Thursday, May 29, 2008

long distance hugs

our very good friends from back in illinois, rick and tanya, have a daughter named brooke. on april 20, 2008 sweet little brooke was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. i have experienced the full gamut of emotions associated with having one of your very best friend's children diagnosed with leukemia (which i am not prepared to get into here), but i did want to share a tiny ray of sunshine in the midst of this storm.

rick and tanya have set up a caringbridge journal to share brooke's story with family and friends. this afternoon as jonah was waking up from his nap, i got an email stating they had updated her journal. so as i was starting to hear jonah rustling, i clicked on the link to see their latest news.

as i read about brooke's latest treatment and all that goes with that, as well as the family's prayer requests, my eyes couldn't help but well up. here's part of their prayer request for brooke:

"Even today we are already seeing signs of the chemo taking effect on her body. Pray for courage and that she will feel comforted as these drugs do the brutal but necessary work that they will do over the next two months."

even now reading it a second time... tears. i'm not sure if it's the sadness of the situation or the hope the roberts possess in the midst of it all or maybe a little of both. rick and tanya, you're an inspiration. the grace with which you both have in the midst of this storm is a testimony to God's place in each of your hearts.

so as i'm finishing reading, jonah starts to call out "mama! mama!" i make a bee line for his room and proceed to scoop him right out of his crib and into a big hug. normally he puts up a bit of a fight. he's mr. independence lately. but today he just let me scoop him. and as i put my hand behind his head, he just let me put his head on my shoulder (which he never does). tears immediately welled up. it was like he just knew i needed a cuddle from my boy. after 3 or 4 tear drops and a few sniffles i let go a little. jonah just looked up at me and with his bink still in his mouth gave me a big smile. then we leaned our foreheads together, still both smiling.

but wait. it gets better.

not only did jonah let me hug him... but then jonah lifted his arm up and put it around my neck. he laid his head down on my shoulder and gave me a big hug. tell me, is there anything in the whole wide world better than a hug from a 20 month old? and part of me started to think, kids are so innocent, so pure. sometimes i wonder if they hear God more clearly than we do. God knew i wished i could just give brooke a big ol' hug right then, as much as for me as for her i think. so jonah and i are sending a long distance hug to you, brooke. i'm sending mine via your mom. thanks for sending one back via jonah!

i tell ya, it's been a rough week. jonah as i mentioned before is really starting to exert his independence. there's no more carrying him to the car or telling him when it's time to go. we're starting to look into discipline options, which is a chapter i was hoping to be able to put off a while longer, but here it is.

but then you have a moment like this and you remember why it's all worth it.

please join me in praying for the roberts family. you can read more about their specific prayer requests on their journal if you have a few minutes.

and here's one last picture. this is brooke's awesome big brother jacob. can't leave him out!

we love you guys!

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