Jones Family

Jones Family
November 2009

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

1 year ago...Thankful

This day is a bit harder than I thought it would be. So much of it mirrored this same day last year. Getting up and ready for school and work. Breakfast with my sweet boy. Fixing lunch for the day. Dad already at work. Dropping him off at school. Walking in with him. Then walking out after hugging/saying goodbyes. Visiting with another Mom about the hectic pace of life. And just a few short hours later...the ER. The "C" word. Tears, losing breath, wondering how I can stand, not able to hold a pencil or face the blue eyes of my sweet boy. How do I tell him? Then the life flight. Then Arkansas Children's Hospital. ICU. Diagnosis. Fear.

Words fail me today. I'm grieving and didn't see it coming. Holding on to the thankfulness and gratefulness and appreciation of another day, another year is getting me by. I'm overwhelmed with sadness. Had I been avoiding this all along? Brayden knows what today is. We talked about it a lot this weekend in our getaway to Branson to celebrate this journey and his amazing strength, tenacity and resilience. He asked me last night, "Mom, so tomorrow. That's the day last year when I was hitting golf balls with Dad at the driving range, right?" Yep. Everything seemed so normal and right and within hours your world collapses all around you. Words you never thought you'd say like survival, success rate, side effects, risks, chest tube, mass, chemo, Leukemia become a part of your vocabulary in a way you scream and wish they never were. Having to face Brayden through this has been the toughest part. I've tried to protect him from it. I can't. So we walk together, hand in hand. The hugs and pats, and leans and kisses the last few days from Brayden have been so special. I don't want to take them for granted. I love when he unexpectedly rubs my back or gives me a hug without me asking for one or smothering him with one! I'm so thankful for those moments. It's impossible to fathom how after this year we could ever take even one of those for granted.

I'm not sure how the rest of the hours of today will unfold. We want to honor Brayden's courageous fight and celebrate all that he has endured while knowing so many risks and what-if's that loom overhead. I want to share more with each of you and pray I have the strength to do so. I'm working to not be fearful this week. Brayden's blood results on Monday knocked the breath out of me. After a double-check they were confirmed. His counts aren't too low...they're worrying me they are too high. I'm working to not be alarmed until we return to ACH on Monday. It concerns me that the pattern they've had for 4 months next week has never shown this. Before I ask a million more questions and let fear grip me into paralysis, I'm trying to breath and not read too much into the results. For now, we're thankful he was able to receive chemo. He's so happy to be at school this week. For that, I am thankful.

I spent some time this past weekend reading old emails. I've kept them all. Every note and email and card. So much of what each of you and many others said carried us through. It was unnerving to read my words from those first hours and days and be sent into a tailspin of emotion and feel, smell, hear all that happened one year ago today. Realization has dawned that we have yet to truly heal from it all. It feels like we're just now able to start to look at the fresh wound we've tried to avoid. Have we gone through the motions? Does shock really last this long? It scares me to wonder if Brayden is where we are. I pray his sweet spirit, his precious heart full of faith and without the knowledge of what unbelief even looks like has helped him to move forward further than where we are. I pray we aren't holding him back from his emotional healing from the scars from the last year. I feel more ill-equipped than ever to ensure I am providing what he needs. So I hold fast to the faith that I am not his Provider and I can never give Brayden ALL he needs. So we pray and I hear Brayden's thankful words to our Father for his healing and helping him to get through this past year and I cry tears of thankfulness for a child whose generations of faith throughout our families have prepared him for such a time as this. Psalm 5:11

I read this today and it met me right where I am from a daily email called (In)Courage written by Robin.
- we are not raising our children for ourselves but for someone else; whether that's relative to their future mates or solely for service to the King;
- that regardless of circumstantial or perceived danger, their is no safer place than in the center of God's will;
- there is no greater joy than to know our children are walking in truth

Here are my good intentions finally coming to fruition with some pictures to share and see the thankfulness of normalcy at play for Brayden.

December 2009 - Mom's favorite shirt

January 2010

February 2010 - silly Brayden with sprouts of new baby hair starting to peak through

March 2010 - Return of Spring and a chance to play outside

10th Birthday

Finally able to see the AR State Capital in person

March 29th, 2010 - 1st Day Back to school. So happy to finally use his new backpack

Birthday Celebration finally with family

April 2010 - Time with family, Great-Grandparents indeed!!

Easter - Time with family

1-year Celebration weekend in Branson - Noah the Musical

Looking up and seeing this melted my heart...Daddy's Footsteps

4/19 - Impromtu Field trip - while getting Chemo on Monday at the local Oncology clinic, they took Brayden back and let him look at his own blood under the microscope! Check out those curls coming in!

4/20 - Back to good times - soaking up the spring sun & loving outside with Hershey


  1. Lisa, I am truly humbled by the strength of your faith and spirit. We are never without
    the support of our God. Stay strong and I continue to pray for all of you in my daily morning "prayer" walk to the train. Brayden, so glad you have been able to join your friends back in school. Have fun! Deb

  2. ....thinking about you guys tonight.... sending love, prayers & hugs your way. Luv you BEYOND words.....

    Nini Nett