Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Presidential elections and the Needham

  Presidential elections and the Needhams...

  They go hand in hand.

  Didn't know this little fact?

  Now you do.

  Because every four years this great country listens, choses and stands in line to elect a gentleman to lead us.  But apparently this is not the only trend rolling around town every four years...

  No sir...

We are so very overjoyed.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

"Oh love that will not let me go"

Today at church we sang one of my favorite hymns.

If you'd have asked me a few years ago what my favorite hymn was, I'd have looked a little confused then probably blurted out "Amazing Grace"...as that is the only one I knew. But nowadays we sing hymns each Sunday and each Sunday I am struck by the simple pleas and prayers that each word will evoke. Beautiful.

But now I have one. Now, each time I see "Oh love that will not let me go" on the program I know I will have to choke back tears. That I will have to confront the immense knowledge that we will survive and thrive this sadness ( and others) because of only Gods great love. This great and strong and constant love.

"Oh love that will not let me go"
George Matheson

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

My favorite line is "oh joy that seekest me through the pain, I cannot close my heart to thee" for obvious reasons. It reminds me again that joy will be my strength and that I am incapable of turning my back on the One who holds me closely. And while I feel often how difficult and sad this place I emotionally reside at is, I also am put to ease that another human felt some sort of great sadness and chose to claim joy, write it down and put a melody to it so that I can sing it on a Sunday morning when I hurt.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Yesterday, a year later.

Yesterday, last year, my Piper relapsed. She did it stealthily and quickly and not for lack of fight. Pipers first relapse was devastating...although I dare say a large portion of the past three years were devastating though I never allowed myself to think of it as so. Much like Pipers initial diagnosis and her second relapse, this first one came out of no where and knocked us to our knees both literally and figuratively.

My knees still hurting for the falling.

I remember so many things so vividly. I remember driving on the loop on the way to the ER for her fever and feeling absolutely frantic...trying to call my mom, wishing Chad didn't have to go to class, trying to sort out just why this trip (of hundreds) was rattling me so. I remember Piper perking up as soon as she was given Tylenol and I remember sharing a popsicle and watching Sesame Street. I remember asking about blood work...over and over and over again. I remember my mom meeting me there. I remember Chad meeting me there. I remember calling my friend and asking her to get Linley from school and keeping her for "just a little while" that would turn into 72 hours. I remember Chad stepping into the bathroom and taking the call from Dr. George and feeling my entire body go cold, then numb, then the sound of rushing. I remember hearing of "suspicious cells" and "don't worry quite yet" and "come tonight or first thing in the morning". I remember beginning to shake and seeing Piper who was watching me and reminding myself to get it together already. I remember the drive into Atlanta, again one we had driven hundreds of times before. I remember sitting next to Chad and thinking how different the sunniness of this drive was different to the raininess of the drive to Atlanta after her first diagnosis. I remember getting settled into our room and the parade of nurses who streamed in with tears in their eyes for my little girl they loved. I remember so many little details and I wish they were never mine to have.

Despite me remembering this date, I am terrible at anniversaries or birthdays or anything that I should know. Even so, this date and week is deep within me. The day before Pipers relapse, a dear little boy died. The day after, a dear little girl died. These were two of my closest and sweetest families that we had walked with. I was surrounded by sadness and tears and I was overwhelmed and I was beyond blessed when that little girls
Mommy came into Pipers room, late at night, after saying her final goodbyes to her own little girl. And she spoke to me of Hope. Of fighting...and trusting God.

I often mentally thank this mommy for refocusing me. For reminding me how much my God loved both me and Piper, that her future was not in my hands and I would be better equipped to love her if I trusted God. I'm
Thankful for that, for remembering that.

Mainly right now at 12:28 in the morning, I am remembering being given the choice to take Piper home or to attempt to fight. Again. And I am so glad we fought. I am so glad to have had the moments and laughter and bonding with my girl. Even the moments that sucked the joy right off of my face were beautiful for they were the result of a warm and sweet and spunky and utterly desired and missed little girl.

One year and one day later and I can clearly remember so much.

Friday, August 10, 2012

2nd grade, here comes Linley!

This morning was the first day of 2nd grade for my sweet Linley Coe. She woke excited and confidently walked into her classroom and kissed me goodbye. When I picked her little self up at 2:30, she chatted my ear off about all the fun things have was going to learn, the great friends she had and how much she loved her shoes.

I am so blessed to be this girls mommy.

I was reminded this evening after dinner with new friends how blessed I am to be able to place Linley in the school she is in. That they love her has been apparent since she first walked through the door this time last year. Through the crazy upheaval of the past year and the effort they put into supporting us as we learn to raise Linley once again, as an "only".

She is loved by her mommy and daddy and school. And Jesus, which is so obvious and important to us.