Our family of 6 (dad Adam, mom Sherry, big sister Abby and little brothers Isaac and Brady -- who was born on December 14, 2010) joined the ranks of pediatric cancer fighters when our 4-year old son Logan was diagnosed with a dangerous and highly malignant form of brain cancer in mid-August 2010. Logan's cancer journey began abruptly on Sunday, August 15, when his right eye suddenly turned inward during dinner. Twenty-four hours later, we were checking into Children's Hospital Oakland and finding out that life sometimes takes you places you'd never, ever imagine yourself going.
Friday, February 11, 2022
Ten Years Later
Logan died ten years ago today.
Ten years. A full decade. The irony is that it simultaneously feels like both yesterday and 100 years ago. It's funny how time works like that.
If you'd asked me 10 years ago how I'd be doing today, I have no idea what I would've said. Back then I'd just embarked on my long, painful, and oft-surprising journey with grief. Although I'd had traumatic experiences before, I was a fresh-faced 34. My faith was in a burgeoning, largely untested phase that mostly involved me telling God what I wanted and then asking Him to act on my will. And I knew little about the extreme ups and downs or about the way my own thoughts and worries and fears and anger that resulted from not getting what I so desperately wanted, what I begged for, could --and ultimately would-- rip and tear away at the very fabric of who I am, leaving me a tattered mess of a woman.
But the thing about being a tattered mess is that ripped fabric can be repaired. Holes can be patched, and missing panels can be replaced and sewn together in different places to make a brand new creation. It's hard to call anything that arises from the loss of a beloved child "good", but now, with the benefit of the clarity that the passage of ten years can bring, I can see the good.
I can see that my suffering has made me more compassionate. It's made me a devoted, dedicated friend who loves not just when it's convenient or easy or what my human flesh and heart and mind are inclined to do, but when it's needed. It's made me long for deep connection and for reconciliation of broken relationships, since I'm convinced that we were created to love each other and to walk through this life together. It's made me more forgiving since I understand how it feels to hurt deeply and how that hurt will sometimes rub off on those who are closest to you, whether or not you want it to happen.
It's also made me dig in to the Word to understand how we're meant to live. And it's made me unafraid to talk about Jesus. It is, after all, quite easy to share my faith when I'm given a lead-in like "I don't know how you can keep living. How did you keep living with that grief?" My answer; the answer? Jesus. It always comes back to Jesus.
I still don't understand why Logan isn't here. I don't understand why he didn't get to stay with us when so many other parents (and certainly almost everyone I know) are given that gift. I don't understand why he's not here to turn 16 this coming July and I don't understand why he's not a white-knuckled teenage driver-to-be scaring me to death during behind-the-wheel practice sessions. I don't understand why he won't be there cheering like a lunatic when Abby graduates from high school in less than four months or sobbing when she heads off to college this fall. None of it makes sense. None of it is fair, and some days, my human heart cries out against the grievous injustice. I get angry and cry and punch my pillow as hard as I can and sulk in silent protest. But ultimately, I believe that God has a plan for all of us, and I believe that the plan is good, even if pieces of it break my heart and cause love to leak out.
I believe that Redemption is real, and that Logan has already seen what glory --what resplendent perfection-- looks like. And for that truth, 44-year old me is grateful, even on the hardest of days. Even when it's been a full decade since I've seen my Sunshine's sweet face.