This has been a really tough week. Heaven gained another sweet angel. Roderick was an awesome little boy who was in my class last year. He was diagnosed with cancer and fought so hard for two long years. He never lost his smile through it all. It's always hard to lose someone to such a brutal disease, but to lose a child.... I'm speechless.
I attended the funeral on Saturday, or as they called it, his celebration of life. I kept glancing at his mother. I knew that pain. I knew how awful it felt to sit in that front row watching your child's lifeless body lie there for all to view. I knew the pain in her smile. I knew the hurt in her eyes. I knew the throbbing of her heart. And it absolutely broke my heart in two. It brought it all back to me. I replayed Avery Kate's funeral numerous times in my head. Again, I'm asking myself, why? This little boy brought so much happiness to me each and every time I saw him. I couldn't bare to see him lying there. I know he is no longer in pain, but it doesn't make it easier. The fact is, he's gone. The fact is, his parents will have to bear that pain for the rest of their lives, the same pain that Brandon and I will continue to bear. Why? Why do these things happen to good people? We sang a song at the "celebration" and as I'm listening to the lyrics, "My God is awesome!" I'm questioning again. Is He really awesome? Is He? I told Brandon on the way home from the funeral that I know we are supposed to have faith and be positive and trust in God, but on days like today... I am just mad.
So I have to go to Dallas tomorrow for the week and I know I will be very busy. It's for work, and I decided earlier in the week that I was going to skip church on Sunday and just get some rest and start packing. After the way I was feeling yesterday, I decided that I am truly blessed and God deserves my time so I went. As we drove into the church parking lot, the sign read "Death is not the end." So clearly I thought it was a sign meant for me. The Gospel was about Jesus bringing a woman's son back to life. Of course I'm thinking, "Well he didn't do that for me, and he didn't do that yesterday for Roderick's mother either." It was just hard to hear. Then Fr. Keith began his homily. I think he spoke directly to me! I felt like I was the only one sitting in church and he was speaking to me. He said how God is NOT death. He is LIFE. He does not bring these tragedies to us, he is bringing these people to new life. Of course, I begin to feel a lump in my throat, but still, I'm good. Then he says that it is the hardest when he experiences the death of a child. As he spoke about his experiences with parents losing a child and walking that journey with them, tears started flowing from my eyes. I couldn't stop. I was already so emotional, and now I feel as if he is sharing his story about walking with us every step of the way. From the moments in the hospital until we laid Avery Kate into the ground, Fr. Keith was there. I feel a hand on my shoulder, and Honey's daughter in law is sitting right behind us. I don't think it's a coincidence that we were all there together today. I can't believe I almost missed this. When I left, I just felt emotionally drained...and makeup-less! It was one of the most touching masses I had ever been to. I really needed that!
I will be gone all week, which means I will be away from my family. Hallie is sooo upset! "I'm gonna miss mom so much AND Avery Kate tooooo!" I know I'm going to miss that little thing too! You know a lot of people feel like they need a break from their kids every now and then, and I can understand why they would feel that way, but I can honestly say that I don't. When I'm not with them, I miss them. Even if it's just for an hour. I know it's probably due to the fact that I have lost a child and I feel like every moment I have with these children on Earth is precious. I am just dreading being away from them for an entire week. I know it's nothing like last time (3 weeks) but I hate that I won't be able to hold my baby girl, Aubrey and I won't be able to cuddle with Hallie. Please pray for my family and for me this week while I'm gone. I can always feel the power of prayer and I know it's what gets me through each day. Also, please pray for Roderick's family. I know the journey they are on and I know prayer is what got me to where I am today. We will never "get over" this, but we can grow in our faith in knowing that Death is NOT the End. We will see our children again!