Friday, November 7, 2014

Can anyone hear me?

Recently I've had several people ask me why I no longer blog.  Hmm, why don't I?  I guess I began blogging many years ago when I was at a place in my life where I needed healing and to work through that healing blogging seemed to serve a huge purpose for me.  As time passed my heart and soul truly found a place of peace and my need to get the emotions out slowly dwindled.

Needless to say, the last few years have been the greatest emotional ride I've ever experienced.  How does one process it all?  How in the world can it even be possible to find balance in my life these days? 

As I look back from the beginning where we learned that our first grandchild was on the way and then suddenly learned that baby was swept away before we even got to lay eyes on it, to again learning another precious life had been conceived only to find out the inconceivable meaning of HLHS (hypo plastic left heart syndrome) that seemed to be roller coaster enough.  Oh boy, I didn't have a clue.

Here I am, two years later and there has not been a time where I've gotten off that never ending roller coaster.  There have been phone calls telling us that we were losing our Beckham and to immediately get to Texas.  Moments of sitting in the room with him wondering if he would pull through being on life support or the horrid dreaded seizures that he experiences daily, hourly, constantly. Yes, his parents are wonderful photographers, but sweet Beckham is broken.  He cannot focus his eyes on us.  He cannot smile, swallow, breathe on his own, sit, stand, roll over, walk, talk... You name it, the list goes on. 

I've sat and caught a couple of very brief glimpses of heaven, just a couple, where he smiled in his sleep and I was reminded of the little baby that once was.  The baby that could smile... It warmed my heart and then just as quickly plummeted it back to a place of such sorrow that the tears once again fell.

Along the way we experienced the birth of our second grandson.  What a joy!  But, but joy comes at a price for us.  Sitting in a hospital room looking for nurses that don't exist.  Weeping over wires that are not necessary for this little life.  Grieving for Beckham as we look at tiny Cy.  This is not how it should be!  I'm angry.  I'm hurting.  This is not right!!  I'm striving to protect one daughter always and yet working to not take away from the happiness and joy that the other deserves in her moment.

Yes, this has been my

I honestly feel that I have been given the most beautiful and amazing gift in a little boy named Beckham.  Through all the pain and suffering he is still the most life changing thing that has ever happened to me and I will always give thanks for him.  I will always hurt and be in pain for what this baby has endured, but my love is endless toward him.

So I'm blogging.

Today I'm blogging because I just can't deal with the emotions.  Everyone has answers as to how I should feel and how I should deal with this.  You know what?  There is no manual.  I cannot suppress the pain and anger.  I cannot hold in my grief to spare someone else's feelings.  When it comes right down to it, I'm a mother!  This is my family!  I'm suppose to care for everyone and make things better.  I CAN'T!  This is my grandson.  This is changing our entire family.  There are days I wonder if any of us will ever recover.  

I know we are strong people.  I know we all know how to fight, but how do you daily, for two years, stay strong in the battle against death?  How do you live in that valley?  It's a place where if you feel happiness you are eaten alive because somehow you feel so guilty for feeling good.  It's a place where you know you cannot live in sadness because then you have given in to the evil that is working to destroy every good thing.

I just want to scream.  I need to scream.  I want to be heard.  Just once I want to be able to tell it like it is and have someone say it's okay to feel every stinkin', rotten emotion that I feel.  It's okay to cry myself to sleep and cry when I stand in my shower.  It's okay to laugh my head off and want to sing a song at the top of my lungs and not suddenly be overcome with a feelings of being ashamed.

I heard someone comment recently about my daughter seeming angry and bitter in the things she writes.  My heart broke into a million pieces.  Yup, she is.  She's a momma who cares for a son she loves with every ounce of her being, but let's face it, it all sucks for her.  She writes very honestly and open and her days aren't filled with roses and wine.  I wish this journey were not raw and painful, but in the real world things hurt, people bleed, and sometimes it's bitter.

I don't want someone's sermon.  I've heard them all.  I know God is there.  I know all the promises.  I cried out to Him to heal this little baby along with 1000's and He answered "no", at least not here and now.  I'm working to find my way back to Him and to find my way to just learn how to talk with Him again and to know He loves me even in the times when I understand this life the very least.  I find my refuge in Psalm 23.

For now, maybe writing will allow me to let it out.  So much has been held inside for so very long.  There are emotions that have been stuffed so far down as not to hurt others.  Feelings that no one can really understand unless they have walked in my shoes.  

It will be four years in December since I've had my entire family all together in the same place.  If you take nothing else from this post please hear this.  If you can hug those you love and enjoy being a family around a table...DO IT.  If little things have come between you and those you love, let it go! 

I bought this little plaque recently and it sits in the middle of my shrine of family photos.  It reads, "Never miss an opportunity to tell someone you love them."  Trust me, we all need to be loved and to just have a little help getting through the tough times.  I just have to hang on and believe that love will keep us together.  I just need to have a voice and be allowed to use it once in awhile.

So today I blog.

Friday, June 21, 2013

All sons and daughters

Every day driving to and from the hospital to spend the day with Beckham we listened to this music.  It quickly became my favorite album and I've been listening to it non-stop lately.  It's in my car and on my Ipad.  I am blessed over and over listening to the lyrics.

All to often I've fallen short and questioned and been filled with pain beyond what words can say, but the reminder of Who holds my life in His hands and what it means to praise Him in the midst of this journey has begun to penetrate deeply.

It's my prayer that each day I'll find something new about the God I serve that I never knew or understood before.  It's His breath in my lungs so I pour out my praise.  He restores each heart that is broken.

Great are you Lord!

Monday, June 10, 2013

A little boy named Beckham

I've often heard about people going through life experiences that completely change them in such a way that they are no longer the same person they were for most of their life.  Due to the events that transpired they were changed, changed in ways most of us will never completely understand.  It may be a good thing we don't understand fully these journeys or events as it can be so painful that they wound the soul and shake the spirit.  Sometimes an event can be so traumatic that just hearing about it takes your breath away. 

I don't even know how to write about my life since receiving the phone call in December when little Beckham was ready to enter this world.  Actually this journey began long before his birth on the day we learned of his broken heart.  My life changed on that day and I know for a fact it will never, ever be the same.  I had not a clue what HLHS even was let alone my grandson being born with it.

I've spent hours, days, weeks deep in thought trying to make sense of this journey we are on as a family.  I've never been one to question God, never...until now.  I've cried hard and long until there were no more tears to cry..  I've hurt to my core and wondered how in the world I would ever get to a place where the pain no longer felt it deserved a place in my heart.

But then...Beckham, sweet Beckham

I adore him.  I'm just crazy in love with this little one.  Over and over I've wished I was the one enduring his pain, going through the surgeries and facing the unknown future.  I hurt always just knowing the things he's been put through just to live one more day.

Yes, sweet, little Beckham has changed me forever.

Even though life has been more difficult that I ever dreamed it could be, the flip side is Beckham.  He makes my heart smile.  He fills the empty places with his sweet face and chubby cheeks.  Beckham, our gift.

I may never understand on this earth why a little boy has had to go through so much.  I've asked, believe me I've asked.  I've been angry, again something I've never felt when going through the fire, but anger has solved nothing.  I've been broken-hearted and still am a great deal of the time, but Beckham makes all of my pain worth it just to love him every single day.  I think it's because I know my pain is nothing compared to his and just having the gift of loving him one day at a times helps me to understand ever so slightly that even in pain there is joy unspeakable.

If I could pour all of my love on this little boy and by doing that heal all of his hurts and wounds I would pour every last drop of love from myself into him.  If I could hold his little hand and make it all better I would never ever let go.  If...if only I could.

I know my only resting place for peace in this huge and out of control storm is in the Lord.  Although I'm still trying hard to figure out the God I've trusted for almost all of my life I need to lay it down and trust.  It's not been easy and some days I just want to walk away, but His Spirit draws me back and I find myself exhausted as I put my head to my pillow and begin praying without even realizing it.  My Shepherd is listening and he cares about me, His hurting and sometimes lost little sheep.

Father God, I do not begin to claim that I understand Your ways.  I long to know the "whys" of this journey.  I desire to see sweet Beckham whole, completely healed.  I am left with surrender, complete surrender.  I'm not quite there yet, but I'm seeking to let it go and to trust that You are always in control and that Your plan is not mine.  Oh how my plan would never bring about the whole beautiful story of who You really are.  I ask for Your Spirit to continue to comfort me, guide me and to bring me to a place of sweet surrender.  For I's all in Your time and all in your hands. 

Song by Matt Hammitt from Sanctus Real, a dad who's little boy has HLHS
For more on Beckham you can read updates here:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My testimony about our journey with Beckham

I was able to share this in church today, February 10, 2013

One year ago we began a journey that we never anticipated.  We found out we were going to be grandparents for the very first time.  We were over the top excited even though we knew this little one would be over a thousand miles away from us since our kids live in Dallas Texas.  One month later we found out that little one would not enter this world, but rather had been taken from us before we ever got to lay eyes on him.

It was not long after and we were thrilled to learn there was another baby on the way.  The anticipation was high and once we got through the first trimester we thought we were pretty much home free.  Our kids wanted to know the sex of the baby so we waited for the news of whether our first grandchild would be a boy or girl.

I think we were all in a bit of shock to learn that a little boy was on his way.  We only knew how to do the girl thing at our house having had 3 daughters.  It was at this point that we also learned that our little boy would be born with HLHS meaning the left side of his heart did not develop.

The tears fell and they fell hard.  Dave and I cried together and prayed.  We struggled, but knew we needed to rest on our faith knowing God does not make mistakes and His finger prints were all over baby Beckham and his little growing heart.  We immediately found ourselves seeking after God hard and fast.

Over the couple of months that followed it was a daily roller coaster ride.  Longing to believe for total healing and yet asking God if He might be choosing to allow this little one to enter this world without a complete heart.  Either way we never doubted that miracles would come.

Beckham was born on Dec 21.  We fell in love with him even before we arrived in Dallas to meet him the day after his birth.

In the days that followed as we waited for him to have open heart surgery, the first of three, I found myself praying constantly.  I still cried more than I had in a very long time and I longed for God to carry me through this amazing time and a time that was also the worst in my entire life.  This precious little boy had captured my heart and yet I knew the reality of possibly losing him was still in the picture.

After twelve days of bonding with and loving Beckham we sat as a family in his hospital room early in the morning with the lights down low and waited for the team to arrive to take him to surgery.  Our daughter held her son as tears slipped down her cheeks and our son in law sang over him Matt Redman's 10,000 reasons-bless the Lord and Never Once .  It wasn't long and all of us were passing the tissues.  A moment I will never forget.

We gathered in a small room while we waited for each update on the 3 plus hours of surgery.  Peace filled the room and completely filled my heart.  I knew this was a very critical time, but I was witness to the Lord's directing each step from the best possible location in Dallas, to the best surgeon, to the support of godly family and friends.

The days that followed were filled with joy each time we saw Beckham improve.  When the set backs came we felt disappointment, but deep within my spirit I found peace that passes all understanding.  God was there.  He was in Beckham's room and holding this baby in His palm.  I knew that I knew this was truth.

It's now been 7 weeks since surgery.  Dave came home to work a week after surgery and last weekend I flew to Chicago where Dave picked me up to head home.  We talked on the drive home about our feelings and emotions.

We both agreed that we had grown and now were able to see the situation from a different perspective than we had before Beckham's birth.  We both felt as though we had been called to follow.  God was not asking us to beg for total and complete healing, although we knew He was able to do just that.  We, instead, felt that resting in His plan and holding fast to the fact that He would never let us go was enough.  He had called us to a new place in our lives and we wanted to follow knowing the cost would be high, but worth the journey.  We found ourselves reminded to not wait for adversity to come to draw us closer to the Lord.  James 4:8 Come close to God and He will come close to you...THAT was our plan and continues to be from here on out.

Oh, seeing a baby born perfect would have made our lives easy and our future bright, but knowing Beckham was special caused us to surrender our hope for a perfect life and rather bask in the beauty of a life led and directed by God even if the storms were huge and the boat at times felt as though it was sinking.

No, our boat didn't sink.  Instead we found Christ calming the storms and commanding the waves to cease.  We found a peace that surely passes all understanding and hope that God's plan for Beckham was and is far greater than our human minds can comprehend.

This little boy has already touched the hearts and lives of people all over the world.  The word of our testimony has been a blessing to share even if the story continues to leave us with hurdles.  We are at peace.  We are hope filled and excited to see what lies ahead for our family and baby Beckham.

God's promises are always true.  He never leaves, never forsakes.

My middle daughter, Alicia, shared a song with me by one of the praise and worship leaders at their church, Meredith Andrews, while we waited together in the lobby at the Children's hospital.  The lyrics seemed to have been written just for me, just for our family and to remind us of the priceless hope we have in Christ alone.

Tomorrow Beckham finally will come home! 
Thank you Lord.  I also want to thank each person that has offered up prayers on Beckham's behalf and uplifted the rest of our family through comments, emails and gifts of love.  I know your love and support has helped to see all of us through this journey so far. 
... from Matt Redman
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own

 Welcome Beckham West Moreno

 Ready to be transported to the Dallas Children's Medical Center

Mommy Lindsey enjoying some holding and bonding time.

 Sweet baby boy.
Grandpa Dave with his little grandson on the first day of holding.
 Daddy Beto, such a natural at this love thing!
 Auntie Jenna totally in love with this little boy
 Post surgery :(

 Growing stronger weeks after surgery.  
Less wires and no feeding tube!!!

 A one hour practice run with the car seat before the actual going home ride, 
a hospital requirement.

 Auntie Alicia savoring some Beckham time 
on her second visit to Dallas.

You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You will lead us on. 
We shall not be overcome!!!  
God you are faithful!!!

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012, what a year it's been

Beckham West Moreno

Yesterday Alicia was sharing some new music with me from one of the song leaders at their church. As I heard this song the tears just fell. I needed this reminder as we sat together in the waiting area of the hospital. This is my song for 2012 and as I head into the new year.

My word for 2013 is HOPE. He is my hope with each new day. I long to grow in my faith and grasp in a deeper way what His hope is all about.

 Happy New Year and may we all seek to know Him more.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Baby Beckham makes his entrance into our hearts and lives

I always sleep with my phone right next to my bed.  Getting an early morning phone call is never good.  I heard the phone ring and saw Lindsey's name on the display and my thoughts were, "Oh no, this can't be good." I answered and Lindsey asked if I was asleep.  It was my first day off after four days of working and I was immediately wide awake.  She told me she was at the hospital and in labor.  Her water broke and things were started.  Okay, here we go!

Just a few days prior we found out that Lindsey would be induced on January 14th.  We got busy and booked our flights for the weekend before.  I thought we were home free....BUT, deep down I knew this baby was coming early and Dave thought the very same thing.

I hung up with Lindsey and began to scramble.  Alicia called and we talked about getting our flight changed and heading to Chicago to get to Texas asap.  We booked tickets to Chicago to save some money and the kids are there and could help to transport us.  Alicia checked all flight, flights from all airports and there was none to be had due to the Christmas holiday.  We were stuck in Michigan.

After calling Dave at work he hurried home and a plan was made to drive the long trip to Texas.  Alicia called us back and surprised us with the news that she would meet us along the way by Chicago and drive with us!  She's the most upbeat person and such an encourager and has brought huge doses of peace for me.  It meant another driver for the 17 hour trip (which we made in 16 hours this time.)

We left home about 9:30am and met up with Alfred and Alicia a couple of hours later.  Alfred had to stay behind to work so he kissed his wife goodbye and sent her off with us.

Jenna was able to be with everyone in the labor and delivery room so we were blessed with a moment by moment account.  There was much cheering, tears and joy in our car when little Beckham entered the world at 12:22pm, one month early.  Jenna was in total awe of her sister and her new itty bitty nephew.

Lindsey did an amazing job and her prayers were answered for a natural delivery.  Her team was amazing and allowed her to do it her way which made for a wonderful experience and a great recovery.

We arrived in Dallas at about 2am and went straight to Jenna's apartment.  Lindsey was all set with Beto's sister staying with her for the night and Beto and Beckham had been transported to Children's Hospital a few miles away.  We were excited in the morning to go see Lindsey and bring her to her baby boy.

Five days have passed and they are already beginning to blend together and I have lost all sense of what day it is.   The waiting room has become our home.  Stricter rules have been put in place due to the cold and flu season so as of today there can only be two people with Beckham and two in the waiting room on his floor.  We've all moved a floor lower where we can be together, but it's the main entrance and it's busy and noisy.

It was such a blessing that on Christmas Eve and Christmas day we were blessed with turkey dinners with all the fixins from the hospital and it was wonderful. The hospital is a strange place to be on Christmas.  Needless to say I spend a bit of time in the bathroom alone crying.

There is no doubt that baby Becks has captured our hearts.  He was born the spitting image of his momma at birth which shocked us all.  The sono pictures looked just like his daddy.  My heart flooded at the sight of this little 5lb 13oz baby boy who looks so perfect.  He truly is his is momma and daddy's little buddy.  He has their features and fits perfectly into their little family.

For now we wait.  Beckham's heart surgeon has been on vacation for the holidays.  He will be back next week and is currently be informed of all that has transpired.  We anticipate surgery by mid week next week, but have no idea until the surgeon is back.

Beckham has been doing wonderful.  His blood levels have sent us into a scare a few times and we pray for him to be stable.  We ask for your prayers as well and we believe the many prayers are the reason he's doing so good and has bounced back previously with the breathing issues.  Thank you hardly says enough.  As I type this we just had another scare and it's been a more magnified one.  Wow, how we realize our need for the Lord in every detail.

Where do I begin to express what my heart feels?  I write this blog as a journal for my family to keep in the years to come and to know my heart, my faith and my failures.  This is more than a simple blog post can express.

I AM IN LOVE.  This child found his way into my heart many months ago.  Now as I look at his room filled with many machines connected to sensors which connect to him I'm lost for words.  I long to take it all away, the pain, the uncertainty and more just to bring him home.

I woke up the other night after a dream where Beckham was crying in his nursery at home and I was afraid the kids didn't hear him.  It was only a dream, but I hold it close to my heart and long for the day he will be in his crib crying to be fed or held.  His momma told me today that hearing him cry as the nurse changed his diaper was a good thing.  She's hardly heard him cry.

Beckham's nurse, Doug, commented today on how spoiled Becks is.  By the way, we love Doug, he is great!  When Beckham snuggled against me Doug reminded Becks that he is one spoiled little boy.  We are holding him all day long just switching arms.  We marvel at every sound he makes.  We go crazy when we see his eyes and laugh when we know he's messing his diaper.  We are all crazy fools for this little life that has been added to our family.

As the time approaches for surgery I feel the sadness of knowing what he needs to go through.  It's tough to know what lies ahead and how repairing Beckham's broken heart will indeed break mine.  I pray that the Lord will constantly remind me that this is necessary for us to see our little buddy come home.
I sit here waiting for my next baby holding fix.  My camera is constantly close to take as many photos as I can and every time I see someone snap another picture of me with my grandson my heart fills with pride.

God's fingerprints are all over Beckham.  We know our God does not make mistakes and He sees each and every detail involving Becks little heart.  We give thanks for the surgeon who is known to be one of the best in the country and pray for him daily and his staff.

Our little boy is resting safely in the palm of his Maker.  We covet all the prayers of family, friends and those who know us only by way of the internet, but love us just the same.  Please continue to pray for us.  Pray for strength for our kids and endurance as they walk this journey with Lil Becks.  Pray for rest at night to renew physical strength.  Pray for Dr Forbess and his team to be well prepared and tack sharp with their skills. Pray for me as I'm already dreading the day I need to leave my girl and her baby boy and go home. 

We give thanks for all of the meals that have been brought to the hospital.  We give thanks for the support of Lindsey and Beto's friends who have been amazing.  We give thanks for the gifts for Beckham and the gifts to allow us to live inside of a hospital and not have to stop to plan for anything other than caring for Beckham.  To each one of you we deeply say a huge thanks!  Thank you to each one of you who have called or texted us to encourage us and just check on how things are going.  It means so very much.  Thank you to my coworker for working out the schedule without me, you rock and are priceless to me.  I love all of you!  Most of all thanks to all who are praying.  We know the prayers of a righteous man avail much and God hears each prayer uttered on Beckham's behalf.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full. 
Psalm 139:14