The passed two nights I’ve been waking nearly every hour throughout the night. I look at the clock dreadfully thinking my alarm is about to sound, only to see with relief that I have several hours left of the night. I pass right back out. And then an hour later, I’m doing it again. By morning, I’m exhausted from not having any deep sleep. Though I’m dreaming – I remember a few vivid dreams (not good ones) so maybe my weird sleep pattern is deeper than I think. It still makes for a long and unrestful night.
It’s also dark longer in the mornings. I’ve never felt myself longing for Daylight Savings to end until now. Waking up before there is even a hint of light through the windows has been so difficult! It feels way too early, so I hit the snooze and then end up rushing around to get Skyler and I out the door in time for work.
My lack of sleep consistency has been taking a toll on my mind at work lately, but moreso has the heartbreaking story of Pierce Phillips, a two-year-old little boy who is quickly losing his battle with cancer. He is the son of my friend’s cousin, and I’ve been following his story for over a year now when he was first diagnosed. It has been a hard-fought battle that seemed almost won, until a couple months ago he took a surprising turn for the worst and treatment became ineffective. His parents made the terrifyingly painful decision to bring him home and spend his last days and weeks in peace with them in their own home.
After being home and making the best of life for the last couple weeks, today we heard from my friend the news that the end was very near, and the family was saying their final goodbyes. My heart has ached and my tears have fallen over and over for this family I don’t even know, as I cannot imagine the experience they are living right now. It’s just not natural for a parent to have to watch their child die.
Tonight I thought about my recent sleep patterns, and then wondered if Pierce’s mother and father have slept at all through this time, and how much they’ve probably feared sleep, afraid they might miss their son’s last laugh, smile, or soft touch of his hand. And then I prayed for peace and rest for all of them, as soon as possible. But then I realized how dreaded his parents first sleep will be once he is finally at peace. Their bodies may welcome the rest, but waking up each time after that day is come is going to be so, so HARD. There is that moment you wake up from a deep sleep or crazy dreams, and your mind tries to clarify for reality. I cannot fathom what that will be like for them soon enough, in that moment each day when they must remember how their life has changed and the great loss they are living. I just can’t imagine.
Skyler has been extra “bipolar” lately, but despite her tantrums and whines, she’s also been extra sweet and snuggly. In the wake of Pierce’s family’s battle, I’ve been reminded again to take those extra moments to cherish Skyler. I rock her a little longer and hold her a little tighter. I’ve found more joy in just watching her be busy with her toys, even if it means she’s trashing my living room.
I know everything happens for a reason, and with all sad stories, sometimes we wonder why. Pierce’s story may be teaching me to find more joy and cherish my family, but that’s not a good enough reason why. Maybe his story has taught hundreds of those who have followed along to find more joy and cherish their loved ones. But that still doesn’t seem a good enough reason why. His parents have shown an incredible amount of faith and hope through this whole experience, but I have a hard time believing their testimony of faith is a good enough reason why. None of it seems enough, none of it worth it.
I wish I had a better way to end this post. But I don’t. I thought maybe writing it all out, I would find my way to a resolution that made sense. God didn’t reveal anything significant to me to share something profound with any readers. So I guess I’ll just keep praying and hoping that for Pierce’s mommy and daddy, God will provide them peace and answers soon enough.