Updates on Evan

He's just gone ahead of us.

Posted by: Myra
Date: July 19th, 2010

One day Jeff said to me, “Remember when Evan was little and we would go for a walk. He’d be on his tricycle and he would pedal as fast as he could to the end of the block. Then he’d look back at us and just smile until we caught up with him. And as soon as we caught up, he’d take off and pedal as fast as he could again...always looking back. I’d like to think that’s what he’s done this time. He’s just gone ahead of us. He’s looking back at us right now, and smiling until we catch up with him.” What a lovely and comforting thought that was to hear.

I don’t think a day has gone by since Evan left us that we haven’t been blessed with some sort of kindness. Whether it be a beautifully written card, a thoughtful email, or a silent hug – these gestures always seem to arrive just when they’re needed most (God's work). Many people tell us they just haven’t been able to take off their “Evan bracelet” quite yet. For the record, I don’t think there are any rules that say you can’t still wear it. We continue to wear ours, too. It somehow brings me comfort and reminds me of the hundreds (dare I say thousands) of the people who came together to pray for our son.

We found out last week the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois had a star registered in Evan’s name. It’s part of the Ursa Major (Big Bear) constellation. Just look for the brightest star and you’ll know it’s his.

We continue to take things a day at a time. We try our best to stay distracted, but it’s still hard not to let our minds drift back to Evan’s last days. In time we hope those painful memories of suffering will fade to let the happier times shine through.

Life continues to show its fragile side and our supportive prayers go out to
Barbara, Danielle, Riley, Delaney, Zach, Sean, and Brielle. Our heartfelt sympathy to the families of Ellie, Andrew and Carson – each one, a true hero.

I’m in the middle of reading my third “grief” book. Still looking for the answers to all the “why and how” questions. And, you know what – there just doesn’t seem to be any.

God’s Embrace

Guardian of the Wounded,
wrap me in your embrace.
Hold me close to your heart
and assure me of your love.
Protect my sore spirit.
Ease the pain that it holds.

You are always ready
to embrace me,
no matter how hurt or desolate
my heart may be.
I will trust you with my pain.
I will rest in your solace.
I will take refuge in your love.

--- Joyce Rupp


Strength Against Sorrow.

Posted by: Myra
Date: July 6th, 2010

Sorrow comes in great waves...
but it rolls over us, and though
it may almost smother us,
it leaves us.

And we know that if it is strong,
we are stronger, inasmuch as
it passes and we remain.

---Attributed to Henry James

These words really resonate with me. Our sorrow comes in waves each day and sometimes it knocks us down, but we continue to help each other back up. We must for Evan’s sake.

We packed up our grief and headed out of town last week. We hadn’t been on a vacation or stayed in a hotel room without Evan in nearly 13 years. We both kept glancing in the backseat the whole trip expecting to see him reading or playing his DS. Toward the end of the first day’s drive we were sitting in traffic and the sun was low. I looked in the backseat and as the sun shone through the windows I could see several large smiley faces drawn on the inside of the windows. Evan had written “Pi” on the window, too. (That was a restaurant in St. Louis we had eaten at while we were there for his treatments.) Those drawings made us laugh and cry. We certainly felt his spirit with us.

We spent bittersweet days on the beach and watched other families doing all the things we usually do -- mom slathering the kids in sunscreen, dad throwing the ball and building sandcastles. I wondered how many other grieving parents might be sitting on the beach silently crying behind their sunglasses. Sadly, in less than a month since Evan passed two other children we’ve come to know have also lost their battles. Sorrow comes in great waves.

Heading home from our trip on Saturday we stopped in a little town in Tennessee, had dinner and walked over to watch a fireworks display on the river. The first rocket was a red heart followed by a sparkling smiley face. I suppose we’ll continue to see “signs” because we want to see Evan so badly. No matter, we’ll continue to look for them.

Grief is a process. You can’t go under, over or around it. It smacks you in the face from the moment you get up in the morning until you’re finally able to fall asleep at night. One of the hardest moments of the day is bedtime. It’s just not right not tucking Evan in each night. Not reading a book together. Nothing seems right, actually.

Sorrow is strong, but we hope in time to be stronger.