It started six weeks ago, the morning of Rachael's father's funeral. The words began to haunt anew: lymph node, trial of antibiotics, blood work, sed rate, xray. I knew the progression. I'd lived it before. First this, then this, then cancer, then chemo, then...

This time, though, the words were spoken by my pediatrician. This time, I was not the patient. This time, I was the mom.

She's been through so much this fall that it breaks my heart. Not this, too. Surely not this.

Please Lord, this cup? Let it pass?

And then, after what seemed like eternal waiting and watching, new words.

Within normal limits.

And I am grateful.

Just inhaling the wonder of a normal every day.

Thank You

As I pondered and prayed about yesterday's post (for months, maybe years), I knew that it would take a leap of faith, a stretch of courage to publish it and my dearest hope was that it would bless. Thank you for your warm response. Even more, though, thank you for your honesty and your courage in the comments. Thank you for sharing your hearts and encouraging one another with such grace and such genuine love. This is a conversation that is comforting, consoling, and converting the hearts of mothers and I'm very grateful to be a part of it. You all are charitable Christian community at its most genuine. Thank you!

<<Comments are closed on this post so that the conversation can continue in one place on the post below.>>

Happy Birthday, Sweet Sarah Love

Deep breath. 


I will not cry while writing this post.


Too late. 


I love this sweet baby so much.


I love those chocolate eyes and the blond bangs that fall in her face but that she won't let me clip. And her big sister won't let me cut.


I love that she insists on starting and ending her days with a snuggle and she cups my face in her hands and tells me she loves me all day long.


I love that she says, "Thank you," as often as she says, "I love you."


I love that she wants to be held, to slow me down, to linger long here in babyhood, ever since the beginning.


I love that her whole world revolves around her daddy. 


I love her as much as she loves egg nog.


I love to read her stories. The ones with princesses are best.


I love pink. It's our favorite color. (And Daddy's, too.)


I love that she calls her sisters "my girlies" and she's lonely without them. 


I love that she calls her brothers "my boys-ees."


I love that she went to sleep last night in a princess dress and she told me she *had* to because it makes her look fabulosa. I love that I let her.


I love that Halloween will never be the same again, not since that miraculous night three years ago, when we received a sweet sugar sack, all five pounds of her, six weeks early.

Oh, my sweet Sarah Annie girl, I love you.


This moment needs a dozen pictures or more

When you are the youngest brother of five boys, you grow accustomed to hand-me-down cleats and previously worn jerseys. You retrieve banged up baseball bats from the garage and happily play with tennis balls that already have had the fuzz beat off them. But one day, you face a seemingly insurmountable challenge. You want to play golf. 

You desperately want to play golf.

You are obsessed with golf. You talk about golf every day. All day long. There is a full set of junior clubs sitting right there in the garage, next to all the other athletic equipment you've always had right when you wanted it. But you have a problem. A big, overwhelming problem. Your big brothers are lefthanded. And you are not.

You eye your father's right-handed clubs. He's 6'4". Chances are very good that, one day, you will be very tall, too. Right now, though, those clubs are too big. And right now you want to play golf.

You hatch money-making schemes: lawn mowing, dog walking, lemonade stands. This is a maddeningly slow process. You begin to worry that the summer is slipping away and you will never have the right clubs to play golf.

And then one afternoon, you are sitting in the restaurant at your grandpa's club, just eating your french fries and gazing out longingly at the greens beyond the big picture window.

And a strange man approaches.


Are you Nicholas? {You nod, tentatively, and wonder why this strange man is standing so close to you and why he's dragged golf clubs into the restaurant.}


I'm Jack. I'm the golf pro here. {Um, nice to meet you?}


Do you like these clubs? {You nod again.}DSC_0710


Would you want to keep them? {Who IS this dude and is he crazy? Keep them! You let yourself look at them a little harder. Whoa, those are amazing clubs!}


Your grandpa says you can have them. {This is some sort of dream. Some sort of really, really good dream. Shake yourself a little. Those are your clubs!} 



And that golf course just beyond the panes of glass? That's where you'll spend the week learning to play golf.



Every little boy should have that once-in-a-lifetime perfect day that comes of a grandpa hearing his heart's desire, dreaming his dream with him, and making his fondest wish come true.