Mortal Showers Bring Eternal Flowers

Beautiful Hauntings

From Brianna-

It has been a while since we last updated you all! Sorry about that.

So on Wednesday last week Scott had labs. This showed his ANC had come up to be 600. This means he doesn’t have to wear the mask, but it also means he still must be careful not to get sick. He got platelets and whole blood and then we packed up, hopped in the car and drove to Georgia. We arrived around 1 in the morning and we were very happy, tired travelers.

Thursday was our first full day home and it was mostly full of hanging out outside and enjoying home.  Scott has a new hobby…. bonsai trees. He is teaching us all how to care for them. I’m not sure how long mine will survive though… I don’t have the same green thumb he does.

Friday was an interesting day of going to get labs at CHOA (Childrens Hospital of Atlanta) a very nice hospital. But being there for the day made me realize just how comfortable I have become at St. Jude, how well I know it and the people and was a reminder of how grateful I am for all the amazing things they do that I may have started to take for granted. It’s like a strange little home for me.
Labs showed us that Scott’s numbers were still good, so the rest of the day was most adventurous grocery shopping. I say adventurous because with our family most things turn into an adventure. Which keeps things entertaining, I suppose.

Saturday was yard work! It was a beautiful day and Scott worked hard with both arms as you can see in the pictures. It reminds me of all the past summers, when Mom would send us all out for rigorous yard work. I do recall complaining about it at the time, but she always told me I would be remember those times with happiness.

She was so right.

Those were some of the best days of my life. Beautiful summer days working outside with my family. What did I see to complain about? That work tied my family together and those times are some of the most precious to me. Brings happiness just remembering it.

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chicken kt5It’s been a good week! It is always wonderful to come home, it’s probably one of the best places to vacation. From here we look to see how Scott’s numbers are on Tuesday and this will determine how long we will be in Georgia/when he will go for chemo.

From Mom–

I appreciated Brianna’s thoughts.  Our thoughts run a bit on a similar line.  How different life looks after cancer.

 

Some thoughts that have come to me this week:

Emotions…I have noticed emotions.   Mostly overwhelming gratitude.  But the intensity of the emotions here are at times overwhelming. A post on a Facebook account of another St. Jude patient describes the feeling for me.

 

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The best explanation I can come up with is … It feels a bit like PTSD. Except maybe PTSG- Post Traumatic Stess Gratitude.  I do not say this to make light of PTSD….Post Traumatic Stress Disorder..  Quite the opposite.  I will never understand fully what it would be like to have PTSD or the traumas that bring it on.  But there are a few  likenesses…  Friends dying on left and right both fighting the same war. I have heard the wailing of mothers down the hall as their children left this mortal life.  Not able to comfort them yet wanting to.  Shouldn’t the world stop for a short moment when a child dies?  A mother’s grief should be honored with a moment of silence.  A remembering of the short life that lived briefly on the earth, the life that brightened that mothers days albeit too short. Why have  I been able to keep my son?

Another way the last months are a bit like trauma is we just did what we had to do at the time…There wasn’t any energy for asking “Why?” or “How do I feel about that?”  Just do the next right thing and let the Lord take care of the rest.  It is almost like waking from a dream…. I was there, I lived it, I am learning from it.  But I feel as I come home I am awakening to my life again.  When I am in Memphis it is a bit like that is my life and home is only a dream.

 

Beautiful Hauntings…..  I don’t know how to describe it any other way.

To make a beautiful haunting make sense I will have to go back a few months.  Our oldest child Colin is and has been quite the joy.  He was also a very active young man.  One thing that really drove me nuts about him was the noisy stairs.  Colin would go down the wooden basement stairs in 1 and ½ leaps.  One jump to the middle and half a jump to the bottom landing.  Each jump was thunderous and could be heard throughout the entire house. I tried for months to cure this annoying fault by extra practice, and he would willingly take the steps gently for 10 or so gentlemanly trips up and down the stairs. But moments later in his hurried life, being quiet on the stairs would again slip from his mind.  As his time to depart for Mexico came near I realized my efforts were in vain and I should just accept my failure with graciousness.  But I whole heartedly declared that when he left, the basement stairs rumbling would stop!!  The rest of my offspring needed to begin practicing being quiet on the stairs because I wasn’t going to stand for it any longer.

Back in December we came home for a short time.  It was a great trip.  One evening I was standing in the family room and the old thunderous rumble of the house began again.  For a moment it was so familiar I almost didn’t notice. But then the haunting swooped over me. The haunting of my boy now in Mexico who left behind a little hole in our family.  And the realization that it was not Colin, but Scott rumbling the house now.  I almost fell to my knees with gratitude.  My son Scott was well enough to jump down the stairs in 2 great bounds and rumble my house.  It was so overwhelming , even now tears of joy and gratitude come to my eyes as I try to explain it.  I fear words cannot express the feelings of a mother’s heart.  Although I would like to make it clear to you the reader, I think I lack the words.

 

Well again this week I have had many Beautiful hauntings.

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Katie came Thursday morning to show me her loose tooth.  It had become quite mundane to hear about a loose tooth again. ( this is my 5th mouthful of teeth to celebrate the loss of each precious pearl)   But as I looked down at her and tried to act interested new eyes came upon me.  I looked at her face but I saw the face of Ava, and the post her mother made of her a few weeks ago.  Ava is and has been fighting with everything she has to defeat a brain tumor.

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It appears right now they are out of medical options and are enjoying every day they have. I don’t know if I can describe how a scene can change, from Do-I-Have-To-Hear-This-Again-We-Have-Done-This-Everyday to reaching down quickly to kiss her face so she cannot see tears trying to form in my eyes. Holding her as long as I can to try and seal this moment in my memory but not too long as to alert her to my crazy mom moment and have to explain the unexplainable moments of gratitude that wash over me and hurt just a bit as they hopefully sear into my heart for ever.

Katie bounds outside to see the blossoms growing on the trees, as if spring has never come before. This gives me a moment to try to pull it together.  As she is seeing spring as if for the first time it is as if I am seeing my life for the first time.

I have been granted a window to see the beauty of my life.  These are just ordinary moments…..  a 6 year old speaking incessantly for 2 weeks of loose teeth, lost teeth, new teeth growing in their place. And beginning again with new loose teeth.    It really can be quite annoying after a while.  But the beautiful haunting allows me to see the beauty in this moment.

Moments like those sealed and taught me the power of gratitude and enjoying the moments we are in, and made it possible for me to enjoy  last 9 months of meaningful time  with my family….with a little chemo  mixed in along the way. There are probably more words than gratitude… eyes to see and ears to hear the beauty all around us every day.

Before these lessons from the Lord, I remember thinking many times this world is wrought with trouble– and it is, the world has not changed. Only my eyes have changed.  If I focus on the trouble that is what I will find  but if I focus on the beauty that is what I will see.

6 thoughts on “Beautiful Hauntings

  1. Beth Ann

    Stephanie,
    I can relate to EVERYTHING you have written!! I feel it too, so intensely. It is almost impossible to describe with our human words because the feelings come from so deep within our spirits….but you have done an excellent job. I look forward to seeing you and yours on March 31st or April 1st. <3

    1. aprileternal Post author

      Beth Ann, I am glad you can relate, I am not alone in these special moments. I am So looking forward to a few fun days with you guys, we will make it a party!

  2. Mary Linde

    You feel you can’t share your feelings well Stephanie, but oh how gently they stir a Mother’s heart to all that you wrote so beautifully! Your journey has been difficult and rocky but oh the joy you’ve seen along the way and your eyes have opened more fully to comprehend and enjoy all the sweetness, love and togetherness that your family has together. Precious treasures to be sure. I am grateful for Brianna and your posts…giving us a glimpse of your insights and keeping us posted on Scott. It’s important that while praying and lifting your family up in prayers, we need to be specific in our requests to Heavenly Father – He truly knows each and every need – but He also wants us to grow in our faith by turning to Him with our specific requests. He loves us and wants to bless us with all that we need according to His will for our lives. Enjoy each moment while you’re home. Scott looks great and I rejoice each time I see you and the family home for a few days. Home truly is such a blessing in our lives. God bless you all.

  3. Aunt Stacey

    Thank you so much for bravely sharing yourself here. I am learning from your example. To be present in each moment is my intent (but I don’t always live up to that). Thanks for sharing the beauty and gratitude with us all. Beautiful hauntings — what a wonderful description :).

  4. Jon Harrison

    Brianna and Stephanie, well said and beautifully written. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. You’ve uplifted and inspired me. Thank you so much.

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