Yesterday was one of those days. You know, one of those days where tears seemed to come on their own, unbidden, almost as if out of nowhere. We were in the car driving to Baltimore, to enjoy a family day together at the Maryland Science Center, when it dawned on me that my heart was heavy. As if I was under a cloud. I was just sad. If you know me, heaviness of heart is not something that typically describes me. But it also is certainly something that I have walked through before, and I am sure will feel again.
I began telling Jordan that I felt weak in my soul, and then the tears just came. Sometimes the reality that we have no medical guarantee of Jack being cured of his cancer, that there is always a chance that he might relapse, that we will have to go through all this again, that he might need a bone marrow transplant, and there is always the possibility that he might die from this cancer.
Sometimes this reality is more than my heart can bear. All of this. The pain, the hurt, the uncertainty, the changes in his body and life. Picking him up and feeling the port under his skin, giving him chemo everyday. Sometimes, it just grieves my heart. Sometimes I just want to curl up and hold him and cry.
I am grateful that these moments come, they make me take each moment with my children- ALL OF THEM- so much more precious to me. I have been more purposeful with them, snuggling and kissing whenever they are near. These moments, they sober me.
Jordan asked me some questions about what truth I can believe to help me not to despair... which was good. I do not think I was despairing, but I was sad. Sometimes I just need to cry. Get the raw emotion out. In my mind and heart, I am not doubting God. I know that even though we have no medical promise of complete cure, we have a savior and King who loves us infinitely more than I can imagine, and since I know that Jesus came to die for the sins of the world, there can be no room for doubt that he will give us lavish grace for whatever lay before us. I know this to be true. This brings peace to my soul.
I know that it is dangerous ground to tread, this land of what-ifs. There is no grace for it.. not yet. So it becomes a dance, a tricky balance of looking to the future, although uncertain, and holding fast to truth and faith, the only thing I have that is in fact, certain. I read today from a sermon by John Piper the following, "The ultimate purpose in our weakness is to glorify the kind of power that moved Christ to the to the cross and kept him there until the work of love was done. The deepest need that you and I have in weakness and adversity is not quick relief, but the well-grounded confidence that what is happening to us is the greatest purpose of God in the universe. That is what God is building into our lives."
So good, right? Yet, sometimes I just need to have a good cry. Even in the midst of sadness, I can still say, by the grace of God alone, that it is well with my soul.
As with all things here, I am really behind in getting this post up! So on the same day that Jack turned 3, Dylan turned 1 year old! Yes, it is true, they have the same birthday! I was induced with both boys, and we figured that having the kids birthdays only a day apart was not as fun... so now we have a big party for both boys. This past year has flown by. Dylan was my biggest baby by far, weighing a whopping 9lbs 2 oz. The labor and delivery were pretty much the same as Jack, and he was instantly dear to my heart. It was amazing to hold this little one, with a head full of dark brown hair, and just love him so completely from the start.
As I was gathering pictures from this past year, I was reminded of things that I had already forgotten! Right before Jack was diagnosed with ALL, Dylan was admitted to the hospital for RSV. He also had a serious case of thrush, that lasted a painful 5 months or so. Oh, and I just remembered the cradle cap he had, man did I try everything to get it off! It was a good thing he had all that hair to cover it up. It was yucky! And I couldn't stop picking at it! Poor little buddy! But he would nap through the many yells and screams of his brothers, and that made life a whole lot easier, especially since he was in our room until he was 11 months old!
As things got more and more serious with Jack, Dylan was a gift of pure JOY to us from the Lord. He really was an angel baby, although he did not sleep through the night until he was 6 months old. When we were at the hospital for Jack, when he was first diagnosed, we almost didn't bring Dylan with us, as we were not even sure how long we would be at the hospital. There were so many moments while we were there, that having the happy distraction of Dylan and his little needs, were a balm to all of us. It was good for Jack to have a little buddy there too. Many times the staff would come into our room and say, "So I hear there is a baby in here?" Dylan was so quiet and peaceful, they barely knew he was there.
Then when he turned 6 month old.. he started army crawling all around the house, and ever since then, he has been on the go. This little squirt is one of the fastest crawlers, and is always in a hurry to get places. You cannot turn your back on him, as he always goes straight for the potty, and wants to splash and play in it like it is his own personal pool. Yuck. He is a stinker that is for sure, but oh how he melts my heart. One little head tilted smile of his and I am putty.
I love his snuggles, which are far and few between, because he is so busy getting around, snuggling takes too much time. So that makes them all the more special to me.
I love the way he tries to keep up with his brothers, and joins in the fray of silliness and tackling. He is one tough cookie.
I love the way he smells too...
I love how tiny he is. By far my biggest baby, but he has been my smallest child as the year has gone on. He has the tiniest little waist.
I love his BIG brown eyes. They melt me.
I love that he will eat just about anything.
I love his adventurous spirit. I wonder what he will be like as a toddler!! Even more so, what the Lord has in store for him as he becomes a teenager and one day a grown man.
I love the way he lights up when he sees me. He is a ray of sunshine to me no matter what is going on in my day.
I love that he sits still for Jordan. Amazing.
I love how fearless he is.
I love the way he says momma. It is the best first thing in the morning.
I love this special boy for so many reasons and I cannot imagine our family without him.
Some pictures of my little buddy.