Thursday, June 19, 2014

and just like that... Rigg is 5.

Today is Rigg's 5th birthday.
Something in me just doesn't believe it. And, yet, the calendar says it is June 19th 2014.
Well, that and Rigg himself has been counting down the "dark naps" (nights/sleeps) for what seems like decades... so I guess the reality is, I have a five year old.

Rigg isn't big on cuddling. That's Ryder's gig. But Rigg loves his daddy. He always has a nice big hug for his daddy. 

 This year he saw the ocean for the first time and has been talking about it ever since. He loved standing in the waves and watching the water climb up his legs... but mostly he loved digging in the sand. So many holes... and always room for more, a little boys dream.

I'm trying to impress upon Rigg the importance of being a big brother. He does not yet take the job very seriously, however there are moments when I look over and see him patiently showing Ryder how to work a game or how to build a tower.
It is a prayer of mine that my sons are close friends all throughout life. I pray they learn to appreciate and enjoy each other. Rigg tells me often that Ryder is his best friend... I hope it never changes.

 Rigg truly discovered the "super hero" this year. He is enthralled with all manner of super hero's. He loves the idea of "beating up the bad guys" and saving the day.
He obtained an Iron Man costume and wore it out many a time.
I recall one such occasion when we were out and a fun cashier leaned down to him and said "hello there, Mr. Stark!" He looked up with a puzzled expression and loudly proclaimed "I'm Rigg!"

One thing I love about this child is how expressive he is. He tells a great story with awesome hand motions and amazing facial expressions. I'm still clueless as to where he gets some of them... they must just be his. 

Rigg started preschool this year. I was afraid he would be the child that was excited the first 2-3 days and then tire of it. But he surprised me and looked forward to it almost everyday. He grew and learned so much this year. It happened slowly as well as faster then I could take in.

Rigg has been learning how to help me more. He is a deep thinker and very intuitive. He knows and senses things are changing. He asks questions and we talk about things. He wants to talk about Heaven a lot, about Caden living in Heaven with Jesus. He is smart and has a big, sweet heart. He makes me think before I speak and helps me to have a bigger faith.

and he's adorable...

He loves his daddy... have I mentioned that? He would rather sit and show his daddy all sorts of things then hang with Mama.... I'm cool with it. I love that He loves his dad. Rigg needs your full attention. He wants your eyes looking at him when he speaks. He needs time to feel loved. Andy is better at slowing down and giving Rigg his full attention... I will learn.... Rigg is teaching me. "Mom, I'm talking to you, you need to look at me... no MOM! I'm not done!"
I'm getting there...

Rigg loves to pretend he is a super hero. He does a lot... A LOT... of ninja moves and fighting-type choreography throughout the house. He has developed some wicked skills! 

 Also... Rigg kinda loves to dance...
and I kinda love to watch him!

We are super blessed to have Rigg as a son. He is an amazing little guy. He loves big. He plays hard. He thinks deep and his smile brightens a room!
Happy Birthday Rigg!
We love you to pieces!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

the starting line

June 12th turned out to be a day that changed my life forever.
The Captain had an MRI, and when we saw the doctor, we got the news we knew would come one day. Treatment is no longer working... the tumor is growing.
we sat and talked through options... really there were only 2.
1. continue with treatment we know is not stopping the growth but may slow it down
2. Stop treatment altogether.
The Captain was able to understand all that was said. I asked him what he wanted to do.
He chose option 2. And I support him 100%.
So on a nondescript Thursday afternoon... my life changed forever.
There is no good time frame. The doctor said "months".
So we will try to plan all that we want to do as soon as possible.
We will try to soak up time. Make memories... see people.
People keep asking me how we are doing.
I respond with OK.
Because it's true. We are.
We have our moments... those waves of sadness or desperation that grip your heart and squeeze... but they ease, they pass, and we remember that one day, we will sit and cry and grieve because we miss the Captain. One day will be a day of sorrow because he is gone...
But friends, that day is not today.
So we will chose to live... while we can.
I think one reason I am doing as well as I am is because the news wasn't something that I was completely unprepared for.
I feel like the past year and a half we have been walking... marching toward a starting line. Keeping it always on our horizon. It is there... this starting line, whatever else I am doing... I have thought about the starting line, mentally prepared for the starting line (as much as one can for this kind of thing), made plans regarding the starting line...
And last Thursday... June 12th 2014, we not only reached the starting line,
we broke the tape.
We began the journey to the finish line.
And because I have always had the starting line in my thoughts... I am not so shaken.
The decision to stop treatment just made it real, no longer a "when" it is a "now".
The idea of a man dying at such a young age, leaving a wife and two little boys is heartbreaking... when I think on it, it can overwhelm me.
I get caught up in the sadness of it all. And the how will I's...
I think of my boys and what they will miss, how this will shape their lives.
But when I can look up, away from myself long enough to focus on Christ and the things I know to be true, I am reminded of this:
I do not know if God has allowed this to happen to us, as He allowed Satan to touch Job's life, or if He has ordained this Himself, like the man born blind in John 9:1-3.
And, quite frankly, I'm not sure it matters.
What I do know is this.
I am a born-again child of God.
The Captain has been covered in the blood of the lamb.
We are saved.
And because of this God says,
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
God will use this for good. He is not only working and orchestrating things now for us...but He has already been at work long before today. Preparing us, shaping us, teaching us, and putting people in our lives to guide us, and help us finish well.
God is a gap-filler. What we see as deficits, God sees as opportunities. What we look upon as bad or horrible, God sees His purpose and plan.
I have already, long before the brain tumor, put my trust in a faithful God.
I choose not to take it back just because I do not know what my future holds.
God holds my future... therefore I will not fear.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea.
Psalm 46:1-2