|On vacation at Rock City in TN|
Andrew RESTING on THE ROCK
In the first days after we kissed Andrew's cheek for the last time and I cut that bit of hair from his head before they closed the lid on him, I remember the pain I was in.
While making funeral plans, I kept telling myself - almost robotically, "It's just a jar of clay. It's just a jar of clay. When we put his body in that grave, it's just a jar of clay."
That mantra was soon replaced with, "He's not really there. He's in Heaven. He's in Heaven and he's perfectly fine. He's perfectly fine. Jesus, kiss Andrew for me and tell him his mother loves him and I'll see him soon. Please tell him for me."
I had terrible flashbacks of him being on life support and not being able to communicate with him. I would sit on my couch in my robe for hours and everywhere I looked, I "saw" him. I had waited on him...helping him walk through the house, helping him even in the bathroom. Once when he was on his own in the bathroom, I heard him fall. I screamed and ran to the door. It was locked. I got the key to unlock it but I couldn't open the door because he lay on his back with his head against the bottom of the door. How could I help him? How? Somehow he managed to slide himself down and away from the door. Somehow he managed without the aid of his left arm and with very little help from his left leg. I helped him up and then I began helping him each time in the bathroom.
He had to give up his privacy. I reminded him that I had helped all the time when he was little and that I would not "look" at him when I was helping him.
And he said, "It's ok, Mom. I don't care anymore."
And I felt bad for my twelve year old son, not a little boy any longer and not yet a man, but having to "grow up" in the worst possible way.
He had to accept the loss of so many things. And in such a short time. Barely 4 months from diagnosis to death.
Once I caught him staring at his face in the bathroom mirror.
He said, "I look funny. The left side of my face doesn't match the right side."
I said, "You look good to me. You'll get everything back. It may take some time but you'll recover."
|Andrew enjoying his PASSION!|
In those first few days, I would suddenly struggle to breathe. I had panic attacks and in the middle of them I would pace through the house and talk to myself aloud. I felt like pulling my hair out. All I could pray was, "Help me, God. Help me, God. PLEASE HELP ME."
There were times I would have to lie on my bed because I felt so physically overwhelmed. I remember actually feeling as though I were in some kind of reverse labor. It was as if I wanted to take my son and have him return to me...to the safety of my womb. I literally writhed on my bed as though I were having contractions.
I still sleep with Andrew's robe every night. If I awake and it's not near me, I just reach out my hand and it's there. I pull it closer and say, "Stay in my heart, Andrew. Just stay in my heart."
Some of you said you would like to hear how I made it moment by moment even when I didn't FEEL that God was near.
There were many moments when I didn't FEEL God near. He seemed hidden, silent. He seemed as though He were just observing the situation. Observing me. What would I do? Would I still love Him? Would I trust Him ever again?
So, when my heart didn't feel HIM, something deeper than the emotion of feeling held me together.
Not a feeling. Just a knowing.
A knowing that even when I didn't get what I hoped for...Jesus must be enough.
A knowing that even when my theology seemed to have abandoned me...Jesus must be enough.
A knowing that even when life was cruel and God could have healed Andrew...Jesus must be enough.
Something deep within me would not give up on the sacrificial love of God.
After all, God LOVED so He gave.
Jesus LOVED, so He layed down His life.
And somehow, in a way that my mind still cannot even comprehend, Jesus was enough for me.
And Jesus is enough for me.
The I Am IS. Enough.
|Andrew called me outside one day to see his "grafitti" version of Jesus. See the crown?|