Saturday, December 10, 2016

December's Double Whammy

December, aka "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year."  Not for our family.  Not this year.  This month has taken on the feeling of a one-two punch.  A double whammy.  She should be here.  Paige should be here.  Healthy.  Happy.  Never having to take on cancer once, let alone two and three times.  Don't get me wrong--I know she is healthy and happy now.  I know she is going to have the most amazing Christmas in Heaven.  I know I will see her again one day.   Still...she should be here.     

Whammy #1,  "The Obvious One"
She should be here.  Paige should be here helping me bake holiday goodies and watching our favorite Christmas movies.  Doing things we've come to know as traditions for the Lejeune Four.  She should be making sure her accident-prone mom doesn't drop the candle at Christmas Eve candlelight services.  Dragging me out of bed on Christmas morning.  Eating pigs-in-a-blanket for breakfast.  Opening gifts and then anxiously waiting for us to open gifts she picked out just for us.  Going to Grandma's house for lunch and then laughing as Dad, Grandpa, and Uncle Craig doze off watching television.  She should be here.

Whammy #2, "The (Even More) Heartbreaking One" 
Paige was admitted to the Bone Marrow Unit on December 10th last year.  One year ago today.  It was the beginning of 9 days of "conditioning"--chemo, radiation, and more chemo--that would prepare her body for transplant.  Transplant, where new 'baby marrow' cells would take up residence in Paige's bones.  New cells that would work to build a brand new immune system.  New cells that were supposed to save her life.

For three months prior to that admission, Paige's body endured extremely hard cycles of chemotherapy.  It beat her up like I'd never seen--but in true Paige form, she pushed through every struggle, every setback, confident she would come out okay on the other side of it all.  December 18th was the day.  Paige's new birthday, as it's called in the transplant world.  She was so excited at the prospect of having 2 birthdays each year and had even thought about doing a silly cake smash for the 1st BMT birthday.  That girl--always planning ahead.  Always ready to move forward.

Being hospitalized during the holidays is not the ideal situation, but we were truly blessed by some wonderful individuals and organizations who wanted to give our family the best Christmas possible.  As you can imagine, there were several occasions I had to ask Paige for a wish list.  She was always reluctant to ask for much and told us more than one time, "I'm just happy to be here."  The girl could have listed just about anything and everything, but she chose not to.  She was simply thankful for hope.  Thankful for another chance at a healthy life.  Doesn't that say it all?  She should be here.


Our sweet girl suffers no more.  Forever healed, she is likely looking down at me thinking I need a swift kick in the pants for being sad.  But I am sad.  Some days I navigate the waters of grief pretty well, while other days find me struggling to get my head above water.  I miss her terribly.  My heart aches over what this world lost in that girl.  Over what I lost in that girl.  

How thankful I am for God's promise to be with us always.  No matter what, He is here.  He gives us the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  One step at a time, one day at a time.  We will make it.  He will make sure of it.  God is good like that.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.   
Psalm 34:18     


  1. As usual, you do not cry alone. I love to read your posts, but hate the reason for them. I wish I could have known Paige and be able to share memories with you. I wish you all could have had one last beautiful Christmas. You are so strong. I could not do it.

  2. I read your posts and am amazed each time. Your transparency is so needed, not only for you to share but for all us that are reading and have experienced a loss. Thank you so much for sharing with us! I pray for y'all often. You are such a blessing to so many ❤️️

  3. I am so sorry for your loss and especially difficult times in your lives. I pray that you and your family will find strength from God to get through these tough times. Your beautiful angel is always near you smiling and watching over you. May God continue to bless you.

  4. I hear your pain. I wish I could take it away and you could have have your sweet girl back and healthy. You are doing a great job handling your loss. I pray you find your way through this grief and that it is a little easier as each day passes. God Bless y'all, Rosemary Davis