Thursday, February 25, 2010


Warning- Do not read unless you are ready to weep uncontrollably.

An old high school classmate of mine has a two year old daughter who is dying of cancer. In fact, she likely only has a few days to live. My heart has broken time and time again as I have followed their story. And the question "why" constantly comes to mind. Layla is only two months younger than Lauren. I continuously look at Lauren and internalize the Marsh's agony. Cody and I both have talked about their pain and what we do if it were one of our own babies.

The night I took that picture of Lauren in the bath dumping the water out, I had just finished reading this post from their blog. I cried in heaves, uncontrollably. Then and there I vowed to not sweat the small stuff with my children. To cherish the noise, the messes, and the chaos. Because one day it could be quiet and I would be filled with regret. So much regret.

Taken from Shanna's blog- You can follow their story at

Towards the end of a pregnancy, a mother will wake up to go to the bathroom every few hours. I think this is the body’s way of preparing you for a newborn and the sleepless nights that come along with it. Layla now spends most of her days sleeping. 30-45 minutes after she wakes up, she is ready to lay down and sleep again. Is this God’s way of preparing me for all the quiet time that is coming soon? The house is quiet. I am able to go through the motions of laundry, dishes, cooking and picking up without interruptions. But I WANT interruptions. I WANT Layla to be under my feet asking for cookies. I WANT to hear her playing with her toys. I WANT to take 45 minutes to unload the dishwasher because she keeps trying to help. For every time I uttered the words “I just can’t get anything done with these kids under my feet all day” I am eternally regretful. The days that I looked forward to naptime so I could get a grocery list made, or finally fold all the piles of laundry…I regret those days too. If I could do it all again, I’d enjoy EVERY SINGLE WAKING MOMENT I had with her. I would never wish for her to sit still or take a nap or go to bed early. I would never look forward to the days when she could sit through an entire episode of Dora silently. I would treasure every second with her.

So I’ve spent the last few days in a quiet house, able to do whatever my heart desires. But all I want to do is wake her up and hold her. She doesn’t really want to be held much anymore. She prefers to be rocked in her dark bedroom for a little while, then laid down in her bed. She gets easily overstimulated by the noise of the other children downstairs. She wants dark, silence, peace and sleep. So we give those things to her. As much as it breaks my heart to not be able to hold her all day, I know her little body needs peace and sleep.

We have tried to put her in our bed with us but she screams. I’ve tried to rock her in my room, but she just cries. She wants familiarity. Her own bed. Hospice told us that when the time comes that we shouldn’t leave her side (i.e, she only has a few hours or days), she won’t know where she is and won’t put up a fight about sleeping with us. She’ll only open her eyes for a few minutes at a time.

We had plans to visit family in Oklahoma this week, to go to the zoo, the beach, the rodeo…outside to play. That will not happen. We had family pictures taken last week and I’m so happy we did. We can hardly get Layla to say a word, let alone give us a smile or lift her head up long enough for pictures. Family has come over to visit her the past few days without success. She doesn’t want to leave her room and they have come and gone without being able to hold her, talk to her, and some instances even see her. Our Pastor came by yesterday and we started making some funeral arrangements. At the end of his visit, he asked if we would like to have her baptized. We said YES and he baptized her right there in our kitchen. She was very peaceful and didn’t cry or make any noise during it. I truly feel like God was holding her in his hands and comforting her.

She is hooked up to a morphine pump and had a dose of Dexamethasone on Saturday. Sunday morning she ate 4 bowls of cereal and was in a fairly good mood. She sat up in my lap long enough to open her Valentine’s present and watch some tv. Since then, it has been a steady decline.

Please pray for her comfort; both physically and spiritually. Please pray that she knows how much God loves her and she isn’t scared about what she is feeling and what is happening. Please pray for minimal pain and suffering. Please pray for Claire and Jenna. They are so confused and uncertain about what is happening. They cannot fully grasp the finality of her impending death. I can hardly grasp the finality of what is happening.


Jylaire said...

I can't even imagine! I just read their blog. So sad!

Sarah Stiles said...

I was reading about them the other day. Unbelievable tragic! I cried when I read their story. It was so fast and completely unexpected. I have hardly anything of any consequence in my life. But the one thing I treasure the most is my son. My only child. He fills my life with indescribable joy. To lose him would be life-shattering. I pray that I will never have to face that particular trial in my life.

Miles and Bex said...

I will hug my kids a little longer tonight! Plus, check all their stomachs. She seems like an amazing mother, wife, and woman.

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