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.