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


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Letting Go of this world and truly Letting God

 

I understand and respect that there are people who don’t believe in God…maybe they consider themselves spiritual but not religious. Maybe even 15 months ago you could say that I didn’t really know what it meant to truly believe and follow…and most of all what it meant to really “let go and let God.” It is a phrase that I’d heard many times in many different settings and situations, but never really knew what it meant, or try to apply that principle to my everyday life. a struggle would come upon me of any circumstance and I’d get the advice to “let go…let God,” and I would always answer quickly with the words “easier said than done.” and left it at that. because letting go means to relinquish control from it. to fully walk away from the circumstance or situation and just KNOW that God is in complete control. Here’s why I think I felt that way. because I would witness bad things happening to great people. children diagnosed with one disease, a mother getting the news her cancer has spread, or even circumstances as small as a child not getting picked for the baseball team. whatever the circumstance, I felt that if God was good that he wouldn’t let good people, who profess their love and commitment to Him get hurt. To let go and let God meant that while bad things happen to great people that it should be viewed as ok. (this is all the way I looked at it…) a good God who let bad happen. it didn’t make any sense.

then conner started declining and something shifted in my heart. I didn’t feel like it was unfair or a punishment. I didn’t feel like it was “something bad happening to a good family” at all. I was heartbroken, in immense pain absolutely…but at a new peace with God. I realized that God blessed our family with Conner for 7 amazing years and I felt at peace knowing where he was heading. it’s not like I didn’t already believe in God…but I didn’t know how to let go and let god.

until june 24, 2010…11:30ish pm…

that moment I learned in the purest sense what it really means to let go and let God. I prayed a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the blessing of our sons life…and I told him that I would be ok if he was ready to take him. because there was no unknown for me. nor my husband. we knew that heaven was real and gods love is tangible. I had to let go of conner’s physical presense in that moment and give him to god for protection. it wasn’t a hard transition in the moment…numbness is gods great blessing to me in that moment and for months after it. I knew conner was gone with god. and I continued to love and honor god anyway. thru it all. without a doubt in the plan. yes there was absolutely anger, sadness, pain and frustration…that’s grief and it’s normal and necessary…but there was also beauty in imagining conner running, heck even walking without oxygen or iv’s or tube feeds or medication after medication. there was peace in knowing that when I let go of conners physical presense…that I would be letting god take his spiritual presense. I believe it was the most important decision of my life. choosing to let god do His job instead of blaming God for his death.

what made me think of this all is in my quiet time with god I kept getting the same visualization, and hearing the same phrase over and over again. it looked like this: Let Go (d)  let go let god. then it clicked and all came together.

I’d learned how to let go and let god. and it wasn’t the horribly unfair thing I thought it was before. it was beautiful and powerful. maybe that’s why I can smile so much of the day. I have no doubt at all where conner is, I don’t feel he was unfairly taken away, I don’t feel punished…I miss him terribly, but I know how close conner is to me. each and every day. that further validates my hopes and faith. its what made it possible for me to move past the ugliness that occurred after his passing. only god can do that. only putting my faith in god to help me…would have the power to do that. I’m at peace with life now. I smile all day long, no reason even needed…just knowing that god relieved my son of his sufferings is reason enough.

I have many days where I’m constantly thinking of conner. it’s actually every single day that I think of him. especially lately with all the changes we’re experiencing. sending hunter to kindergarten made me flash back to when I dropped conner off and hunter cried and cried. hunter also has conners teacher. hunter lost his first tooth, and likewise it took me back to conners first wiggly tooth. today I went upstairs to clean out the attick and toy cabinet and got on a roll…and found myself in conners room. packing away the important items that I feel are too precious to be left out to be lost or ruined. I finally took all the cards we received after his passing (I’m not kidding when I say close to 500 at least), and his funeral “stuff” and moved all of it into his closet for safe keeping and another day. I’m not ready to dive into it yet, I haven’t even opened his clothing drawers. I removed his bedding from the room and took his get well posters and put them in safe keeping. the room is pretty bare. the closet is full, the room bare. I found a tote of clothes for B to fit into and I saw a pair of conners thomas the train flannel jammies that he used to wear in the hospital. most things that come out of the attic take on that musty attic smell, even in totes…but I smelled the jammies anyway.

they smelled of conner.

I held them to my heart and felt the emotions come over me.

I realized I’d forgotten what he smelled like. it’s been too long.

I tried sniffing other clothes in that bin but the rest smelled of attic.

the best word I can use to describe that moment was intense.

intense emotions. vivid memories. took me back to the hospital where he and I fought the fight as one.

I was pretty out of it after that, for the remainder of the afternoon and into the evening. my heart once again took on that heavy feeling, my heart beat raced and my eyes stung with tears. it was like june 24, 2010 was yesterday it was that intense and that real.

then I remembered…

I had to let him go. I had to let god take him. not so much take him as save him. rescue him. heal him and use his story to glorify god and bring meaning to other peoples lives. to reach into peoples hearts and be so raw that they can literally see god in his story.

I  chose to let him go instead of feeling punished for taking him away…

…and god saved him.

thank god for that.

Let Go(d)

027

Friday, September 2, 2011

Doing life differently…a transformation

Second chances are such a huge blessing. and I wouldn’t even say that it is infact as much of a second chance as it is, a redirection. because we have endless chances to switch gears, and change patterns…but only one life to do it in. and with forgiveness and grace we are allowed as many second beginnings as we need to finally get it right. or…what feels right.

better.

second chances are truly a rebirth of oneself. out with the old and in with the new. it’s usually gradual I would suspect but sometimes life throws you a brick at your ankles and forces you to stop. just stop. and be still. stop avoiding the silence and just revel in it. listen in it. whether or not you believe in God in that silence you will hear the truth. your own unique truth. the way to your rebirth. your fresh start. it provides that 20/20 vision that we all wish we had all the time… “if I only knew then what I know now…” right? the silence provides perspective, clarity and answers long awaited in receiving, but too rushed to hear it before then.

silence.

you can only continue on in the wrong direction for so long before life stops you. god stops you. and whether it’s with a gentle nudge or full out push in the right direction He’s going to get you to see whats real. and whats fake. whats temporary. whats eternal. whats trusting. and what will let you down. he provides perspective.

truth.

I can truthfully say that since losing Conner life has been constantly changing. I embraced each direction that I was being turned towards. never knowing but never doubting. I knew god before losing conner. but I didn’t KNOW him like I do now. death changes everything. the child that I carried and nurtured, protected and fought for dyeing in mine and Brads arms changed everything. I was forced into a choice of betterment, molding of my character, blindly following and having faith not knowing where I was going…OR believe that his death was a punishment or evil having it’s way and crumbling me to the ground. forcing me to give up.

I never believed the lie.

I can honestly say that going from that night in June when Conner was being carried out of our home for the very last time ever that my lifes purpose and direction changed with the shutting of that front door. I knew the only way I’d ever get to be with him again was to really give 100% of me. not when it was convenient or easy…but always. in the darkest hour in my life thus far I could get out of bed each morning and greet the day knowing that today I was going to be molded and loved, protected and guided. and I was going to be shown exactly what it means to truly believe and follow GOD. He would show me just what I needed to do that day to be one step closer to Conner again.

forever.

it cost a lot. following Him will cost you. but the reward is much superior than any reward I could create for myself. a shift in priorities means a shift in influences, friends and acquaintances come and go and rather than let it get to me I had to decide that gods eternal reward is far greater than any earthly friendship or reward that could ever be offered to me. conner’s death gave me that perspective. God love showed me the truth. I decided that I couldn’t continue on living the way I had been…only half in. that if the death of someone so significant and important to me like my son didn’t kill me…that in it I could truly be made stronger. little things stopped mattering. but adding significance and true meaning to peoples lives (family included) is the only way to fill that void of time that I had spent caring for Conner for 7 years. I couldn’t fill that time with anything without value or substance.

time.

our lives are filled with time and choices. those are our two greatest gifts and assets. lending an ear to someone in pain is far more valuable than spending that half hour watching tv or just existing. I had conners med schedule down to a T and so I became very aware of what I was supposed to be doing at any given time if Conner were still alive…so I couldn’t allow myself to fill that precious life saving time with activities that weren’t truly valuable and meaningful. that made my shift easier to begin. if it didn’t add significance or value, I didn’t do it. I couldn’t feel right doing it. I became more open to listening to what god spoke into my life for that day and believe me some days it was something as small as “smile today”…baby steps. He truly does give us just what we can handle at any given moment with the right recourses. on days when my grief was and still is overwhelming to me I just smile during the day to people. they too can be living out their greatest life tragedy and what a difference a smile made for me on days where getting out of bed and putting a hat on was all I could muster. so how amazing and easy of a blessing it is to simply smile as you pass by people…it could change that entire day for them. I realized that I became a walking vessel for gods love. since he is unseen on earth…he uses the willing to spread his simple and undeserving love to everyone around. I would write blogs on what he fills in my heart that day, just as I am now…because I’ve seen over and over how something I’ve written has blessed another’s life when they needed it most. that is not me. and it’s a blessing to be able to be a vessel of gods grace, love and miracles…

so much is changing for us now. we smile more than cry…we feel thankfulness more than sorrow. we’ve learned how to live a blessed life with the pain of grief simultaneously. our story will be a testament of standing in the rain. of standing back up when the world tried to knock us over. what I know for sure is that we truly CAN do all things thru Him…if we choose to. what a beautiful choice that is. and I truly know that if I can make it after losing Conner, that I can make it thru anything…

and I will always choose to

love love love

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