Oh I hope you know that I don’t consider myself wise in the least, or claim to have all the answers. I simply share my heart and what I consider to be the truths in my circumstances. I wish there was a way to have all the answers and to walk childloss with a degree in grief and emotions…but life doesn’t work that way. we do the best we can with the best that we have, and if we believe, we live in grace and hope for our futures, and we accept pain as part of living and that just because we believe doesn’t make us exempt from even the toughest tasks.
watching Conner deteriorate I never expected how God would use this story, this journey as a ministry. and I’m still so surprised hearing how it changes the course of so many people, I just never fathomed that. I get messages about how sharing our journey is touching people all over the country and world in some cases, and honestly, as much as our story may inspire others, each time I hear of what its meant for someone I’ve never met it ministers to me equally as it does them. how powerful and perfectly planned out is this all. almost daily I get messages about how Conner popped up all across the country in different ways and it just gives me such joy. he is an amazing child, that I already knew, but I never could’ve expected all of this.
sunday marked two years without him, and that day…well I’m glad it’s over and behind us for another 363 days…I haven’t been able to even read all the love and messages sent to my facebook because each time I try to, facebook freezes and kicks me off…isn’t that amazing? a seven year old boy…a mothers great joy and greatest pain has the ability to cause my computer it’s own grief! it can’t keep up, and neither can i. I gaze at his pictures scattered around the house and I just stare into those black brown eyes with wonder. how much of this had he known? I wonder if he knew his calling before he left…I believe he did. I wished I had recorded some of our conversations, on the way to the hospital in those last months, the questions he’d ask…and in the quiet night in his hospital bed, how he’d call out for me next to him and the peace he had in the midst of great physical pain. how he knew and told people in his last weeks that they had to know Jesus to be with him again in heaven…how he was in such pain in his final week but he was determined to do the things his brothers loved most even though he was in such terrible pain…like he needed that last moment. it was so beautiful. the peace that overcame his face when he awoke that final day from his “coma” there was no fear in his eyes, and he seemed to gaze thru and beyond us…perhaps seeing where he was going. he wasn’t afraid, he wasn’t panicked..we were…he was peaceful.
brad and I knew from the very beginning of the pregnancy with him that it was special, we knew the odds stacked against us and each dr appt added another diagnosis or problem, yet we fought anyway. he chose us, so we chose him back. I’m so glad we did. his life was truly a miracle, and his death is a legacy of love and hope that even in the worst of it all, god never fails. that no pain is without great purpose. beyond anything imaginable. not easy…but worth it.
from day one I hid behind my smile, I didn’t cry or let emotions overcome me…I had to be “strong” for conner and my family. For seven years I was like stone. if asked, I was always ok, things were always fine and crying was something “weak” people did. oooohhh……how foolish I was. being a mom of a kid with a terminal illness, I understand there has to be some seperation of emotion so you’re able to function, to get the meds and treatments done, to be strong when our kids are in pain and you just want to take it all away, but there’s beauty and significance in also being vulnerable…wish I knew that then. I thought I was strong…no no no, Conner in all his smiles, tears and raw emotion was the strong one, I was a fake.
if I could impart any one thing to those in similar circumstances it would be to be authentic. your tears won’t scare your children…quite the opposite actually. hunter struggled so greatly in the beginning of his grief journey because he had such scary, BIG emotions that he didn’t know what to do with. he never saw us cry so he held it all in just as we modeled for him. what a disservice we did. I know how I felt like I was going to explode, that my heart felt like it literally was about to burst from my chest I was in such intense pain…and my sweet 5 year old I’m sure felt just as much pain if not maybe more, losing his best friend and having no way to cope. thinking tears weren’t ok, when they were what he needed. it came out in other ways and luckily we learned to help him cope, we, ourselves learned how to be open to emotion and to cry. crying, it turns out is very powerful, emotions are important and faking it or hiding behind a stone face is what weak people do…without even knowing it. I still struggle with letting myself cry, and I catch myself starting to cry when hunter or bradyn is near and I try to wipe them away quickly so they’re not seen…then I remember that pretending is just a nicer word for lyeing. my kids need to see how to handle emotion, my sons need to know that it’s ok to cry, that strong people aren’t afraid of their tears. well hunter did catch me the other day. and it led to a great conversation about all the things we missed most about Conner and life with him here. it was beautiful. had I not been vulnerable to my emotions, hunter would’ve felt like he needed to keep his emotions and thoughts to himself. and when I think about our number one job as parents is to raise our children to be the best adults they can possibly be, I realize that i was raising up a boy who would’ve been emotionally unavailable, cold, quiet and in deep pain. all because I thought I was being strong.
1 Corinthians 1:25, "For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength."
crying may not be fun, but it’s necessary…that’s one thing I know for sure…
Love Love Love