"Our Little Trooper"

"Our Little Trooper"
"Let me live, that I may praise you!" Psalm 119:175

Friday, January 20, 2017

"I'm not as strong as you think..."

All the comments on my recent blog posts abut Rowan's passing and memorial service have been people lifting me up as "so strong", "amazing", "an inspiration", etc.  Today that finally got to me, and I felt led to share the actual reality...I'm not that strong.  I am not that amazing.  I am actually, not doing so great.  I am hurting so badly.  I am crying so much.  I am weak.  Like Rowan, I am not invincible.  I am human. 

Most days, I don't know how to even get out of bed, or I go right back to bed after I take Ian to school.  I can't sleep at night, because when I close my eyes, I have flashbacks of everything I watched Rowan go through towards the end...the heart attack, compressions, ECMO, dialysis, suctioning blood from his lungs, his hands and feet turning blue, and then black...  If I do fall asleep, I wake up in a panic, from nightmares of me trying to save him, but I can't. 

I am recounting everything about the service in as much detail as I can, and doing those posts, for you all.  For those that couldn't be there.  For those that were there, but want to be reminded.  And for myself, so I never forget that day.  It was indeed a beautiful service, in every way.  The posts I have written are truly how I feel about every detail we planned out.  But that doesn't make me "strong" or "an inspiration".  It just makes me a mother.

Every where I look in this house I see Rowan's things.  I can't move them.  I don't want to.  I don't want to put him away in a closet or a box.  I need his things around me.  I need to touch them, smell them, see them.  But it also makes me cry...often.  Every corner holds a memory. 

His hats still hang by the front door...

His coat and scarf still hangs on the banister...

There are baseball caps of his all over the game room...

Iron Man toys, and unopened gift, fill his bedroom...

There are art supplies in every closet...

And his suitcases from Seattle, remain unpacked...

It's overwhelming in some ways, necessary in other ways.  It's too soon to go through it all.  Every toy I see, brings a tear now... reminding me that he will never play with them again, but also smiles, remembering times we did enjoy them.  Each hat, brings up a snapshot in my mind, of a happier time in our lives.  The art supplies, break my heart thinking of the paintings he still wanted to do, while making me smile, reminding me of all the amazing artwork he created over the years. I cannot and will not get rid of these items yet, or even move them.  I need to feel them near me.  I need to feel Rowan near me.

Moving forward without Rowan in our home, in our days, or next to me at night, is soul crushingly painful.  Every time I wake up...the reality hits me again within seconds.  You have about  half-second dreamy state of bliss upon waking where you think, "maybe it was all a dream"...then you feel the pain all over again. 

Grief is hard.  Grief is also individual.  Not everyone on our family grieves the same way, actually none of us do.  We all love each other, and offer support to each other, but we grieve separately. 

Rowan's whole life stood for "Hope".  He had the strength and faith of a hundred men put together.  I try to channel that every single moment of every single day.  I ask myself, "What would Rowan do?", or remind myself, "This is not what Rowan would want for me". 

I am trying.  I am praying.  I am hopefully, "getting stronger...every day".  But I just needed to come clean.  I needed you all to know, that while there is strength in my writing, in my blog posts...I am not where I want to be.  I am not that strong.  I still need lots and lots of prayer.  I am trying to be transparent here.  I do not want the world to think that I am breezing through this unbelievably painful loss...not by a long shot.  It wouldn't be fair for me to portray it that way.  This is not easy.  It is the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life.

Do I believe that I will get better...yes.  Do I feel that I still have a lot to give this world...I think so.  Do I know "that the sun while rise"... yes, it has every day, and it looks brighter and a more beautiful shade of orange each day too.  Do I know that Rowan is going to be helping me along this journey...yes, he already is.  Do I trust God...yes.

Rowan, please keep showing me signs.  Let your words from the past keep reminding me that I can get through this.  And until I finally get to see you again in heaven...be as near me as you possibly can.

I love you and I miss you Rowan.

I've had 37 days without you...
but you've had 37 days with Jesus...


  1. I've been following your journey since Chrissie. I'm praying for you. Nothing else I can say. How do you comfort the loss of an angel? I will say that your son and you inspired me ago much thought the years. Anytime I felt lost I just remembered this little ginger boy that had a smile that made your heart beat. Any time I felt lost, he inspired me to remember my faith. Thank you for gifting him to everyone he's touched. I'm praying for all of you. It's hard to lose the sunshine. But he will help you find it.

  2. Grief is so unexplainable....it's just pain in its realest, truest form. My mom passed away in August. We were very close and I was with her until the very end. After she was gone and the celebration of life was over, I felt like I couldn't breathe. But on the outside, I just kept going...and cried alone...sometimes with my husband. I'm praying for you, though I don't know you. I've been following Rowan for the past year or so. Reading, crying and praying from a distance. I won't stop.

  3. My heart breaks for you. I will continue to pray, and thou there is no magic words for me to share that will make you feel better, I will leave you with the last 7 words, you shared.............but you've had 37 days with Jesus!

  4. Please, remember Psalm 46. Be still and know that I am God. I know you mentioned that was Rowan's favorite scripture.
    Take as much time as you need keeping his things close to you. You are loved ❤️

  5. I am so sorry everyday I read your posts or someone else's post about Rowan, I pray for you and can not even imagine the tremendous pain of a mother losing a child. There are no words to take the grief away. I do pray for you, beautiful mother of Rowan. I am so sorry for your pain and loss. Big hug to you.

  6. Loss of a child is the hardest thing we can ever endure Carrie, not only did you lose Rowan you lost your mother and had no time to grieve her loss as you were so busy focusing on Rowan the little Angel we've all grown to Love, Then Rowan gained his wings and flew free of all his pain and suffering, but not without a fight, I think Rowan was sent here to teach us all how strong we can be if a child could endure what he did and still have FAITH, HOPE and so much LOVE for his life as he FOUGHT thru so many battles, Rowans life was over way too soon but, he's made a huge mark on this world Be PROUD of him and realize you are HUMAN you have every right to be sad, lost and grieving . Just remember one day at a time and it will get easier find some peace knowing Rowan is Free from Pain and suffering hes healed and whole again in HEAVEN with Jesus Rowan is safe and at Peace watching over you all I Pray that you find peace and realize its ok we are all here for you and know you are stronger than you think you did all that could be done for Rowan Keep your Faith and Hope but it will get easier I have been thru loss of a 23 day old Angel I get thru knowing I will see her again one day. Were here rooting for you all BIG HUGS mama !!

  7. Bless you and I'm praying that each day will bring you healing. One second, one minute, one day at a time.

  8. I will continue to pray in the gap for you Carrie! You are stronger than you realize girl. You had the strength to write this blog! I say all the time that I am nothing w/o Jesus and I believe that very strongly! I know your faith is strong and I know you are human and God knows both so him and your mommmy and Rowan will get you through! Love u a bunch. I hope you know that and your family and friends will get you through. Lean on God's strength. He is the answer! Rowan said to love your life and he provided the example and I believe his example will lead you through!

  9. Grief isnt easy, losing someone close to you isnt easy, I dont know what its like to lose a child, but I lost my father at the young age of 7, and I know people might think thats too young to remember but i do. I have alot of memories of him still and I also remember him in the hospital. I remember him being sick just from sitting up, I remember him staring intensely up infront of him and ducking whenever I walked by because I didnt want to interupt whatever he was looking at, which was a little boy he said, I remember the brain tumor taking over him, making him not be able to talk well, and all the weight he lost. I remember my sister and I were supposed to leave the hospital but didnt because we wanted to stay with him, and he got upset asking us why didnt we go, now that im older I realizet he was probably holding in until we left because he didnt want to pass while we were there. And I was right, the day he did pass we werent there, and my momhad left the room for just a moment to come back and find him gone. Although they talked about that moment, read scriptures and she told him it was okay. The feeling of being helpless that i couldnt help my daddy, yes all at the age of 7. I still have the dreams too of going back in time before he was sick and I being the only one who knows he is sick and trying desperately to warn everyone and trying to save him before it gets too bad, but no one can hear me. I wish and wait everynight for him to visit me in my dreams, and sometimes he does and I hug him and tell him I love him. Sometimes its brief enough just to say Hi and then I wake up. Grief is hard, 20 years later I still grieve him, still miss him and think how it isnt fair. But god has a plan for each and every one of us and I know I will see him again someday, although it doesnt make it any easier. You are not alone, and I do admire you for still being able to share his story and the events for us who didnt get to make it to the services. I admire you for holding on during such hard times when you just wish youre sad and just wish could be with Rowan. Just remember you carrying on IS you being strong. You are not weak, you are grieving and that is perfectly okay. We are all hear for you and cant thank you enough for all that you and Rowan have done for us ❤

    1. Wow! Powerful! Thank you, great words. Sorry for your loss also.

  10. Grief is sadness anger crying happiness fits of rage because it happened but grief is also love. Love from family and friends the community your faith love from seeing touching smelling holding items of your loved one. Love is also loving yourself through this time don't forget to love yourself. Take your time grieving and embrace it. Embracing it will help as odd as it sounds it does help. Know that your family is loved around the world and hold up Rowan's message big Hope.

  11. Nicole Escobedo-RichieJanuary 21, 2017 at 7:48 AM

    Carrie, I understand so much of what you shared in this post, and am continuing to pray that God would help you through your days, in every moment. I once shared a poem written by Elisabeth Elliot, with a friend who had lost her husband unexpectantly. The poem is called "Do the Next Thing", and for me, it has served as a reminder in the midst of trials, and especially when it is hard to even function at times, to think about what God would have us do. May God be your ever present help in times of need.

    Do it immediately;

    Do it with prayer;

    Do it reliantly,

    casting all care;

    Do it with reverence,

    Tracing His Hand,

    Who placed it before thee with

    Earnest command.

    Stayed on Omnipotence,

    Safe 'neath His wing,

    Leave all resultings,


  12. Carrie, I personally knew and still believe that you are strong, amazing as well as an inspiration, but I also know that you are human. As a mother of 7 I truly just know. I may not know your pain, but I do however, Undstand it completely. A mother with your devotion, caliber of love and compassion I wouldn't have expected anything less . I pray for you all each night and think of you often. Love you all.

  13. Oh, dear, sweet, Momma...You grieve much because you love much. Thank you for being so transparent and know that we are grieving with you and flooding the heavens with prayers for you and your family. I can not fathom the searing loss of losing your Rowan. I have no words that can speak to your experience. I can tell you that you are loved and cared for,so continue pressing on and loving much. Psalm 116:15 says " Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints". May you find comfort in that....
    Thank you for sharing your heart Carrie. I see God and love and hope and even strength...My prayers and love are with you.

  14. Prayers of comfort for you and your family.

  15. This is the first blog I have read since Rowan's passing. I have not had the strength to read about him. I only read this because I related to your title "I'm not as strong..", I wanted to see what you meant and wanted to make sure you are okay.
    We are all very weak, which makes us turn to God for strength. I am sure this is part of his plan. I know you miss him more than words can ever describe, you are not alone in this. I still cry at every thought of Rowan and had some very challenging moments in prayer with God. I know this pain will help conform us to be more like Jesus, as long as we turn to him. He wants you to need him and he wants to heal you when it is time. Hang on! Prayers and love for you daily!

  16. Thank you Carrie for sharing this with us. I know you needed it and I believe we needed it also. It helps us to know how much you need to be lifted up to Father God. You suffered when he was suffering and you're still suffering in a different way when he's not. Father God, please comfort and strengthen Carrie and her family. Hug them so tightly that they can barely breathe. In Jesus name. Amen.

  17. Prayers for you Always. I hope to meet you and go visit Rowan when I visit Joel & Wendy Ormand. I lost my Sister in 2012 who gave me Life my donating me her Kidney. Even tho I have a part of her with me I am still trying to get by everyday with out her. She was not only my Hero she was my best friend and baby sister. I can't imagine your Pain losing your baby boy but will pray everyday for you and your family. Rowan will help you get through each day. Everyone can see that yall are awesome parents. Zoe & Ian know this and are wonderful Loving Children that yall have raised. Bless your Family with God's Strength,Hope, & Comfort. Love & Prayers from Alaska ❤��✝

  18. My dearest Carrie, you are going through the same emotions that anyone whose suffered a loss has gone through. As I put it, after the devasting loss of my nephew, it was the year of firsts. The first birthday they're not here. The first holiday they're not here, the "first" as it was when they were born. The grief will never end, but it will get better. And as each "first" comes to pass that tightness in your chest gets tighter. That kick in the pit of your stomach will seem more gut wrenching, and the bitter sting of tear's will burn more profoundly in your soul. But my dear, there will be peace and comfort and strength as each moment comes and goes. Though the grief will never completely leave you, there will come a time when joy and laughter will start to replace the anguish and tears. Rowan through it all will be there for you and your family. It is befitting that the color orange was Rowan's favorite, for it is the color of the dawn; that fiery morning sun that rises everyday letting us know there is hope for a new beginning. May God Bless you and your family.