Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Big Picture

Sorry for the lapse in updating. My sister and I went with my parents to St. Louis for the long weekend. Getting away from it all with four really sad and grouchy people wasn’t exactly a vacation, but no one got hurt. Tuesday morning my dad had an appointment at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes Jewish Hospital to discuss a stem cell transplant. (Not the controversial stem cells – they get these from grownups). My dad has Myelodysplastic syndrome which is a blood and bone marrow cancer. This transplant is the only way to “cure” him, but it in itself is very risky.

I’m sure you can imagine my family’s stress at the possibility of two huge losses in one year. Right now it’s really hard to pray and believe for miracles, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to. The thing about God is that he knows the big picture. You know how when you were in middle school that girl named ____ made your life a living hell? You thought it couldn’t possibly be any worse. You thought the world was over. You thought the pain would never end. Now looking back at middle school, I bet it is barely a blip on your radar.

Now I can smile as I remember the time I fell walking home from the bus stop, and the boy I liked asked me if I had a nice trip. I didn’t think it was funny then. But the horrors of middle school came and went, and now in the big picture of my life – those things that happened weren’t really that big of a deal. I bet that’s what our present lives are like to God. It’s almost scary to think about, but compared to eternity our earthly lives are barely going to be a blip on the radar. Right now everything hurts, but one day when I’m happy and free and skinny in heaven – all this pain isn’t going to matter so much anymore. So even if everything in this world falls apart – it’s going to get better. It won’t last forever. It’s temporary.

Still – I want to see the goodness of God in the land of the living. (That’s in the Bible)

Every night before Jace went to bed he would pray. He would do the usual thanking God for all the people he could think of – Thank you for Mommy, thank you for Stacey, thank you for Gama, thank you for Papa, thank you for Anoo, thank for Manda, thank you for aunt Nancy, thank you for Jack (the dog), thank you for Camon, thank you for Dani, thank you for Tommy, thank you for Domi – ique, thank you for the gas man (the plummer), thank you for Miss Sandy, thank you for Miss Pat, Thank you for Donnie, thank you for Ani – a, thank you for Regan, thank for Cracker (Kiefer sounded just like cracker – I don’t know???), thank you for Mickey Mouse, thank you for my ears, thank you for my monster truck, thank you for my dino. At the end of his very long thanks, he would always end his prayer – “And please make Papa all better.”

My mom told me that she is pretty sure Jace is telling Jesus to make Papa all better now. I can picture him tugging on Jesus’ pants (I think he probably wears pants now – it’s the 21st century) and telling him, “Hey! Make Papa all better, RIGHT NOW!” He was going through a bossy stage right before he died.

I still miss him every second. I wonder if life will ever be ok again. I still wake up every morning hoping this isn’t real. The pain is so sharp and so acute that I tend to start balling at random moments – like right now when I’m sitting in Starbucks typing this. For those close to us – I know it’s hard and awkward, but thank you for your hugs and your time and your help. It can’t be fun to be around people who periodically break down and cry and talk about weird things and tell you stories about a dead kid, but we need it. Thanks for reading this. It helps me to write it.


  1. Sometimes I read these and feel like I wrote it, wrote about the pain, the wondering if life will be okay... and all I can tell you is that it won't go away. But one day it will be a little less sharp and not so acute.
    And just as it is hard for me to really believe for that miracle, I will continue to pray that your dad gets the healing I still know God can provide,
    Wish I was there crying with you in Starbucks instead of here crying at my house.
    I'm honored to have been in his bedtime prayers, even once. We miss him, too.
    Love you.

  2. Stacey, I really enjoy reading your blog :) As sad as it is sometimes, most of the time to read I know that if you and your family can still keep your faith through all of this, I know it's possible. People think their faith is so strong until tragedy hits home, then it's too easy to blame a God you cannot see. You are helping others in their faith by posting about yours. I do pry really hard that your family gets a good break soon. You guys have been through so much. I will keep your dad in my prayers. I pray for Gods will to be done and for your family to understand it. I love reading stories about Jace. You keep them coming. You never know who you are going to touch through your stories and blog. I pray for all of you and Justice for Jace everyday. Blessings to all of you! Philisha


  3. I will listen to all the stories you want to tell & won't be uncomfortable if you start to cry during them. (I might cry with you, though.) I also am praying for your Dad's healing, and trying to truly believe God for a miracle. I like your Mom's image of Jace asking Jesus to heal his Papa. That would have to be the most persuasive prayer ever.

  4. I am 13 months out from losing our Ella, I still wake up every day and think of her, miss her and have to tell myself that THIS is my life will have days when you feel better, and days you feel worse..eventually the good days out number the bad..just hang in there..and I smiled at the thought of Jace ordering his papa be made better, how sweet is that picture <3 sending prayers..

  5. You don't know me, but I know your parents. I went to school with them in Longmont (a long time ago!), and I have been reading your blog since I learned about Jace. I want you to know that I am one of many who are keeping all of your family in my thoughts and prayers everyday. You have bravely shared so much about your pain and grief, and I hope that expressing it is helping you or will help in the future. I can't imagine how overwhelming the pain must be. Please know how much care and love is out here for you and your family. I believe Jace is watching over you, and God will eventually provide some comfort. You will never "get over" this, as some people say. (I hate that, don't you?) But with His help, you will move on knowing that your life was profoundly changed by having this delightful and special little person in it. Much love to your family, Ann Anderson Rivera, Lakewood, Colorado

  6. Please continue to write as much and as often as you need. I know it may sound crazy but I enjoy reading your blog very much. In times like these we appreciate the wonderful blessings God has given us. I am in prayer for your family and especially "Papa". May God heal him from the top of his head to his toes! And AMEN to Jace's prayer that we know and believe he is praying at the feet of our healer. May blessings and comfort and peace flow from his throne to you all daily. * Sarah

  7. Stacey, you have a beautiful way with words and your family's faith is so touching and uplifting. Thank you for writing and sharing. We will keep praying and praying and praying.....

  8. My dad died in 2002, which is such a long time ago and I still think of him every day. I was 16 at the time. Sometimes I still cry. The pain dulls, but never really goes away. You do learn how to function and go on with life, because that's what our loved ones would WANT us to do. It's hard at first, but it does get easier. Your family is constantly in my prayers.

  9. So glad to hear you all are home safe. Thanks for the update on your dad. I've been wondering how he is. Give all of your family a hug for me and tell them I'm praying for Papa's miracle. :)

  10. God is thankful that He can trust you.

    I am thankful to learn from your grief.

    I am thankful that Jace had as loving a family as yours.

    And I am thankful that you pay for my electricity every month.

    I am proud to call you friend.

  11. Stacey, my dad died last Sept and it was to say the least very shocking. My family is still dealing with this today. I cry a lot too. I try to hide it. I don't want to seem week. I remember crying when I found out and then I didn't cry again for almost a week. I didn't even cry at his funeral. I had to much to do. I couldn't stop. I remember people telling me to slow down, grieve, etc. but I couldn't. I was being the only strong one. That's a lot to carry. My husband and I pretty much took care of everything. But I still cry. It will get easier, I hope. I pray. I belive. The ONLY thing that can even begin to fill the void is Jesus. I think there will alwasy be a hole but I think in time it will get smaller.
    I pray for peace over your family. For him to hold your hearts and love on them.