Thy Will Be Done…

I’m so confused
I know I heard you loud and clear…
Heather was my “surprise” from God. It took me all of 30 seconds to come to grips with the idea I was having another baby so soon. It was never any other options for me than to welcome this baby with open arms and an open heart. Heather was very stubborn and head strong; a quality she got from me I am sure.
Heather mumbled and talked very low so you could hardly understand her. She could never be rushed; if you did try to hurry her along she would just go slower. The only two times she was ever in a hurry was her birth and her death. Both I am very thankful for. She even as a child was kind and tender hearted, although I am sure that her sisters might have a few different stories to tell. In school, Heather, had the desire and competition to excel in everything and be the top student.
I will never understand why at the end of 1st grade a group of boys decided to beat her up on the playground at recess. She was crying and on the ground and the only little girl that came to help her was Ashley. The next day, Ashely was hit and killed in the street after school. I took Heather to Ashley’s funeral and to my surprise she was a little colored girl. The purest part of Heather is that she didn’t see color, ever, and she was heartbroken and never ever forgot Ashley.
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here…
It is odd, that with each passing year as a mother our fears for our child begin to get smaller. The biggest ones when they are babies is that they will die from SIDS or some other illness. As they get to the elementary age we get a false sense that all is okay. Things can still happen but with each passing day you forget and just live. You are so busy with school and events that life just moves along quickly.
When Heather was in 5th grade she was being harassed by a fellow classmate that was threatening to harm Heather. She was scared and felt this to be a real concern. After meetings with the school and many others; no solution could be reached and I pulled her out of public school to begin homeschooling her in October, 1998. On April 20th, 1999 Columbine happened. Heather would comment over the years that she felt that could have been her. I think we as a nation began to take notice to the school violence around the country. (Who would have guessed Heather would die on the 10th anniversary of Columbine)
Then comes the teen ages and all the fear comes back. Everything from driving to drinking and drugs to random violence can happen.My false security that my girls were nearly grown and nothing could really happen began to take over after Heather learned to drive and got several jobs. She had made it! For all the worries and concerns she made it! She was kind, giving and tenderhearted. Heather was the type to give all her coworkers a gift for Christmas simply because she felt like it, or drop everything to go help a friend who was sick.
 
I don’t wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of your plan…
April 10th, 2008 came and my world suddenly hit a brick wall. Somehow it has become a speeding train going over 200mphwhen it hit a solid rock mountain and came crashing down to the ground. We were put into an alternate universe I didn’t understand. Words, procedures, hospital stays and cancer, cancer, CANCER invaded my safe, happy world. Heather was classified as stage-4 of two forms of very aggressive blood cancer, ALL-Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia and LBL-non-Hodgkin’s T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. The cancer was consuming her daily. On that day we were told she had about 6 weeks if we had not gotten treatments. When we began we were not sure if she would go into remission. That would mean waiting for another 30 days to even know if the treatments were working.
On that day, I was prepared that Heather would die. I tried to prepare my heart to that fact my daughter was going to die. You can never prepare regardless of how sick they are. NOTHING prepares you for the moment when your child takes their last breath.
Then, Heather went into remission and all seemed right with the world. We had been hit with the worst and survived. Heather survived. Cancer came and we kicked it’s butt and the world was different but right once again.
When I try to pray
All I’ve got is hurt 
And these four words
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done…
Till my dying day I will NEVER, EVER, EVER understand why Heather survived 5 months of chemo, breezed thru 8 rounds of hyperCVAD with no compilations and not one single infection; to spike a fever, go into ICU and have the last 33 days that she did. My broken heart could not have been part of God’s plan. Heather dying could not have been part of His plan. I wasn’t prepared for the 33 days in ICU and I would give those back, every last one of them. During that time I prayed over and over and over and over and over and over for God to heal her, for God to make her whole and well, for God’s will to be done and in the end His will was done. He did not seem to answer the way I wanted and begged and pleaded Him too.
I know you’re good
But this don’t feel good, right now…
I know God had a plan even thought I do not see it and I will never understand it. But this, Heather being gone doesn’t feel good, right now and I doubt it ever will. Many people have told me to “move on,” or to “get over it.” Well, I can’t and I won’t. My daughter, Heather, lived and had a life and was a part of my world. So which one of your kids do you want to give back?
Lets play a game, imagine your daughter or son is just suddenly gone. The child you loved so much and you planned a future with. This was the child, lets say Ashley, Amanda, Sarah, John, Sam, Kris (insert your child’s name here) that you had many fun vacations with and lots of past holidays and birthdays. This child is suddenly GONE! Not alive, not breathing, just gone and void. All you want to do is keep their memory alive, make sure that someone remembers that your child lived and was a human being on this planet. You have to talk about your child like any other parent would. Only you are different, your child is dead. When you are in a social setting and you mention your child’s name the room goes quiet and suddenly you feel bad for mentioning your own child, remembering a fun moment or a treasured memory. The child you loved so much is now the one who must not be named or mentioned as it makes people uncomfortable. People are afraid you, as a grieving mother, will burst into a pile of sobbing mess not the floor and they are afraid. They also don’t want to imagine what you have survived, because it down right sucks and is hard.
It hurts that I can’t talk about Heather. I hurts that I can’t mention her around people and certain groups. I am hiding the real me and pretending to be someone I am not. I have become very good at spotting the people I can be real with and the ones I cannot. I don’t like putting on the mask and making small talk. I don’t like being made to feel bad for simply mentioning my child’s name who died. Heather will forever more be the elephant in the room.
And I know you think
Of things I could never think about
It’s hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense
Of all your promises…
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that you’re God
And I am not…
I know what my mind says that Heather was sparred the endless worrying that her cancer would come back, or that she would get a secondary cancer from the harsh drugs that were used. Heather would not have wanted to do treatments again, or a bone marrow transplant.
We had no way of knowing that the chemo drug used to switch her DNA was toxic to her. It damaged her lungs beyond repair and she would have to have a double lung transplant in order to survive. Heather would not have wanted to have been limited on her routine because of daily medications she would have had to take.
What if when she collapsed her lung for the third time, was down for an hour and deprived of oxygen, she had survived? She would be in a disabled state of some degree. I see young people in wheeled chairs that can’t move or speak and I am thankful that is not Heather. Heather would not have wanted to live in a reduced state for the rest of her life.
I will admit that there are moments when I say that I would take her in any form. The selfish side of me wants her here in any way, shape or form. That is my side, I long to hear her voice, see her eyes and smell the sweet aroma of perfume for her skin. I want to hold her and touch her and kiss her again. My arms ache, hurt and long to hold her again. I dream of how different life would be if she were still here. All the family gathering would be different and her family, that should have been here, would be here.
I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord…
Your plans are for me
Goodness you have in store…
So, thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done…
It is been just over 8 years I can say the hurt and pain has changed and it doesn’t hurt nearly as badly as it did in the beginning, but the hurt and pain are not gone. It has changed and become something different. I am surviving but the “missing her” gets greater with each passing day. There are days when missing her is all I can do and my heart hurts so badly I swear it will break in two. I want Heather here, alive, happy, well and back to normal which I know can never happen. I don’t know why I was chosen to have my daughter die at the age of 21 years old. I didn’t ask for this and I certainly did not see this in the plan for my life. I know that all things work to His good but my heart does not see the goodness in cancer or Heather’s death.
I am in a discriminated group of people as I am not allowed to be me. I have to put on the mask that everything is okay and my heart has been mended and I forgot Heather and I am “over that little part” of my life. I am here to say I am not over it and I will not be getting over it anytime soon. Till my dying day I will tell stories about Heather and I will celebrate her birth and death days. No mother should ever bury her child. It is a heart ache that never ends. I just know very well now who I can share with and who I cannot. Sharing, my Heather is a gift that other people can receive if they allow it. Getting to hear stories about my Heather is a privilege, not a punishment as she is true a remarkable woman.
Can I still have fun? Yes, I can and I do. I still take vacations and we have fixed up the house and life is moving forward. I can talk about many other things too but there is a chance that Heather will be mentioned. I am not “stuck in my grief” and I don’t need to break free of the “ball and chain of death.” But Heather is a part of my life and world that is never going to go away. Not as long as I have breath in my body.
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord

 

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