Waking Up

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.

5 responses to “Waking Up”

  1. I found Pierce’s page when you mentioned him one other time and have been following his story. Sad beyond words…..

  2. Lori, thank you so much for keeping Pierce in your thoughts and prayers as much as you have. I know it means so much to Brandi and Scott, and to all of us too. Thank you=)

  3. Thank you for sharing Lori! You and I were thinking the same thing. I had to write this morning. He has touched so many lives. It’s like I keep grasping for things or explanations for all of this, but I just find myself praying for their peace, and praying for me to be the best mother I can to Ben and Jonna. And then just thanking God over and over again. Even though it is the saddest story of all, I am thankful I have had a chance to know Super Pierce and follow his journey even though it doesn’t all quite make sense yet.

  4. I know exactly how you are feeling. Last night, I found myself waking mutiple times wondering how Pierce was doing, if he was in pain, what his parents were going through….I don’t understand why things like this have to happen. But I too have found myself holding my boys longer, giving them extra hugs, not getting as frustrated at bedtime or in the middle of the night when they wake. I actually had a harder time dropping them off at daycare this morning than I think I ever have. I guess all we can do at this point is to pray for peace for both Pierce and for his family.

  5. It is hard to comprehend the sorrow that Pierce’s parents must be going through. I’m praying that as only God can, He will come along side them and give them comfort. At times like this, one of the things I have to hang onto is the verse that says “God is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” And as strange as it sounds, I’m thankful that God has given them this time to say goodbye and fill Pierce’s last days with love. So many parents don’t get that opportunity. Years ago we had some friends that had a little boy that was your age, Lori. You didn’t know him well and only played with him a few times. But he was about the same age as Pierce and lost his battle against a brain tumor. And when your cousin Bryan heard that he had died, he said, “well, I guess God needed more little boys in heaven.” Bryan showed the simple faith that most little kids do, he knew that little ones like Pierce are now experiencing incredible joy, no pain, and in the presence of God. And our friends had the assurance that someday, they would be re-united again with their little one. It’s at times like these, that we all realize the things (people) that are eternal and all the other stuff of this world are not very important. Give Skyler an extra hug for me today. and give Ronnie one too.

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