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Yesterday I let a man in front of me in traffic.  His response?  No wave, nothing.  Today, a lady rolled right through a stop sign and did not yield my right of way.  While dropping Joe and Bella off at school, another woman didn’t roll but sped through a stop sign to get in front of us.  Lastly, some dude decided to drop his kid off not only not in the designated area but in exactly the least convenient and most obtrusive location.  Yes, I have it rough.  Believe it or not, these are not the worst things that have happened to me, or you.  We all have stories.  Yes, many are good.  However, so many are not.  Some are directly tied to poor and selfish driving.  Yet, many more have to do with finances, relationships, sickness, and yes, death.

I’ve been compiling a ton of posts from our journey with Trey and our battle with pediatric cancer.  I’m now at the stage of putting it into page format, basically designing the book.  I have pretty much decided to end this book with a post from Rachel just 11 days after Trey died.  It is written by her but I truly believe inspired by God.  I have not read this without crying with and for my precious wife.

Grief is an horrifically necessary emotion.  I am so burdened by those experiencing the heaviest and most oppressive facets of grief.  Let us all remember that we are inthis life together.  May we always rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.  I am so amazed at the people in my/our world who are so loving and do come alongside those in their time of need.

However, we all know of so many others who are not the least bit loving, compassionate, caring, encouraging and/or supportive.  The only comfort that they are aware of is in reference to their recliner.  Perhaps, they’ve never experienced those things.  Maybe you’ll be the first to love them intentionally.  Maybe you’ll be the first person to ask, “How are you?” and mean it.  Maybe God will use you to show them the joy that comes from knowing Him.

We all hurt we all lose, we all grieve.  Let us learn from those pains and love those in the midst of their own.


Rachel Blair Mitlo

Joy is Forever, Sadness is Temporary

The other day, Jay asked me if I had had any “sledgehammer moments”…any moments of feeling suddenly overwhelmed by sadness.  I said no, and he gave me a concerned head tilt as if the obvious answer should be ‘yes’.  I could have tried to explain, but sometimes words cannot get out of my head the way I want them to, so I’ll start waving my hands and arms around as if I can magically stir the words into order.  Rather than try, I just stayed silent.

The truth is, I cannot be knocked over by sadness because I’m already down.  I’m surrounded by the sadness…Trey’s book bag still sits in it’s after school spot.  His shoes are perfectly lined up next to the front door.  His jacket is still hanging  in the closet.  His bed is empty.  I can’t escape the reminders that my baby is gone and I’m not ready to move his things anyway.

I carry this sadness around like a blanket.  I was a mother years before Trey came along and I will continue to be a mother, but for the past 4 years, I was also a caretaker.  I knew every appointment, every prescription and dose.  I can convert kilograms to pounds in my head.  I knew blood pressures and temperatures and beats per minute.  I could get every kid to every activity all while carrying my six year old on my hip.  I could drive to the hospital with my eyes closed (don’t worry, I didn’t).  I spent more time with Trey’s nurses than I did socializing with friends.  I find myself now unmoored, floating around, not quite sure what to do with all this “free” time I suddenly have.  I definitely have things to do, but I don’t feel like doing them…at least not right now

But, and this is important…

If sadness is my burden that I carry, then JOY is my strength.

I can look at all our pictures (which is a lot!!) and be instantly transported to that moment, filled with happiness.  There is no sense of sadness.  We  packed a lot of memories/activities/trips into Trey’s 6 years!  Joe and Bella amaze me with their strength and resilience!  I am filled with mama pride!  Jay and I support each other in every way!  The love and support from our family and community is palpable…every card or gift or message is a treasure.

Why did God allow Trey to have cancer?  Why did he survive so long with it when other kids do not?  Why were we chosen to walk this journey?  We may never fully know the answers on this side of heaven…and that’s okay.  It’s not our job to know all these things…it would be too much for us to know.  So I take comfort in knowing that God is in control and that He is good all the time.

In time, I will put down this blanket of sadness.  But, the great news???

The JOY will still be here!

It is my JOY to be the mother to 3 amazing children!  So, don’t worry about me…my sorrow may last for the night, but JOY comes in the morning.

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. ~Psalm 5:11

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. ~Psalm 19:8

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, ~Psalm 30:11

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. ~Psalm 51:12

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. ~Psalm 94:19

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.~Psalm 126:5

November 16, 2014

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