24 March 2010

Breck's Thoughts: Spring, Despair and Hope

Our Texas neighbors are starting to pour out of their houses like earthworms after a rainy day.  The bright sun has started thawing that which is around me.  And I'm once again reminded that song birds do exist.  It's obvious that Spring is here.

It's hard to believe that only a short time ago that we were preparing for winter.  Crisp air.  Falling leaves.  Long sleeves.

But these weren't the only changes happening six months ago.  The healthy baby I expected...turned out not to be so healthy.  Expectations of what it means to provide a lifetime of care for our new little one were forcefully being changed upon us.  And our dreams of having more biological children (my dreams of having a daughter) were being crushed.

Nearly a half year ago, as the long warm days were being eclipsed by cool dark nights, excitement was being thrusted out by disappointment.  So much so that we wondered if the season that we were experiencing was, in fact, not a season at all - but a completely new climate we would have to endure from here on out. 

Yet, here we are months later...beginning to feel changes happening again.  But these are good changes as hope is beginning to bloom once more.  Reminders of God's goodness are becoming more and more abundant.  Finally, joy is overshadowing despair.

No longer a newborn, Bennett is blossoming into a sweet baby who enjoys his new found trick of blowing raspberries.  With the cold/flu season over, we are feeling more free from the terrible anxiety that any sniffle or cough will send us to the hospital.  Bennett, each day becoming more round and pudgy, is no longer satisfied to simply lie on the floor - he wants to sit up, move and explore his world, which we love! 

We are beginning to discover parts of our "old" life again - while, at the same time, getting used to the new one.  But we have not emerged the same.  Our appreciation for our extended community has burgeoned.  Our dependence on God has become more desperate but our trust in him more firm.  Our awareness of the fragility of life is more keen.

Dare I say I'm thankful for a season such as the one from which we emerge?  I definitely do not long to go back for a visit!

Yet, I realize that cannot appreciate the songbird unless I hear it no longer...I cannot appreciate the sun's warmth unless I experience its absence. How much more valuable do I see a child than when I didn't expect him to survive?  Or how much more grateful am I for breath than when I know child may eventually struggle for something so simple?

In light of Easter, I much more do I appreciate Easter Sunday than when it is preceded by Good Friday?

Right after Bennett's diagnosis, many people, in an effort to be comforting, made statements such as "doctors are so close to a cure", "many with CF live a long life" and "we don't know what the future holds."  These statements were always made in love and for that I am thankful.

But sometimes, I would just cringe to hear these things.  At the time, I didn't know why they weren't comforting.

Yes, doctors are close to a cure.  But there is no cure now. 
Yes, many with CF live a long life.  But some do not.
Yes, we don't know what the future holds.  But we do know what is happening now in the present.

I see now that the reason they weren't comforting at the time was because these statements did not acknowledge the pain.  While they were said in love, they were an effort to celebrate hope in the absence of despair.
 But I believe that...
it is only through Winter that I can fully appreciate Spring.
It is only through the cross that I can understand Easter.
It is only through loss that I can appreciate hope.

So, do I want to return to the pain and anxiety we felt only a few months ago - of nearly losing our son, multiple surgeries and finding out he has a life-shortening condition?  No.  But could I consider it a gift?

Yes.  Because it is only through what we have experienced during the last few months that I can appreciate where we are today.

I am so happy Spring is here!


  1. Beautifully written...I can so relate!

  2. you remain such a beautiful writer Breck. Just thinking about your family and wishing you love.

  3. Thank you for writing this. I can relate, too. I am so happy for Spring this year!


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