Monday, July 12, 2010

Letter to Jason

(I know I have been a terrible blogger and honestly not sure if/when I will blog again, but this day I felt led. A couple of different individuals have encouraged me to write a letter to Jason since his death...I have never been able to do it until now and even now after re-reading it there is so much more I want to say, but this is a good start. It did provide great therapy while writing. Thanks for letting me share.)


Dear Jason,
Two years ago today you left this fallen world for a place that I can really only dream and imagine. I have to admit to you that I have been somewhat jealous of the thought that you met Jesus before me! I know, I know…selfish of me to speak such. I have tried to imagine what it was like when you stepped into His presence. I have played out in my head you describing all that you saw and experienced over and over. Of course all of it is based on what I believe heaven will be like…I am confident it is so much more than I can even imagine.


To say the words ‘I miss you’ doesn’t really describe what kind of void your departure on this earth left in me. I remember the night I left the hospital of your initial diagnosis of leukemia. I remember thinking in my mind, ‘what if God doesn’t heal Jason?’ What would life be like without you here? I would not let my mind go there that particular night, yet as we both went through the process of fighting the disease it was as if the Lord was preparing my heart that His healing might come in heaven and not on this earth. Even still I couldn’t grasp how life would be without you by my side.


July 9, 2008, I arrived that morning to help you shower and dress for the day. Do you remember me meeting you in the hall of your parents entrance hall? Do you remember how we stood embracing each other for a few minutes? I remember hugging your frail and weak body so tightly and telling you how incredibly proud I was of you. I remember telling you how much I loved you and how incredibly thankful I was to be your wife. Jason, I had no idea that when I left there that day what would transpire just a few hours later. I assure you had I known, taking the kids swimming would have not been on my list of things to do that day. I have beat myself over and over for leaving you for the afternoon, but honestly I thought I was doing the right thing in spending some time with them as well.


During those last few days of your life at FGH your family and mine clung to each other and to our Lord in a way that I really can’t describe. We hurt so much knowing that your hours on this earth were limited, yet, can I tell you that our Lord met us there in that hospital in a way I have never experienced before? Jason, you would have been amazed and totally overwhelmed at the love and support that was shown to our family in those last days. I kept thinking to myself…”I wish Jason could see how much he is loved.” Obviously there were moments of total brokenness over the fact that we knew your time on earth was coming to an end, but there were also moments of joy. Joy, you ask?  Yes, our brothers provided some entertainment and a little comic relief. Oh, and your dad confessed to you while you were unconscious that you were always his favorite! Brad was standing right there when he did it! I am certain that some of your former co-workers in the Intensive Care Unit thought were certifiably crazy! I know you aren’t surprised by that.


And then July 12th came…a day of great beginnings for you yet a day that right now brings me such sadness. There are lots of things that happened that day that thankfully the Lord has helped me to forget, but there are also some things about that day that will forever be with me. I remember the kids coming to see you one last time. I remember how it was the last time the 5 of us were together. It was one of the saddest times of my life, but it was also a precious time as well. Later that day, I remember looking out the big window in your room on the 6th floor of FGH…by the way, they placed you in a room for the last hours of your life that had an incredible view! Sadly we never got that great view during your many inpatient stays while battling leukemia. Anyway, back to looking out the window…the sun was setting and the sky was breathtaking. As I held on to your hand, I remember looking out the window and thinking as the sun is setting in the sky so is the sun setting on our life together on this earth. I remember thinking how I wished I could stop it from setting, but I couldn’t. God had bigger and greater things in store for you. Your total and complete healing came a little before 11:00 p.m. that night.


Oh, how my heart broke into a million pieces. I left pretty quickly after you took your last breath as all I wanted at that moment was for your lifeless body to have life again, but I knew that couldn’t happen so the next thing I wanted was our sweet children. I know, I shouldn’t have woken them, but as was the case so many times in our life together, I was totally dictated at that moment by emotion!
Speaking of the kids…can I just tell you how awesome they are? Honestly, I don’t know how privy you are as to the ongoings on this earth now that your residence is with the King, so let me just tell you our kids are doing amazingly well.


Sweet Anna Lea is just that... so sweet and precious. Her love for you continues to grow even in your absence from her daily life. She relives so many of the special times the 2 of you had together…I love hearing her recall each and every memory. It always makes my heart smile even though often tears fall all at the same time. She misses you a lot. Daily she speaks of you. She asks lots of questions about heaven and what you are doing. I don’t pretend to know all the answers, but we have read a great book together about Heaven. You should read it! Ha! Anyway, the best thing about Anna Lea since your passing is that her faith in our Lord is growing by leaps and bounds. She loves the Lord much...I do want to believe that you are already aware of this!


Jon Brent is one fun little kid and as he did while you were on this earth he continues to bring much JOY to our family. I do have a bone to pick with you about him, though. He is somewhat (ha) OCD about certain things…you know he didn’t get that from me! God has used him to bring laughter on many a day where the pain was just too much. He still looks so much like you that sometimes it takes my breath away. He is so literal with everything. Oh, and he is quite the little dancer. Not sure where he got that, but I have a strong inclination that it came from my neighbor, who happens to be your brother! Oh! I almost forgot…I bought a house right next door to a house that Brad and Sherri bought! We have all thought many times how you would have loved that.


Not forgetting your Ally girl…she is something else. I laugh often and tell people that you would have been puzzled by her. She doesn’t quite fit the mold of the other two. She marches to a different beat altogether, but continues to make us all smile…and scratch our heads. She recognizes you in all the pictures plastered all over our home. Of course right now she thinks you are at the beach in heaven with Jesus.  Anna Lea makes a point daily to talk of you to Ally. She has made it a priority to make sure she knows what her daddy was like. She also looks a lot like you and for that I am most thankful.


So much has happened since your departure…birthdays,new house, Anna Lea and Sherri baptism, first days of school, birth of a sweet new nephew, anniversaries, me returning to work, Christmas, trips to Disney, trips to the beach, family gatherings, etc. Many of those special events/days have been incredibly tough because you weren’t here with us, but I can definitely say that our God has been SO incredibly faithful to all of us. He has provided for our every need. He has carried us when I thought there is no possible way we can go on. He has been so good to us and honestly I don’t deserve any of it.


I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I have wished things could have been different and that God would have chosen to heal you here rather there, but that is just me speaking from my flesh. God was glorified in your death. Even some came to know Him personally because of it. Others returned to Him because of it. For those reasons your death was not in vain. I pray daily that He would continue to receive the all the glory and that He would continue to use our story in pointing others to Jesus.


I wish I could tell you that I have been a perfect mom to the kids and great manager of our finances…I know the thought of me managing the checkbook must make you roll your eyes!  I have failed at lots of things since your passing, but as you know His grace is always enough and covers me daily. Please don’t be upset that I don’t keep receipts or write down every expense in the check register… I promise I am doing the best I can! Haha!


There have been many days where I have just layed in bed praying that it all had been a really bad nightmare and that I am going to wake up to find that none of it happened, yet I quickly discover my true reality. It is those moments that I say aloud…’God, you are sovereign and I trust you.’ His peace is like no other.


I continue to be amazed at our God through all of this. You know I have always loved worship, but since your death I love it even more because when I participate in it I am getting to do the same thing you are doing in heaven! That thought blows my mind.
Jason, I love you so and still so proud that I had the opportunity to be your wife and the mother of your children. I will never get over that blessing. I so look forward to the day where we will all be reunited again. Until then…I’ll keep praising Jesus here while you praise Him there.

Loving and missing you more than I can say,
Stephanie

11 comments:

Becky said...

beautifully said

Erin said...

Thank you for sharing that!!!! You are amazing!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I have prayed for your family today!

Christi Cave

Anonymous said...

Two years have passed, and Brad is still an enormous cheeseball. Love you sis.

Scott

Laurie in Ca. said...

God Bless You Sweet Stephanie. You make Jason so proud. Love you so much and praying for your heart.

Love and Hugs, Laurie

PS. Verification Word down there is moses:) Seriously.

Chris and Rebecca Lee said...

whew...with tears streaming down my face, i am praising God for His amazing love, grace, comfort, protection, provision, healing, etc. you and your family are such a testimony to God's care in tough times. i am so thankful you are so transparent to share your heart with all. it frees others to be real. thank you! praying for you and the kiddos today. so glad AnnaLea is helping Ally know her daddy...so sweet.

NIKKI said...

What a BEAUTIFUL letter Stephanie!
Thanks so much for sharing!!!!

Amy said...

Beautiful! I love it and thanks so much for sharing. You continue to amaze me.

Now... The next time you take me to J's grave, if I see a mailbox there with this letter in it, we'll have to have a talk. :) You know what I am referring to.

I love you.

Cherrie said...

What a beautiful picture of you and the children! I am so glad you shared your letter to Jason. God Bless!

Amanda said...

Hi Stephanie,
It's Amanda, Rachel Davis's friend from Little Rock. I followed your story so closely and recently saw Rachel who gave me your blog address again. Oh my, I am bawling, yet so amazed at your strength and God's provision for you and your kids these last 2 years, and the legacy Jason leaves. Love and hugs,
Amanda

DeeDee said...

awesome journaling of your life w/Jason and life without him. I am so proud of the woman you have become! As I know your parents are bursting at the seams.

God will oneday say to you "well done my good and faithful servant."