Telling Our Children

It's hard and emotional to tell those you love that you have cancer. It is especially hard when it is your sweet, young children. We always want to protect our children from the harshness of life, but sometimes that harshness finds us and we have to find a way to talk to them about things we don't want to talk about.

Lucas and Addy knew that I was sick and that I was going to the hospital to see doctors who were going to help me. When we finally had the diagnosis, we knew the kids needed to know, but what do you say and how? Being honest with our children has always been important to us and we were advised that, in this situation, we needed to be completely honest and rely on our faith to help our children understand and find comfort.

We started by telling them how much we love them and that we needed to tell them why I am sick and what that means for our family. So you just have to find the strength to say the words, "I have cancer," and we explained what that meant. They both were relieved to know that it's not their fault and they did nothing to cause this and that it isn't contagious. We explained to them my treatment plan and how that would affect me and our family. We assured them that I was going to do everything I can to try and get well, but that sometimes when you get cancer you don't always get well. Those were the most difficult words I have ever had to say to anyone. Lucas knew what that meant, but didn't say anything at the time and Addy hugged me and then, looking at her, feet said, "Mama, are these my socks or yours?" We all laughed and I was thankful for Addy's sweet and funny personality. We talked about how, as a family, we need to be praying for God to heal me because the doctors do what they can to help me, but God is the one who heals.

Later that evening, Lucas came to me with questions and, as we talked, he encouraged me! He talked to me about Bethany Hamilton and how I could be like her because she should of died, but that God did a miracle. He then said that already God has been doing miracles for me! I was amazed at how calm he was as he spoke about the hope that he had. He then began to talk about Heaven and that was when I realized how much he understood from our conversation earlier. I hugged him for a long time and I cried with him and I told him I didn't want to leave him yet, but if I did go to Heaven I wouldn't be sick anymore and I wouldn't be sad. We talked about how awesome it would be to see Jesus and our loved ones and we talked about how I would get to meet our first baby. Lucas said that he would miss me, but that he knows that he would see me again someday! I shared with him some of the verses that had been encouraging me and he especially liked: "Commit everything you do to The Lord. Trust Him and He will help you. Be still in the presence of The Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act". -Psalm 37:5,7

Addy didn't say much about our conversation for a couple of weeks, but one night as I tucked her in she started to talk about me not being here and about me being in Heaven. She hugged me and we cried together and then she said, "Mommy, you know God made you and even before He made you He knew you and He knew every day." I said, "that's right, Addy, when did you learn that?" She said, " at church in Ms. Joy and Ms. Kathy's class" and then I remembered the three basic truths for her class: "God Made Me! God Loves Me! Jesus Wants to be my friend forever"!

I'm so thankful that even though my children are young, they know God and know His truth. I know that many of you have been praying for our children and, because of that, I know God has been giving them peace and comfort and that He is protecting them during this difficult time.

Kierstyn is our happy baby girl. She brings us smiles when there are tears. She comforts us often as she is untouched by the heartache we all feel at times and she is growing and learning more everyday. Her favorite words are "Hey" and "Dada". She is an encouragement to us because she is a reminder to our family that God hears our prayers and answers us in His time. Lucas and Addy prayed for so long for a little sister and she is a delight to us all!

Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children."
-Matthew 19:14