My arms are empty and acheing...

I can’t believe I’m a mother without…

Life has been twisted and turned upside down. As a mother, I had both the wonderful privilege of holding my sweet son as I brought him into this world…and the horrible chore of holding him as he took his last breaths and left this world, at only 7 years old. June 24, 2010 he earned his angel wings, passing away after an inspiring but brief fight against Cystic Fibrosis. Now I live, solely focusing on living a life to get to be with him again in heaven, and to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis research. I am dedicated to a cure, not only for my sweet sons legacy but so that other CF families never experience the greatest loss of their lives that we are now facing. My mother’s arms are missing Connerman, yet he still inspires me daily to leave a mark of LOVE on this world…so for you my sweet prince, mommy will try!

Love Love Love

Always Always Always

Monday, November 22, 2010

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

So what should’ve been a regular trip to the grocery store, broke the damn in my heart instead.

the oh so innocent villain?



It overwhelmed me walking in and catching the smell of the holidays. Hearing how Its supposedly the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR… really? I think last year I would’ve agreed. I loved shopping for Christmas decorations, my kids each year wanting a new Santa hat, and going there together finding new ornaments for our tree. How did I not know that would be the last Christmas of peace. Complete peace. It was the last year that I could keep those trivial sunglasses on that only see Christmas as a dinner with family, loads of presents and holiday travel. How could I have been so blind to it all?

I’ve always known the true meaning behind Christmas, but it was never tangible. Jesus has always been a person whose in my heart, yet so untouchable it seemed. Christmas, representing his birth, never truly sunk in till now.

Thanksgiving never sunk in till now.

It’s a whole new perspective. One that has so abruptly pushed me right SMACK into the wall of reality.

Our time here on earth is ticking.

it’s numbered.

it’s like dust in the wind.

Yet I never really GOT it till losing Conner.

God takes beautiful, strong, brave, weak, and overwhelmingly LOVED people each and every second…nothing is concrete.

I decided against my heart that was telling me to leave the store right then, and to go browse a bit in the Holiday section which is usually my favorite place to be. I didn’t even realize I was crying until the snot was rolling down my face in what I’m sure to others appeared to be a horrid disaster. I didn’t care. I didn’t even know it. but those aisles of holiday cheer brought me anything but cheer.

I watched as a mom and her older daughter picked out new outside décor, ornaments or something. I was so touched by that. I wish she could know how lucky she is to have had that moment…I turned the next corner and watched as a young mom fought her strong willed son over holiday candy…I wonder if she felt how lucky she was in that moment as well. I moved along the section, and something stopped me in my tracks.

a fake Christmas tree.

perfectly sized.

For a cemetery.

It stopped me in my tracks…it melted my heart…I just stared at it for what seemed an endless amount of time.

Should I? Should I not?

I picked it up and put it in my cart. I found a bunch of red ornaments and décor for the tree and even a tiny stocking in red for Conner. and I bought them all. A woman stopped me somewhere in the store as I walked away from the holiday stuff to the food area…and she said something like “wow…christmas already! it’s gone so fast” oh yes… I completely agree with that statement…I could only muster out “yes it has”


I find myself so many times in the day examining what others around me are doing. wondering if they know how lucky they are to be feeling ok, or have a cart full of 3 boys, or a child who looks 7…or simply a genuine smile on their face. I’ve become a pro at seeing the real smiles from the fake ones.

mine is usually a mixture of the two.

Brad and I have been discussing whether or not we want to decorate for Christmas this year. Halloween, which usually bears no weight on our year except that ONE night out gathering candy, about destroyed my heart. Thanksgiving I can only imagine will be so difficult. So Christmas? Handling more than ONE day of it this year may be the straw that breaks it all for me. So I am not sure that we will be decorating. but this is Conners first Christmas in heaven. It’s the first Christmas where his body is alone, cold, in the ground, useless and abandoned. He’s not there I realize…but his “wrapper” is…and I loved his “wrapper” just about as much as I loved his soul. So we’re going to decorate the tree and take it to him today.

I just can’t believe how blind I’ve been all these years of my life. how I’ve walked around during the “happ…happiest season of ALL” feeling so wonderful, so happy, yet so blind. how could I not see the pain in peoples eyes? I probably passed a dozen or so newly bereaved mommas over the years in that grand section of the store and never once noticed. I was so wrapped up in myself and my life. if only I could go back and hug those women. those dads. those siblings. all of them. and tell them with the purest heart I AM SO SORRY FOR THEIR LOSS…it is so monumental..and this season compounds it a million times over…I’m so sorry for your loss.

I have no clue how to navigate thru the grief during this season, cus it’s not like I was any good at it any other season this past year. but all I know is this holiday cheer makes the hole in my heart SO MUCH GREATER. It makes the blood that festers out of the wound run THICKER than ever. It makes my eyes sting with tears all day and all evening long. It melts my heart to my two living children…praying that I’m a good enough mom for them during all of this. It makes this void bigger than any canyon this world has ever seen.



Death is so final…and I’m so angry that I never got a say in this decision, in this “plan for good and not to harm”…but I didn’t. I won’t.

But my arms are so empty and hurt so much for Conner. I wish I could explain it well. They ache like I’ve been working them out with weights endlessly the past almost 5 months. In two more days…it’s 5 months. I swear I wish I could just be balanced. not sometimes happy and sometimes sad. Lord for my family’s sake why can’t I just be happy OR sad and not days of ups and downs. I feel people feel they can’t reach out or talk to me cus they never know which Sarah they’re gonna get right then. it’s so true. cus I have no idea either.

I could be in the back of a crowded room…would you see me?

I could be in the middle of the aisle at the store grieving the loss of needing applesauce for medications…would you think I’ve “lost” it?

I could be the joyful heart that stops to let you in while driving in Holiday traffic… and you would NEVER know…

Just like I can have the largest, most genuine smile on my face…but could you SEE or do you DARE to try to understand the pain in my SOUL?

UHG…I’m so tired of feeling so much pain. I’m tired of being jealous of people with all living children. I hate that I’ve been so robbed…and I’m supposed to find a way to be ok with the loss. I’m just so tired of this all…

I don’t want a stupid “awesome” tattoo for my dead son.

I want my son. ALIVE.

I wanna wake up to him crawling in our bed cus he’s not feeling good, or has had a nightmare.

I wanna hear that horrible cough that inevitably lead to his death. I miss that too.

I miss walking around, or into a group of people and not feeling alone…feeling people watching me…or worse yet having them tell me how they read my blog…but they don’t or won’t reach out to me beyond that. Knowing my pain but chosing to walk away from it. I feel that I HAVE THE MOST CONTAGIOUS DISEASE ON EARTH…but lucky for you..I’m the rarity. You’re the norm.

All I ask I guess is this Holly Jolly Christmas Season take a moment to touch someones life. Greatly. More than buying a present…TAKE TIME TO REACH OUT AND TOUCH THEIR HURTING SOUL…so many people are walking zombies of pain…and truly there is no feeling like it in the world…

Oh Lord you so promised it would be worth ALL OF THIS…I’m believing YOU that it WILL oneday be worth it…




  1. I never know how to say "I'm sorry". I never know how to encourage you. I lost my best friend to murder and it was devastating. It could/would never compare to losing one of my children, Sarah. Like there are no words to describe your pain, there are no words to describe how I hurt for you.
    I'm constantly amazed at your strength... I know that you don't always see it, but even in your weakest moments, Sarah, you are strong.
    You'll do what's right as far as decorating goes. You make great decisions for your family. You always have. You may not know what that decision is right now but when it's all said and done you will know it was best.
    I want you to know that I'm praying for you. For you and for Brad and your babies. God is already using you for his purpose and, although I know it's hard to see it this way, it is a great gift to be used to point others toward the Cross. So I'm praying... that you'll continue to fight "the good fight... finish the race... and keep the faith." You're doing great, Sarah. I know it.
    Dorene Kimball

  2. Wow, Sarah what a great post. Thanks for opening all of our eyes to the greatness that we should be thankful for. I have a 21 month old with CF and have followed your story for some time. You have such a gift of writing and expressing yourself. You are surely an inspiration to us all to be just half as strong as you are!! Hugs... <3

  3. Sarah, I stumbled onto your blog. I think of you often. I see people smile but it does not reach their eyes, I think of you. I say a prayer them them that they have a peace for their soul, their pain, whatever is laying heavy on them. My family also knows and has known for a long time that I am a organ donor but it was not on my driver license. It is now. I have 3 children. I have watched one of them turn white then blue then white again and stop breathing. Praising God and picking myself off the floor each and every time she started breathing again. She managed to do this 4 times in a year. I knew then and since reading your blog, more so now--know how incredible and thankful that I am each and every breath my children take. 2 have asthma, nothing compared to CF. I pray that you have wonderful memories of Connerman this holiday season. You and Connerman have touched many lives.

    Hugs to you.


  4. I could have written that. It is so pathetic as I stumble through the store looking at all the things Kristen loved. Then I too stop and pick something up and say "Oh that will be cute at the cemetery." The pain in my soul will never go away. I often myself slipping on my sun glasses so no one will see that I am crying again.

  5. Sarah,

    I read your blog often. I too live in Cowlitz County and followed your family's story in the news. I have two sons, one is 6. I do the best I can to be a fun, patient mom but staying at home with my boys I fall victim to feeling frazzled and losing my temper. Since I began reading your blog, when I feel myself losing my patients with my boys over something trivial, I'm reminded of your words. How you've said you see how some parents squander the gift of having living children. I stop myself and am reminded of you and your situation. i simply cannot even imagine the struggle you have every second of every day. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Five months later, others who you don't even know care enough about you and your tragedy to go to your blog and read your soul. You are a warrior mom, a mama bear who did, does and will do anything to for your boys, including your husband. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

    Hoping that Thursday will come and give you a little peace and that you can have a Thanksgiving and not a Thanksgreiving.



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