In about 3 weeks I will be speaking in front of an audience again for the first time in a year. I was scheduled to speak at a ladies' annual tea in the Baltimore area last September. However our world turned upside down when a year ago this same week in August we received the crushing news that our wonderful youngest son, Andrew, had brain cancer.
|Andrew and Avery in background ~ just a few weeks before the diagnosis and without any symptoms|
At the beginning of this month I asked God to help me (and our family) survive this month. I anticipated there would be some very hard moments, especially as we neared the actual "anniversary" week of the diagnosis.
Flashbacks of hearing the pediatrician give me his opinion of why Andrew had lost the use of the fingers on his left hand feel like a punch in the gut. The doctor had examined Andrew, then sat on his rolling stool at a computer screen. He talked as he scrolled through some information. Then he swore. "Damn!"
And I knew it was bad.
|Andrew at Shands (3rd surgery) ~ a visit from Ted|
I wanted to shield my beautiful 12 year old son, my baby, from ominous news. On the way from the office to a quickly scheduled mri, we held hands. I remember telling him that everything would be okay and we would find out what we had to do-do it, and no matter what...we were in it together.
I never could have imagined that day, that within 4 months, we would see Andrew's body lying in a casket. The last thing I did, before they asked us to leave the body and drive to the grave site, was to ask for a pair of scissors. My pastor brought me a pair.
I remember the quizzical, somewhat fearful, expressions on the faces around me.
I took the scissors and cut a piece of Andrew's hair. I needed a part of his physical self to keep with me.
I put the hair in a tithing envelope.
When I got home a few hours later, I put the envelope in my jewerly box - the one Andrew picked out for me for Christmas a year before.
And now it's been one year from the diagnosis and 8 months and 11 days from his passing to Heaven.
|On spring break vacation with Dad in the pool|
And in a few weeks I will stand in front of a group of wonderful women. Women who knew the storm we lived through. Women who fasted, prayed and gave a love offering to our family.
And I will speak.
So, I ask you, if you were sitting in that audience on September 18th, what would you want me to talk about?
Are there any questions you would ask me?
Yes, I have prayed. Yes, I have studied. Yes, I have thought about what to say.
The theme is "A Woman Inspired."
(There is an online conference site with this name but there is no connection between it and the tea.)
|What a happy day! Mother's Day '09|