"Our Little Trooper"

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

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A beautiful sign of "Hope" this morning...

Some days are worse than others, and all nights seem worse than the days, at least in my grief experience thus far.  Last night was one of those bad nights for me.  I could not sleep at all.  Around 5 am, I gave up on sleep.  I got up, got dressed, and drove to the cemetery.  Once I got there, I laid on one of Rowan's favorite blankets next to his grave, missing him, talking to him, weeping.  If I am being completely honest, I imagined myself sinking down deep into the dirt, in that very spot...in my own plot, right next to his.  (I don't want to hear how morbid anyone thinks that sounds, or have anyone suggest that I am suicidal.  If you haven't lost a child...then you just cannot fathom the pain and despair that comes over you at times.  It comes in waves, and this was one of those moments.)  

As I lay there on the ground in the dark, and then at dusk, I cried out to God, pleading for him to show me that we will be okay.  I spent quite a bit of time curled up on that blanket, with my eyes closed tightly, praying.  I begged Rowan for a sign. 

Eventually I began to feel warmth, and see a bit of light through my eyelids.  I wiped my tears, and slowly opened my eyes. 

Dawn was breaking in the Hill Country.  The sun was rising up over the hill just beyond the cemetery...peeking through the trees. 

I snapped a few photos as I still lay weak on the ground, but it was so beautiful, I sat up to get a better picture.  Then I was awestruck.  The rays of sunshine (or "son-shine") were simply breathtaking...and they were landing directly on Rowan's grave...

specifically, on the little stone with the word "HOPE" etched into it. 

It was my sign...

from Rowan...

from God.

I cried tears of gratefulness, and then I began to journal...

and as I did, I heard Edwin's voice in my head, singing "Endless Night" at Rowan's memorial service...

"I know that the night must end, and that the sun will rise.  I know that the clouds must clear, and that the sun will rise...the sun will rise...the sun will rise." 

I was reminded that each night does eventually end...

that the sun does eventually rise...

and that I do still have "Hope"...

Thank you Rowan Jameson "Hope" Windham...

Mommy needed to feel your presence this morning, and I did...

I love you and I miss you.
I've had 227 days without you...
but you've had 227 days with Jesus!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Sweet Charlotte...you did it again... "giggles, games, art, life".

I went to visit Rowan's friend Charlotte again today.  I brought an art project for us to do together.  I always bring her art. It's just what we do.

When I arrived, she was excited to see me...and likewise, I hugged her so tight!  (I was an hour late though, and she immediately reminded me of that, and asked if that meant that I would be staying an hour longer than I had planned originally...lol.)

We sat on the couch and chatted for a few minutes and I showed her the art project that I brought.  I just assumed that we would jump right in and do it together, but she hesitated when I asked if she wanted to do it with me.  Then she giggled, and smiled her beautiful smile, and told me, "No, let's play a game first."  I of course said yes, and asked if she knew what she wanted to play.  She ran to the game closet and yelled back to me "LIFE!".  I was taken aback for just a moment.  She and Rowan played Life together the first day they ever met in the hospital play room.  I'm not sure if she even remembers that, but I know her Dad and I do.  I have not played another game of Life since that day.  But by golly, if Charlotte wants to play Life, then Life we shall play.  I helped her find it in the bottom of the closet and we went to the front room to play a game of Life...by ourselves this time.  On several occasions, I had to try to hold back tears...but luckily, she is the funniest, silliest, brightest little girl I know, and it was easy to smile through the tears welling up. 

We had a blast! 
She beat me by over a million dollars,
but the laughs we shared during the game were priceless!

After she beat me handily at the game, she said "Ok, now lets do that art!" So off to the kitchen table we went.  The project I brought today was called the "Empower Poster" kit.

First you decoupage the bright strips of colorful tissue paper that you rip up.

Here she said, with a huge grin, "Orange was Rowan's favorite color, so lets use lots of orange, maybe all the orange."

She patiently, and tediously glued down dozens of tissue paper squares, creating this bright beautiful collage as the base for her poster.  She wanted me to help so we got every corner and empty space filled.  Then she glued on the center piece that simply said "I am"...

She liked the poster just like that, but then I reminded her that we had hundreds of words to look through and cut out if she wanted.  All we had to do was choose words that represented her the best.  That part was the most fun.  She really does have such a sense of humor though, so she kept picking crazy words like "vegan" "a son" "geek" etc.  (She finally told me that she was just stalling so I wouldn't leave too soon:) 

Eventually, she and I picked the following words for her... all of which I agree with 100%.

Charlotte truly is a fun, joyful, dramatic, comedian, but she is also fierce, and loved... and I'd like to add "loved fiercely".  Her finished project was gorgeous.  And she really liked it.

She always tells me she will only give me normal smile pictures if I let her do a crazy one too...so here you go...

Then she did the same with our final selfies of the day...

Then, she continued to stall as we cleaned up our mess.  She would pause and say "so, how was your day?", "oh we should wash our hands, here you go first.", "wait did you put the scissors back?", "oh, we should wash the glue brush", "so what's new?", "we cleaned the bathroom for you, do you need to go?" etc.  She's so, so, funny.  She even ran to block the door and said I couldn't go unless I was coming back tomorrow.

But eventually we settled on "SOON", as soon as possible.  And she gave me a giggly hug.

I love you Charlotte!

I had so much fun with you today!

I will be back SOON...with more art projects!

And I know you will be ready with more giggles, crazy faces, silly selfies, and sweet memories.


~ I hope some day when you are older, you come to realize how special you are to me Charlotte, how important you have been to my healing process...how much I enjoy spending time with you, and how much you fill my soul with goodness and gladness.  You may be 8 years old.  I may be 45.  But you are one of my best friends sweet girl.~

Saturday, July 1, 2017

In Memory of Rowan's 11th Birthday ...

July used to be one of my favorite months.  Not anymore.  Today is an extremely difficult day for me.  July 1st.  This is the day last year, that Rowan and I loaded up the car for our grand adventure to Seattle for his transplant.  We spent 5 days together driving through Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.  We enjoyed the views, blew bubbles in every state we entered, stayed at some amazing places (including Big Foot Bed & Breakfast!), listened to lots of music and movies, laughed, checked a few items off of his bucket list, talked about taking a different route home so we could see even more sites, etc.  He was so excited...so was I.  It was one of the best times of my life.  But, I had no idea it would be our last road trip together... our last grand adventure. 

Now July just brings me to tears.  My birthday is July 15th, I don't want to celebrate it without him.  Rowan's birthday is July 21st, he would be turning 11 this year.  He wanted an Army party for his 11th birthday.  More tears...

As difficult as this month is going to be, as much as I wish I could sleep the entire month of July away, I can't...and I know Rowan wouldn't want me to either.  I may cry all day today, and maybe even every day this month, but I also want to try to find a way to honor his beautiful spirit and memory.  Rowan would want me to do that.  He would want me to "make the good", I know it. 

So, in memory of our sweet boy, Rowan, I plan to donate some special new toys, games and books to Methodist Children's Hospital on his birthday this year.  Rowan would like that.  Included in this post is an Amazon Wish List, titled "In Memory of Rowan's 11th Birthday".  If you feel led to do so, you can choose an item from this list, purchase it from the wish list, in Rowan's memory, and it will be delivered to my friend Lorraine and I.  We will gather the items, I'll purchase some more myself too, and we will deliver them to the hospital the week of his birthday.  It is the best way we could think to still "celebrate", by giving back to others.  I chose items that Rowan loved over the years, and that kept him busy during his many hospitalizations: hippos, art, legos, playdoh, soccer, cooking/play food, joke books, etc.  You also have the option of purchasing Amazon egift cards of various denominations, and we will find out if there are specific things the Child Life Department is in need of at this time. 

If you would like to purchase an Amazon gift in memory of Rowan's 11th birthday, please click HERE.
Or copy/paste this link into your browser: http://a.co/4bNkv62

All gifts will be donated to Methodist Children's Hospital Child Life Department in San Antonio, in memory of Rowan's 11th birthday.


Last year on his 10th birthday, Rowan underwent his 81st surgery, and had his new line, a double lumen central line, placed at Seattle Children's Hospital.  Then, we took the ferry back to Bremerton, met up with the rest of the family and our dear friends, played a game of croquet (Rowan's wish:), and he opened his presents. 

The following morning, he was admitted to begin chemo in preparation for his transplant.  It was a whirlwind birthday.  But he was all smiles...ALL SMILES, as always.

Rowan never left the hospital again... 


Thank you for helping us celebrate his life, keeping his generous spirit and memory alive.

***If you are unable to participate in this gift registry for the hospital, please do not worry.  Other ways you can honor him on July 21st, 2017 are by wearing your Rally for Rowan shirts, blowing bubbles (his favorite), or donating blood or platelets in his memory at your local blood bank.  Please post pictures of yourself doing one of those things on the Rally for Rowan Facebook page that day.  We would love to see the good, happening all over! 

Thank you, God bless.