Thursday, December 25, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Best Christmas smile ever.... 

Good evening sweet pea

It is Christmas Eve and we have officially renamed this day “fun day”. Evy and Ryan have been having so much fun today playing around the house. They seem to find all sorts of imaginative games to play. As we speak they are shooting nesting dolls off the end of an empty wrapping paper roll. Now they are playing princess games in the toy room. There is so much joy and laugher in their voices – the sincerity of their emotions is inspiring to me. I know you are playing with them. In fact we just finished wrapping your present to Daddy – I know he will love it and it will constantly remind him of you. Not that he needs any help with that. He misses you so much. I see him staring at your pictures and I know he is wondering about you, how you would look, what kind of golfer you would be, would you enjoy playing with Evelyn and Ryan? This year he put the star on the tree by himself. He made the most beautiful Christmas tree – we picked it out at tree lot with the kids and I let Evy chose. I am assuming you guided her hand because it is the most beautiful, full and glorious tree we have ever had.
Christmas 2012
Hey mom don't mess my mullet!!!
Joshua is such a beautiful soul. I call him my little dude, he has so much of your spirit and tenacity (or should I call it stubbornness?!) He is always giving away his kisses, he grabs your face with two hands and plants a big one on your lips, “mmmmaaaa” he says when he kisses.  He loves to be near me, maybe a bit too much! He can’t seem to sleep unless part of him is touching my skin, or daddy’s. He needs to feel a heartbeat and a warm body. His security is knowing that we are close by – this part of him reminds me so much of you. Needed to be close by, as if there was nothing else in the world but us, and that is ok with him. A few days ago he started walking – everywhere! He picks up his hockey stick and swings at anything in his way! He also discovered that he can kick a soccer ball, its just about the cutest thing I have ever seen. Every moment of this holiday reminds me of you… words can not describe how much I long to have you here with us. Playing and celebrating, listening to music and dancing around the living room, watching the Magic Hockey skates and the Grinch who Stole Christmas.
I love my Daddy so much

Now that is joy!!!1

Pastor Doug gave an amazing sermon the other day about Joy, that it is God’s deepest desire for us to have a life filled with joy. Our life may no be filled with happiness but God has put a serving of Joy into my soul. The pain of missing you takes away from the happiness of my days but we have become privy to the true value of the “small” things in life that are really very big things. Laying in bed at night with my kids lulling them into a secure sleep, tickling their little tummy’s while they beg for mercy, watching them enjoy playing together, seeing Joshua take his first steps – right into a kicking a soccer ball, sitting with my husband at night and knowing I have my best friend beside me who always has my back, food on our table and the security of my future life with Christian.
We began our Christmas vacation with a little hungry hippo
Despite the chaos, confusion and frustrations that might come into our life, the deep rooted understanding the Jesus loves us, died for us and currently is battling for us is what brings me my peace and joy. At the end of the day He will provide for us whatever situation we find ourselves in and this is what I rely on and trust. Christmas, to me, is my promise that I will see Christian again. My good friend laughed at me the other day when I told her how I started crying in church when I attempted to sing the Christmas carols. I can see how it would seem silly since they are supposed to be joyful but all of a sudden the words spoke to me even though I have sung them a thousand times before. Hark the Herald Angels Sing began and I sang with the repetition that most carols bring, then all of a sudden I heard these words,

            “Born that man no more may die
              Born to raise the sons of earth,
              Born to give them second birth”

And the realization that Christ was born on Christmas morning only to died on a cross a few decades later – so that I can see you again. And not just see you but live a glorious life with you Christian, the life God had intended in the very first place. No pain or suffering just pure joy and happiness. You may be gone from our life here on earth but I know you wait for me. This is my Christmas wish for my family and for every other family out there today who needs a reason to smile. This moment on earth now is fleeting, don’t stress, trust in the Lord, store up for your selves treasures in heaven and soon one day we will all understand.

Best sibling Christmas picture - hands down!!!

I know you are going to have a rocking party in heaven – what a day to celebrate! I hope you join us at church and sit on my knee when we sing. I can see your hands in the air as you draw close to God. I love you so much. Merry Christmas Christian.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Happy Birthday To Me?

Hey Buddy
Sitting on the floor in my bedroom, feeling a bit deflated and thinking of you – as always. I am constantly moving about trying to fix something, cook something, clean something or move something. And when I sit down and the air leaves me lungs I feel like I weigh 500 lbs. I don’t have the energy to move myself back up into standing and I can’t breath. I wish I could cry. I feel sobs and sadness coming up; my chin quivers and my voice shakes when I try to speak but no tears. Today is my birthday and all I can think about is how much I miss you.
Life continues to move and everyday happens whether I want to open my eyes in the morning or not. I put a smile on my face and claw out of bed and begin each day. My emotions in the morning are like arthritis. When my brain first awakes in the morning I am reminded that you are gone and I am in pain before I ever even slip out of bed or peel my eyes open. As I move about in the morning and my body lubes up and my brain is forced to go to other places the pain numbs. I have a hot shower, get some breakfast and the day moves full steam ahead as I involuntarily push you to the back of my mind. And I am surprised that each morning pretty much the same as the one before. Even today when it should be fun and exciting to have a birthday all I feel is sadness and loss.
How we slept most nights
I was speaking to somebody the other day about the grief process. It is true that the intense backbreaking pain I felt in the first few months has subsided. But what has replaced it is this veiled grief that I try to hide behind my smile. I have come to realize that there is no “getting over it”and I will never “be better”. The necessities of life require that I keep making my kids food, giving them hugs, loving their little shinning spirits and nurturing their souls.  But behind this mega momma persona and stuck on smile is a person who is breaking each time she sits down to breath. I feel like somebody who has been telling a lie and now I can’t untell it. Like when you first meet someone and you forget to ask their name and now its gone on too long and you would feel silly to have to ask them their name now, months or years later. I hide my grief now because I feel like people would wonder about me, or the state of my mental health if I told them how much pain I feel still. How much I yearn to just lay in bed and do nothing. That if it wasn’t for Evy, Ryan, Josh and Chris I may just jump off a cliff. That is how painful it is still.
Today is the last day of fall I think, the cold and snow are coming tomorrow and soon I am going to hear, “When can we decorate the house?” And I wonder how much I can do this year? I have tiny moments where I see a beautiful decoration or hear a familiar Christmas song and I get excited about the upcoming holiday season and then a stinging smash in my face reminds me that everything about this holiday reminds me of you. Christian I know you are close to God so I know that you know my heart. And as much pain as I am in right now I know that you see all of me. You watch me experience joy and laughter with the kids. You see my trying to be better, trying to hand my worries and concerns over to God. I know the only answer to this deep soul crushing pain is to invite God into my world of pain and ask him to heal me.
Never got enough of these
The other day I was encouraged to give my worries, pains, fears, and inadequacies over to God. And I was angry because I thought, “God knows my pain! He caused all of this so I shouldn’t have to invite Him in”. Then He took me by the hand and asked me to go back to the hospital with him. But instead of lying beside you and watching you take your last breaths, we stood outside your room, He held my hand and we looked into the window. I saw me lying there beside you holding you and I was seeing things from His perspective. He reminded me that He watched His son suffer too. He watched His son take his last breaths – He understood my pain. But I had to trust Him that His view was so much broader and bigger than mine and if I allowed Him to guide my pain and healing He would reveal to us the blessings He has in store for our family.  And I realized that while I was standing their holding God’s hand tightly, Christian was holding my other hand. And I knew that if I spent all my time stuck in what I lost and can no longer have, I would never feel him holding my hand.
So each morning I invite God into my heart, thank Him for waking up in the morning, thank him for the gift of my kids and then I invite him into my pain and say, “please deal with this, I can’t but you can”.

I listened to your video this morning. You sang me Happy Birthday and whispered, “I love you”. I could almost feel your bony-armed hug and skinny fingers on my neck. You look deep into my eyes and tell me you love me and I know you still do. I love you to the planet Hoth and back.

You will be happy to know that Ryan has wished me Happy Birthday about 20 times already today. Papa Norman sang a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday and Grammy made me Waffles (in honor of you I think!) Please stay close.
Hospital bed cozy :) my happy place

Monday, October 20, 2014

Thanksgiving

I will never stop missing that face

Dear Christian
I type this letter as your daddy and I fly across the plains of Montana. Ok we are not really flying, we are driving, but your daddy drives so fast!!!! We spent thanksgiving having a quiet and simple holiday at a hotel with a waterslide and small kids play park. I always think about you when I consider where we should stay. Would you approve? Your passport always comes with us…. You are always near. I would be lying if I said you were not constantly on my mind this weekend. Evelyn and Ryan had so much fun together playing in the pool and jumping around the hotel room. They loved making pancakes in the morning and eating pizza in our room at night. Waking up the neighbors by running up and down the hallways and riding the elevator for fun. And I am so thankful for all these wonderful memories, but I cannot help but wonder how different things would be if you were still here. I guess the truth is that I know we wouldn’t be doing half the things we do because you would still be here. We wouldn’t go on road trips to try and escape painful family holidays and most likely we would not have the beautiful clarity that we do about how important this family time is. We probably would be “too busy” to stop and feed the fish, walk around the toy aisles at Target and spend hours upon hours in the pool and hot tub. So we can’t have one without the other…….hhhmmmmmm?
Wake up daddy! time to go swimming!!!!
            On the way back from Helena God provided us with the most gorgeous and awesome sky; double rainbows, beautiful clouds at dusk that covered every color of blue imaginable and trees whose fall colors made me think I must be on the east coast somewhere! Sitting in the car with my family and hearing Evelyn exclaim, “mommy look at that! Isn’t that the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?!” makes me heart soar and appreciate these little gifts from heaven. It reminds me that we are not alone and God provides the most beautiful things when you least expect it.  Mini snap shots of heaven, views of how God intended earth to look without. And I know that this beauty is what surrounds you each day and you long for us to know it to. And for us to trust that all is well, I must release….sigh.
Josh trying to sneak eve's beloved Girrafy 
I read a beautiful scripture this morning on Facebook and it immediately spoke to my heart about the pain I am feeling on a daily and hourly basis.

           Psalms 84: 5-7
“How enriched are they who find their strength in the Lord. Within their hearts are the highways of holiness. Even when their path winds through the dark valley of tears. They dig deep to find a pleasant pool where others find only pain. He gives to them a brook of blessing filled from the rain of an outpouring. They grow stronger and stronger with every step forward until they find their strength in him!“

This scripture reminds me that God will allow this suffering to come into our lives but he doesn’t leave us alone in our grief. We may feel lonely but we are not alone. I may feel like I lost the one person in my life that I loved to the ends of the earth…. Who loved me like I had never known love before. But there is somebody who loves me one hundred fold more than that. I have been learning of late that there is simply no way for me to change the pain I feel. I can’t do anything about it. But God can. I have been reminded that I must surrender the hurt and pain in my life to Him. I must remember to ask God to guide me on a daily basis and show me the pools of love that lay beneath the streams of agony. I know that there is glory and amazingness in our life but my pain blinds me.  If only I could find a way to tuck it all into a brown paper bag and had it over to God and say, ”Here, you deal with this!” I am %100 sure that He would and I would feel peace like I have never known in my life. Well this is what I am working on. Since I started on this journey of healing there have been tears (ok for those of you who really know me and know I physically can not cry – snot) and sobbing and heaving as the pain I have being stuffing rises to the top.
Stopping to feed the fish

Besties.... 

Christian, daddy is working very hard at school. He is such a special person to the kids in his class. I know you go to school with him everyday. Perhaps you sit in his lap when he teaches his kids. When he is working at the smart board you twirl around in his chair and smile proudly at how smart and patient he is. He requires lots of love and energy to get through each day and I pray that you would continue to stay close by him and help him to feel your love. I love you all the way to the death star and back. Good night sweet pea.
No vacation complete without a round of golf with dad (did you play with them?)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Go Gold

Love the golf swagger...... 
Dear Sweet Christian… it’s the first day of school here. I guess you have seen all the excited and nervous kids getting on the bus, leaving mom and dad, entering into their new classrooms. Today you would have started grade two. I wonder who your teacher would have been? I wonder which friends you would have giggled beside? Would you have held Evelyn’s hand and walked her to her kindergarten class on Monday? I know you would have told her how much fun she would have and that she didn’t need to worry. Maybe you could tell her while she is sleeping tonight. Whisper into her ear all the wisdom that you can share. Help her to feel strong and confident; to know she is loved beyond compare and that she can be a leader and know that despite what anybody else might say she is wonderful and loved.

Christian
A song just popped into my earphones titled, “Coming home”.  I am sure Mr. Brickman didn’t mean heaven but as soon as I saw those words I longed to know what it felt to walk into a place and know that it is home, that I cannot be judge or misunderstood. That love would flow from every corner and crevice and fill every part of my body and soul with the understanding that I was good. This is what you want us to know right? That despite the places we find ourselves where doubt and fear can creep into our hearts; we need to remember that we have a ‘home’ with Jesus. That he loves us beyond compare, with no judgments or concerns. No expectations and no implications. Just accept and love Him and all the glory He has planned will come. How I long to crawl up into the lap of our savior, put my head in his chest and feel those strong arms wrapped tight around me – knowing the love of the Lord would flow into me and I would be small and loved. I would be quiet and still and it would be perfect. This is what its like for you right? You have no fear and no sadness. You never wonder about people are thinking of you, you are never worried about letting people down or what things you haven’t managed to accomplish in your day. Your days are perfect and I am so happy for you. I know that I miss you here on earth but your days are filled with glory and love and peace and joy beyond comprehension. I long for the day to see you, to hold you, to talk to you again. I can’t wait for you to give me the tour of heaven and introduce me to your brother. We can run around and be silly and throw rocks in the water. You can tell me all about what you guys have been doing.
Evelyn
Well down here things are busy as usual. Daddy went back to work today. He has been working so hard this past week.  You have been watching him right? I bet you sit in his classroom with him while he works. Hold his hands and keep him company. You are so proud of him I am sure – he is such a good teacher and the kids love him. He always talks about you and how proud of you he is. Evelyn will be starting kindergarten on Thursday and I know she is excited. I am so sorry you never got the chance to walk into your kindergarten class. Instead you tell me that you are set free. I am so happy that you show yourself to me. Thank you for the color spectrum while we were driving in Cape Breton. I know you were with us, protecting us. More and more God is trying to show me heaven. Trying to help me not miss you so much. But today with all the pictures of first days I can’t help but have my heart on the sidewalk, it’s trampled and walked on, with every little set of feet that walk onto the school bus.
Ryan
Ryan will be going to Fuzzy Pickles starting next week; he is so big and smart. I am hoping you can walk with him and comfort him. He misses his daddy so much. He has never known his daddy to have to go to work and he is lost. He cried all day today for his dad. Maybe you saw him sad – I am not sure if you can see sadness. I pray that he feels you close. That he would know the comfort and love of his big brother. Perhaps you could visit him while he sleeps and touch his face. Wrap your big brother arms around his sweaty head and help him to know the love of his family, the love of the Father. Joshy is such a cute little dude. He is thinking about walking and loves to push is little toy around – he is so proud! He says hockey and “hi daddy” and ball. He loves to play catch with whoever will play with him. He can swing his little golf club at the plastic golf ball and I know you are super proud of him. He is following in all your footsteps. He had to go for his immunizations today. I felt kind of bad because I wasn’t too sympathetic when he got his shots after watching you suffer on a daily basis with needles. It just reminds me more and more how incredibly brave you were. How on earth does a little boy endure such pain and agony? How? Tears stream down my face as I remember some of the horrific moments you experienced. Like it was yesterday I remember how it felt to not be able to protect you, to not be able to take the pain away. And I am sorry. I am so so sorry.
Joshua
Gods grace lifted me today; I was walking around in a daze today thinking about you. It was painful and I was so sad. And it smacked me in the face how God’s grace has sustained us. When I allow myself to fall into sorrow I wonder how I would ever survive without the hope of Jesus Christ. Without the hope of seeing you again, I could never survive. The death of a child is so wrong, it’s unnatural and backwards. But God prevails and He really does provide what we need to push through each day. He is the reason we can smile and laugh. It would be more humane to die with your child, when you took your last breath if only I could have laid beside you and taken mine as well. But I didn’t. God has other plans for your daddy and I. I know that you know what they are and I hope I don’t let you down.
Happy 6th Birthday...what a cake!!!

Your birthday is this Saturday. You would have been 7. Daddy and I still haven’t decided how we are going to celebrate but I think we will bring some toys to the hospital and maybe some cake for the nurses and doctors.  Then we will go and do something you loved to do. Swim? Play at the park? Eat Pizza? Listen to your favorite music? Help somebody else?  Christian, I love you beyond words. I miss you with every fiber in my body, and then some more.  I miss your giggles, your smiles, and your hugs. I wish I could run a bath tonight and slip in the hot water only to have you slide around the corner with a little smile on your face, “mommy can I get it?” With much joy I would agree and you would hobble into your room and get some of your star wars guys and we would have a little battle between good and evil. Luke Skywalker always won!
LOVED bath time!!!!
Until then sweetie, know how much I love you. I live for your memory, for Evelyn, Ryan and Joshua. I live to make your daddy happy and to create amazing memories as a family. I want to try and help other people, help me to see who they are. I live to show people the love of God, the hope in Jesus Christ and to bring Him Glory.


Please continue to pray for Luca - he is fighting so hard. But his body is tired and his soul is weary. Please pray for his family, pray for the peace that surpasses all understanding. Pray that God will flood their spirits with hope and His love. 


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

HI MOMMY....


Dear Mommy

I wanted to remind you that I haven’t gone, I love you and I am still with you. I LOVE YOU!!!! I know you are in Nova Scotia, I know you are sad when you visit Nanny's but please remember that you are not alone. Remember yesterday when you went to Victoria Park for a long walk? You did Jacob’s ladder a whole bunch of times and it was really hard. I was climbing right beside you. I know you heard me cheering for you and encouraging you to keep going. I know you heard me tell you that God loves you so much and you are worth fighting for. I am so proud of you that you work so hard, that you think of me when you want to quite and remember how hard I fought to beat cancer. So when you are really tired I am right beside you too, just like you did for me.

Christian's footprints on the beach
Then you went to Melmerbry beach to meet papa, Ryan was so excited! You went on a really long walk down towards the rocks on the beach.  Well I was walking with you keeping you company. You stopped and sat in a water pocket and looked out at the ocean, I was sitting right beside you holding your hand. I know you felt paradise in that moment. You imagined that that was what heaven might look like. And you were right! It is amazing! The oceans are brightest and the clearest blue and the beaches are overflowing with crystal sand – not hot to walk on and never any rocks to step on, only perfect ones for skipping and throwing in the ocean! There is tons of laughter and giggles, there are couples loving their time together. People walk the beaches holding hands and families sit together to build castles in the sand. Earth is a piece of heaven – only up here everything is perfect. You will see one day, I will show you everything when you get here.

Speaking of that I know you are so desperate to see me and hold me again. But you still have work to do at home. God has a purpose for you, even thought you might not know what it is. I can see it and it makes perfect sense. You have to believe what is in your heart and trust that God will not let you down. I know you want to help other people but you are just not sure how to do it. But if you can stay positive and keep your heart open then you will know what it is you are meant to be doing.

Victoria park pool
I love Joshua so much. I can see he recognizes me in the picture on the floor in Grammy’s basement. I visit him at night so he doesn’t forget me – he is so cute and he loves Evelyn and Ryan so much. They are amazing big brother and sisters, I am so proud of them. I know you worry about Evelyn and Ryan, you worry that they are suffering because I died. But remember that instead of wondering and worrying about them – pray for them. God wanted me to remind you that you can ask him for help for little things as well as big things. He is always listening to your cries. He knows your heart and He understands your hurt. He loves you. Keep breathing slowly.  Remind daddy how much I love him and tell him to stop grinding his teeth and to trust that he is an amazing daddy. Ryan loves him so much and looks up to him like I did. I go with them whenever they play golf. I watch Daddy swing and I sit in his lap when he drives the cart. God purposely put you guys together and you are a great team. I am so glad God chose you for my parents. I am so lucky! 
 
Victoria park - one of your favs
I know you miss me mommy, but in those moments of intense pain and sadness remember how I used to sit in your lap and wrap my arms around your neck. I would kiss you incessantly so you would laugh and have to stop crying. Remember how I used to rub your arm when I was falling asleep? I still do those things. Sit still long enough to feel me and know me – I haven’t left you – I promise. I am still keeping my eye out for Luca – he is fighting so hard. And I am watching over Sadie at the hospital at night. Keep praying for them, God is listening to you, He told me himself. His giant hands are protecting them and his angels keep watch over them.


I will talk to you again soon Mommy. Keep writing me letters and letting me know how everything is going. I love you so much – all the way to the death star and back!


PS I see you have been playing Star Wars Angry birds and they made some new levels! They are so hard but I am right beside you while you try to get those darn piggies, well get them together like we used to. Love you