Saturday, September 24, 2011

Losing A Sweet Friend

Since our new journey  has begun, we have made some sweet new friends. We are not alone as we walk this cancer road. Many other parents have walked this road much longer than we have. Parents with little ones in varied stages in this fight against cancer.

In one of my earlier post, Universal Language, I wrote about a family we met at the Ronald Mc Donald house. Their son David was battling cancer. When we first met them, they were trying to make arrangements to fulfill Little David's dream of taking a Disney Cruise. They had only a small window of time to take the cruise because of David's condition. The amazing people of the the Make A Wish Foundation, and Disney Special Events were able to make his wish come true. They pulled off a small miracle for David and his family.

Make-A-Wish Foundation : National Home Page

Little David just recently went home to be with the Lord. His memorial service is today. Please pray for his sweet family who fought valiantly along side David in his battle against cancer.

My heart breaks for his whole family. For his gentle momma, who struggled to be strong while with him, to smile for him even though her heart was breaking more and more as the days slipped by. His brave dad who seemed at a loss because no matter what they tried, no one seemed to be able to heal their son.  His little sister who, at a very young age, seemed to know there was something terrible about to happen, but just not sure what it was. For his aunts and uncles who would have done anything for him.

Throughout their struggle, they remained kind to all those around them. They gave gentle responses to those who asked for updates. They showed compassion to us all, knowing we were struggling with our own battles. Their love for our Lord never seemed to waiver. They blessed our lives immensely. We are so grateful to have had them in our lives even if it was for a small window of time. We will miss them all at the Ronald Mc Donald house and MD Anderson.

Lord, thank you for the opportunity to know this dear family. Please, please cover them with your grace and mercy. Please give his mom and dad rest and mend their broken hearts. Please let his little sister remember sweet memories of her brave big brother for the rest of her life.
Goodbye David, we will never forget your brave smile and sweet spirit.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tears Again....Really!?!

Growing up, I fancied myself a pretty tough cookie. I was not much of a crier. I had friends that would cry over a movie or a commercial or a song. Not me. Oh, I had my moments, but for the most part, I tried to hold back tears, even if it meant getting a head ache from the strain of not showing my emotions. I as I have gotten older, I have certainly become much more I mean sentimental. As I left my teen years behind and life became more complicated, I became more prone to tears. Still I felt I maintained some symbalance of control over my tears.

That control is now completely gone. Our life has taken such a dramatic turn, it feels like any control over anything is now gone. My tears are no exception.

We are back home again. It is so wonderful to be back. I took one of our dogs for a walk this morning. Brian and I have walked our same neighborhood for almost four years now. This morning for the first time I noticed how beautiful the trees are that line our streets. I smiled as I fell back into the delicious routine of returning friendly waves of the people who drove by me on the street. This is a luxury many people in lager cities do not enjoy. These simple pleasures in life guessed, it tears. Not tears of saddness or loss but of awarness I guess.

I am working on not being embarraessed by my tears that come unexpectantly. I read somewhere that our Lord collects our tears. That thought alone brings a smile. Good thing heaven is a big place because somewhere there must be a whole store room with my name on it.

I know that we are not the only parents who have shed many tears for our children. We have dear friends that lost their teen daughter in a quad accident. We have other friends who lost her new born daughter. We have others friends that have walked their little ones through devastating illnesses.

A re-occurring thought, that runs through my mind, is that walking this journey day by day, not knowing from one day to the next what that day will hold, is hard enough. I am not sure we could have survived this far if we had actually known, in advance what each day held.

Ok, here's a really big thing for me to swallow. Our heavenly Father knows, in advance, what each day holds for all of His children. How many tears must he have shed for us? How many does he continue to shed for us? I don't believe He loves us any less than we love our children, in fact, I believe, with my whole heart, He loves us more. Trying to comprehend all of that is almost too much for me.

Dear Papa Father, thank you for loving us daily. May our tears for our children, remind us of your tears for us. Thank you for an everlasting love.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Support System

On July 20th, as we sat in BSA, listening to Dr. Sharp confirm our worst fears, our son had Leukemia, my head swam. It was as if the world around me had suddenly become fuzzy. As I tried to focus and assimilate all that the doctor was saying, it felt as though I had lost all ability to comprehend the spoken word. I could see his mouth moving and hear sounds but I could not seem to process most of the words he was saying. A few of his sentences did get through the fuzz in my brain. One of those was that our son, Joshua, had Leukemia. Another statement he made stood out with some clarity. It was something to the effect of, "You will need to depend on your support system to survive this". I can vaguely remember thinking, "Well, we have a good support system".

Dr Sharp's statement has rung through my head time and time again. In hindsight, it seemed to be a bit of an understatement. The truth of the matter is, I am unsure of how we could have survived without our support system.

From the very first day that we took Josh to see Dr. Turner to ascertain the source of his fatigue, until today, we have been show almost incomprehensible kindness from our dear friends and family. We have had amazing support on every front.

We have had many visit from family and friends. We know our home and animals are being watched over and cared for by wonderful dedicated friends and neighbors.

We have had amazing meals provided both here in Houston and at home. The cards, letters, packages, pictures, texts, emails, comments and calls all have been a source of constant encouragement.

We have had financial support that has helped ease the pressure of the staggering cost of living away from home.

Most of all, we have had an army of prayer warriors marching beside us in this battle against a terrifying illness.

On some of Josh's worst days, I was unable to get a text out, yet we knew we were being covered in prayer. On other days, when things were going badly, I would, somehow be able to get a few bites of information communicated. On some of  those days, we could, almost physically feel our prayer warriors go to their knees. Sometimes within 20 to 30 minutes of our texts going out, we could see a dramatic change in Josh's situation. Sometimes, a horrible day would take a turn so quickly it would be hard to comprehend and almost unbelievable had we not experienced it ourselves.

I know the Lord, our amazing Papa Father, is teaching us many, many things through this situation we find ourselves in at this junction in our lives. Among those lessons, is truly how vital our support system is.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for blessing us with the family and friends you have given us. We know that we still have a long road ahead of us in this journey. Thank you for providing us with amazing warriors to walk along side of us. We are blessed more than we deserve.