. And we are now struggling to figure out how life will roll on without you. How do I look at pictures of you during your good times (swimming in Nova Scotia, eating cinnamon buns with papa on the back of his truck, golfing with daddy, playing in the park with Evan and Ryan)? I don’t have any answers yet. I haven’t been able to speak to God about everything. I am still so sad and angry. I know that God is bigger than my anger and He understands my pain.  But I just don’t know what to say. I mutter out small prayers before bed, that He would show me heaven while I am sleeping, that He would show me you. That I would know you are good and at peace. I pray that God would numb the pain in my heart and provide me good times with my Evan and Ryan. That He would teach me to love Evelyn and Ryan with the same ferocity that I loved you. Days after you were gone I sat in your bedroom and rubbed your favorite golf underwear all over my face (don’t worry sweetheart they were clean!) and wondered if could actually die from missing someone. At least I no longer fear death, in fact I look forward to the day when I can run into your arms and my heart could be whole again.
Christian, I am holding onto one thing, that God is good. I don’t understand anything that has happened, or why it happened but I know God’s vision is perfect. I am still angry about this vision but in time I am hoping my wounds will slowly scar over. Until then I will try to get out of bed each day, breath in and out, smile at the appropriate times and love as I should. I miss you. I love you. You have forever changed my life and I will miss you until the day I die and get to see you again.
Love forever,

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Celebration for the Life of Christian Crowell
January 20, 2013 - 2:00pm
Please come and join us at one of Christian's favorite places, Daddy's school gymnasium, to honor and celebrate the life of our young hero, Christian. Refreshments to follow at AE Bowers school in Airdrie, AB.
In lieu of flowers we ask that you make a donation to the Alberta Childrens Hopsital Foundation, Childhood Cancer Collaborative, for Sarcoma Research. Any donation made in Christian's honor is directed towards Rhabdo research

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


This will be my last blog post, at least for a while. My heart is shattered into a million pieces and I don’t know what it will take to repair it. On Monday at 11:30 pm Christian took his last labored breaths and we passed him into the arms of Jesus. We have been praying for the past two years that Christian would know a life that is free of pain, limitations, needles, and frustrations. We prayed for an earthly healing that did not come to pass. We will never know or be able to explain why God decided to call him to His home. But I will rest knowing that Christian is happier in the arms of Jesus than I could ever make him. He is finally strong, fast and playing the way a five year-old boy should. Please continue to pray for our family as we struggle to come to grips with our new reality.

09-06-2007 – 01-14-2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Keeping air in his lungs and food in his tummy
Dear Christian
My sweet little boy, my fighter, one week ago somebody told me that you only had days left to go, days left to hold and love on you. But here you are my little man; you are rocking this world with your tenacity and perseverance. You refuse to give up. Some people might say that you have fought so long and hard, why not just let you go and be at peace. But you know what? God has given you this fighting spirit and has given you this will to live. Our heaven father has given you the ability to fight like Samson and David. He has given you the heart of a lion and the courage of a mighty warrior.
Within the past week you definitely reached a point where your dad and I wondered when you would be taken home. But each day your show us bits of hope. You show us that God is listening to our prayers. Yesterday when I was in the shower I dropped to my knees and told God how weary and tired we were. How I didn’t have the energy to fight anymore. I asked for God to move so that we could know He is in fact Lord over all of our circumstances. And true to God’s glory you had a promising day yesterday. You had some poo (which means your bowel obstruction is moving), you had some food, lots of drink and you wanted to move. In fact I came back from having some supper to find you desperately scraping your arms trying to get out of bed. You were convinced you were getting out of bed. So you sat on the edge of your bed and let me rub your back. Sweet, sweet Christian we have a ways to go but your fight encourages me to keep trusting God. We asked you yesterday who was going to fix your tummy, and you told us, “Jesus”. Then all on your own you told us He told you that, “three times”.

You never know where your inspiration is going to come from and you never know when God is going to whisper in your ear.  Yesterday on your Facebook page somebody posted about the song from Tenth Avenue North, “By your Side”. As I write this blog I listen to the words and am intensely encouraged by the words
“Why are you crying these days?
Why are you trying to earn grace?
Why are you crying? Let me lift up your face, just don’t turn away
Why are you looking for love?
Why are you still searching as if I am not enough?
To where will you go? Tell me where will you run? To where will you run?
Cause I’ll be by your side where every you fall
In the dead of night whenever you call and please don’t fight these hands that are holding you, my hands are holding you
Cause I, I love you, I want you to know that I, I love you I’ll never let you go”

Your mommy and daddy have been ‘working’ so hard to ‘earn’ your healing, crying in desperation, wondering about our future. God is reminding us that none of these things are required. God is telling us that He is enough for us, just hang on to Him and onto His word. Regardless of what is going on He is holding us; He is cradling all of us in his big hands. He is holding us up and carrying us on his soft, gigantic shoulders. There is no need to run around frantically looking for answers. God will provide everything that we need because He loves us so desperately and “He will never let you go”. Christian please remember how much God loves you, whatever happens to us, God’s plans are so much grander that all we can imagine.
Ephesians 3: 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
My prayer requests today are that the copious amounts of fluid in his body would be reabsorbed and alleviate the pressure on his lungs, heart and vital organs. That his bowel adhesions would continue to release and he would be able to eat food without ensuing pain. Please pray that God would continue to minister to Chris, myself and our family in our dark hours. Please lift up the Phaneuf family and continue to pray fervently for Jayden. That God would move in their home and in Jayden’s body. Please pray for healing for these amazing boys – that they would be raised up and that would be able to personally glorify God in the land of the living.

Today I am thankful for:
1.Living Springs church
2.Unexpected poo
3.Sheepskin rugs for Christian’s bony bumJ

Friday, January 4, 2013


Once again I am going to struggle to tap out a few words but I wanted to keep everybody posted on Christian's current condition. I can not begin to express how much it has meant to me to read everybody's comments and encouragement. To feel the prayers coming to us from all around the globe. As of this evening we are at the Children's Hospital where we have been for the past four days. Christians condition is rapidly declining and as of today we were told he has only days left to live. He is on a constant infusion of narcotics and sedatives to keep him comfortable and relatively pain free. He still opens his eyes and asks for blue popsicles. He has random smiles for different people. He is the love of my life and I will continue to pray and believe in our God. Please pray for Christian, for peace in his heart, for healing of his body. Please pray for my other children, Evelyn and Ryan and for Chris as we all try to cope with our current situation. I feel your love.