Saturday, December 12, 2009

Heroes All Around Us

In my last post, I talked about Hannah's heroism, but I failed to mention the heroes all around us. We have met so many heroes over the past 22 months. Some of them are still fighting their heroic battles against cancer, and some are now in Heaven with Hannah. Sometimes I can't believe how blind I was...blissfully unaware of the suffering around me.

We passed two milestones this seemingly small, and the other a little bigger. The first one -- we built a fire in the fireplace. Hannah loved to have a fire burning. As soon as it started getting a little bit cold outside, she would start asking her dad to make a fire. We have a good, old-fashioned wood gas logs or gas, it's a bit of a job to make a fire. We would always try to put her off until it was at least cold enough to make it worth the trouble. Once we started making fires, Hannah would always sit on the least until her back got too hot and she had to move. As Brad built the fire last night, we talked about how we could still see her sitting there...a good memory. We also remembered the first time she asked us to help her to the fireplace, saying she was afraid she might fall into it...a not so good memory. Eventually, it got to the point that in order for her to get up from the hearth, I would wrap my arms around her waist, she would wrap her arms around my neck, and we would stand up together. I would savor the feeling of her cheek against mine, and her downy soft hair just beginning to grow in...similar to when she was a baby. Who would have thought that the simple act of building a fire in the fireplace could evoke such vivid memories?

The other milestone was my birthday, which was today. As with every other "first", I was dreading this day. But, as with every other "first" (with maybe one exception), the anticipation was worse than the actual event. Brad and Bethany did so much to make the day special, and I received an overwhelming number of Facebook and text messages...all of which made what could have been a sad day into a day of blessing. Hannah loved birthdays, her own and everyone else's, and I was glad I was able to enjoy the day in her memory.

I know there are many, many people who still pray for us...Thank you for your faithfulness! Your prayers continue to carry us through day by day.


Anonymous said...

Let me introduce myself. My name is Angie Rice and I belong to Grace Fellowship Church in Johnson City, Tn. I have been following your blog for a little while, since reading about your family in one of your brother's newsleters. I was in church this morning and glanced behind me to see a saint of God from the Congo, Africa. He has seemingly overcome a battle with cancer and joyously continues to serve his Lord. My heart rejoiced, but my mind soon drifted to Hannah, and your family whom I have never met. I felt a bit conflicted, but soon the verse of scripture from Philippians 1:21 soon came to me, " For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain". I then felt full of joy and smiled inside and out. I saw clearly how this saint, Kamate, was still a living sacrifice, and how Hannah had gained heaven and the constant presense of her Lord.
I just wanted to share that, and say thank you for sharing your journey and your heart. It really does help give others perspective.
I look forward to the day when we will meet around heavens throne singing the Lords praises forevermore!

I send my love,

Angie Rice

Sherri Smith said...

Yesterday, I sat in another celebration service for someone who was young and vibrant just a little over a year ago, the funeral of my step-dad's daughter, Brittany Horton, who passed away last Friday from leukemia. I thought back to that Sunday not so long ago that I was sitting in the celebration service for your precious Hannah. Just as I was letting my mind wander to that place I know I shouldn't go to...of why 2 young girls so young were not healed and neither one of these services would be necessary, the pastor began to talk about life being "fair." He talked about how God has not promised us anyone will be in our life for any specific number of days and that they are a gift that we have for the number of days He allows us to keep them with us. He talked about how we don't "deserve" anything we are given but blessed with these gifts until God has another plan for them. I had never really thought about even my own children as a "gift" from Him in that I know I don't deserve as a sinner saved by grace. I continue to pray for your family and get so much out of your blog.