Monthly Archives: August 2015

Silent Messenger

Some memories are fuzzy like, “What did I have for breakfast today?”, while others are etched in my brain as if they happened yesterday. image2 (9)One of the latter occurred just days after a doctor told us Katie had neurological impairment and would go home on a feeding tube and oxygen. I was on the phone with my sister and I said, “I can handle a lot of things, but I don’t think I can do this if she can’t talk.”

The thought of Katie never talking was more than I could handle because I couldn’t imagine a real relationship with someone who couldn’t talk…how would I know what she needed?, how would we “get” each other?, how would I know her favorite color or what she liked to do? And what about all the dreams I had for her?, how would she make her mark on this earth? I think the reason this memory is so etched in my brain is because I now know how very wrong I was to second guess God’s perfect plan for Katie’s life.

Katie has said so much in her silent 11 years. She changes lives every day and two of the most beautiful examples are developing before my eyes. Our precious nieces Allie and Jodie are both examples of Katie’s “mark”. At a very young age both Allie and Jodie saw the value in Katie’s life, they didn’t see her as disabled, Katie was just their awesome cousin.

Jodie started volunteering in the Special Education classroom in elementary school and continued through middle school. She says she wants to be a Special Ed teacher. On Jodie’s 11th birthday instead of receiving gifts from her friends she asked for donations to an Early Intervention center Katie attended. And this summer I was brought to tears when she spent two weeks volunteering at a Special Needs camp.IMG_0604 Instead of lying by the pool at home, she was tube feeding kids, taking them on inner tube rides and giving them an amazing experience. Focusing on other people and putting your own needs second is one of the most valuable lessons in life, I think Jodie learned this from Katie.

I will never forget the day Allie held Katie for the first time, her eyes and smile were so wide. They have always had a deep love for each other. Katie adores Allie and smiles whenever she is around. Allie wrote papers in elementary and high school about how her cousin had changed her life. She is now entering her senior year of college where she is studying to be a Speech Therapist.image5 Allie has a way of seeing past what makes someone different, she knows that who a person is makes them important, I think Katie helped teach her that important life lesson.

These two precious examples are just a few I get to witness being Katie’s mom. So when I look back on that day 11 ½ years ago I smile and actually giggle a bit at how naive I was. How could I have been so blind, so blind to the fact that God has got this?

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

image3 (8)His plan is so much greater than anything we can imagine. I am reminded daily that when life just doesn’t make sense and we can’t imagine something good coming from such tragedy, we have to trust in the Lord. What may appear broken to our human eyes is actually God’s silent messenger bringing lessons that words just can’t teach.

This Too Shall Pass

The sky turns a shade of dark grey, the wind begins to blow. I can hear the deep sounds of thunder rolling in the distance. The large drops of rain start slowly and a bolt of lightning flashes in the sky. Boom…the thunder is now on top of me and by now the rain is pouring, dime size hail is pounding while leaves and debris swirl in the air.

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

After a short time, the rain stops and the clouds open to a beautiful sun which leads to a perfect rainbow.

We often refer to Katie’s “tough” days as mini storms. One minute all is well with the world and the next, not so much. Days when she cries uncontrollably all day and we have no idea why, or when she absolutely refuses to take one step, when her stomach is just too unsettled to keep anything down, or when she goes weeks without eating a bite of food by mouth. You see, the problem is she can’t tell me what is wrong, it is a complete guessing game. These days overwhelm me, because she is enduring pain and I don’t know how to fix it, it is my job to fix it…these days make me want to crawl into a storm shelter. But the thought that gets me through is…This Too Shall Pass.

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2

Just as those summer storms come and go her bad days always end. IMG_6090I know they are only temporary because for 11 ½ years we have endured every storm and on the other side is always a rainbow. When the problem she has been enduring ends I literally feel the weight lifted off my shoulders. The relief is so intense and the thanksgiving to God is abundant.

This past weekend we decided to take the kids to a nearby waterpark. I instantly started worrying about how Katie would do for an entire day out in the sun. Would she get too hot? Would she be able to go down a waterslide? How will her tube feedings go? I decided it would all work out just fine, but then my precious mother offered to watch Katie and after thinking it through we decided to leave her with Nonna. Then I felt guilty going on a fun family day without her. I felt sad that she has to miss so many fun things in life. But then I realized…This Life Too Shall Pass.

This life is only temporary and it pales in comparison to the next. The most amazing, most incredible day we can imagine here on earth is nothing like the Glory of God in heaven. So what if she misses a day at the waterpark! One day she will have so much more than all the waterparks in the world. I was brought to tears picturing the day I will see her in heaven. She will be dancing with two perfect legs to her favorite song Tooty Ta, using her beautiful voice to sing at the top of her lungs and when she sees me she will stop, smile ear to ear and run to me with open arms and she will say “I love you Mommy”. I absolutely cannot wait for that moment.

image (12)“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

In the storms of life we have to stay focused on the light at the end of the tunnel, the light that is God. If we rely on Him and Him alone He will be our storm shelter.