Friday, May 4, 2012

30 sleeps

It's been thirty sleeps since I last kissed my youngest before settling her in for the night. That also makes thirty long days I have wandered around, seeing Piper in everything and everywhere. And tomorrow morning when I awaken it will be the thirtieth morning without seeing the blue of her lovely eyes seeking me out and finding reassurance or laughter or peace or truly, whatever my sweet girl needed from me for that day.

I feel I am a shell of who I was.

My heart, which I was amazed to find grow so easily to encompass loving two daughters when I thought I only had the room for one, has been split down the middle and I am left wounded and aching. Nothing can touch me when I feel the waves of desperation and loss and immense sadness wash over me.

Nothing. I just let it and I cry.

When I simply say "my daughter died", it's not too difficult. But to allow myself to go back to the actual process of watching her life slip away, well that is a burden I cannot imagine ever lifting. The details are etched in my already battleworn brain and I will never be able to unforget how incredibly difficult the last three weeks of her life were. But if I were to forget, I would forget a chunk of her life and while it burns my weakened heart to do so, I chose to remember in order to remember how much I loved my Piper. I also have allowed myself to remember the memories which make me smile and then cry for the missing. So many memories of a little girl who fought way too hard and way too long and yet showed me how fragile the breath of life is indeed.

I don't believe that Piper is an angel now. I don't believe that she is always watching me nor do I believe that I can talk to her. It's not in my realm of theology to think these are true but I do believe even better.

I believe she is well.

I believe she laughs.

Runs. Giggles. Holds hands.

I believe that she will squeal with happiness whenever I finally breath my last breath here and I believe that she is held in the literal, loving hands of God.

Sometimes my convictions are enough to keep me from sobbing uncontrollably and at times my convictions become frustration. I would find this entire process that much easier if I were to turn my back on God. To scream my anger at His plans and in defense of the plan I had for Piper and deny His existence in light of it all. But I cannot turn my back on the very foundation of my existence any more than I could have turned my back on Piper when I was weary and saddened.

I was created to love her only because of the vast and grace filled love that God showed me first.

This is why I am still breathing.

And the God who pours out just enough grace for the day is more than willing to take my anger and frustration and weeping and mourning. I do not faze Him by being hurt with how life is rolling along. He makes beautiful things out of broken vessels like this mommy. He made a beautiful thing out of my Piper, despite her broken and worn and sick little body.

This is what He does.

This is why I am still breathing.

To see Piper again will be beautiful.

I cannot fathom the details that God has promised await us when we return to His arms but I can earnestly say that knowing my Piper will be there and will immediately say "C'mon! C'mon mommy!" does nothing but bring me hope. Hope for tomorrow.

Hope for every painful moment.

Every tear, ache, sob and memory.

When I shop, I miss seeing her face smiling at me from the cart. When I drive, I miss her singing in the backseat. When I walk, I miss going slowly behind her pink walker. When I breath, I miss the scent of her skin. When I smile, I miss seeing her smile back. When I cry, I miss her patting my head. When I eat, I miss sharing a bite. When I do laundry, I miss having her help fold. When I put on make up, I miss her trying colors on. When I cook, I miss her sitting next to me on the counter. When I sleep, I miss the opportunity to walk down the hall and see her face in the shadows. When I write a note, I miss sharing a pen and having little scribbles drawn for me. When I go down stairs, I miss holding her hands and saying "march". When I give Linley her morning vitamins, I miss doling out chemo. When I put dishes away, I miss watching her snag a cup. When I worship at church, I miss her on my hip. When I park my car, I miss reaching to unlock her carseat. When I shower, I miss hearing her giggles outside the curtain. When I watch a movie, I miss the warmth of her skin leaning against me. When I read a book, I miss being given another one to read to her. When I pull into my moms neighborhood, I miss hearing her yell "nana". When I water flowers, I miss seeing her hands tussle the soil. When I hear a knock on the door, I miss her scurry to answer it. When I hear my phone ring, I miss wrangling it from her hands. When I kiss Linley goodnight, I miss feeling both girls together. When I pick Linley up from school, I miss her giggling for "nini". When I brush my teeth, I miss seeing her spit. When I sob, I miss my daughter.

When I miss Piper, I miss every little thing that I will never get back. This is a punch to the stomach but still I chose to believe that there will come a day we will be reunited. And I pray that heaven won't be too wonderful to leave me forgetting to relive the things I so miss about being the mommy of Piper.

And after thirty long days without my sweet girl, my youngest, my fighter and the epitome of my greatest fears realized, I can say only that I miss her.

I miss Piper Jean and this cannot change... I am certain and I am sad.


  1. We miss her to Sus... I could never miss her in the way you do... and I so wish there was something I could do to help you right now... praying is so limited sometimes...

  2. When you don't even know what words to say, remember God hears the groans of your heart. I pray for you daily, though I don't know you. May God's peace and comfort continue to carry you until the day you are reunited with your sweet and beautiful Piper.

  3. Chad/Sus - I know its been a long time, but Kelly & I have prayed alongside your blog... your post this morning is amazing. As a pastor, let me encourage you to keep writing and keep trusting in what you cannot see - Hebrews 11 - as Eugene Peterson translated it: "The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd."

    What you have captured above needs to be shared... God has not and will not let a single tear fall without a divine use for it. I just cannot help but think that you will be given an opportunity to share of His provision and sustaining power with many many other families.

    You are a gifted writer and possess a depth of faith and understanding that goes beyond the average - God has given you "above the crowd" abilities.

    Keep walking.

    Keep writing.

    And watch what God will do with the rest of your journey on this earth... then what a PARTY it will be!

    Love you guys.

    B Rose

  4. My heart breaks for you and your family. I can only imagine what the pain must feel like. But as you said, one day you will get to hold her again and I hope that this really does comfort you. She is such a beautiful girl that has touched so many lives, and I thank you for sharing her with us.

    Lots of Love.

  5. We continue to pray for you and Chad..... I cried through your entry, you have a beautiful way with words and I believe that even now God is using you, through these writing of your constant and unwavering faith in Him and His plans, to reach out and touch someone. Just as you have faith that one day soon you will be reunited with your sweet Piper, have faith that one day soon God will also wrap His arms around you and say " Well Done, you have fought a good fight, you have finished your course, you have kept the faith! "
    Hugs, sweet sister in Christ

  6. Thanks for posting the pictures of Piper. What a sweet little girl. I learned of your story from Amey Fair. I love Piper's smile and all the memories you shared of her. I will keep praying for you, Chad and Linley. Am thankful that God does indeed hear your every cry. Will continue to pray that He provide the comfort that only he can give. ♥

  7. The Lord promises that in heaven He will wipe away every tear (Rev. 7:17) and I'm glad you have that and the faith that you WILL see your dear daughter again. I wish I had words to comfort you...but there just are none. I pray that you and your family will feel God's comfort and peace. May He bless and keep you all in His hands--the same hands that are holding Piper.

  8. There's nothing I would know to say other than, I'm reading, listening. You are reminding me to hold my kids tight, live in the moments with them, take nothing for granted in my rush rush rush of life.

  9. Missing Miss Sassy Pants and her look of don't even think about trying to get near me with that hug... my how you two are similar. I love you Sus. I am praying for you all.

    xo, mj