Tomorrow Carter will begin 6th grade, something his big brother never got to do. It is so unnatural and seems so wrong to watch Carter pass Xander, in size, in strength, and now in school. I am in awe of the young man Carter is becoming, I can't help but wish that Xander were here to see it. I know Xander would be proud of Carter. It takes me back to the moment last summer when we told Xander that his disease was progressing rapidly and that we just didn't have any treatment options that were promising. Xander did not want us to tell Carter. Xander did not want Carter to worry. Xander loved his little brother so much. I really can't believe I am going to watch Carter grow up without Xander.
On another note, tomorrow is also a big day for McClain. She will start all day pre-k. (pause)
I don't even know where to begin. I can't explain the thoughts and feelings raging through me at this moment. We are quickly approaching the one year mark of Xander's life ending on this earth and the beginning of his eternity with Jesus. I am replaying each day leading up to Aug. 22, 2013 over and over again in my head. Conversations with Xander, moments holding him and caring for him, his smell , his face, his smile, all of it. It seems like a lifetime ago, yet still so raw.
Of course McClain going to pre-k pales in comparison to Xander's death, but once again my role is about to change. I have cared for a child all day everyday for the last 12 1/2 years. Tomorrow after I leave McClain at school I will be on my own! Oh dear Jesus, I hope I can physically walk out of the building tomorrow morning.
Let's not forget Charli Joy.......she proudly announced this evening that she does not need (or want) me to walk her to her classroom in the morning. The big 3rd grader can handle it all on her own. Wow, hit a momma while she is down :)
I'm not sure why I am sharing all of this, I don't want you to feel sorry for me. I simply want to share that in the midst of all of the pain and heartache, life is happening. Life has not stopped. At times I wish that the world would just slow down and let me stay right here, within the walls of the first year without Xander. It won't and it never will. We are growing, spiritually and physically. McClain is so tall and Carter seems huge all of the sudden. It is just going to keep on, and as it does, our calling is to continue to glorify the Lord, even if it hurts. Something that really penetrated my heart yesterday.......
Romans 5:2b-5a "and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance. perseverance, character and character, hope and hope does not disappoint us."
I kept rereading that last part. "hope does not disappoint us" ! The foot notes in my bible said this
" hope is not equal to the believers optimism, it is the blessed assurance of our future destiny, and is based on God's love, which is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit and objectively demonstrated to us in the death of Christ"
Ricki Lea's notes: Hope is not just wishful thinking, hope, my hope is based on something more than that. it is based on God's love, the cross and resurrection. Now, I am not rejoicing over Xander's death, but the "suffering" and heartache I am going through has changed me, and it has created a deeper hope in me than I have ever had and God's word says it (hope) will not disappoint me, and I believe in God's word. To quote an old hymn; strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Great is thy faithfulness.
We have decided to host the first annual Xtraordinary Lemonade Stand on August 23, 2014. This event will be a time to gather with our friends and family to remember and celebrate the life of an amazing 11 year old boy. We will sell lemonade, hot dogs, and baked goods. All proceeds will benefit pediatric cancer patient families. So many times throughout our 9 year journey we were blessed in ways that were unexpected. Whether it was gas cards, cash for vehicle repairs, airline tickets, school supplies, utility bills being paid or Christmas gifts. People gave to us generously and allowed us to focus on Xander's treatment. My kids want to give back to others who are enduring the same things we did.
Lexington's Xtraordinary Lemonade Stand will be held in the city park of Lexington, OK
Saturday August 23, 2014 from 10-4pm
If you are not local and would like to purchase "virtual" lemonade please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you an invoice via paypal.