Sunday, December 4, 2016

Hope for Healing Our Broken Hearts

Tomorrow marks six weeks since Paige went to be with Jesus.  Six weeks since I held her hand in mine.  Since I looked into those beautiful eyes.  Six weeks since my heart shattered into a bazillion pieces.

While the holiday hustle and bustle is in full swing, it feels like our family is living in a separate world.  A separate world that moves at a snail's pace.  Even when we try to keep busy, time seems to drag.  Working through the grief of losing my girl takes on a whole new level of hurt this time of year.  Like many kiddos, Paige loved Christmastime.  Decorating the tree.  Baking yummy goodies.  Checking out light displays.  Watching our favorite Christmas movies.  All of these things were special because of the time we spent together.

Paige will spend her first Christmas in Heaven fully healed and whole.  I know we will be reunited one day, but this day finds my heart hurting.  Broken.  Truly shattered.  Life goes on all around, while I'm slowly navigating each day feeling like Humpty Dumpty, wondering how I'm ever going to feel put back together again.

My brain tells me to keep moving forward, and I am--one day (sometimes one hour) at a time.  I have to.  For Boyce and Jeremy.  For Paige.  For myself.  It's my heart I have to wrestle on a daily basis, and it's basically become a tug-of-war contest.  Here's just a glimpse:

I fall apart.  Getting ready to leave town--which in past years was not a big deal--for the first time as 3 instead of 4 proved to be quite taxing on the emotions.  Boyce and Jeremy got their things together, and I was just fine.  However, when I started laying out my own things, it hit me hard.  I'm usually the last one to pack, but we were missing a piece of the puzzle.  A beautiful, much-missed piece.  
I'm (temporarily) back together.  After a good cry, I finished packing.  We even managed to fit everything into one big suitcase, which was pretty impressive.  Turns out I needed that trip more than I realized.  We flew to Ohio to be part of an incredible event that honored our sweet girl.  Her face was everywhere--banners, shirts, a live-streamed broadcast.  We strengthened our bond with the incredible family that flew us up there.  We explored a beautiful metropark with winding roads, amazing fall foliage, and altogether peaceful surroundings.  It was definitely a weekend of healing.

I fall apart.  We're smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, and it's time to do a little Christmas decorating around the house--even if we aren't totally feeling it.  Boyce and I try to do 'normal' things with Jeremy as much as we possibly can, so it was important to us to get through it.  Going through bins of Christmas decor, I came across one containing decorations from our room on the Bone Marrow Unit last year.  Decorations we kept because Paige wanted to use them again one day.  Decorations that took my breath away and began the onslaught of tears.
I'm (temporarily) back together.  Just two days later, we returned to TCH to help spread Christmas cheer to the families calling the Bone Marrow Unit home this year.  The Chandler's Tree Farm organization blessed us last year, and it truly did our hearts good to give back this year.  What I thought might prove to be too difficult turned out to be more like a family reunion.  We visited with several friends--from patients to doctors to nurses.  It was yet another step in the healing process.

I fall apart.  When Paige relapsed again in July, we happened to be inpatient when the TCH Marketing Department visited the Hematology/Oncology floor.  They were looking to create some new materials for the Cancer Center and asked for permission to photograph our sweet girl.  A few days ago I received a phone call asking if we were still good with them using Paige's pictures, to which I answered, "Absolutely!"  Today I opened an envelope they sent that contained a CD and several of the printed photos.  They were pictures of Paige I had never seen before.  They were simply beautiful.  And I wept.  And wept.  
I'm (temporarily) back together.  Not yet.  But I will be.  Paige will make sure of it.

Our family is hurting.  I don't know that the hurt will ever fully go away, but I do believe it will sting a little less as time goes by.  I'm so thankful for the goofy, amazing young man we are blessed to call our son--who definitely keeps Boyce and me from totally sinking some days.  It's important we make sure he knows it's okay to keep going.  He's only 13, and we want him to go on to have a happy life.  Jeremy is already a great kid, but this whole experience will only serve to make him stronger in character and in faith.  I can only hope it will do the same for us.


  1. Yall are such an inspiration to us all. My girls loved Paige and always speak fondly of her

  2. My heart hurts for you...wishing there was something I could do to help...not sure that's possible...still praying for ya'll every day... <3

  3. Everyday the sun shines, is Paige smiling at you. Every moon that brightens the sky, is Paige glowing with pride of you. Every twinkle of each star, is Paige's love beaming down on you all. Believe in that. God Bless your family.

  4. My heart hurts for you, and my heart completely understands. We lost our precious twelve year old daughter to a brain tumor just six months ago, and I have since been diagnosed with ptsd which has caused me seizures from Lack of sleep. I also have a 13 year old son that was my daughter Nadia's twin brother.he turned 13 on October 18th here with us while Nadia got to celebrate in heaven with her grandma. It killed us, but normalcy for Aidan is the most important thing to us. We had a part for him one day and a balloon release for Nadia on another day. As the holiday approaches we decided to do a special angel trees with pictures of them together as they always were. Normally I am a perfectionist about my tree, but this year it is in giving Aidan normalcy by decorating, while also celebrating Nadia as well.
    Once again my hurts for you and understand. Everyday I wake up in a gasp that she is gone, and the empty feeling and tears begin then the flashbacks start.
    I am also in Pearland.
    Hugs and prayers,

  5. I'm weeping along with you as I'm reading this. My heart breaks with every word and photo. I'm blown away by your courage and strength, but I see why Paige was that same way. May God continue to bless your family and help your heart heal.