Yesterday, Drew had his 6 month checkup with the heart and lung doctors. Drew has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a life-threatening form of MD that attacks muscles all over the body, including vital muscles like the heart and muscles that help us breathe. When we took Drew to see the doctors about 7 months ago, his numbers went down, so naturally we were nervous and afraid. To our surprise, the doctor came in the room, smiled, and asked me what I am giving Drew because his heart strength went up significantly. It was a blessing and a relief.
Not too long after receiving the good news, I kept wanting to ask about Christian. Why did he have to suffer so much? Why was his heart so much weaker? WHAT DID I DO WRONG? WEREN’T YOU PAYING ATTENTION? Most of the time, as I have been reluctant to accept, we will never fully understand or even know exactly what happened until we see our loved ones again in heaven. I believe we will experience so much peace and joy in God’s presence that it will not matter. Even when things go well and life gives me roses, I still want to hold onto the thorns. What will happen if I stop being so sad? Will I forget his voice, his smile or his strong spirit?
Part of healing is being thankful for each day and living each day as I know Christian would want me to live. I have had my pity parties and it’s normal when we are grieving, but after a while they actually do more harm than good. Complaining and being negative keep us from being all God created us to be and all Christian would want me to be. There were so many things Christian was not able to do and he accepted it most of the time. So many things that are mundane or even grievous to the rest of us were all Christian ever wanted. He wanted to work, run track and do the same classwork as the rest of the students. He wrote letters until he could not tolerate sitting up at his computer anymore. He tried reading the bible from front to back until his pain started and he had to spend most of the day tilted back in his chair. He did everything he could until his last breath that chilly October morning, which feels like it was yesterday and like it was ages ago at the same time.
I will focus on the roses in life and not hold onto the thorns. I will honor my son’s life by thanking God for the new day when my alarm goes off. I will be thankful that I can work and that I have my health. I will be thankful for clouds as well as sunshine, Mondays as well as Fridays, unpleasant people and sweet people, sour and sweet. I will live.
It has been several weeks since my last post and since then, we have gone on vacation and survived the spring forward time change. The robins are back and the trees are blooming. I have put off writing again and again because admittedly, I have been depressed. Not just the “I’m having a bad day” kind of depression, but the kind that makes your bones ache or feels like a heavy weight is on your chest and you have to talk yourself into getting out of bed a lot more than usual. This is not easy for me to admit. I had the hardest time trying to pinpoint the cause or event that triggered this cloud that has been hanging over my head – is it grief, lack of exercise or fun, my diet? Although all of these things can contribute to depression, the antidote that makes a world of difference in finding the light again is contained in one word: GRATITUDE.
Years ago, I started a gratitude journal. I kept it on my nightstand and made myself write down 5 things I was thankful for from that day. Despite the prognosis of my sons’ disease, I was able to find the joy in life almost every day. As the surgeries increased and the care took longer and became harder, and as I had to watch my oldest son endure pain and loss that was completely unfair, I stopped writing in it. A few months after we lost Christian, I bought a new gratitude journal. I may write down something big like “I am thankful for receiving an unexpected refund in the mail today” or something small like “I am thankful for the chickadees singing outside of my window.” Anything big or small that we can find to be grateful for can lift us up. We literally have to lift up our heads and look around so we can notice the beauty of God’s creation, which in turn lifts up our hearts. A heart of gratitude sets the stage for God’s blessings and His favor. It also opens windows and doors for goodness to flow into our lives and invites joy into our hearts.
Hello blog world. I hope everyone is having a good weekend! The weather cooled off some in Montana but things are creeping back up into the 90’s again. I filled the bird feeders this morning along with the bird bath and it wasn’t long before I witnessed some sparrows taking a dip.
I wanted to share with you a new format I want to try on my blog. I have wanted to write regularly but sometimes it can be hard to come up with a topic. It seems like the ideas pop into my head when I have nothing to jot them down on – like when I go to the store and forget what I came for. I thought it would be fun to focus on a particular topic on certain days such as Throwback Thursdays or Photography Fridays – just something to dust the cobwebs off of the dark, unused corners of my mind and start being creative again. Later this week I want to share with you how my blog is hopefully going to fit in with a larger goal I have in mind – something people have been encouraging me to do but I have been terrified of. It involves writing a book. That’s all I will say for now.
We are going through quite a bit of change in our household with my husband changing jobs and it’s far too easy to fall into the trap of fear and negativity. I admit that my thinking and my words have not been too positive lately. I miss Christian terribly and going through a major life change almost makes my heart ache more. One thing that helps me through difficult times is to remember all of the good things God has done for us over the years. He has provided us with all of the medical supplies for the boys, the right doctors and resources to ensure that my sons would have the best quality of life we could offer them. The verse I want to share is from John 10:10 (NLT), one of my favorites. Jesus said “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” God’s goodness and abundance is limitless and so is His love for us. He knows we are not perfect but yet He provides. Jesus said himself that He wants us to live a full, satisfying life and He will provide all that we need and more.
I hope you will enjoy my new platform. Some days are busier with doctor appointments and caregiving for my son but I will do my best to say a few words or make sure to the next day. Thank you for reading my blog and have a wonderful week!
Do you ever have one of those days when everything is wrong? You spill your coffee on your favorite shirt, burn your toast and just about back into a car on the way out of the driveway. I had one of those days. I had all sorts of ideas and ambitions flying though my mind like fireworks, but anytime I tried to act on them I froze. I want my grief to subside. Now. But what would the purpose be if it did? As painful and uncomfortable as grief can be, it is changing me for the better. I know God has good plans in store for me and He will help me to continue the love, kindness and courage that Christian emulated during his 21 years on this earth. I do have to heal first and as they say, time is the great healer.
Instead of focusing on everything that went wrong, which including feeling and acting like Oscar the Grouch, starting a blog post earlier today that just didn’t flow at all. not being able to stay awake for even 3 pages of a novel, I will close this day focusing on what went right.
The sun came up…
Many birds came to my feeders even though I didn’t go outside to fill them…
I was able to prepare a delicious, healthy meal for my family…