Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving thanks...

I know Trent will probably write something about our Thanksgiving festivities in a later post, but for some reason, I felt compelled to add my own tonight. I apologize if some of my thoughts seem random or unorganized, but I had to speak.

Tucker has been doing breathing treatments twice per day for about two weeks now, and I usually get one of two reactions: 1) he will fall straight to sleep or 2) he will scream and throw a fit for about 20 minutes and then pass clean out from exhaustion. Unfortunately, tonight happened to be the latter of the two.

When this happens, I usually thank God that I don't have to listen to the noise anymore, but tonight was different. Tonight, I began to feel something that I've never felt before. I watched my son fight me, literally kicking and screaming, until he just couldn't muster the strength or energy to keep going. I watched him give up and accept that the mask wasn't going away. As his eyes slowly closed and he became silent, I began to weep. No, I wasn't tired or angry. I was disappointed -- not in Tucker but in myself. As he lay in my arms tonight, I soaked in the images of his angelic face and thought about all the times I got frustrated with him or with Trent, with the nurses, the doctors, the hospital staff, my family, my friends, etc. And my question is why? Why, in all the blessings of Tucker's life, even IF it had ended before it began, was I so angry? I remembered this time last year and how we were still learning how to be parents, especially parents of a "special needs" child. In moments like this, I always think back to the first 48 hours of Tucker's life. Those moments play like a horror film over and over in my mind. That day feels like it happened centuries ago, but at the same time, it feels like it was yesterday. I questioned, almost on a daily basis, why God picked us. What did we do to deserve this? Of all the sinful people in the world, why were we being punished? Then it hit me. The disappointment I was feeling tonight was leading me to think about my heavenly Father, and how in spite of everything, in spite of my own anger and defiance, my own kicking and screaming, my own self-inflicted exhaustion, He has never left me. He continues to wrap His arms around me like I had mine wrapped around Tucker. The thought of almost losing Tucker was the greatest pain I've ever felt, but it doesn't compare to the pain God feels everyday when I break His heart. His only son died, but He died so that I could be angry with people for what seems like no reason at all and not be punished because of it.

I know this has turned out to be somewhat of a mini sermon which was not my original intention, but I write it because I think it explains why bad things happen sometimes. I would never have imagined that something like this would have happened to me. I've been a Christian since I was 14. God would never allow this to happen to a believer, right? The answer is a resounding "no." I've heard a million times that there is no love like the love a mother has for her child, and the more I look at my son's face and think about the miracle of his life, the more I begin to understand the sacrifice God made for me. I would take Tucker's pain and suffering and put it on myself without a second thought, and Christ did that for me. It took becoming a mother of a child with a near-fatal heart defect for me to understand what that means.

The night ended with me placing my hand on Tucker's chest and praying that as long as I lived, those thumps on the palm of my hand wouldn't be taken for granted. I didn't pray that they would never stop, but I prayed that if God felt the need to take him home, I would always remember that moment. I thank God for each day that I wake up to the sounds of Tucker's babbling over the monitor. I may not appreciate the wake-up call at the moment, but everyday when I open that door and see that gap-toothed smile and crazy blonde hair, it replaces one of the images from that horror film with one from a comedy. I feel truly thankful that my life has turned out to be one giant lesson in humility because it allows me the opportunity to turn what could have been a sad ending into a happy one.


  1. Great post Dena. You spoke so beautifully about what the cross really represents...I too have felt that God has really used Liam in my life to demonstrate what the ultimate sacrifice truly means. Thanks for sharing what the Lord placed on your heart!!

  2. It is funny to me Dena that you would ask why us? What did we do to deserve this? I see it totally different! I see that God could intrust you to love a child with special needs. He knew when He picked you and Trent that you would have the love and support to get through each day. God intrust those He loves and admires because He knows that you will show yourselves to be strong in Him. What a awesome privilege that God, your Heavenly Father saw that in the two of you.