Thursday, June 14, 2012

Yay 6.

6 yrs ago tomorrow I was blessed with a beautiful daughter.  She was born on June 15, 2006 at 6:11pm.  She weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz.  and was 21 in. long. She had a full head of dark brown hair, and a huge set of dark brown eyes.  As I held her in my arms and looked at Nate and Conner I thought wow God,  look what You have given me.  I had more joy in that moment than a lifetime should allow.  And how I think back at that moment of joy and savior it for all it's worth.  How complete my family was.  As I look back now  I realize that God had given me more than a daughter that day,  He had given me a reason. I had no idea then what would be in store for our lives, but God did.  And in all of His great wisdom and mercy He gave my husband  and I a reason to live on that June 15, through some of the hardest days this life would give.

Liyah was a fabulous baby.  She was pretty much on the move from birth.  I remember not being able to get her to stay swaddled in the hospital and the nurse insisted she could do it.  Liyah wiggled free after about 5 seconds and the nurse was quite shocked.  She started crawling at 5 1/2 months and walking at 9.  It was crazy.  She laughed all the time and had such a curiosity for this world even as a tiny infant.  Her eyes were wide open and she picked up on everything.  (She still does,  we can't get nothing past this girl.)  She absolutely adored her big brother.  He could get her laughing harder than anyone else.  She stayed so tiny for so long.  I remember everywhere we went people would comment on how petite she was.  A lot of people told us she didn't even look real.  She definitely was and still is the most precious little girl.  Oh how I have enjoyed watching her grow these past 5 yrs.  She has filled our life with such happiness during such sorrow.  On days when I didn't think I could bare to go on, I would look at her face and it was all it took to get me through to the next moment.

So tonight, through tears I put my baby girl to bed for the last time ever as a 5 yr. old.  I am relieved for her that this year is over.  I know it was so terribly difficult for her and yet she handled it with such grace and enthusiasm.  She learned to read and write, how to comfort, how to let go, and how to accept some of lives most difficult circumstances.  She learned how to be a friend, how to pleat', and that the Lord does not always give us everything we want, but He will give us everything we need.  She wrote her first bible verse, took her first piano lesson, and grew her first flower.  This past year has taken so much from us, yet also given us so much too.  It has taken our 11 yr. old son, yet has gave us an opportunity to watch the most beautiful 5 yr. old grow into the most beautiful 6 yr. old ever.  As I go to sleep tonight I can't help but praise God for what He has given us in our precious little girl, and also anticipate the joy a 6 yr. old daughter will bring to our lives.  Yay to 6!!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

The truth hurts

It is with a very heavy and burdened heart that I write this post today.  A heart burdened for people, grieving mothers especially.  There are a lot of people who may not like this post, or agree with it.  Especially those who do not believe every word in the bible to be truth.  I would really like you to see my heart in what I am going to share.  I want you to imagine for just one second believing something to the core of who you are.  Believing with out a doubt in something that is real and permanent.  This is how I feel about the bible.  I believe that the words in that book were breathed by the power of the Holy Spirit and that every single word, whether I like it or not is the absolute truth.  After all in His word God says that He is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19).  So I beg you to please hear my heart and try to understand why this is truly something that hurts my heart to it's core.  Something that people don't like to talk about, or want to believe, but it is the truth.  So here it is.


Matthew 10:28And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

John 14:1-4
 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions;[a] if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.[b] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, thereyou may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

So yes I believe heaven and hell are places and that accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior is the only way to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.  I also believe if you do not accept the free gift of Jesus then you will be banished to hell for all eternity where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 8:12)  I don't believe that whether you are good or bad has anything to do with where you will end up.  You can be the greatest servant in the world, but that means nothing to God.  In fact He says our works are like bloody rags before Him (Isaiah 64:6), so they mean absolutely nothing.  The only thing God looks at is where our heart is with His Son.  And not everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will enter (Matt. 7:21).  It is also hard to enter into heaven, and not many will be let in (Matt. 7:13-14).  

I also believe there is an enemy who is like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour (1 Peter 5:8).  I believe that the enemy is so awful that he will use the worst things someone can go through in this life and use it to advance his purpose in this world which is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).  He does not care that your child died and you are searching for answers to questions that you may never get answered.  He will tell you he has the answers. But he does not.  The answers lie in the bible and the truth that is Jesus.  I long for my child every day.  To hold him in my arms and see his smile.  But I know with everything that I am that the only way to my child is with Jesus.  There is no other connection to me and him now other than Jesus.  I wish he was in the wind, and the trees.  I wish I could feel his presence, and go somewhere and have someone talk to him and then tell me what he says or what he is doing.  I wish his spirit would visit me and comfort me.  But the reality is this is not the case.  It is a lie from the enemy trying to separate you from your child for eternity.  And not just your child, but from the One who made a way for you to be with your child again.  I am not ok with my child not being here with me, but I am not God and His ways and thought are higher than mine (Isaiah 55:9).  I am however very grateful to a God who loved me enough to make a way for me through His son Jesus (John 3:16), to be with my child again.  I want to spend my life here loving Jesus, so that i can spend my life for eternity loving my sweet sweet boy and Jesus in heaven.

So there it is.  Please understand, I am in no way trying to condemn, or judge, or put you down in any way, if you believe different than I do.  I just want you to see why it is so important for me to share the name of Jesus, especially to grieving mothers.  And who knows, maybe when I die, I will find that what I believed to be truer than true was actually just a lie.  I am ok with that.  But what if what I believe is right?  Are you ok with that?

I love you all and pray for God's mercy and grace to be upon you all.  Especially those of you who are in a time of deep misery and sorrow, such as myself.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The thing about memories...

Memory is defined as  the mental capacity or faculty of retaining and reviving facts, events, impressions, etc., or of recalling or recognizing previous experiences.  Memories can evoke tons of emotions.  Hurt, happiness, sorrow, shame, and on and on they go.  I don't have tons of great memories to look back on in my life, but the ones I do have that are good I cherish so much.  The ones that are not so great, well I have learned a ton from them so I guess looking back they aren't so bad.  Memories can be so wonderful, but they can also be down right mean.  
    Since my son Conner was born my life has been filled with good memories.  Wonderful memories of holding him, teaching him, nurturing him.  Those memories used to make me cry tears of joy.  Look what God has given me.  The most beautiful son in the world and the most precious memories to go with him.  Now, almost 11 months after he was ripped from my arms by a horrible monster we call cancer memories of him are all I have.  The worst part about them is knowing that we will never be able to make more together.  All I have of him is 11 yrs., 8 months, 21 days, 2 hrs., and 15 minutes.  The memories I have I cherish more than anyone can know.  They also bring me more pain than anything I could have ever imagined.  What do you do with memories when every single one of them breaks and rips at your heart and soul in such a bitter sweet way.  I wouldn't trade the memories for anything in the world, knowing that without them I would lose my baby.  But sometimes I wish they didn't come so ravenously and so often.  They make me yearn for my boy.  They leave me completely unsatisfied, knowing the memory of holding my boy can not compare to actually holding him.  The memories are everywhere.  Over 11 yrs. is a long time to make memories with someone.  Every holiday, every birthday, every single day holds a memory of my boy.  Almost every movie, every picture, every song, every family outing, and so on and so on.  There are things that hold memories and effect me that I never realized even could.  How could a number as simple as 11, 12, 25 stop me in my tracks and bring me to my knees.  Every time I see a toe headed little boy, I just stop and stare and imagine what it could have been like.  Whenever I hear the name Conner, or see a dragonfly, or a rainbow, or a rain cloud, there he is.  Sometimes I wonder how with my mind being so preoccupied with the things of Conner how I have done anything else since he died.  
    Memories can also be tough when they start to fad.  Sometimes I feel like I can feel Conner in my arms, and other times I find myself desperately trying to remember what it felt like to hold him.  Sometimes it feels like yesterday since he was sitting with me on my lap, and other times it feels like an eternity.  The smell of him still lingers on his clothes but it isn't as strong as it was.  Sometimes it feels like I am losing him over and over again as the memories fade somewhat.  Maybe not so much the memories, but the emotions that go along with them.  
    God talks a lot about us remembering in the bible.  It is funny though cause it seems He only asks us to hold on to the good memories.  He tells us to remember and celebrate what He did for us, but He also says that He remembers our sins no more.  I think I will try to do it God's way.  Hold on to the memories of the yrs. Conner was healthy and whole, the yrs. where the Lord saw us through.  The yrs. where God gave us Nate, and Liyah and a family.  I will remember the times my hurt was so deep I know only God could have gotten me through.  I will remember every sweet and wonderful moment the Lord allowed me to be with my precious child.  The smiles, the hugs, the love.  And I will hold onto to those, with hope and thanksgiving, not being anxious but remembering God's promises for my life and for Conners.  No matter how much the memories may change, or fad, or do whatever else it is memories will do I know I will hold onto the Love I have for my sweet sweet boy forever and for always. And then one day in all God's goodness I will  enter into Jesus arms and He will hold me and my boy and together we will make memories together for eternity.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Something about Conner.

I know I don't update this blog very often, so when I do I try to make it something profound and memorable.  Haha well at least I think it is.  A lot of what I write are ideas I feel like I get from God.  I try and let Him inspire my words.  Today I ache so deeply that I felt the need to blog.  Unfortunately I feel as though I have nothing profound to say.  All I can think about is my sweet Conner whom I miss more than I ever thought was possible.  I can't get him out of my mind, and frankly I kinda don't want to.  So I decided what better thing to blog about than Conner.

  I love everything about Conner.  He had so many admirable qualities that it is hard to pick a favorite.  So all of them are.  However there is one that sticks out in my mind that I want you all to know about.  My 11 yr. old boy, who mind you was all boy loved babies.  Since as little as I remember he was always drawn to them.  Especially newborns.  The younger the better.  He loved to hold babies and just stare at them.  He was always so gentle and sweet.  It amazed me seeing him at football practice tackle the crap out of a kid, then run to the sidelines and gently kiss his baby sister on the cheek.  One of his favorite things to do was to go with me to take a meal to a new mother and just hold that precious new baby in his arms.  He would beg me to have more kids,lol.  When close friends or family members had babies and they would come over for a visit, he would just lay in his bed with the baby in his arms, watching TV being so perfectly content.  I babysat a baby for a few months and he did more work than me.  He wouldn't change diapers but he would feed, and he loved when the baby would fall asleep in his arms.  It still amazes me how gentle and instinctual he was.  He was the first person, besides Nate and I to hold Liyah.  He was so amazing with his baby sister.  Of course the older she got the less amazing he got,lol.  I think when they start to talk his gentleness fades a little. It makes me think of how he stuck up for those without a voice.  He stuck up for the little guy, so taking care of something so helpless brought him such joy.  I bet he would have been a lawyer.  I picture him in heaven holding the little babies who were taken from there mothers far too soon in this life.  I know how precious babies and children are to Jesus and I bet that is one of the reasons why they are to Conner.  Just know you other lonely mothers that there is a strong, confident, yet gentle young man in heaven helping Jesus take care of your babies.  And loving every second of it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What NOT to say.

Today I am using this blog as a tool to vent.  I am so happy I have a safe place where I can speak my heart and no one will be offended.  That being said please no one get offended.
There are certain things you should not say to people during there time of misery, especially those whose misery is caused by the death of a child.  A lot of times people need to just vent, hence this post, so don't try to give words of comfort or understanding.   Sometimes they just need to hear wow, sorry and I will pray.  There are certain things that we don't want to hear.

1. Anything about God's will.  No body will ever be able to convince me that it was God's for my child to be sick and die.  His will is for life which is why His son came and died.  God is not the type whose will  is for a mother to watch her son suffer tragically for years and then die in her arms at 11 yrs. old.  Art least not any kind of God that I would be able to serve.  However I do believe that God's will is to turn tragic things into beautiful things. He says He will make all things work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose. Which is everyone so take your blessing people.

2.  God does not give you more than you can handle.  To me this old saying evokes 2 responses in me.  The first is well I am not handling this then.  My child died.  How in the world would I be able to handle it???  I know how I feel inside which is out of control and crazy so when you say to me I won't get more than I can handle it makes me want to punch you. However I never would, I hope.  There are some things that are dealt to us in this life which are just more than we ourselves can handle.  Which brings me to my next thought, God does give us more than we can handle.  Well God may not give us more than we can handle but life does, He says so in His word.  The God I serve doesn't want me to try and handle things on my own.  That is when He knows I will get into trouble.  Why because He knows how He made me.  He knows He created our bodies to live forever, and when sin entered man our bodies became subject to physical death.  ( 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Gen. 2:17)  Isn't it crazy to think that if Adam and Eve had not eaten from the tree our bodies would live forever.  This is why I believe grief is the most unnatural emotion our bodies can handle.  We weren't made to die so we certainly weren't made to handle it when someone we love dies.  But God does say He will deal with it for us if we let Him.  His word says , “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  He also tells us ,"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  And there are so many others that prove to me God doesn't want me to handle my problems, He wants to handle them for me. 

3. My final stupid thing people say for today is one that seems to evoke the most rage in me. When people say at least you still have Nate and Liyah, or well think about Nate and Liyah, or you have to go on for Nate and Liyah.  No freakin duh people.  I bet I know and appreciate the importance of them in my life even better than most people.  I would have to say that until you have lost something so precious in your life, you can't really, really see how important the people arethat you do have.  I am not saying someone has to die for you to appreciate the people in your life, I am just saying when it does happen it makes you realize it and appreciate it in a whole new way.  So trust me people, I wake up every morning and go on because I get to see there faces and hug them and kiss them and serve them.  But I also go on because God calls me too.  And I go on serving and loving Him because I know He is the only way I will get to hug and kiss and see the face of my beautiful boy who I lost much to soon in this world.  

So let's recap, God's will is for life and not death or sickness, He does give you more than you can handle but will not give you more than He can handle, and I sill love and appreciate Liyah and Nate and realize how important they are in my life.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Conner's Blog- some stuff he wrote.

My favorite football is the Bears.  They have been my favorite team since I was like 7 yrs. old.  They became my favorite team when I was 7 because I played flag football when I was 7.  My team was the Ogden Bears.  My favorite players are Devon Hester, Brian Urlacher, and there new player Julius Peppers.  Devon Hester's position is punt returner.  Brian Urlacher position is linebacker.  Julius Peppers position is tackle on the line.  I do not like the line it is boring to me.  My favorite positions are wide receiver, middle linebacker, running back, and safety.  My favorite sport is FOOTBALL!!

My Favorite Sport
My favorite sport is football.  These are some reasons why.  I like to run and football has a lot of running in it.  second reason is because I like to tackle people.  There is a lot of that in football. The third reason I like football is because one of my favorite things to do is catch and there can be a lot of that in football. Another reason is because I like wearing all the gear.  Two more reasons is because you get a certain amount of yard every play, and last but not least because there is a defense.  I love defense.  44 is my number this is the # for Amad Bradshaw running back for the NY Giants.

The New News
For the past couple weeks I have been taking in a lot of information about my cancer and treatment options.  I must admit some of the things i hear are amazing, but some are pretty down heartening. Such as the fact that no chemo's are helping but that i will be starting a completely new chemo soon.  Which is exciting and a little bit not at the same time.  I am very excited for this weekend.  I am spending it at the Woodcliff Lodge with my family.  It has been sort of hard to sleep the last couple days because of my steroid, but that should end today because I am lowering my dose. P.S. I will keep you updated on what is happening by email and by writing you these short stories.  Your student Conner.

A Chemo stay at Strong
On Friday January 21 I wet to the strong Hospital to get chemo for what I thought would be about 3-5 days.  In the story good things and bad things happened.  I am going to tell you about how my story was good and bad.  First getting into the hospital I was admitted into room 518 in the part of the hospital where crying babies stay.  I shared a room with a 12 year old named Kevin.  He was in the hospital for a ruptured appendix.  But let's not make the story about him.  Well now that we were situated in the hospital I got hungry so me and mom took it easy for the night, we ordered papa johns.  When we were done with that we took it easy in my room and watched movies.
So now we had been in the hospital for a while, it was probably 9 at night, and the nurse Melissa was getting the chemo hooked up in my chest where my port is.  My port is connected to my main vein in my body which is where the chemo flows to get to the cancer cells to kill those.  Now it was 10.  I was starting to get tired and watching the movie Evan Almighty (very funny).  In the hospital I started to get hungry again because of my steroid, it makes me hungry.  Well now at like 11, my roommate was awake and we were just talking to each other about why we were here and just getting to know each other.  Well now it was about morning we had talked to the Dr's and some good news came out of that.  I might be able to leave the hospital at 6pm.  Well now it was 1 in the morning I was done with chemo and getting the fluids to help clear the chemo out of me and the hard part seems to start.
Well it was about 2 in the morning now and my nurse is telling me I should get some rest so she gives me some benadryl to help me sleep and I am out for about 3 hours.  Now I am back up at about 6 in the morning.  I just watched movies until like 9am.  Well now it was almost time to go home you could say.  It was ok being in the hospital but it was definitely boring.  Well for a little bit when my mom got up we went to a coffee hour thing for her so she could get some coffee and she talked to a mom for like an hour about the moms kids who had like a stomach cancer.  Well  now we were back in my room and it was about 12pm, I took a nap because I was exhausted and the fluid only had to run for one more hour when I woke up.  So we packed up the stuff we brought and in an hour the nurse came back, unhooked me, and we left to go home.  Yipee!  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

If I could

I woke up with this poem in my mind early in the morning about 2 weeks after Conner died.  I knew it was from God.  Notice how every time I address Conner and try to comfort him, he comforts me back with the Father's love.  My mind would not have done that, I would have comforted myself with my sweet boy.  Anyway just wanted to put it on my blog so I can try and keep my stuff together.  

If I could, I would reach my hand up oh so high.  Past the clouds and past the sky.  Through the darkness, up past the stars.  Through the dimensions to where you are.  
If I could, I would hold your hand for just a little while.  The touch and feel of it would make me smile.
If I could, I would tell you just how loved you are.  You would probably say, "I know, it's the greatest love of all, my Father isn't far."
If I could, I would give you my life. However I don't have too, cause His one and only Son already paid the price.
If I could, I would wrap my arms around you and say, "don't worry baby, I am here to stay."  And I bet I know exactly what you would say. "Mama, I know if you could  you would.  But don't worry, you don't have too. Jesus already made the way." 

With me wherever I go.

I carry him with me wherever I go.  Sometimes I don't even know he is there, and sometimes he is all I see.  Sometimes when I am not paying much attention to him I feel guilty.  And in the times when he consumes me, I feel guilty for letting him consume me again.  I didn't ask him to join my life, he was forced upon me.  I wish he would leave and never come back but unfortunately aside from death nothing will ever separate us.  He is ugly and mean and he brings out the worst in me.  He devastates my days and ruins my nights.  He brings me shame and guilt and he turns me away from the wife, mother, sister, and friend I am called to be.  He is an intruder in my life and he is here to stay.  His name is grief and he is with me wherever I go.

He carries me wherever I go.  Sometimes I don't even realize He is there and I know He is all I really need to see.  He is always paying attention to me and for that I have now no condemnation.  I need Him to consume me again, and again, and again.  I asked Him into my life, He was never forced upon me although He was always there.  I am so happy He is with me and so grateful that nothing can separate us, not even death.  He is beautiful and kind and brings out the best in me.  He calms my days and comforts my nights.  He gives me righteousness and peace and teaches me how to be the kind of wife, mother, sister, and friend I am called to be.  He is the redeemer of my life and He is here to stay.The more I look at Him who carries me the easier it is to deal with him who is always with me.  His name is Jesus and He is with me wherever I go.