Sunday, May 26, 2013

To Be Redeemed

In Sunday School today, we were talking about the temple.
We were talking about how the temple can cleanse and redeem us.
We were talking about how the service rendered in the temple makes us better for it.
And the teacher said that when we do work for those that cannot do the work for themselves,
 we become Saviors on Zion.
And I thought about Bradley.
And his work.
The work he physically cannot do.
Because his legs don't work.
He has no voice.
He has no sight or even a means of communication.
And I thought about how I serve Bradley everyday.
How much work I do for him.
And the work that is not only physical,
but the work I am here to share for him.
And I thought about Bradley's work in my behalf.
How I cannot do this work myself.
How he has changed and turned me into more.
How much he has taught me.
And he and I are dependent on each other, to help each other do the work.
We are a team.
I am here to do the work he cannot do for himself.
And he is here to do the work I cannot do for myself.

And then I went into Young Women's
and in the lesson I asked the girls what it meant to be redeemed.
And there is a reason why the youth should speak during lessons.
One of my girls who is very introspective, but has the tendency not to speak said,
"You know when you go to a place like Chuck E. Cheese?
And they have tickets that you win.
And in the end you take those tickets to the counter.
And you redeem them?
That is what it is to be redeemed.
We are taking something of little value and turning into something more.
Something we want more."

I had goose bumps and I told her she was so right!!!
We all have a Savior.
He will redeem us.
We will be more!!
And I was sent my own personal savior in Bradley.
He came to redeem me.
To change me into something more.
And these lessons he is teaching me, help me to understand my Savior more.
The Savior's redeeming power.

And tonight, I'm grateful Bradley and I have each other.
We are both here to help redeem each other <3 <3
I feel very fortunate tonight to be his other half.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Perfect Child

 This morning a friend stopped by to pick up her order
and we were chatting and she told me her baby is not gaining weight
and is having developmental delay and they are going to the geneticist to have the baby tested.
Tears came instantly to my eyes.
It reminded me of my fears. I felt her fear. I felt mine too.
I wanted to hug her and tell her that everything will be okay.
But so many people have told me that and sometimes it does NOT feel okay!!
I said too much. I told her how scary it is.
I talked about death.
And I should have told her congrats for being the Mother of a special spirit!!
I remember the first time someone actually said "Congratulations!!"
when we were finding out Bradley was special.
It was so wonderful to hear "Congrats!!" instead of "I'm sorry!"
There are special lessons to be learned from special kids.
It CAN be a wonderful thing!!
Tom and I have been talking a lot about our genes lately.
How in the HECK did our genes produce Bradley's body?
I mean we have 3 VERY typical kids!!
More than typical in some ways.
Amazing kids!!
And Tom said tonight, as he was drawing up Bradley's 16 doses of Bradley's 8 medications,
"How did we have all of these normal children and THEN have Bradley?
It's like our genes went bad or something."
{I think it too when I draw up all of those freakin' meds!!}
And I thought about that for a second. 
And I said,
"Or, maybe, our just genes got better!
More perfect! More amazing!"
Because we all have our strengths and weaknesses.
And Bradley's strength is definitely NOT health.
But he has shown how strong his spirit is!! 
And I'm sure that is why he is passing us by.
 Because he has passed God's test already.
So perfect the world could not contain him.
He IS our perfect child <3

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Veil is Thin

Fifteen minutes after he came, I was pacing the floor.
I was scared.
I was worried, that me having him at home, and not in a hospital, had hurt him.
And I kept asking everyone if they thought he was going to die.
He only weighed 4lbs 8oz!
 And I thought I had done something to cause the growth restriction too.
And the stress of the situation made me hemorrhage profusely.
And I went to the bathroom to clean up.
And I passed-out while I was sitting on the toilet.
And my midwife and Tom rushed in and caught me before I hit the ground.
And they carried me to the bed, and lay me on a plastic sheet.
And I came to and cried and asked if my baby was okay.
And the midwife was massaging my uterus,
and clearing clots from my womb,
and telling me that I had to calm down or I would die.
She worked and massaged my uterus for quite sometime
and she told me that stress makes a bleeding mother, bleed more.
She said I HAD to stay down for the next 12 hours to make the hemorrhaging stop!
And I told her I wanted to nurse my baby, and she said he would need some formula for now.
And she told Tom to go and get a bottle and feed the baby for me while I rested.
For the next 12 hours I thought about what I had done.
I wondered what I had done to cause this.
And I tried to come up with a name for my baby.
And I kept envisioning, the names I'd pick, on headstones.
And I felt so horrible, I thought I was dying too.
And I thought about a double funeral for the baby and me.
And all of this time, Tom was downstairs, in my chair, holding and feeding our new baby.
Tom remembers the baby and him making eye contact for a very long time.
And he said that he felt like the baby looked deep into his soul.
And he and the baby bonded just by staring at each other.
And Tom said it was the deepest stare he had ever had with any of his children.
And he knew they had known each other before this life
and that it was like the baby was saying "Hi, again!"
And Tom brought the baby back to me when the 12 hours had finally passed.
 And he handed him to me and told me about the staring contest.
And I told Tom I was thinking of naming the baby 'Bradley'.
And Tom agreed that would be a good name for the little guy.
And as we have progressed on this journey,
so many people have told me that Bradley choose to come to this body.
And that has never felt right to me.
I think Bradley knew WHAT he was coming to.
I think he knew WHO he was coming to.
But because he had never been to a mortal body before,
 I'm not sure he totally understood the journey till he got here.
But Bradley has always had a quiet calmness all around him.
And tonight I'm understanding why.
The veil is thin for Bradley.
And he understands the eternal plan.
And this is not distressing to him, like it is for me.
He is not scared to fulfill Heavenly Father's mission for him.
He sees the beginning, middle and end, so perfectly.
And he is comforted to be with me while the angels reach around us.
And if I'm quiet enough;
and I hope enough,
while I hold him;
I think the veil thins for me too.
And I can see a very tiny glimpse into eternity with my Bradley.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Intended Mother

Every time, I tell Charlotte about a new baby that has been born,
 she asks me two questions;
1.) Does the baby walk?
2.) Does the baby breath?
Charlotte thinks all babies have g-tubes and oxygen and cannot walk.
It's a little confusing for her.
Bradley will always be our baby.
And she brought me her baby doll today
 and showed me how her baby doll could hold up her head.
That made me chuckle.
And the babies Bradley's ages, are not only walking now,
but they are starting to look like really big kids!!
When I see his peers, I'm more shocked than sad anymore.
I'm starting to forget about Bradley's pregnancy.
The birth.
The pain.
Some of those memories, I'm glad to be rid of!
Jacob turned 7 on Saturday,
and I tried to remember the details of his birth,
 and I could not remember!
Memories I thought, I would NEVER forget, are gone.

For the longest time, I was SO sad things hadn't turn out how I had planned.
But time really does heal all wounds.
And I am grateful memories fade!!
I'm am the mother of these four children.
I am a mother of two girls and two boys.
I am a special needs mother.
I am a mother to a medically complex child.
And I know, someday, I will be the mother to an angel.
And I know this IS the mother that Heavenly Father intended when he created me.
It's more than just a calling.
It's was how it was supposed to be all along.
I didn't have a better plan then Heavenly Father's plan.
No one does.
This is the intended mother.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Door into Heaven

I had a hard weekend.
Mostly because of Bradley's breathing.
All of Saturday and part of Sunday morning, he was holding his breath occasionally.
He'd skip 5 or more breaths.
And when he'd finally breath again, he'd gasp for air.
And he did not cry. It was like he was okay without getting air.
It's was a hard 36 hours for me.
And on Sunday morning, we were getting ready for church, even while Bradley gasped for air.
And I asked Tom if he wanted to open a fast with me.
I asked him what he wanted to fast for.
And he shook his head and said with a chuckle, "I don't know."
And I said I wanted to fast for Bradley again.
Fast for the 22nd month in a row for my Son.
And we knelt by the bed, and we offered a prayer and both of us sobbed the entire time.
And Bradley lay on the bed near us and heard our petition to God.
And I'm certain he heard our tears too.
And when we finished I sat and held Bradley's hands to my face.
To my tear soaked cheeks.
And I bathed his hands and his arms in my tears.
And I whispered in Bradley's ear that I was okay if he had to go do the work in heaven now.
And I told Bradley I would be coming right behind him.
That I would see him again.
By this time we were already very late for church.
And Bradley was still gasping for air.
And I told Tom we needed to just go!!
It's not like Bradley was bothered by the breathing troubles.
And that he would be fine at church.
But I NEEDED to go.

And we faithfully went.
And somewhere between sacrament and Sunday school, Bradley stopped with the breathing tricks.
And I finally could breath too.

Jacob and I were talking tonight before bed.
I asked Jacob what he knew about heaven.
He told me he knew Bradley was going there.
And I asked him how he knew that.
He said that there are three kingdoms,
and during the judgement,
kids like Bradley will get to go through a little door to the best kingdom.
I asked him where he had heard about this door;
And he said it was just something he knew as he shrugged his shoulders.
I think I know about that door too.
And I'm certain Bradley will be whisked right through that door.
I have to make it back with him!!
And I think he wants to know for sure I am coming behind him, before he can go.
Bradley, I'm coming.
I promise you.
 I will!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Stuck at Two Months

I found this picture the other day.
It nearly took my breath away.
Tears instantly to my eyes.

Such a beautiful family!!
Jacob was exactly Bradley's age in this picture.
And Madeleine is exactly Charlotte's age.
All of my children are the exact same spaces apart,
because I'm a planner and a bit of a perfectionist.
Just a - tiny bit - of a perfectionist.
It's painful to see pictures of Jacob when he was two.
Because of Bradley.
Because of everything Bradley is not doing.
Because of all the systems that are failing in his body.
Really sucks to think about how broken Bradley is.
I've known him forever.
I know who he is.
And his shell reflects NOTHING of the man Bradley is.
I wish EVERYONE could see it.
I was in a store today.
The check out line is so hard.
Everyone looks at Bradley.
And the employees of the store, saw the stroller
and were trying to peak in at Bradley and asked how old my baby was.
I said "two" and held up two fingers.
She said, "2 months?"
I said - "No. Two years."
I turned his stroller so she could see the tubes.
And she gasped.
I said, "He has health problems. He's very sick."
And she looked puzzled.
And made me repeat what I had said.
And she stared at us with a look of shock and pity.
And now another cashier was staring too. Same look.
I'm kind of used to this. Happens almost every time we are out with at least one person.
The hardest thing for me is the pictures.
I cannot get him in a picture with the kids, except if they are all lying down.
Wish he could be in so many of the pictures I take, but physically he cannot.

This beautiful memory of my children is missing one thing.
Why is so much taken away from us sometimes?
Tonight I found the answer to that question while looking through these pictures -
Bradley came so that this woman:
Could turn into this woman:
  I could never have grown without Bradley.
I would have been stuck as the old girl forever.
Thank you Bradley, for coming to change me!!
I owe you Son <3