The Almost Empty Nester: A Letter From A Mama's Heart

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Letter From A Mama's Heart

One year ago this week my nephew, Brady, had brain surgery. At sixteen years old, the doctors found a cavernous malformation that needed to be removed. Over the course of a month or so, he was in in the hospital, in pain, unable to see most of the time, struggling with dizziness, and with an unsure future.




My sister never left his side. Not once. She didn't take breaks longer than a walk around the hospital to get outside for a few minutes, and refused to go across the street to the hotel for a full night's sleep. She slept in a pull out couch, of sorts, beside Brady's bed. Many nights she barely got rest because he was up in the night sick or the sounds that come from a hospital corridor kept her awake.



She recently posted a letter to her sons (she has four total - Brady is #3) on Facebook, recounting that experience and giving them advice for their futures. I asked if I could post it here and she gave me permission. It is a letter from a Mama's heart and one of the most beautiful things I've ever read.

*Brady is recovered, back in sports and school, and is doing fantastic. :)


"A year ago today..." Since January 15th of this year, we have been saying this quite a bit at our house. Remembering everything from the ambulance ride that started a journey that Brady had no idea he would be on, to celebrating a whole day of not throwing up, to an aborted surgery, to a ten hour day in the OR and many days, weeks and months of Brady working to regain strength and function.
Thanks to social media, these memories are popping up almost everyday now with pictures and lengthy descriptions. I am moved to tears often as I click on all the beautiful comments and encouragement, some that I am seeing for the first time! It has prompted me to write a brief list to Brady and his brothers as we celebrate and reflect on the journey and miracle of the past year. 
1. Understand and know the love of your Heavenly Father and Savior that gave everything for us! This truly gives unexplainable strength and peace to face the challenges of this life. This was on display with you Brady everyday at the hospital.
2. Seek out, cultivate and cherish a community of Christ followers. At a time we were so depleted, I have never felt so full and so rich. Meals, visits, PRAYERS, hundreds of posts with reminders of God's promises, encouraging scripture and love. The only way to explain this peace over you Brady is the huge number of prayers being lifted up on your behalf.
3. Family is a treasure. Families have history, memories, loyalty and an unconditional love and bond. There is also great value in extended family. We were so blessed to experience this with family from near and far constantly by Brady's side.
4. Marry someone that stands on the same foundation because when life starts shaking, you want to be standing on the same solid ground! You will need a life partner that is directed by His Holy Spirit. As dad lovingly took the computer away from me one night in the hospital as I sobbed reading that this bleed may result in walking with a cane forever and double vision that may never go away, dad held me and told me that Brady and our family could face whatever was in front of us. He wasn't making that up, he was speaking truth knowing that we had the Lord regardless of what was ahead. This is also the man that I sat with in an office with the doctors as they explained every step of surgery and all the things that could happen. There is no one else I would rather be with than your dad.
5. Have insurance - you never know what life holds for you around the corner!
6. Invest in and care for people. It is worth the sacrifice of time and money. We have been the recipients of this and I cry now thinking about all that people did for us. I think of all the people giving up a whole day to sit in a hospital waiting room and many did that twice! The trips back and forth to Denver to see Brady, the countless gift cards and meals. All of it meant so much!
7. You won't understand the love your parents have for you until you are a parent but just be reminded that no one else on earth loves you more and even as you grow up and launch out of our home, we will always be your biggest fans, we are for you, always here for you and think you are amazing.
Maybe all this is not appropriate for Facebook and in fact I am going to have to show this to Brady and Dylan because they don't have Facebook, but we shared so much with all of you last year, it made sense to now share these thoughts a year later. Filled with gratitude to the Lord and all of you!

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