Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A wonderful story.....






















 Once upon a time there was a baby boy.....
One day he left the warmth of his mother's womb and was born into this sometimes cold and often harsh world..... It was a day to be remembered....a day to celebrate...

He was born.
Plummeted into the arms of his eager mother.....
the second son, a brother......

He had been prayed for,
hoped for....
longed for.....

He was a gift....
a blessing.....

As his mother looked down upon his tiny face, she saw nothing but beauty and love.....
for she had never imagined her heart had been large enough to love two children completely....
but in that moment, she had no doubt.....

She touched his tiny cheek and daydreamed of his life to come.....
the future sound of his voice,
the curve of his smile,
the giggles she would someday hear......
She filled up further with joy as her first born son rushed in to meet his new brother.....not quite two years old but already filling the role quite nicely.....

She saw endless possibilities for this new child.....
excited to get to know the person he was and would become.

As the days quickly passed she basked in the light of motherhood.....barely dodging hurdles of .self doubt and worry.....
She found a rhythm and her love grew.....

The family fit together.
They were one....
Struggles came and they stood firm....

And then it happened....
one day the mother realized that her tiny baby was not like her other son....in ways that surpassed the normal differences she should have seen.....
He cried more,
he struggled constantly....
and as she reflected back upon the last 6 months, she began to see moment after moment where her fears became more realized....

He began to have more bad days than good....
his mother and father and brother watched as he cried tears of pain and fell deeper into sickness....

They prayed for answers...
They crossed rivers of false hope,
and paddled up the streams of silence...all the while searching for the cure, the reason....the anything.

As the years passed the baby grew older, but he failed to grow in health.....
he would live months that were seemingly normal only to crash further down into the pit of despair....
His parents prayed.

His mother and his father learned that every smile was worth cherishing...
that each good moment could soon be gone.....
and with every day that passed in their life together, they learned that time is fleeting....

The mother spent many days, weeks, and months at her sons side in the hospital.....
She held his hand and he weaved his frail fingers around hers....
She prayed....

She watched parents around them suffer through their child's last breath....
She knew that the sickness could win at any moment....
because it often did....

Death was a real thing.
and it took beautiful children every day....
children whose parent's were far from ready to say goodbye....
children who smiled through treatments....
laughed through tears....
Children who were innocent and lovely....

To this day, this mother remembers each child she knew that had gone too soon....She thinks of them each and every day....because those beautiful beings represent reality....
A reality that most are blind to....
A reality that seeps far beyond the stresses of every day life....

As the tiny baby grew into a boy, his mother held tighter to him....
for she feared that his time might be short.....
his sickness continued to win....
and it was slowly taking over his body.....
She had witnessed his most terrible moments....






but.
She had also witnessed his best.
She prayed.

She allowed herself to smile.
She gathered memories of the good.
She watched her frail child become an amazing young man....
She watched as everyone he met, fell in love with him.
She watched as he changed people's lives....
She watched as he changed her....


The boys family held tight to hope and clung to the truth that never changes....
God is love.

They believed that great things would come from their son's suffering....
and that even though they could see no good in the pain.....
God's promises hold firm.

The little boy believed in God.
He spoke of Him.
He prayed to Him.....
and quite possibly, he understood Him more than the rest of his family ever could.

As the health of the little boy faded,
the hope never did.

One day, the sickness became worse than it had ever been.

The little boy's parents were faced with a difficult decision.
Could they risk their son's life for a chance to save it?

It had been 5 years worth of sickness and pain....
The family headed into the unknown....
The father, the mother, the brother, the new sister and the little boy.....

They knew not what the future held.
They choked down fear as they handed their son over to the doctors, to God....
They knew that, whatever the outcome would be....He was capable of bringing beauty....
They prayed.
They trusted.....

The little boy's brother came forward as a great knight in the face of the present danger....
He was given responsibility far beyond his years....
he made a decision to give a small piece of himself to his little brother.....
He was afraid....
but he believed that God was with him......
and he believed that if there was a chance he could help....he didn't want to miss it.
And at only 7 years old....he became a hero.

The dangers were real....
the pain was real too....

and in the months to come there would be fear and many tears.....

The difficulty began to bear fruit........

A year would pass.....
the little boy became stronger day by day.....
he began to transform...
he left behind his frail body and exchanged it for a healthy one....
His eyes began to glow like they had never done before....
His smile became brighter....

The little boy became the brother he had always wanted to be.....
a playmate....
a friend....
Not always needing help.....but always playing....
His brother shifted from the boy's caregiver, to his teacher....giving lessons in all things boy.....
They wrestled....
they fought...
they laughed......
They shined together.......
Stitched tightly with an unbreakable bond.....
making up for years worth of lost time....

The missing piece of one brother was filled with the other....

And each day that passes, the little boy becomes more whole...


He gives perspective to life...
He adds joy to heartaches....

As the mother lay next to her little boy....she brushed a curl from his eyes.....holding tightly for a moment....for the curl had not been there before.....it was earned....by the boy. Through days of Chemo and difficulties....Weeks of baldness.......super hero hats....
The curl, that was amongst many upon the boys head, was earned.....
And to the mother....they represent so much more.....

So as she stares at the boy...who now covers 3/4's of her own body length.....who is now almost too heavy to carry....after years of being unable to walk......
She watches his chest rise and fall......she remembers when he could not breathe on his own.....the difficulty of the oxygen while at home....the pain of the silent screams while he was on the ventilator.....She matches her own breath with the rhythm of his.....
She strokes his cheek....
Squeezes his chubby fingers.....



and she silently thanks God for the pain......
for this moment means so much more......

And the reflection brings a joy that cannot be measured....
no matter what is to come....
Because a life uncertain....chisel's beauty into the stone of pain....
and when  you stop to reflect.....you can bask in the majesty......
of a wonderful story that is being told......
































Thanking God for the gift of Parklen....
and the gifts he has brought out in everyone else......



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

a drive...



 Tonight was a gift.
A simple gift....
nothing fancy,.....
Just a cruise with our family, scoping out Christmas lights and sipping on hot chocolate....

But the simplicity filled my cup.....
The giggles and the ooooo's and awe's were enough.
Because simplicity is often denied to many......
and I refuse to take for granted this day.....
these simple gifts....

This Christmas means mountains more than ever before....
and I pray for simplicity....

Appreciation...
Joy....
Happiness.....
and clarity as to what it means to celebrate this particular holiday....

We are blessed beyond measure....
and one of our biggest blessings may be that we have been given a glimpse into the truth of how fleeting time can be.....

Nights like tonight....
nights that ooze normalcy....
the stars shining...
the children laughing....
they are worth savoring......

Hope you are blessed....




Saturday, December 6, 2014

best morning......





It had been weeks since Parklen had left the house......Weeks....He doesn't go anywhere....
Most days, his world ends at the walls of this home......


We dropped Paysen off at school on Monday....
and watched him run onto the playground.......
Parky waved out the window and made plenty of comments about all of the kids playing....

Phinlynn was talking in her sweetest voice, pointing at things and asking Parklen to look....."PARKY!  PARKY!"

I glanced at the clock, we had just enough time to make one stop before heading home to meet Parklen's teacher for his daily lessons.....

"Hey buddy, should we go grab a treat?"
"YES!!! YES please mom!!"
so I headed down town,,,,

I had about a million things on my mind...
things I needed to do...
things I had forgotten to do....
and the pounding force of pain that is ever present within my head....
but it all just disappeared as I heard excited squeals from the back seat.....

We drove through down town and Parklen was completely mesmerized by most everything he saw...
"Mommy, look at the Christmas lights, look at the trees....it is beautiful...everything is beautiful.."
He continued to verbalize his admiration of all things Christmas....
I squinted hard to shake my tunnel vision....made myself carefully notice what he was seeing....

I treated him to a steamer.....
and his face lit up as I handed it back and he said, "this is the best morning ever...you are the best mom ever..."

My eyes instantly filled up with tears....
How is it that with all that we have to be thankful for, I can let myself get so stressed?
How can I lose sight of that which is simple.....beautiful.

It just takes a moment to step back from the complaining....
to change your perspective....

As you reflect on your days of this past week.......please remember the little boy who calls me mom...the one who has limits on what he sees....but places no limits on his thankfulness....
the little boy who sees beauty in the weeds and wonderment in holiday decorations....
and let him be a reminder to stop........to admire.....to appreciate, and to love..........

Today I reflect upon one of the most beautiful mothers I have ever met....
A woman that shines brightly with character....
glimmers with hope......
and smiles with grace....

Most of the time I have spent knowing her has been done from afar....
We never spent much time together.....
but she was there for me to admire while I lived in Denver with Parklen last year.....

Today marks one year since she lost her beautiful little boy........
and I can honestly say that not one single day passes that she and her family are not in my thoughts....
a year spent without her baby....
Their story has changed my life.....forever....
a picture of their son is ever present in my mind....

Count your blessings....
check your gratitude.....
and remember live each day as though the weeds were flowers and each breath you take could be your last.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

shovel...

My cell phone is full...full of pictures of this....
Countless times every day I find myself scrambling to find my phone to capture a moment when my camera is out of reach.....  There is always a kid doing something photo worthy ....but usually it is this little gal...because she is always....always....adorable....and ready to strike a pose.

She is also a little bit feisty.
I think she has learned that from her brothers.....  

Paysen is always building something...
Parklen is always learning a new trick....

There is so much to be captured around here.

The last couple of days have been crazy.

Three fevers,
on three separate kids.....
Three kids crammed into one doctors appointment.....
and that was just Monday....

Follow with some test results on Parklen that brought my worst nightmare to the front of my mind.....
and that was Tuesday...

Wednesday had its valleys....
Today had some too....


And as I sit here,
I keep trying to think about things to freshen my mood....
Ideas to pass the stress....

I have been crafting every night this week....
something I don't normally make time for,
but I needed an outlet....
and whiskey is never the better option.....

As I search for goodness to fill my mind....
I find it.

In the eyes of my children....
In the laughter echoing throughout these walls....

I find it in a simple conversation with my husband....
A joke from a friend....

I find goodness buried underneath the sadness....
and as I scoop a little bit of dirt off at a time,
I see the shining of the joy that lives within....

I will not lie.
I feel very sad this week...
and some of the ways to that sadness are found along unmarked roads that one cannot be directed to...
I cannot explain all of the reasons.

But when I squint my eyes....
I see the light.

I know that the best is yet to be....
and I know that the right now is pretty ok too......

So here is to the good....
the wonder that is always always there....
Can you see it?

Here is to shoveling away the dirt that sometimes covers its shine......


Thanksgiving is next week and I cannot even count the things that I have to be thankful for....
and that is pretty good.....