Friday, January 10, 2014

Remembering January 11, 2013...

I don't write much anymore. There's so much sad in my heart that it seems to eek out into everything else. 

But tonight, I need to write. 

I need to remember. 

One year ago on this day, in the aftermath of a horrible snowstorm that had left McKayslin and I stranded in Brigham City, Bob drove over to pick us up and drive us into SLC. 

The night before we had learned the devastating news that Kenton's marrow held 25% cancer cells. While unsure of the plan for his treatment and care, we still held onto hope.

Bob walked up to Kenton's room with us. There were hugs and prayers and tears and smiles all mixed up together. Bob left and Luke went to tell the doctors we were ready for the team meeting.

As the team filtered in, their faces revealed just how much more devastation we were about to face.

It's too soon after transplant....very little hope of remission...body is too weak...not much chance of success...terminal...


Do you know what that does to your whole soul when you hear that word? Do you know your heart shatters into a trillion tiny little pieces that will never again become one complete unit? Do you know that you forget to breathe? And that you hold as tightly as you can to your right now?

There was a decision to make.
And it needed to be made very soon.

Do we accept "terminal?"
Or do we fight?
That battle between our heads and our hearts began when we heard the 25% and raged into an unbelievable aching torture.

How do you choose to let your child die? How?!

Or how do you choose to put your child through so much more pain, so many more days of treatment and sickness and chemo when the chance of it making much difference is slim to none? How?!

The medical team filtered out, pulling the blind to Kenton's room. We sat in stunned silence. Unsure of the questions we should ask. Afraid of breaking the silence with our fears. The tears streamed. The only sound was the ticking of the clock and the shattering of our hearts.

And then we talked.

Do you understand?
Do you want to fight?
What is Heavenly Father's plan for you?
For our family?

So many tears, so many questions, so much anguish.

And so much peace.
I still don't know how that's even possible.

All that peace...

Our day was spent in prayer, and on the phone to our immediate family, and holding each other so tight.

That night, our dear Bishopric rescued our van from Brigham City, and came to the hospital. The sadness was etched onto their faces and haunted their eyes.

We talked.
We prayed.
We spoke of the decisions that needed to be made.

And, in turn, each of us received a very powerful, very personal priesthood blessing.

And at the end, through the tears, Kenton's words cut through the silence... "We stop treatments."

It's what we'd felt all day.
What we didn't want the answer to be.
And yet, we knew.

We knew with all of the peace and comfort and the witness of the Holy Ghost that stopping treatment was the answer.

And it had to be okay.

So many more tears were shed. We talked with our dear friends for a long time. We all cried together. And the feeling in that room at PCMC was so much like the Celestial room at the temple. The spirit was so strong.

And so, today, I remember.

I remember my incredibly strong son who had fought so hard and done everything the doctors asked in order to be healed, choosing to terminate treatment, accepting with grace and strength the conditions of this mortal existence, knowing fully of our Father's love.

I remember my sweet daughter holding tightly to her best friend, faithful and true in accepting what was happening to our mortal family, knowing that this didn't mean the end. It just meant separation for a while.

I remember my faithful husband standing guard over his family, brokenhearted yet willing to accept, understand, and remain faithful.

And I remember me in awe of the caliber of my forever family, feeling so incredibly blessed to have been chosen to be the mother to two of the most valiant, brave, true, faithful, strong children that will ever come to this earth. Feeling so blessed to have been chosen as the eternal companion of one who knew so certainly of our Father's plan and accepted it with grace and strength.

Today I remember.