Some Days It's Tough

A little caught off guard today by my own emotions. Was struggling in church a little today thinking of my boy. The lesson was on trials and the Lord's love and support during those trials. And I looked out at the room and realized that probably everyone in that room has something in their life that is really difficult for them right now. And it just made me ache. Because I just don't want anyone feeling lonely, or hurt, or sick, or sad, or disappointed or let down.

I recognize that those feelings are a part of life and that from great trials can come sweet and tender lessons. For me, I learned to value time.

I remember coming home from being up with Joey at the hospital, exhausted, spending nearly the entire drive home in tears, afraid, worried, and just so full of hurt. And then I'd open the door and my other two children would be there. Needing me. Needing to show me their grade on their latest report card. Needing to show me the coolest lego invention ever. Needing just to touch me, sit on my lap, feel me near. And as exhausted as I was I didn't want a single moment to be lost. I knew that in those moments they needed everything I had to give (and sometimes more).

It was the same when Joey came home for a time, and I became his primary caregiver. That meant administering shots, changing IV's, adjusting medications, and watching his morphine. As frightening and overwhelming as all that can be, it was such a privilege to be the one to be able to give him what he needed. I hated the shots. Hated it! But he was so patient with me. Bless his heart! And in those nights when we laid on cushions on the floor of his room waiting for the three to four hour intervals when he could have more nausea medicine, I was so glad to be near him. I felt guilty when I became so exhausted that I had to take a break and Brett would take over. But I knew that I needed to be on top of my game. That Joey also needed everything I had.

I would like to say that those lessons remained with me--completely changed me. But there are still days when I am not the best listener, or I miss out on an opportunity to spend time with one of my children, or I am impatient. But I recognize that I'm still growing and learning myself. And I am better than I used to be. Much better.

I am grateful for every opportunity to be "The Mom." What an amazing privilege to be a caregiver for someone else whether it's a parent, a friend, or a child--my child. Thank you, Joey, for letting me try to at least help a little. I'm your mom, and I needed that, baby!


  1. I so wish I could take away even just a little of your pain. I was young when I lost my mom and I use to sit and wonder why me, why her but I finally gave up wondering why and tried to focus on the great memories. It did make me realize how short and precious life is and I try to seize each moment with those I love. Hugs to you on this Easter! Thinking of you and your family and praying for each of you always.

  2. thank you for sharing this. I'm in tears reading this...being a Mom is such a blessing, isn't it?
    thank you for reminding me to take time to hug my kids close and be patient. You are such an inspiration and Joey would be so proud of you!
    a blog lurker...Amy

  3. Jen, thank you so much for sharing your story and your beautiful boy with us. Through you and Joey, we are all learning to remember to appreciate each and every moment, even the tough ones, and to slow down and take in all the blessings we each have. Please know that you are not alone. I am truly inspired by you. I just know Joey is out there watching over you and being so proud of his Mom! :)

  4. Oh Jen! You are one of the sweetest people I know. All of these beautiful posts about Joey have really made me think about life. I have been having a bit of a pity party for myself, and you have made me realize how important it is to enjoy every single aspect of life. Especially that of my babies! You're wonderful and I love the example you have been to me in just the short time I've known you. I love you and consider you a great friend, and I hope our friendship can grow.

  5. Jen, saying silent prayers for you and yours from across the Atlantic. Hugs to you.

  6. Thank you for your thoughts & "insite". I so needed to read that today. I could feel the spirit while reading your post. I am so sorry for your loss. I can't even begin to imagine the pain & heartache you experience. I too, am grateful for lessons learned.
    Hang in there.

  7. Anonymous9:06 PM

    I sometimes don't know how we get over or through things like this. My mother had the same awful cancer last year at this time. The whole 4 months was a blur when I look back. I'm so sorry that you have had to go through all of this with your baby. I can tell he was an amazing person through all of your beautiful layouts you create about him. He was so fortunate to have you for his mother God bless you and your family!

  8. I wish there was something I could say or do to take away some of your pain, but I know there isn't. I just really want to thank you for posting all of your memories and feelings here. As much as I cry when I read your posts about Joey, it makes me cherish my kids even more. Your pain and love help so many of us that read your blog daily. Thank you, Jen, from the bottom of my heart, for teaching and reminding me to be a better momma.

  9. Oh man Jen! I found myself fighting the tears for you all over again as I read this post! I think I would just die if I lost a child. I can't even imagine. I admire your strength and faith in the Lord! Thank goodness for our knowledge of Heavenly Father's plan right? I don't know how anyone can float along thru life and not have that peace of mind. I love your blog and your honesty. And of course all your fun creations!

    Oh!!! And I recently found the Hero Arts Blog and LOVE LOVE LOVE that place!


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