Sunday, May 22, 2016

One Decision. The Beginning of the End...One Year Ago

One year ago today, BJ had a normal monthly chemo infusion visit to Levine Pediatric Hematology Oncology clinic. On the way there, we talked about how exciting it was to be down to single digit clinic visits until the marked end of treatment (1/4/2016). It had been a long road and we were finally beginning to see the end! When his blood results came back, we were blown away with the news that his leukemia had relapsed, and was now showing up in his blood stream. That meant that his bone marrow was full enough of leukemia cells that they were now spilling out of his marrow into his blood. After the initial shock, the crying, the "no!!", the "why???", BJ accepted his new battle with utmost grace and bravery. Because of his strong faith, he knew God was in control and he took solace in that confidence.
Another Sunday marks another week of this new existence. BJ has been gone for 11 weeks today. 11 weeks ago we watched the traumatic end and heard the last gurgling breaths he took on this earth, and the silence that followed. He fought hard to the very end, until his soul was snatched out of his body and he immediately saw Jesus face to face. I can just hear Jesus tell him "Well done", and see BJ's contagious smile and twinkle in his blue eyes as he delights in the One who loves him the most.
We grieve for BJ, and it is sometimes overwhelming, but it is grief with hope... Knowing that he's just on the other side and we will have that joyful, ecstatic reunion one day.
What matters most in this world is one decision you make...whether or not you choose to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. (1 John 5:12-13) 

I know BJ would say, "I hope you make the right decision."

Friday, May 13, 2016

Knocked Down - Grief 68 days

The crashing wave of grief. It's so torturously random. It doesn't care when it just does. Just driving to pick up my daughter and her friends from school, it sneaked up on me and I physically felt knocked to my knees, nauseated, and struggled to hold back the rush of tears I knew were coming. I'd been having a pretty strong day. Until now. Now I just want to scream at the sky and shake my fists. I WANT MY SON BACK!! I want to see him, and hug him, and hold his face in my hands and look into those beautiful blue eyes again, and see the other half of my entire world there. I want to curl up in the corner and stay until this nightmare is over. I want to run to where he is...I want to find him and be there. I want more conversations and meals with him, more vacations with him, more moments of pride in his accomplishments, more dirty laundry piling up in his room, and damp towels on the floor and places to take him, and more wisdom to give him, more everything that should be and now isn't.

It's a struggle at times like this just to breathe. That's no exaggeration. The wind is gone from my lungs and I struggle to fill it back up. Who am I kidding anyway...I'm empty. I poured everything into BJ, and what I had left was dripped into Carly. There's no space in me that doesn't need to be filled.




Monday, May 9, 2016

BJ, Carly, and Mother's Day 2016

BJ was a good big brother. And like a good big brother, he was the only one who could pick on his little sister. A couple years ago, he went down the street in big brother style, to have a talk with a kid who was being mean to Carly on the school bus. That boy never picked on Carly again. BJ was always easy-going, but also he was always so tall, not many wanted to test him. From his first day of school until his last, he was always one of the tallest kids in his classes. As he got older, he became more and more protective. He didn't like to see bullying or kids being mean to other kids. He stood up for many people over the years. He stood up for his little sister, too, but he loved to pick on her. He would jump out and scare her at any opportunity, pour ice cold water over the shower curtain on her, take pictures of her sleeping with her mouth open in the car, and talk her into participating in various shenanigans (like riding a wagon down the driveway). Whatever he came up with, she followed. He laughed at her 'old soul' personality, and occasionally called her "Gladys" because of it. He secretly adored her, and he was her big brother and very best friend. BJ gave Carly a special gift during those 90 days in the hospital. The gift of time together. He asked her to teach him how to crochet. That's something she loves to do, and he knew that's how he could spend quality time with her. I remember sitting there watching the two of them working together... BJ getting frustrated with the hook and how to hold the yarn, and commenting on how Carly made it look so easy. Carly was so happy and proud that she was teaching her brother something, and he was smiling and happy with knowing he was making her happy. She taught him how to do to a chain and a single crochet stitch, and he started making a scarf. He never got around to finishing it, so Carly did it for him. She gave me the scarf for Mother's day...a gift from her and BJ. heart emoticon heart emoticon heart emoticon
I hope Mother's day was good for all the moms out there...moms who have their children here, and moms who also carry this unimaginable pain. I was blessed with 15 years of being the best mom I could possibly be to BJ, and I am thankful for every single minute. Cancer didn't take away our love. It's still there, as strong as it ever was. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

All Things. All Things. All Things.

"My life is but a weaving, between the Lord and me; I cannot choose the colors. He worketh steadily. Oft times, He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride, forget He sees the upper and I the underside. Not till the loom is silent, and the shuttles cease to fly, shall God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why the dark threads are as needful in the Weaver’s skillful hand, as the threads of gold and silver, in the pattern He has planned." - Anonymous
“God works all things together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
"There will be good that comes from this" - BJ