Thursday, December 20, 2007

My heart is heavy today.......

I have so much to say, and just said it all on Cole's Caringbridge Site - so I'm doing the 'copy and paste' and putting his update here. I just couldn't type it all again and wanted anyone who may read this to know about Maddie as well..............

Hi there. Long time, no post huh? I intended to update today with some photos from Cole's class Holiday Party, but I just haven't gotten them uploaded on the computer yet. We were out of town over the weekend and missed church Sunday. I was watching the service online this morning and suddenly thought of Maddie Beamon and paused Paster Chris to go check on Maddie's website. I don't know what moved me to do this except that the message from Sunday's service was about finding JOY - finding joy during the holiday madness, and everyday life, how it's there somewhere, even if it's tiny - we have to find it. I thought of all the times Cole was sick and felt miserable and we did the silliest things to cheer him up and we'd get a real laugh, a real smile, a real JOY filled moment with him. We've said so many times that the time we spent in Memphis, going through the worst thing in our lives, they were the best times. That quote 'it was the best of time, it was the worst of times' certainly applies there. Why did we have to go through something so bad, to learn to appreciate the small stuff, the best of times, the togetherness we felt? Well, that's how we survived it I guess - finding the JOY. And we did that!!! There were days when it was hard and the bad times weighed more heavily on us, but gosh, there were times when the JOY overflowed, in the craziest ways - things that no one would have laughed at but us!! It's a little strange that there are times when we miss those days - but it's the JOY we miss, not the needle sticks, IV's, and side effects. We can still find so much JOY in each day it's unbelievable. So, back to Maddie. Her 6th birthday was Monday and they also had scans this week. Her mom said she's in the same condition (for lack of better words on my part) that she was when they began treatment in 2004. This sweet girl has been fighting this for four years. They were told they only have weeks left with her. I can't imagine what they are going through. I've said that so many times now about so many families who have faced losing their child. I just cannot imagine and isn't it almost impossible to find any JOY in that? The JOY for me is I met Maddie - I already 'knew' about her long before I was actually introduced to her. I had heard stories about her, read them on other sites and heard her name being called to D Clinic. We heard it the last time we were there and I smiled. Just knowing she was around somewhere made me happy and I usually went off to find them, if I could leave where we were. Last time we were there, I didn't go looking for them, I just kept watching for them to show up in the area since we had an appointment and should have been called any minute. I wish I'd found them though just to hug her mom and see Maddie's sweet happy face. I can't imagine what the weeks will bring to her family but I pray that it's peace and JOY and many many memories to hold onto forever. Please keep them in your prayers - as often as possible. Pray for a miracle - pray for JOY for them. My heart just hurts.As far as Cole goes, he's great, wonderful - the best. He had a great last week of school before Christmas Vacation. He's excited that Santa is coming and just asked me this morning if he came last night and I had to remind him it wasn't time yet. I can't wait to see him this Christmas and how he is filled with JOY at each moment - moments with his family, his cousins, opening gifts. All of it is joyful for me. I can't go through one holiday without thinking of the previous ones. I remember the Christmas before he was diagnosed. I remember my brother being at our house in Mobile and Cole was sick with a terrible headache and had been throwing up terribly. He felt so bad and we had had such a wonderful visit with family. I think of the next Christmas when all the pictures showed Cole's little bald head covered with teeny peach fuzz. Then I think of last Christmas when things seemed normal - no sickness, no bald head - just FUN and JOY. I know every holiday from now on will just top the last. But at the same time, I know families that don't have another holiday to look forward to because their child is gone. It's not fair and it's not right. So those of us still here, still finding the JOY owe it to those who don't have the same things to look forward to, don't we? I know we can't do things to help every family out there, but we can pray for them, we can live our lives to the best of our ability, we can be respectful to others, we can look for the good in every single day, we can be positive and we can love ourselves and others. Those things are what we should do, right? I try to remind myself of that everyday!! It's hard sometimes, but it's a job worth doing!And to take another quote - 'Your life is an occasion - rise to it' - that's what we should all strive to do everyday. Please remember Maddie and her family and all the families who have one less stocking to fill this Christmas.

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