Tuesday, July 22, 2014


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

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Turns to Gold

Hello sweet heart. Tonight I am in one of your favorite places. I can feel and see you just about everywhere. I see a landmark and imagine what you did and said, I see a person you loved and remember how you sounded when you spoke to them and how you looked when you hugged them. I remember your favorite places to go, foods to eat and the people you wanted to be with. You loved playing fish with nanny Lou at the kitchen table, you loved playing in your room at Nanny Marilyn’s house. I can see you sitting at your little table in the living room eating your breakfast and watching cartoons. You loved throwing rocks down at Victoria Park and walking along the beach at Aunty Janice’s’ cottage. You loved the parks at bible hill and Victoria Park. You loved playing with Aunty Judy in her backyard and you loved playing hockey with your cousins over at Uncle Sandy’s house. As a baby you spent many hours in Uncle Brent and Aunty Rhonda’s pool and playing ping-pong in their basement. You are everywhere here in Truro and now you are nowhere. I sit here at the computer and I am desperate for you. My longing for you is secret and the smile I put on my face is a fa├žade to cover the pain that emanates from my heart. Some days I can keep myself busy enough to not have to miss you too much. But here in Nova Scotia, where you heart lived, I can’t escape your beautiful smile and your infectious, joyous ways. I love to remember the special way your affection made me feel. You were the first person to introduce unconditional love to me.  And remembering the times you spent here and watching you love other people, remember the moments that filled your heart – breaks mine. I want to feel that immense joy again. And in the still of the Nova Scotia nights – with the stars so clear – and my mind so fragile I can’t help but sit here and cry.  Still to this day I wonder how on earth this happened to us. I used to watch the commercials for the children’s hospitals and see the bald little kids and felt pity for them. I wondered whose child gets cancer? Not mine. Not yours. Wrong. I lay in my bed in the middle of the night wide awake tormented by your last days. I cannot stop playing them back.
Ryan enjoying the beach at the cottage

Just about on a daily basis I ask God the question, Why? And then I ask the question How? Why did this happen to our family? Why did you have to suffer so intensely? I think back to some of your treatments and things that happened to you in the hospital and I am filled with rage. No little person should understand and know that depth of pain and hurt you experienced; or the fear and the anxiety of not knowing what’s coming next. Begging and screaming for me to not leave you when I want to go a get a quick cup of coffee at the cafeteria. I wonder what horrors played in your mind when I walked toward your hospital room door. What did you think was gong to happen to you when I left? I knew that there was no boogie man around the corner, no painful procedure on schedule for you. But the pain and fear that griped your mind in that time of your treatment haunts me. I couldn’t protect you; I couldn’t protect your soul and stop the panic of the unknown. I couldn’t help you. But I loved you and held you tight. And I know you know that I loved you with you all my heart, and all of my soul and to the bottom of my toes and to the top of tatooien and around to the death start.
Enjoying the beaches of NS

The answer to why is that there is no answer and no explanation. And the question
How? How do I survive? How do I continue to wake up each morning and move my feet? How I do I look at my other children and not see their brothers face? How do I watch them interact and not wonder how life would be different if Evy, Ryan and Josh’s big brother were still around? How do I explain to other people the lingering and shocking pain that still exists in my soul a year and a half later? The smile on my face covers the truth.  The phrase about my other children giving me purpose and “something to wake up for” is very true. But the pain is still the same, which never changes deep in my soul.  I watch your cousins and imagine what you would be doing with them. I imagine you growing taller and stronger and braver. I imagine you and Daniel playing ball hockey on the driveway for hours. I imagine you and daddy and uncle Kenny hitting the golf course. I imagine you and aunty Paula playing ball. I imagine you and papa cutting the lawn and worst of all I imagine you and your brothers and sister playing together at the beach. You four together are the perfect team. You are the perfect leader to our little squad. But then I am reminded that life isn’t perfect. It is far from perfect – its down right miserable some days. And my goal is to reduce the amount of yuck I feel. At the end of the day I ask myself, “Whose life did I make better today? Did my kids know that I loved them with all my heart? Did I squeeze each one of them and tickle their little tummies? Did I honor you Christian?” The purpose of my life is not to seek out this phenomenal joy that I am missing in you; but to bring joy to those around me. And if I can’t bring somebody joy then can I serve in God’s name? To make somebody else’s life just a tiny bit better. And maybe, just maybe some of the joy will stick to me and work its way into my soul like osmosis. The concentration of joy is small inside of me. But if I can help create joy around me then perhaps it will begin to penetrate my skin, my bones, my soul and all things will even out.

The other night Evelyn had a dream about you. I know you spoke to her because she is generally very vague and “fairy-tale” like with her explanations of her dreams. She told daddy that she had “the most amazing dream! She said you told her that the day after you died you were alive again and that everything was ok and that you were happy in heaven. You said that heaven was amazing. She said you told her that everything you touched turned to Gold. I hold onto these pictures in my mind. I know you are well taken care of and I wait for you in my sleep.  I love you.
The Crowell boys - forever