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


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In my weakness I am strong…

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.

wow.

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

 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Your last week here…

Well my dear it’s been two years in the making. I feel the need to just write you all the things I’ve been wishing I could tell you these past two years you’ve been gone. gone. that’s a word that used to not carry any meaning to me, gone used to mean temporarily unavailable, but not permanent. like gramma is gone now…but we all knew we’d see her again on her next visit. well my dear you redefined that. gone is forever. gone is breathtaking. gone is permanent. gone is a word that should not be in any parents vocabulary.

it’s the beginning of that week. I hate this week. each day holds a horrible memory. a painful one. a week and a half ago, Hunter had field day at his school just like you did a week and a half before you died. I couldn’t bring myself to go with him this year. maybe next year I’ll be stronger, maybe I won’t. I won’t make any guesses or promises, I’ve learned not to assume a specific time table will bring any relief from pain. I remember taking you to see your first grade friends that last day, how you wanted to play with them but you delighted in watching them play. what a miracle that day was.

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what a precious smile you had.

seeing your friends play and laugh brought you such joy, you never did feel sorry for yourself, you just kept doing what your broken body would allow you to do, and you never complained. I honestly can’t say that I’d be able to do the same. your positive attitude always inspired me. so wise for seven years old. I can only hope to grow up to be more like you.

it saddens me to think about this joy you had then only 12 or so days later you were gone.

gone.

how did it all happen so fast? or was I just not paying attention? or in denial? what's crazy is you know all the answers now…and I have to just keep wondering until I get to where you are. so far away…yet just one breath away. how amazingly close and so far away it seems.

I know you can’t be too far because you are constantly sending love to us. I never imagined that part. that makes you seem so close…but I can’t see you. I wonder how you look now, if your still seven, or if you are now 9 like you should be. in my heart I feel like your still the same Conner you were when you left us since you were only seven, but that you still have bdays. I imagine you don’t physically get older, but wiser perhaps. I can hear your voice still not being able to say your r’s…and your sweet voice still so young and innocent. I can only guess for now. because you’re gone.

Bradyn is so big now…he prays for you each night before dinner and before bedtime. but you know that already. I wonder what he remembers of you. when he speaks sometimes I hear you in his voice.

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and sometimes I glance at pictures of Hunter and I see you in him.

Hunters wearing your last clothes now. that’s hard to see, yet it brings such joy to Hunter. He is so proud to be your brother, and he loves you madly. that’s a very special bond you two share, I know Hunter cherishes it and he misses you like crazy.

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Next week is VBS here, and two years ago you died on the second day of vbs. I just hate this time of the year. every single day until june 30th when we laid you to rest holds pain that can’t be ignored. plus I’m so hormonal these days with the ending of this pregnancy that its even more exaggerated this year. well that and I feel like the second year was far worse than the first one. because the first year gone still means coming back…but not anymore. gone is the greatest curse word now.

a year ago I watched you deteriorate every single day for a week. I saw it but I didn’t accept it. why should I have? it’s not natural. I prayed fervently for your healing, for your miracle…little did I realize your miracle would be to leave. your body could never physically be healed in this world…I just didn’t want you to go…but I didn’t want to see you suffer anymore either…

The pain you carried in your eyes and the exhaustion your body endured that last week broke me into pieces…

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damn that disease! it just kills me to see you in such pain. I would’ve given anything to go thru that instead of you.

I had so much more to say…but my heart is so broken right now that my mind is blank. I miss you buddy.

I will leave you with the song that is helping me thru lately…

I love you immensly bubby…and I miss you with every fiber of my being. I’d give anything to just hug you…one more moment.

gone is the cruelest of realities…

 

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