Reflections on Jerard 4/9/12

Kurt and I went out for dinner the other night, alone, to talk -
and with tears in our eyes and voices we both expressed how we feel we have lost Jerard - like he's died to us, but we still have his body and just a small spark of him left to care for.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,
declares the Lord,...

His laugh is gone.
He had a great laugh.
The recognition of voices he used to register in his eyes only occassionally happens now.

So, how do I describe Jerard to others when they ask?
I don't really know what to say anymore....
he startles like a newborn.
he doesn't swallow.
he seldom makes a sound, except being picked up or bathed. Both seem to be very uncomfortable experiences for him.

And we each grieve in our own way.

Ben talks and tries to tickle him like he used to...and sadness etches on Ben's face as he gets no response.

Kurt snuggles Jerard with his beard. It used to make Jerard smile and laugh. But now? No response.

James puts his face up to Jerard and says, "Jerard, this is Kuya James. I love you, brother." And sadness registers in James' eyes.

James rubs his brother's head. There is a slight response of calm registered on Jerard's face. But oh so subtle.

He is a mix - there is some subtle response at times....
but mostly it seems like no one's home.
We hold him, bathe him, change his diapers, feed him,

love on him, and hold him up to our ABBA in prayer -
praying that HIS will be done and we be faithful stewards in caring not only for Jerard, but for each of our children.

Psalm 39
...2 I was mute and silent; (Jerard is...) I held my peace to no avail,
and my distress grew worse....
...4 "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; ...."And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My (our) hope is in you.
...9 I am mute; I do not open my mouth, for it is you who have done it.

...12 "Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my (our) tears!
for I am a sojourner with you, ...13 Look away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more!"

Joy

Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

James, Jesus, and Easter

This morning, I showed James the Sandi Patti YouTube video of Via Delorosa (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5fSu4a8-rE&feature=share)

After watching...........

James: "I don't like seeing Jesus with all that blood on him. And they put nails in his feet. And the mom looked sad. Why were they so mean to him?"

Good opportunity to share about Jesus' love for each of us that he was willing to suffer and die for us - but the true hope and awesomeness is his risenness....

tough concept for a four year old - for many of us -

do any of us truly grasp how much our ABBA loves us to send JESUS to earth to suffer and die for us so we can be forgiven of our sins and live eternally with Him????

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o'er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o'er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
'Tis an ocean full of blessing, 'tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, 'tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

Jerard Update 4/6/12

Jerard is pretty much a new born child in a four-year old body.
He does not make noise or move. Whatever position we put him in he stays in. Here are some pictures from the past few days.



Jerard likes his head rubbed. James likes to rub his brother's head.
James often goes up to Jerard and says, "I love you, Jerard."

Serve, Sweat, Grow

Mikayla is out in Cagayan de Oro with the high school for outdoor education. They are working with Habitat for Humanity to help build houses for people who lost their houses in flooding. They have seen the "tent town" where the villagers have been living since the flooding. They are also assisting in helping a church rebuild.
Today, I was able to find a few pictures on FaceBook to share with you all about their trip. This is from their worship time this morning at the church they are assisting.