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Sep 28, 2010


Sometimes no matter what my head knows and no matter how much I believe with all my heart that I will see Andrew again, the grief overwhelms me.
Certainly I do not grieve as those who have no hope, yet I do grieve as a mother who cannot see her young son. And for who knows how long.
I can have lots of good days and even good times when I think of Andrew and I can smile. Even though the "missing him" never lets up ~ it just doesn't. How could it when I always miss him? It's not like he's gone off to college or gotten married and moved away. (Not at 12.) Then I could call him and look forward to holiday breaks. There are no more real conversations between us. Only the ones in my heart. And they are a poor substitute.

I had such a beautiful time in Maryland. Our friends there and the body of Christ (new friends) at the church treated us exceptionally well.
I had my daughter with me and that helped me quite a bit, too. Before leaving home, and at the last minute, I decided to take my pillow as a "carry on." It was Andrew's pillow and I have been using it for months. I debated on whether I should take his robe with me. I always sleep with it. I did take it; I stuffed it in the pillowcase.

When I was speaking in Maryland, especially on Sunday morning when I was not so much sharing my story but teaching, I had a moment in which I felt I had "come home." It was like an inner sighing. I think that is what happens when we experience our spiritual gifting.

Tuesday on the flight home, the realization that I was returning home but there would not be Andrew there, washed over me. And the tears flowed. My daughter put her arm around me until I could control my tears.
Friday my husband had surgery to remove the rod from his leg and the last two pins (ski accident on 1/09). They called me back to the recovery room and it looked so much like an ER that my heart began to pound. And then I heard that awful beaping of the monitor. I remembered that sound and it brought back the anguish of Andrew's pain.

Saturday I ran in the Miles For Hope (brain cancer research) 5k. I saw posters honoring the survivors or memorializing those who did not survive. From what I could tell they were all adults. I did not make a poster for Andrew. I just felt it was too soon. I didn't want to "put him out there" in that way. And anyway we had the Team Andrew shirts. That felt right and it felt like enough for now.

Sunday I went to church with my oldest son. My daughter stayed home to assist her dad.
Through parts of the service I hung my head and hot tears landed on my linen skirt.
On the way home, we stopped at the gravesite and I dusted off the plastic name plate. It was broken in two places. (We have not yet ordered the permanent marker but feel that now is the time. It's been hard to think about that.)

Yesterday the tears would simply not stop for long. I asked God to please help me.

"Help me feel better. What's going on with me? Please help me."

I took my camera outside and took three pictures that mirrored my feelings ~ the purple flower with its blooms drooping, the crepe myrtle devoid of her lacy, pink blooms, the fallen tree grown too big for its container. Through tears I took pictures.
I debated on whether I should share my feelings here.

Grateful ~ Thank you for sending encouragement my way. Thank you for praying for me.

I am very grateful for you.

This song is soothing to me.

Andrew at 9 years old.
I just wanted to share a picture with you that I've never posted. Isn't my boy handsome? See that dimple on his right cheek? He has 3 freckles at the bottom curve of his left ear. They form a smile. I used to trace them and then kiss those freckles. Andrew and I called them "freckers." And almost every day I would tell him, "It's 'kiss the freckers day' and then you know what would happen. I often wonder what he will look like when finally I see him again in Heaven.

Grateful ~  "For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God.." Job 19:25-26

This scripture has been going through my mind lately.


  1. Sweet, sweet sis thanks for sharing your heart with us. You have a right to experience all of these feelings, the pain is still very fresh. Andrew is your precious son that you love and miss with every beat of your heart, that is totally understandable. When you have your homecoming, that handsome boy will come running to you, arms wide open, and will say, it's kiss the freckers day. Woo Hoo, what a day that will be sis. I love you, and I am praying for you sis.

  2. I share in your feelings...Yet for some reason I don't know what to say.
    Peace to you Melanie!

  3. Dear Melanie, I weep with you and grieve with you. I don't think a parent ever gets over the loss of a child. Perhaps the pain will subside, perhaps not. God only knows. But what I do know is that Andrew is happy, you are loved, and the world is a better place because of the joy that he brought to so many, and that you are a gift to the rest of us through your posts and teaching. God bless you.

  4. This one got me Melanie! Tears are falling, for Andrew, and for your loss. You are right...when those we love go to heaven, it is so final in terms of this life and what we know, and how we love. No extra words today sweet friend, only tears with you! But God...

  5. I have no words only prayers and love for a sister I've never met.

  6. I thought coming home from your time away might be difficult. And then the recovery room and all those memories... so hard. So sad. I'm sorry. But I'm glad you shared your feelings with us, so we could pray. As someone commented yesterday, grief comes in waves. We understand that, but when those waves hit, maybe we can help hold your head up above the waters through prayer. I know I sure need it when those waves of illness hit.

    Andrew looks so sweet in that photo.

  7. Melanie, my thoughts and prayers are with you. this bible verse comes to mind. He really is our refuge and our strength. Sending big hugs to you.
    Psalm 46:1-2
    God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea..
    Praying for you.

  8. I am crying with you Melanie...there is a large blank that will never be filled in on your pages, and the longing brings heartache. Aching for all that he would become, all the times you would have spent together. Sometimes you just need to be held...and sob it out... Praising with you for your daughter's tender embrace. And the loving arms of Jesus that will get you there. Where there will be no more blanks.

  9. Melanie, you are grieving. Be patient with yourself. I've been so much more emotional lately than normal but reading your words brought tears to my eyes. Oh, how I wish I could spend more time in Florida and be there for you. Sometimes, it's good to talk, other times to cry and other times to just be silent. I am so glad that I had the privilege to meet you in person. You are such a special person Melanie.

    And yes, Andrew is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this photo with us. And frankly, I'm glad that you are able to express your feelings with your blogging sisters. We are here for you. I hope you know that.

    Btw, my sister, her husband and my dad went to church on Sunday at a Grace church nearby. They met the associate pastor who writes the Heath Blog and liked him. I just don't know if this is where they will continue to go though. I keep praying.

    Love you friend,

  10. Thanks for sharing that beautiful picture of your Andrew and the endearing love you had for each other.

    I'm looking forward to meeting your special boy.

    Sending so much love and prayers to cover and uphold you.


  11. Melanie,

    I'm crying just reading your heart sharing. Thank you for allowing us yet another glimpse into your heart for Andrew and the special child he is. My mother heart is embracing yours with loads of prayer for comfort and peace until you can wrap your arms around your son in glory again...

    Handsome photo indeed of your son.

    Love you. Praying hard for you.

  12. Oh sweetie I wept with you yesterday, I just knew how sad you were and my chest was heavy with grief for you. I think when you see Andrew in heaven you will recognize him immediately, I feel the same way about my son and husband....:-)Hugs

  13. Oh Melanie, I'm praying. I know that I cannot even imagine the pain. Please know that I still carry you in my heart and in my prayers. Your words in this post make me want to put my arms around you. I have no words that I think would give you any relief, so I'll just go pray now. Sending you a big hug. laurie

  14. Melanie,

    I just posted something on my blog just for you!

    Please stop by...

    Love you so much,

  15. Oh Melanie. My heart hurts for you. I don't know what Andrew will look like any more than how we will look but I believe he will have his freckers. You will know what to do: )
    Lord please keep Melanie in the comfort of your arms. I pray for the world to turn to you. Come Lord Jesus. love you, B

  16. Melanie,
    I am so sorry you are hurting. I pray for comfort and peace for you dear one.

    Have a Blessed and Beautiful day,

  17. Oh Melanie my heart just weeps along with yours. There really are no words. I pray for your comfort and imagine in my heart the reunion you and Andrew will share the day you step into glory. Love to you, Debbie

  18. Dear Melanie
    Teresa and I read your blog often and have you and your family on our daily prayer list. We love you and we hurt and grieve with you. And yes, Andrew is a handsome young man, as are all you and Dannie's children. Our heart hurts when you hurt...Love ya, Tim and Teresa

  19. Dear Melanie
    Teresa and I read your blog often and have you and your family on our daily prayer list. We love you and we hurt and grieve with you. And yes, Andrew is a handsome young man, as are all you and Dannie's children. Our heart hurts when you hurt...Love ya, Tim and Teresa

  20. No helpful words I can use to lift the heaviness of this hurt you live with. I ache for you. We pray over your family. I pray that your earthly wait for Andrew be brief.

    Your Andrew is so very handsome. His pictures tug this mothers' heart. I see little boys at church that favor Andrew and my heart tugs. Oh, how I look forward to meeting this precious soul one of these days. But, I will rejoice for you, to hold him again.

    I truly love you dear sister in Christ. I keep you in my heart friend, and in my prayers.


  21. Sweet, sister friend. I can't imagine your immense pain and my mother's heart absolutely breaks for you, but I am praying earnestly for you every day. I love you.