So everyone. You know I like to keep things light hearted around these parts but I simply cannot ignore this story that landed up in my feed. I read it yesterday, then pretty much trawled Mindy’s blog over 24 hours and I cried and cried as a read the story of Ben and his family. I cannot shake them from my head. I feel so heartbroken over this loss of life, over the sickness that took this little boy over such a short period of time. And I am awed, floored and completely amazed at the faith of this family as they’ve lived through the loss of their son and brother. In the space of a few short months, Ben went from well and healthy to dying of a cancerous brain tumour. And I’ve read of many families who have suffered through the same loss, but I think it’s the way Mindy writes… her honestly, her bravery, her love for her boy, that really gets me. How she describes his illness, his fight. And her testimony of God’s grace and goodness through it all. There’s nothing I can write here that will articulate this story, as well as she has done so on her own blog.
Anyway, I know that each of us are shocked into the realization of how short life is when we are faced with the death of a loved one, or when we read stories of people, especially children, dying. I don’t really want to give you another post on how we must cherish every moment. We know that already.
I just need to say something about being a mother and having children. Or something like that. Truthfully, I’m not really sure what I want to say. I want to say that I hope I never need to bury my child. I want my life to follow the natural progression as it was intended: that I will grow old, I will drive my children insane with old people stuff, I will see my grandchildren, and that they will happily bury me at the ripe old age of whatever. We all want that, right? I want to say that I can almost bear the thought of losing a parent – I say almost because I know that will be the hardest time of my life when it comes, but there’s some peace in knowing that I KNOW where my parents are going – the other side of heaven. There is this comfort when a believer dies. Also, I think it is easier to accept an older person dying. Don’t get me wrong, it will be difficult because I can’t imagine my life without my mother and father in it, but I will be accepting. But I don’t know how I would feel if I lost my child(ren). My mind cannot fathom the idea. I want to cry a thousand tears when I think of Mindy and I don’t even know her. But I sympathise with her because I have my two healthy beautiful children and if I woke up tomorrow and one of them wasn’t there, I don’t know what that would do to me. And then I read about this lady’s strength and her faith in God. And it blows me away. She didn’t have a long time to process and accept what was happening to her boy, you understand. It wasn’t a long illness. He was well, and then in a few months, he was dead. And yet she is so strong. She knows where her boy is.
I guess I want to say that I love my children. That I didn’t quite understand how MUCH I would love them before they were born. I didn’t understand the depth of love a parent could feel for a child. I want to say to the mothers out there who are going through a hard time with a new born – it doesn’t last forever. It goes by SO quickly. Please don’t wish these times away, I know I did. But don’t. It’s so short and so precious. And I know it feels like you are going to die from tiredness but hang in there. I want to say to the parents with children who have learning disabilities, or lifelong illnesses – I don’t claim to know your struggle, but I know your child is ALIVE. And while a child is ALIVE, there is POSSIBILITY and POTENTIAL and POWER. I want to say to parents who are battling to pay school fees, pay the bond and car payments – don’t give up. These struggles SUCK when you are in the middle of them, trust me, I know ALL about it, but those situations are temporary, we find solutions, we sell a car, we get a smaller house, we get backlisted until we figure things out and get rid of that judgment against our names, we can fix those things. I think I want to say don’t let the STRESS of living KEEP you from living. Guys, it’s the truth – we don’t know how long we have. We just don’t. All those things I said before about not wanting to bury my children, I wish I had a guarantee, but I don’t. But I do know that I need to be making memories with these kids of mine every day, I need to be making every damn moment count. I can’t be worried within an inch of my life about crime and paying bills and my weight, when it takes me emotionally or physically away from just giving my children memories. I don’t know how else to say it. Don’t get bogged down by life, just like that email that does the rounds says, on your death bed you are not going to be worried about how many hours you put in at the office.
Are you stressed about something right now? Don’t be. Give yourself a serious pep talk, I promise the problem you are looking at right now, is not as bad as you think it is. Don’t even give that situation a chance to steal another minute of your joy, your quality time with your kids, your sanity. It’s not even worth it.
And I have to say this even if you don’t believe it. Even if I lose followers. If I don’t say this, I will have missed an opportunity to tell you about Jesus and that’s what I am called to do, so just listen. If you don’t know God, if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, won’t you think about it? I don’t know where I would be without Him. I don’t know that I could live another day in this fallen world with all its problems, if it wasn’t for the fact that it is temporary and our real home is in Heaven. And I don’t want to get all holier than thou on you, you know me, I am not like that, but I just feel like we need to be talking about these things guys. It’s hard out there, we need JESUS!
My wish for myself, for you, for your families is that we live in the moment, that we let go and let God, that we value this opportunity to be ALIVE and use it to impact the lives of those around us and that we enjoy every moment doing so. Love on your kids today, even if they are particularly testy and annoying between the hours of 5 – 7pm. Be kind to your partner with all his/her “faults” because we all have our issues and sometimes turning a blind eye isn’t a sign of weakness, it is an act of Grace. Take it easy in the traffic, phone your bank manager and make payment terms, drop that grudge and pick up the phone and talk to that person already. Don’t let anything hold you back from living your best life. This is my wish. Xxx
And to the Sauer family, I wish you a peace that passes all understanding as you revel in the memories of your precious Benjamin.