Six Years Later....
Sitting here this morning, I realized that six years ago yesterday Shawn and I watched our almost 5 year old son as his hospital bed was wheeled down the hall to the operating room. We had no idea what his fate would be. Many of you were with us that day praying, comforting, and loving on us. What a testimony it was to all the other people waiting in that waiting room. 13 hours later, many of you were still with us. Worshipping with us and waiting for the news of what our future would hold. You were there when the doctor finally came out and said that Jonathan was on his way back to recovery. You were there when we all huddled around and knelt before our Lord thanking him and asking for his healing.
I can't believe that 6 years has already passed. I can't believe that it has only been 6 years. Sometimes this journey feels like it has been all we have ever known. My heart grieves the fact that I can hardly remember anything past that dreadful day when we were given the diagnosis that forever changed our lives. The horror and pain still feels like it was just yesterday. And at the same time this has become our lives. Sort of a new reality that we have been forced to accept.
There is so much that I am thankful for and praise the Lord for. I am thankful that Jonathan is still alive. In all the loss that we have felt, I am so grateful that we have not yet had to feel the horrible grief that many of our friends have felt and still have to feel everyday since they have lost their children. I am grateful that 6 years later we have beat the statistics... with 2 reoccurances and 2 courses of chemotherapy- Jon is still here. I am so glad God doesn't believe in statistics...with him all things are possible. I am so thankful for the doctors who God has given us to care for our child. They fight everyday to keep him and others like him alive and with some kind of quality of life. While there is so much I miss about the old Jonathan...there is so much that makes him special...his childlike acceptance of everyone. His love and kindness. His simple content attitude. His kisses. Even if it feels like "50 first dates", each day begins and ends like yesterday, I am thankful for each day that I can kiss him good night and say his prayers, and sing his favorite song. I am thankful.
On the flip side, 6 years later the damage this disease has done takes its toll. The brain damage that has caused mood disorders and high levels of irritability and frustration has affected everyone. The stress level at times is so high we all feel like we might just crack. I see how each of my children is affected by this disease and it makes my heart break. No matter how hard I try I can't protect them. I can only trust that God knows and he will make them ok. He will heal the broken hearts, the angry hearts, the hearts that are desperate for attention.
We will make it. I know we will. God never has let me down. He always provides what we need. He didn't let me us face the first moments and days of the diagnosis alone. Each moment he allowed one of you to be there. Each time he gave whatever we needed. Six years later he continues to pour out his love on us. Even now, he is providing. One of the special blessings of moving to Colorado is the increased support we have recieved here. Some of you may not know...but Shawn's parent have already walked this path that we have. Different disease but still a great loss. His brother and sister both had terminal diseases. They have both passed away during the past several years. So God in his soverignty has given us a great gift in two people who can help Shawn and I learn how to cling together through whatever happens. They are so wonderful in helping to "rescue" the kids when they need a break from the situation.
So 6 years ago life drastically changed. Thank you to all of you who have walked with us through these years of craziness. I love each of you and am so thankful for the part you have played in our lives. I look forward to what the next 6 years hold...who knows???