Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dear Delaney . . .

Sweet Delaney Jayne,

You began fourth grade today. You woke up before your alarm and were excited and anxious all at once. You wore the cutest jeans with a shirt that had a bunch of dog breeds on it. You wore bright pink ballet flats and a matching scarf with a floral pattern. You pick out all your clothes now and already have a particular sense of style at eight years old. You don't like to eat breakfast early, but you nibbled on some cinnamon toast and sipped some milk. My cousin Hannah is living here and doing her student teaching. She gave you a ride to and from school.

This is your fifth year at LCCS. Somehow God has always provided for you to be there. I am particularly grateful for this because so many of our days these last years have been just plain hard, and I have always felt some rest knowing there is an entire community of people loving you and praying for you. Of course having grandma there every day is a special gift.

You began kindergarten in 2007 when you were four years old. I was in the hospital in Maryland fighting for Danica's life, and it almost killed me to have you so far away doing something so important without me. Since then it seems we have had constant trial. You have kept a brave face, but I know your heart has been wounded so many times. I see it more now than ever. I know you are loving parts about living here and grandma and grandpa's, but you are also ashamed and dream about having our own home again. I know you have had trouble really connecting with girls in your class since Lauren left two years ago. She is your kindred. I know you wish I could have volunteered in class or just been more present in general. You wish I could plan more play dates or take you to more activities. You've sacrificed things that are clearly your passion, like horse riding lessons and summer vacations to the beach. You scream when you hear the words, "medical bills." You are painfully aware of our financial situation. This makes you anxious. I am so sorry I couldn't have given you more and protected you more.

It's been hard for you to watch your baby sister go through all she has. I know you wonder how life would have gone if she hadn't been born. That's okay. I know you are very angry about how sick I have been. I see your heart and understand you love me but, much like your dad, you are afraid to get too close to this kind of suffering, and you wonder if it will ever really end.

Delaney, I'm sorry. I ache to give you the normal ebb and flow of life. I am so sorry I can't get out of bed so many mornings and you always have to find me lying down. I long to be the fun and energetic mom you want. I wish I wasn't always so tired and on edge and just plain grumpy. I have felt like we are all on autopilot for so long just to get through. So many important things I want to do with you I have not. So many things I've said I wish I could take back. So many things I wished I had said, but I never did.

At the end of every day I crawl into bed with you. We read or watch old episodes of Andy Griffith or the Waltons. We pray and then snuggle and chat while "Sleep Sound in Jesus" plays. I see you cling to me, your mommy, no matter how many times we have tussled during the day. Tonight you looked right at me. I am so haggard and tired and broken. You asked, "Mom, Do you remember what you looked like before?" It hurts me, but I understand. Danica still looks at me the way you used to, like I'm the most beautiful woman in the world. I knew this would fade and you would begin to see my flaws on the inside and the out. I want you to know this is beauty too. This taking one painful step after another to care for you is love.

Jayner, I wanted this to be the year we could just breathe and be. It doesn't look like God has written that for us. Your dad is in pain with continued kidney stones and a blockage. He will have to have another surgery. You see my pain in my face. The next few months will mean more trips to doctors, more upheaval, more bills. It will be more of being stuck and not moving forward. I pray God will protect you. I pray He will keep your heart tender and let no root of bitterness grow there. I pray He will help you to understand how much I love you and how much He loves you too.

Don't ever stop believing in life and love and the possibilities.

Sweet Dreams. Mom


  1. My heart aches for you. Lots of love...

  2. You don't know me but I'm a friend of Angie Davis's. I've been following your blog for about 18 months and praying for your family. We may never meet on this earth but we will rejoice one day with redeemed bodies and rejoicing spirits. Thank you for the raw honesty of your blog. You are a dear chosen daughter of our most high God.