Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Degenerative Brain Disease

The school year is coming to a close.
Award assemblies took up my whole day on Monday.
I sat and listened to my children's awards and felt so proud of the kids they are.
So proud of the people they are becoming.
Feeling like my years of work are paying off.
I deserve to be proud of them.
 And during Madeleine's assembly a boy got up to accept his award.
And his baby brother shouted out his brother's name.
And everyone in the assembly sighed and smiled at the sound
of the baby brother being proud of his big brother.
And he called out his big brother's name again.
And, again, everyone smiled and sighed.
And I got tears in my eyes as I looked down at Bradley
and realized he would be doing the same thing, if he could.
If he could see his siblings getting their awards, he would shout out and call,
But instead, Bradley lay in the stroller and seized and slept.
All of my big kids are progressing so much.
They are getting so big.
Growing and learning so much.
Charlotte has started to write her name!!!
She is starting to write anything I will spell for her!
She spends all day writing love notes to all of her cousins.
The other day I was going through some old pictures.
I found this one of Bradley from the hospital stay
when he never came off the oxygen last May.
I cannot remember his eyes like this.
And it pained me to see his brightness.
And I cried as I scrolled through the pictures.

 Bradley's hospice doctor has called it a neurodegenerative disease.
A degenerative brain disease.
My three older children are going one direction.
But Bradley is going a completely different, direction.
 I haven't been able to stop it.
In some ways it is a very sad thing to watch.
BUT - yesterday, I got a message from a person I know because of Bradley.
A lady that has been following Bradley since the beginning.
We really only know each other because of Bradley. 
She's a self-proclaimed Bradley follower :-)
And she had some news for me.
She said there was a young woman who was getting baptized in her ward.
And the young woman, really lives in MY ward boundaries.
And she said I knew her. She said both our Mother's were good friends.
And she told me her name.
And I thought about it for a second and I knew who it was!
And I told Bradley's fan that I would love to come to the baptism!!
And I could not believe I had been connected to this old family friend,
in her conversion to the gospel, because of Bradley.
And I realized that Bradley is doing his work.
Even if his brain is regressing; his work continues.
God's work continues.
And I would have never known this contact without my missionary son.
And I'm grateful Bradley has been faithful to his missionary call.
He took on this broken body to touch people in ways my other children cannot.
Sadness surrounds us all as his mortal life slips through our fingers;
but joy is found as we realize that Bradley can reap
the fruits of Heavenly Father's work even more than we can do alone.
Tonight I'm very proud of my missionary son Bradley.
 I want to be a missionary now.
I don’t want to wait until I’m grown.
I want to share the gospel while I’m young,
For I have a testimony of my own.
I want to tell my friends about our church
And the happiness it brings to me.
I’ll tell them how the gospel was restored,
Tell them how the Book of Mormon came to be.
Then I can be a missionary now.
I don’t have to wait until I’m grown.
I’ll live each day the best that I know how,
And they’ll see I have a testimony of my own,
A testimony of my very own.