Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ode to Larson

I have wanted to share this amazing poem that a friend wrote for us from church. I know he would never want the recognition, but he has ministered to Steve and I so much during this difficult time. Besides this poem he sent us letters that will be forever treasured.

A pulpit was your mommy's arms
Your voice your daddy's tears
You told things well no man could tell
Who'd lived a thousand years

You taught us how each day to seize
Who live upon this earth
That life so smeared with many tears
Excels the one of mirth

You showed us mightier lessons still
Great things in pack'ges small
That God can use an infants coos
To sanctify us all

You proved that strength through weakness comes
More frailties more our grace
The man who plods each day with God
Alone concludes the race

Your life reminded us of Christ
Like you cut short in grief
Both taught that man in his brief span
Can show us God's relief

Now come the strong with learning deep
Who've preached for many days
But they shall fail and efforts pale
Against your simple ways

He lived with us but for a day
A man from God was he
And though he's gone he preaches on
Throughout eternity.

How honored I am to be called Larsons mommy. He will always be a special treasure to us. I long for the day to see him again. Until then, we hope he will continue to remind us of Christ and all He has done for us.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Today Larson would be 3 months old. I would have been getting his 3 month pictures taken. Maybe even some with his siblings. I know that for some it may seem so wierd that I continue to think of what he would be doing. Maybe it is because there have been 20 babies born since October. Yes, this is not an exaggeration and I can name each one of them. I am constantly seeing who Larson would be "friends" with grow up before my eyes...only it is through other peoples children. I wonder who he would have played with. Just another thing I am getting used to, or shall I say comfortable with.

There is much about the new me. I know I look the same on the outside (aside from a new hairstyle), but I am not. Just like a wound you may get on your knee. Overtime the wound will heal. Depending on the size it can reopen if scrapped again. But eventually it will heal with a scar. The scars' size depends on the size of the wound. My wound is large. The largest I have had this far. Often random things can reopen it. Maybe a baby I see, something someone says or doesn't say or even a smell. I can say that it is healing. It doesn't hurt all day anymore, depending on the day. Sometimes things that help or hurt, may be just the opposite the next day.I know this may all seem confusing. It is just as confusing to me. Grief and mourning is downright confusing. This is something I could not have prepared myself for. I don't expect you to understand all this, especially if you have not buried someone so close. I just ask for patience as I go through it. I know some will walk this road with me for however long it may take. Others may get frustrated, confused or annoyed that it doesn't look the way they think it should and just give up trying. I may not be easy to understand right now. I don't always understand myself. I wish I could give you a timeline...I just don't have it yet!

During the last 3 months, my thoughts often go to the Cross and the sacrifice of Jesus himself. I wonder about his earthly mother Mary. Didn't she grieve wathcing her Son die a heartwrenching death. I have to assume so. And didn't our Father in Heaven grieve also. If not for sin entering the world, Jesus would not of had to die. I take comfort in knowing that God is "A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief". Isaiah 53:3 He understands my grief more than anyone else and He asks me to share it with him. And yet God was willing to sacrifice his own Son for us. "For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOEVER BELIVES in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16 And Jesus was willing although wishing it could be different. "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done." Matthew 26:42 Steve and I were willing to let our son go. I have to be honest...that is not what we wanted. We would have loved to see a miracle in the healing of our son. We know God could have done that. He chose not to. Why? I may never know, but there came a point during my pregnancy when I realized the miracle was not going to be what I thought it should be. I had to trust in what God was doing no matter what.

So as I continue my grieving process I long to know more about God. There are times when I feel myself falling BUT I know that He is hanging on to me if if I am hanging on by what feeling like a small thread.
So today at the three month mark I reflect much on what has happened. Just as the picture represents...we let our sweet Larson go. He is perfect in the arms of Jesus now. I do take great comfort that he is fine, its just that it feels so long until I will see him again. Until then I will keep walking this journey with God in front of me showing me the way.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

Monday, April 14, 2008

Larsons Story

I felt compelled today to share our story, from the beginning. I know some of you reading this may want to know more or don't know much about his story at all. If you don't want to know more..thats ok too.

My pregnancy started on the uneasy side. I was sicker than my other four children, but I tried to attribute it to my age or maybe that it was a girl and I had forgotten if I was sick with Emma. Deep down inside I always felt uneasy. Call it a mothers instinct, but from 8 weeks on I just felt something was wrong.

On October 2nd of last year (2007), Steve and I went in for our routine ultrasound. We brought Emma with us because she longed to have a sister and we thought she would like to be the first to find out. I was strangely nervous to have her there, but after some convincing we decided to take her.

The ultrasound seemed like forever, but was probably the same amount of time. The tech had a hard time seeing if our baby was a boy or a girl. After the ultrasound, and little talk, she sent us to our scheduled doctors appointment. I could tell by the doctors face that something was seriously wrong. The doctor told us that there was a tremendous amount of fluid in Larson’s brain and in his chest cavity. It was shocking. Needless to say, we were shocked and speechless. We didn’t know if this was serious. Steve kept trying to convince me that it would be ok. I, on the other hand, was not so sure and as we drove home we all began to weep.

We were so scared and confused. The next few days were agonizing as we waited for the Level II ultrasound at a specialists office to diagnois more clearly what was happening with Larson. That day finally came.

The Dr. diagnosed Larson with HPE (alobar holoprolocephaly). A diagnosis that has been offically called a bad word in our house and a name that we now have come to loathe. Basically Larson had nothing more than a brain stem. He also had a 13th gene deletion. Every cell in his body was not complete. We left the office shattered. I could hardly stand as we left the doctors office. I felt like I was in a dream. How could this be happening. We have 4 healthy children. We cried so hard because the prognosis was so grim and there seemed to be little hope. The doctors suggestion was termination. We knew God has a plan for our baby and it was not up to us to decide the length of his life.

We began researching the condition and finding no comfort. It was hard to imagine that our son was not going to live very long. Instead of decorating a nursery, buying toys and diapers...we would be planning a funeral. We would be picking out a casket, songs we liked and clothes to wear.

As Larson began to grow in my womb, he was very active. He moved constantly which made the situation more bewildering. If he has all of these problems how could he be moving so much? He did not have the part of the brain to have wake and sleep patterns. I don't think there was a day that went by that I didn't ask Steve...Are you sure he doesn't have a brain? It was so hard to fathom that as a mom I could not fix him. I could not just put on some anitboitic cream and a band-aid. My son was going to be born and I could do NOTHING. I had to let him go.

On January 22nd, I went in to have Larson. I was nervous and scared. It was amazing how on that day there was so much peace in the delivery room. It was strangly quiet as everyone who was with us new the circumstances. We were not just giving birth to our baby on this day, we were also preparing to say good-bye. Something that you can never prepare for except with the comfort of our faithful God.

Larson was born at 9:28am. He came out with a single cry. Something I will never forget. His heart rate was very low at only 20 beats per minute and he was very blue. They were sure he would not make it out of the delivery room. As Steve put him on my chest, I couldn't believe just how beautiful he was. I never knew I could love someone so much in such a short amount of time. Amazing that what was laying on my chest, was our flesh and blood. He was so beautiful.

Just as we thought he would pass, Larson started to rally. His skin became more and more pink. He made little noises every few minutes. Almost like he was singing. And as we went into the recover room he moved a little bit and opened one eye. It was so precious.

Our four children came to the recovery room to visit their baby brother that they were so excited to have. They were so quiet and they just gazed at their brother with wide eyes and big smiles. They caressed his head, kissed his cheek and held his hand. We prepared them for what may happen. Our kids saw Larson alive and so to them they thought he would be ok and come home. He looked like nothing could be wrong.

We then went to our room and Larson met his grandparents, his aunts and uncles. They held him and cherished him and Larson was so loved. Larson lit up the room. It it almost seemed as though he was holding us up on his little shoulders. His heart rate was now steady at 130.

After everyone left, Steve and I just sat with Larson between us and for 5 hours he sang to us and we played music for him and we cherished our son SO MUCH. I can’t describe how awesome it was that God had blessed us with such a moment in time. To experience something so incredible.

Our children came back that evening with more family visitors. Larson was never out of someones arms. For 3 hours his brothers and sister exchanged moments of holding him, kissing him and loving him. The time had come for everyone to leave and Steve and I were again snuggling with our baby boy.

Our night was hard and Larson was still fighting. We were so exhausted but we did not want to fall asleep. Larson stayed with either Steve or myself. There were moments we thought he had past. We cherished each minute we had with him.

In the morning at 7:30 a.m., just 23 hours after he made his entrance into this world, he opened his one eye and took his final look at his. He then made his only smile as if he had seen Jesus and to let us know he would be just fine and he took his last breath. He was in Steves arms. We could not believe that he was gone. We know that God was with us each step of the way. There is no other way we could have watched our son pass in our arms without the Lords comfort.

Never could I imagine that just 9 months earlier we were finding out that we were going to have another little one around and now we were letting him go. Larson would never make it to this eartly home, he would never be in a nursery, he would never grow to play with his siblings.

But... one thing is for certein...Larsons life could not have been more perfect. He spend 9 months in his mommys womb. Safe and warm. He spent 23 hours cuddled by those who loved him...And KNOW he rests forever in the arms of Jesus. Ironicaly January 22nd was also the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. He was worth all the sickness, pain and sadness. He brought us so much joy. Larson may have never come home with us, but he did make it safetly to his Heavenly home.

I take great comfort that Larson NEVER experienced pain, heartache, misery, sadness, illness, rejection, etc. He truly has experienced a perfect life.

This world causes us so much distraction and we are caught up in so many things. And sometimes we must walk through the valley to stand on the mountain to see what God has done with us and to see where He is taking us.

How could we be angry or upset with God when Larson was spared from so much pain, suffering and agony in this world. He was never without love, without affection, without attention and he was always held.

It is one thing to believe that God is faithful during the dark times of life, it is another thing to experience it. God has given us the strength to get through each and every day. Our faith is being tried and tested, but I know God will not let us go. We will continue to grow in the knowledge of him. My desire to know God intimatly has gotten stronger. I know there will continue to be challenging times ahead as we move forward without Larson in our arms. BUT...God will be with us.

I know that this season in our life is for a purpose. Thank you for walking this path with me. Listening over and over about Larson.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

This Road

I have realized sometime during the last six months that we get to tell the story of our life, but we are not the ones writing it. I loved "choose your own adventure" books when I was younger. Somehow you could cheat and go to the end of the book and find the "best" path. Unfortanutly you can not do that in real life. If I could this may not have been the adventure that I would have choose. The path has been with much grief and sadness. We have gone through many hills and valleys and come up to many pot holes. This journey has not been without wounds. As I continue on this journey not knowing what will come tomorrow I can say that given this same "adventure", I would do it the same. Its a good thing that God decides our story because we would never choose these trials. But He knows what He is doing. This is HIStory. A man's heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9 Larsons 9 month and 23 hours where not in vain. He has taught me so much and I know that as I continue to reflect on my short time with him, that I will learn even more. I know that at anytime, or lives can take a turn down a very windy path. BUT, I am comforted to know that whatever path I am on, GOD IS WALKING WITH ME. I know that I serve a faithful loving God.
I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You.
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.

After His Own Heart by Charles Spurgeon
-When your faith endures many conflicts and your spirit sinks low, do not condemn yourself. It was David in haste who said, "I am cut off from before your eyes" (Ps. 31:22). Yet there is David now in the blessed heavenly choir, for even here on earth he was a man after God's own Heart. (Sam. 13:14)
There is a reason for your season of heaviness. Great soldiers are not made without war. Skillful sailors are not trained on the shore. It appears that if you are to become a great believer, you will be greatly tested. If you are to be a great helper to others, you must pass through their trials. If you are to be instructed in the things of the kingdom, you must learn from experience. The uncut diamond has little brilliance, the unthreshed corn feeds no one, and the untried believer is of little use or beauty. There are great benefits to come from your trials and depression.
Many people have a comparatively smooth path through life, but their position is not the equal of the tested believer. The one who is much plowed and often harrowed will thank God if the result is a larger harvest to the praise and glory of God by Jesus Christ. If your face is now covered with sorrow, the time will come when you will bless God for that sorrow. The day will come when you will see great gain from your losses, your crosses, your troubles, and your afflictions:
From all your affliction His glory shall spring,
And the deeper your sorrows, the louder you'll sing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Out of the mouth of babes

Luke was in the bath the other day and we had a great discussion. It went like this:
Luke: I told my friends I am holding Larson
Me: You mean like right now
Luke: Yes
Me: Well we are not holding him right now! Who is holding Larson?
Luke: Jesus?
Me: Yes
Luke: Well does Jesus let him down to play.
Me: Yes Luke, and heaven is the best place to play. There are streets of gold. It is always beautiful and he is in the presece of God.
Luke: Is God a big giant because he has Larson, and He can see us?
Me: Yes, but God is the friendliest giant.
Luke: Mom..I wish I was a baby so I could be in heaven with Larson

Oh what a sweet little boy Luke is. He loved his brother so much and thinks of him often. Just as we all do.

Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
(1Peter 1:8)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

How to help your grieving friend

I wanted to pass this along. Some of you may know John Piper. His granddaughter, Felicity died in September of 2007, 2 days before her due date. This is Molly Pipers blog, she is Felicity's faithful mommy. Hope you enjoy it.


I know that it takes time for me to process everything that has gone on in the last 6months. Sometimes I even feel like this really did not happen. It just seems to surreal. Lately though, I have been wondering...when do I have the time to process everything. I have four children who need me every moment of the day. They are not waiting for me to process things. I have to keep going while trying to figure this out. It is as if the treadmil keeps going and there is no slowing down, even though at times I feel so out of breathe. I would like to come to a screeching halt sometimes and just try to think of how I am to do things. That just isn't possible. Larsons death did not just affect Steve and I. There are 4 little ones who are still missing him, praying for him and asking questions. So while I am hurting deeply, I have to keep moving. I know God has determined the time for this season (Ecclesiaates) and therefore I trust that He will and is walking this path with me.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

I know my heart will not heal completly this side of heaven. To be honest I don't want it to. Larson took a piece of my heart with him and so my longing for heaven is so much more real. I never want that longing to go away. I DO want God to be glorified in Larsons life.