I didn’ t know what I was asking for

It’s been a little more than 26 months since Mason left us. Of all the blogs I’ve read and people I have spoken to, they all say that the second year is the hardest. After the shock wears off and reality starts so settle back in, that’s when you really get started. Well, we survived the second year.

Another thing I have heard from others is that there is no time table on grief. The Compassionate Friends consider you “newly” bereaved if it’s been less than 5 years. I’m still “newly” bereaved. Sometimes, I’m still in shock. Sometimes it’s not real. Sometimes, I think that my alarm clock will wake me up from a horrendously long nightmare.

Being “newly” bereaved, I am still very early on in my healing progress. The pain is still very deep. Obviously, I haven’t had the time to let it heal, but I expect at some point that the pain will be more like a soreness, a bad ache. Right now, the knife is still in my heart and it’s twisting around and around. The wound is not able to start healing just yet.

As if all this wasn’t bad enough, there is the guilt. All of this pain, all of the heartache, all of the tears, all of the sadness and all of the helplessness, I wished on someone else.

Early in April of 2002, we found out Mason needed a heart transplant. The current route of treatment wasn’t going to be good enough and time was of the essence. I prayed every day for a heart to become available for Mason. Six months later, my prayers were answered. At that point, someone else started their life without their child. I spent six months wishing this curse on someone else. I didn’t care who, I just wanted my child to live. I wanted Mason to have a chance. And I got it.

I spent six months praying for all this to happen to someone else. Now I’ll spend forever praying for God to forgive me for asking this. I didn’t know what I was asking for. I just wanted the best for Mason.

Now I’m on the other side. I find myself telling people all the time that I hope you never have to deal with the loss of a child. “I wouldn’t wish it on anyone”, I say. Yet, twelve years ago, that’s exactly what I was doing. Would I do it again, knowing what I know now? Yes. So I guess I’m lying when I say I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. If my child’s life is on the line, I would wish it on anyone.

So, what this boils down to is just another twist of the knife for me. On one hand, I don’t want anyone to experience this. I don’t want to have to ask God to take another one of his children so that my child could live. Yet, if it came down to it again, I’d make the same request. My child is more important than anyone else’s; just as your child is more important than mine.

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2 Years Out

Anniversaries. Some are good, some not so much.

Yesterday, April 7, we were 2 years out. I didn’t really have any expectations for where I would be in this journey of life without Mason. While I know things will get better, I know they will never be right. That being said, I’m not expecting an improvement. I’m not holding my breath for it.

This has all been very taxing for me, to say the least. It takes a lot of my strength. While I try to concentrate on Brandi, Isabella and Jackson, Mason is always in the back of my mind. Wishing he was here to see all of this.

I’ve really wanted to keep this blog going. I read other blogs written by people who have lost a child. Some are like me in that they quit after a year or two; just nothing new to write about. Then there are others who seem to write almost every day. I wish I had that capacity to do that. I just can’t come up with anything new. I guess for a while, the entries will be sporadic.

Been a while…….

I’m tired.

Work has finally slowed down.  Now I’ve got some time to spend with the family.  Time to reflect on the things that have happened in the last 15 months.

The pregnancy is going well.  Come September 13th, I intend to be holding my little Jackson Reed in my arms.  Pretty excited about that.

We just returned from our annual family vacation.  This year we went to Branson, MO.  I had my doubts about that place, but if you’ve never been, it’s worth going.  The day that we arrived in Branson, our realtor called us and let us know that someone would be putting in an offer on our house.  It looks like it’s going to sell.  We’re pretty happy about that too.  We’ll stay close to the doctors and hospitals for a while.  Our history makes that a good idea.  We’ll start seriously looking for a new home after the first of the year.

Of course with a move coming up, there’s packing to be done.  We hadn’t touched Masons room since he passed.  Other than just general cleaning and such.  Saturday, we went through everything.  Everything EXCEPT his suitcase that he had when he went to Nana’s house the last time.  We can’t open that yet.  We’ll just take it with us and we’ll open it when it’s time.  I knew it would be tough.  Going through all of his clothes.  Sifting through old drawings he had made and stuffed in his desk.  Reading some of his stories that he liked to write.  I knew it would be tough.  But it was worse than that.

It’s just not fair that the whole world is going on without him.  He’s got a baby sister to look after.  He’s got a baby brother that he’ll never get to meet.  Words just can’t express the pain and emotion that I feel.  I have been trying to hold it in, but I feel like I am at my breaking point.  I don’t know why I feel like I need to hold it in, I just do.  but I don’t think I’ll be able to restrain it much longer.  It really feels like everyday is harder than yesterday.

I’ll try to write more, but it’s really hard when there’s nothing to say.

Paying a debt

13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.”

2 Samuel 12-13 – Nathan Rebukes David

More on this later….

Later……..

I meet with a couple of very good friends every couple of weeks or so, whenever our schedules can all match up.  We basically have a little sit-down, informal discussion on how we are doing and how our relationship with the Lord is.  It’s been a very healthy thing for me to do, especially of late.

Going to these meetings, the ‘leader’ gets these little handouts for us.  It’s called Men of Integrity.  Can be found here:  http://www.christianitytoday.com/moi/

Anyway, I was reading through it last week sometime, catching up on a few of the articles in there when I got to this one by Perry Noble.  It is as follows:

What he Said … A Misguided and Damaging Belief

Having served in ministry for more than two decades, I’ve seen a common idea that simply isn’t true dominate the landscape of the church. And in my opinion, it’s one of the most damaging beliefs a Christian can hold.

Here’s the false idea: “God will never give you more than you can handle.”

I suspect we’ve all had this concept pitched to us at some point as one of the key principles of the faith. We’ve heard it from the lips of other Christians; we’ve read books about it; we’ve seen the phrase on bumper stickers. But I’m telling you, it simply doesn’t ring true—from the standpoint of human experience or from God’s Word. When we buy into this false idea, it only leaves us confused, frustrated, and angry.

The truth is, God often allows us to face more than we can handle. But it’s not because he’s cruel or heartless. It’s so we’ll stop trying to live life on our own strength and learn to depend on his.

Key Study Passage: 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

The little booklet has articles like this set up on a daily basis.  This particular one was dated April 7.  The 1st anniversary of Masons death.

I’ve always heard that God won’t give you more than you can handle.  Maybe that’s not true.  I guess God won’t give you more than He can handle.  That sets the bar pretty high, cause He can handle anything.  Everything.

So, maybe I’m wrong, but my interpretation of that is that God will overload us to teach us a lesson.  Just like he taught David a lesson.  Again, I’m no angel.  I’ve done some bad things in my life.  But, I think I could have gotten by with an easier lesson.  I’m still not sure what the ‘lesson’ is supposed to teach me.

All I know right now is that I am in a very dark place right now.  I spend too much time alone, away from my family.  During my time away, I have an idle mind.  Idle minds are a dangerous thing.

Half a Million

Half a Million.  Five Hundred Thousand.  500,000

Seems like alot.  I guess it just depends what it is.  I guess it’s all relative.

But, for those that are counting, like me, it’s been 500,000 minutes since Mason left us.

I have thought about him nearly every one of those minutes.  Every day, at some point in time, I will have a memory lapse.  Not that I forgot about him, but that I forgot he was gone.

And then it hits me.  Hits me like I am re-living the time we got the phone call.  Re-Living the drive to the hospital.  Re-Living the time we spent at his side in the ER.  Re-Living closing his casket.  Re-Living lowering him into the ground.

Half a Million minutes.

I’m Tired

I’m Tired………….

of the nightmares…..

of the depression……

of being angry……

of not being understood……

of being (feeling) ignored……

of others criticizing the way I handle MY grief……

of wishing I had done things differently……

of the guilt I carry……

of the self-imposed pressure I create……

of looking at my son’s name on a headstone……

of walking past his empty room……

of hurting……

of being tired……

300 Days

300 Days……………………………………………

 

I remember the first time I had to leave Brandi & Mason to go work out of town.  I wasn’t working that far away, I made trips home on the weekends.  But those 5 days and nights away from them almost killed me.  I knew I couldn’t go any longer than that without seeing Mason.  5 days away from him was painful.  300 days away from him is hell.

A lot has happened in the last 300 days.  All kinds of national tragedies have our country in an uproar.  Yet, we all still go on taking it day by day.

His little sister is a year older.  She is growing up so fast, I wish he could be here with her.

Brandi is pregnant, so God willing, we’ll have another addition to the family this September.  The first person who tells me that this baby is to “replace” Mason, I’m going to unload on them.

Just the other day, on a message board I was posting on, I was discussing just how angry I was/am with the death of Mason.  It’s really unimaginable.  I really can’t put it in to words.

That night, I got a reply to a message I had sent on facebook shortly after Mason had passed.  On Mason’s memorial page from the funeral home, the following message was placed:

My son and Mason were classmates this year. We just learned of the heartbreaking news. I had to pull my son out this week for homeschooling due to harassment from other children. Only Mason was different he says. When no other boy would sit with him at lunch or talk to him Mason was always there. Thank you Mason for being a wonderful friend to my son! God bless your family”

I was so proud of Mason for that.  I am proud of Mason for that.

I located the person who sent made that comment on facebook and sent them a message thanking them for the kind words.  It brought tears to my eyes and a huge smile on my face.

The other night, I got a response.  She apologized for taking so long to respond, it seems facebook has an “other” inbox for messages.  I wasn’t aware of it till she told me.  Anyway, the message I had sent thanking her was placed in the “other” box and she had just found it.  She told me of a conversation relayed to her from her son that Mason had had with him.  She wanted to talk with me about it instead of just typing it up in an email or message.  She asked me to call her when I was ready.  She said it had to do with Heaven.

I gathered myself together and made the call.  She was very emotional on the phone, as was I.  Evidently, her son thought very highly of Mason and talked about him all the time.  Mason had that effect on people.  Now, I’m paraphrasing here.  I don’t remember exactly everything we talked about, but here’s the gist of it.  They were talking about death.  Since Mason had a heart transplant, it was discussed that he would not live as long as everyone else.  He, Mason, said that he knew.  He was excited to go to Heaven and get his wings.  He would become an Angel and he would look over his Momma and little sister, Isabella.

I thanked her for making contact with me.  It was good to hear so many nice things about Mason.  Needless to say, I was crying by the end of the conversation.

I, we, have had many conversations with people who think that Mason knew he was dying.  Brandi and I don’t think he knew.  As emotional of a child as Mason was, he would have been a basket case.  He’d have been a nervous wreck.  Maybe subliminally he knew.  We’ll never know.

300 days is a long time.  I hope he is up there looking down on us.  I hope that he is not worried about anything.  I hope he’ll be waiting on me at the Pearly Gates when I get there.  We’ll have a lot to catch up on.  Likely, we’ll have a lot more to discuss than 300 days………….