Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Little Superhero

Sometimes I get so caught up in my emotions revolving around losing Evan, that I sometimes forget to focus on who he really was. Evan was such a loving, sensitive child who had a passion for life. He graciously welcomed the opportunity for new challenges. Whatever it was, riding his dirt bike or flying around in a superhero costume, the thrill on his face was priceless. Spiderman was certainly his main passion. He used to put on his costume and tell me "Don't worry mom, I will get the bad guys for you!" What I wouldn't give to hear those words again. Sometimes I just sit and hold his Spiderman costume just to be close to him.

Evan was also the best big brother any child could ask for. From the moment we had Noah, he began teaching him the values of being a boy. I used to just sit and watch the both of them fly around in their little capes pretending to save the world. Evan took his role as "big brother" very seriously. He thought that it was his job to teach him everything, including how to shave!

This was just one little moment in which I adored watching them bond into the world of dirt, bugs, and superhero's. Evan absolutely LOVED kindergarten. He was blessed with such a wonderful teacher who will always have a special place in my heart! He had such a great year full of friends and new experiences!

In the past months I have been so consumed with grief, that I forget to focus on Evan and the virtues of his ever-blossoming personality. He was a very easy going child and usually "went with the flow" of life, whatever that would be. We could do almost anything with him and he was very grateful!

As each day passes I miss him more and more. I know the pain will never go away and we will always carry that void in our hearts. We have all been so cheated not to have him here on earth. For now, I am really trying hard to focus on all the wonderful memories that we have of Evan.

"It is better to have loved, than to have never loved at all!"

Monday, April 20, 2009

Life To Treasure...

It has been almost 11 months since Evan became and angel. While I feel like we are beginning to slowly move forward, many of my days are still filled with sorrow and tears. My nights are filled with fear as I lay awake and watch Noah sleep. Nathan and I have certainly had our share of shaking each other, Noah, or even the dogs! How sad is that? Nate and I just need the security of knowing that everyone in our household is alive and well. Typically, you get your children ready for bed at night with baths and stories. You then you tuck them nicely into bed, maybe say a prayer or two, and they are off to dreamland. Then you get that time to relax. For us, this time at night begins the hours of fear, at least for me. Nate is a pretty sound sleeper. I never fall into a deep sleep and usually check on Noah 20 times in a night. I panic if his breathing is slow or if he is laying in an awkward position. Sometimes I just lay there and listen to him breathe. When morning comes, it is a huge relief when Noah wakes up. I get another day with him!

We ALL need to be living every day like it is our last! This was the topic of our church sermon this week. Since Evan died, we truly DO live each and every day to the fullest. There is no doing the dishes first, and then playing with Noah. There is no waiting to do something fun with him. We do it then, within reason. We also don't say "when" Noah grows up, we say "if"....Many would argue that this is pessimistic, but in our world, that is another reality. Maybe someday I will be able to say "when" and have the security in knowing that he will grow up. Nate and I could have never imagined that when we put Evan down to sleep that night we would never again hold him, or get to play ball with him, or hear his little voice say "I love you too". His little life was gone and no time to "re-do" anything. We are just very grateful that we were able to have 6 WONDERFUL years with Evan! That little boy taught me more about life than I could have ever taught him.

We are all so guilty of living each day packed with unnecessary priorities and failing to truly treasure the important values in life. While we have always put our children first, we were caught up in all the "have to do's", project after project, night after night. We quickly learned how life can change in an instant. We try to live each and every day like it is our last and continue to count the many blessings that God gives us!

"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a midst that appears for a little while and then, vanishes." James 4:14

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter At Grandma Vicki's

Easter 2008

Easter 2007

As for today, another holiday without Evan and another day filled with tears and pain...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Evan's Story

I have had several people ask me to write something up so they can pass the information along. Here is what I have already posted on many websites. Feel free to copy and paste it or give the link. There is also a picture of Evan to use. The more people who know about this, the better! Thanks...

Evan's Story (Cough Medicine & Sudden Death)

"I just wanted to share our story about our 6-year old son, Evan. On May 31, 2008 our precious little boy passed away. I went into his room to wake him, and he was already with the angels. There was nothing anyone could do. Our lives were shattered!

The evening before he passed, Evan had a low grade fever (99.4) and a "croup-like cough". Nothing to really be concerned about. I gave him cough medicine and Motrin. After all, children get these little bugs all the time.

The autopsy report showed he had a viral infection in his lungs, but they were unsure as to the specific cause of death. Evan has been classified as SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood). My husband and I decided to have further genetic testing done on Evan. There has to be a reason why my 6-year old just died in his bed.

In the first week of January, we got a call from Indiana University, which conducted some of the testing. The doctor stated to us that one of Evan's liver enzymes, "2D6", was found to be inactive or essentially dead, non-functioning. When the enzymes in the liver do not work properly, the liver is not capable of breaking down certain medications. Therefore, the cough medicine containing "dextromethorphan" contributed to his death. This chemical is a cough suppressant. Read the back of the labels and you will find this in most all cough medicines. The doctors told us that 7-10% of all children have these missing or inactive enzymes. In medical terms, this is referred to as Cytochrome P450/2D6.

How could something that suppose to help your child take his life??? There is much debate over the use of cough and cold medicine for children. What they don't tell you is the risk of sudden death, Evan now being one of them. My mission now is to save the lives of children everywhere. If someone had informed me of this, I would have NEVER given this medicine to Evan. Now, I get to spend the rest of my life without my precious little boy...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tragedy & Pain

As I have stated before, losing a child is something that a parent should never experience. For 10 months we have struggled each day, slowly learning how to live again without Evan. Last Saturday, I sat and cried with a mother who had just lost her 7-year old daughter. Being 10 months into our journey, I myself had few words for her. I personally know that there is NOTHING that would be comforting to a grieving parent. I looked into her eyes only to see the intense fear and pain left from such a devastating loss. This is the same pain that Nate and I have carried since we lost Evan. It breaks my heart to know that someone I know has to go through this awful journey. Nate and I wanted so badly just to tell both of them that everything will be alright, but the reality is that it will never be the same. Just like us, they will have to take baby steps and trust that God will lead the way.

Going through the wake and funeral was like Evan's all over again. She even had the same little white casket with gold angels on the ends. Nate and I did a pretty good job of holding it together as much as we possibly could. It was really God giving us strength! All through our ordeal, we have been enormously blessed with loving and supportive people. Now it is our turn to help someone else. All I can do is pray for God to guide them through the next difficult days, months, and, years without their daughter.

At the end of the funeral they played the song "Praise You In This Storm", by Casting Crowns. Since Evan died, I have kept this song in my heart because it reminds me to continue to be faithful to God, even in our darkest hours. I truly admire the parents for playing that song at their daughter's funeral. While tragedy and pain are my reality, I still count the many blessings in our life each and every day.
"While we try and teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."