Saturday, October 29, 2016

Three years.

Three years.



I spent my morning reading through messages and posts and stories from this day in 2013.
I cannot believe its been three years.
Then again....sometimes it seems like a lifetime ago.

I can remember every ounce of raw emotion that I felt that day. I can remember the way my kids looked.

The way Paysen handled the surgery, the recovery.  The way he looked so small in that hospital gown. His freckles and his teeth as he woke up after the procedure.
I can remember when they wheeled him back onto the floor and the nurses clapped...

I can remember the way Parklen couldn't stop staring at Paysen when we brought him into his room. His frail little body laying next to his hero in bed.
The way he picked at his fingernails like he does when he's nervous.... and just watched his brother.

I remember the way they giggled.

I can see the room where Parklen lived.. The super hero window, the posters covering the walls.
I can remember the doctors filling the room as we anticipated the transplant.
The cooler that held Paysen's marrow being carried by the door and me following to take a picture.....
The doctor leaning against the wall and accidentally pushing the "code" button....
The flood of staff running in shortly after in a mild panic...

I remember one of our favorite nurses...it was her first transplant....
I can see her hooking the marrow up to the pump and smiling as we all stood around watching.
I remember the boys eating pumpkin pie that another favorite nurse from our past had brought to them.

Its all so fresh in my mind.

And next to these memories...tucked nicely into its own place,
lives the hopes I felt that day.
The immense feelings of hope and fear, intertwined together..
The knowledge that this day would forever be a turning point in our lives...

The first two years after Parklen's transplant were crazy.
Many days in the hospital...
Many days lived away from home...
And many many days filled with health.

I remember when they told me Parklen had officially engrafted.
It was my birthday.
It was the best gift I could have been given.
It was that I saw a glimpse into our future..
and it looked so bright...
and for a while it so was..

Today was filled with so much emotion for me. I had so much hope that three years later...things would be so different.  And as much as I wish they were...they aren't what I had hoped.

Parklen and I returned from Denver just 2 days ago... and we leave again in 4...
Life is more mysteries and unanswered questions....

I am so thankful for the day we had 3 years ago.
It was the most significant day in my life.
It showed me depth that I may have never seen otherwise.
I was able to witness first hand a 7 year old hero in action.
I got to watch Parklen receive his gift.
I saw God more than a billion times that day.
That day, enabled us to be here today...
with Parklen.
It gave Parklen a new start...
a year in a classroom,
months worth of running and playing and jumping.
It gave him days without sickness and nights full of rest.
It gave him the ability to be a boy...

I have to believe that those times will return.
I have to.
Because the miracle that is Parklen...
The things he has lived through and the mountains he has climbed...
He has so much left to do...
So many people to tell his story to.

He had a rough start to his day.. a bit of bruising.. and bunch of fatigue and feeling crummy...
but we ended on a good note.
We carved pumpkins and ate chocolate cake...

As I watched him laying on the couch this morning I had many flashbacks from our life before October 29th 2013...My heart hurts in a way that it never has before... but I am choosing to end my day on a good note too...
and instead...
think about the many miracles that have been given to us through this boy's life.
I am going to fall asleep tonight remembering the good.



Thursday, October 13, 2016

Tower

Right now it is after midnight...
The house is mostly quiet,
the background rumble of the clothes in the dryer....
and the crime documentary playing softly across the room from me.
Thats all I can hear...
Everyone asleep...
everyone but me.

I laid down for a few minutes....
but quickly realized sleep was not ready to come.

My mind is overflowing....
So.
Many.
Thoughts.

A lot of the things floating around in my head tonight....and yesterday, and last week....
I refuse to speak out loud.
Many of them...I try to drown out with prayer..... silence them before they take me over....sometimes it works.... but they always come back.
And to be honest....a lot of my prayers end in angry cries.....

One thing seems to stack upon the next....
and the tower grows higher, and higher still....
Until something small, a feather....
taps it ever so slightly....and the pieces fall into my lap...
tear soaked and messy.

Each morning I wipe my lap clean...brush the mess onto the floor as I get up.
Throughout the day, I step over the pile of stress.....One foot over the other....
and by the end of the day the pile has moved its way back into my head.....
Rinse and repeat...
Every.
Day.

Parklen has been wading his way through his days too...
He has ups and downs...
He feels sad, and happy and scared....
He feels good and bad and tired and angry...
He cries...

We've been talking in our quiet moments...
He asks me if I think he is going to die...
I say, "I don't....."
He wakes up at night with nightmares...
He asks me before bed, "What if I don't wake up?"

He lived in much worse health for many years.
He is not nearly as sick as he was before...
Its just simple fact...
He isn't.

But I think that he feels something coming..
And I think that feeling good for quite some time...
has just made how he feels now, scary.

About a year after his transplant, I asked Parklen if he remembered what it was like to be so sick....
He barely could...
Through conversations about surgeries and treatments and hospital scares....Parklen would often say, "I kind of remember that...."
and I counted that as a blessing...
But It seems like him not remembering the terrible portions of his life...have made this time...seem worse than it is.  If only he knew how sick he was before...but I suppose Im thankful he doesn't...and I pray he never gets the chance to re-learn.

I cannot convince him that it is going to be ok.
The only answer that Parklen will accept when it comes to his worries is this;
"I don't know what is going to happen, but God does....and the only thing I can say for sure, is that I will be by your side no matter what....and we will do this together."

And so I pray again....
That God will lift me up...
though I feel so broken...
That he will piece me back together...
and reinforce what once was there....
So that I can be strong for Parklen...
So I can help to give him a life that feels better for him...