Monday, October 25, 2010

The beginning, the end, and a new start

The Beginning Saturday my Brother-in-law got married. It was a beautiful small wedding ceremony. The reception was in a hall was on a beautiful golf course. The fall leaves were brilliant. They made the trees look they were on fire. The catered dinner was delicious! Welcome to the family Bernice, Danny, Ryan,and Bret!

The End 
On Saturday evening at 5:21pm little Samson was taken to be with Jesus. We were at the wedding reception. He was being held by his natural daddy. My Auntie Kendra said it best:

"...I was wakeful Friday night, lying next to Samson. I didn't know he'd die within hours of that peaceful time I spent with him, holding his hand, and sometimes whispering in his ear.
- Eric asked God on Saturday afternoon to hold Samson in His arms. Eric felt God say, "I want to, but this respirator is in my way." And sure enough, once Samson was freed of the tether of the breathing tube he took four or five breaths, then silently and peacefully went out into eternity. We chose to set him free from a body that had become a prison instead of artificially prolonging the life he'd showed us was over. 
- We agreed to an autopsy, not only to obtain the most accurate cause of death, but also to potentially help another baby in the future. They told us it will be weeks or months until the results are finalized.
- As part of Samson's Memory Box we wanted to have a lock of his beautiful hair. But, with a name like Samson, we thought it prudent to wait until he'd left his "jar of clay" before letting scissors touch his hair. The nurses (neither named Delilah) removed a wee lock from his mullet and tied a blue ribbon around it.
- After we picked up Ronen last night, he said, "go to the hospital, see baby brudder?" Trying to keep the sob out of my voice, I told him Samson was with Jesus. After a few seconds he said, "our house?" And that's where the three of us went, the smallest of us bringing so much comfort to the taller of us. Thank God for Ronen - always, but especially now.
- It occurred to me that life, while more painful and vacuous, just got a lot simpler. As parents Eric and I are responsible to think about when Ronen will move from his crib to a bed, and help him cement this going-to-the-potty-on-the-potty thing. We are no longer responsible to wonder if Samson will make it through the night, or what his future might look like, especially if he remained so sick.
- Each day Samson was in the hospital I wrote down, in my little pink spiral, who his nurse was for the morning and night shifts. Here's how yesterday's entry read:
AM - Jacob
PM - Jesus

Safe in His arms,
Eric, Kendra and Ronen"

A new start
My dear niece, Alexis, decided she wanted to pray last night. She was standing there in the alter, the place of change, when she asked Jesus to come into her heart and life. That mighty creator of ours did as she requested. She stood talking in tongues just as so many before her have. I occurred to me while I standing there next to Alexis sign language interpreting while one life has ended many others have begun. We just begun to see the God promises fulfilled because of his little life.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Seven in the morning...

Jim and Bernice 2010
It is seven in the morning. Everyone in my household is sleeping peacefully except me. My heart is troubled over little Samson and his older brother Ronen. How will Ronen understand the depth of the events happening? Today is suppose to be a day full of joy. My brother-in-law, Jim (Andy's brother), is getting married today. All I can think about is a bed far away holding a dying baby and his mama. I've tried to sleep tonight knowing my face will be in pictures today. I just can't hide it. I can't pretend anymore that nothing is happening. My dreams are filled with restless prayers for one so small and so far away. It's like a little piece of me is dying with that little man. If you want to know more about Samson, click here. I dread every phone call, text message, or change of email message. Hoping it won't be THE message to change the status quo. I've resolved to not make this day about Samson, even though my thoughts are consumed with his condition. Today I won't act like I am okay with any of this. I have this feeling I will be getting that phone call during the wedding ceremony. Life continues as one life is ending. Gotta go feed Dylan...

Friday, October 22, 2010


There are no words except heal him.
You conquered death, hell and the grave.
There is and always will be hope.
The doctors say you have days left, but there are still smiles and laughter for you. There is still joy and dancing for you. You still have time to be a brat. You could still graduate little Samson. We still want to hear you cry. You could use your voice yet. I refuse to give up on you little buddy. You and Dylan could still play together. If none of that happens, There is still hope! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The bees, snow, and trees

 Yesterday it seemed the my world was buzzing! How did little Samson go from birth, to surgery, to a prognoses of death? Everyone I knew was praying. I had decided to go to work last night despite my swirling thoughts. I knew that I needed to be present with Andy and Dylan. I needed to take care of things in my immediate life. I really want/ed to be in Colorado, but I cannot change the situation. I wouldn't be effective there even if I could be there. I decided to be as effective as I could be here in town. I would deal with the events under my roof. I let my co-workers know what was happening in my world. They were rather understanding. I spent the evening cleaning and not helping very many customers. I usually do mostly customer service and a little clean up.

I was almost finished with my shift. I was feeling pretty good. I hadn't forgotten what was happening but I was doing my best to handle things. This man walks up to the deli counter. I'd never seen him before in my life. I served him the items he requested. He asked after a co-work of mine. He then just stopped. He looked at my name tag and then at my eyes. He said, " Dana is there anything I can pray for you about? Like something in your family?" It caught me off guard. I gasped and teared up. I told him about little Samson's situation. He thanked me for sharing with him and told me it took a lot of courage to do so. He told me he and a friend of his would be praying for Samson. I was in shock. I turned around and one of my co-workers saw my facial expression. He looked confused, I explained to him about the gentleman. My co-worker just walked away with shock on his face.

Today there is nothing new to report on baby Samson so far. Here is why I think that is:

Two birds were sitting on a snowy tree branch watching the snow fall. Bird #1 glances at Bird #2 and asks what do you think a prayer weights? Birds #2 responded nothing more than nothing. A couple hours past with the birds watching the snowflakes fall. Bird #1 asks again, " how much  does a prayer weight? Again bird #2 replies, "Nothing more than nothing like these snow flakes." This happened a few more times all the while the snow was accumulating. It had been many hours since these birds had landed on the branch. The birds had become friends. Bird #1 inquires of Bird #2, " I am still curious. How much does a prayer weight?" Bird #2 responded as he had all the previous times, "Prayer weights nothing more than nothing like all these snow flakes." Just as Bird #2 finished his statement one tiny snow flake fell on the branch which they sat upon. There was a loud, "CRACK!" The branch fell to the ground with all the weight of thousands of individual snowflakes.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Trust His Heart - Veronica Boyd-Gillis

We got news this morning that My dear cousin, Samson has tapped out all the ideas for the human doctors. They have given him a time stamp that says limited. It has been a rough morning for me and my family here in Michigan. I have to understand though God knows and it is up to Doctor Jesus!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sacrifices, Blessings and Directions

I had this thought come to me while I was at church yesterday. I'm not accustomed to public speaking. It could be I'm just meant to write this down. I'm not sure were this will go, but I shall attempt to give it life.

"... From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." Luke 12:48
Life is full of give and take. We have been given so much. It requires maintenance. As I first time mama, I have sacrificed long showers for shorter ones. I have given up spontaneity for planning. I have given up spending hours on my hair for looking for Dylan's pacifier. I have given up selfish purchases for buying groceries. I have surrendered my voice, so Dylan can have his. I have given making myself delicious breakfasts for a couple pieces of toast or a bowl of cereal, so I can feed that son of mine. I have given up being a couple minutes late for planning to be late, even though I worked for hours to make sure everything was ready. I have put my dreams of becoming a sign language interpreter on hold to hold my son while he'll let me. I have scarified time with my spouse, so we can provide the best we are able for our son. I can't say any of this has been easy, but my heart swells with pride I look at that little miracle.

"For I have not meant to harm you, but to bless you..." 
Bible Scriptures somewhere
Paraphrased by me
Dylan has given me a new purpose. I must do my best. I must be my best self because he is watching me. He will be a reflection of who I am, who I was, and who I will be. Dylan keeps me smiling and laughing. He helps me find a song on a sad day. When Andy and Dylan are together, I get to hear laughter in my house. Dylan has made me want to be more organized in 15 minute stretches. He has helped me discover children's cartoons and that my fingers make great chew toys. I discovered the smallest things are victories: smiles, laughter, tears, head turning/lifting, and eyes that focus.

By your words I can see where I'm going;
      they throw a beam of light on my dark path.
   I've committed myself and I'll never turn back
      from living by your righteous order.
   Everything is falling apart on me, 
      put me together again with your Word.
   Festoon me with your finest sayings, 
      teach me your holy rules.
   My life is as close as my own hands,
      but I don't forget what you have revealed.
   The wicked do their best to throw me off track,
      but I don't swerve an inch from your course.
   I inherited your book on living; it's mine forever—
      what a gift! And how happy it makes me!
   I concentrate on doing exactly what you say—
      I always have and always will.
Psalm 119:105-112
Dylan has been a huge blessing, but I can't say it hasn't been a difficult adjustment. I am so glad that every blessing comes with direction.  No, Dylan didn't come with an owner's manual from the hospital, even though it would have been super helpful. I wasn't given a manual on marriage after children, but I was blessed with people who came to help me. People gave me advice in answer to my questions. There were doctors to answer my inquiries about what was normal. I had other moms from my online community to dish on our children with. Most importantly I've had the benefit of prayer on difficult days. I think that is the best direction I've ever been blessed with.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It is Saturday...

This past week plus has been rather busy around my house. Last Friday night we had a small party for my nephew, Carsten, who turned four years old. It was fun, but it took a bit of doing to get to my sister's house. I had run errands all day. I got home to make and eat dinner for Andy and me. I fed Dylan.  I got to jump in the shower. (YEAH!) I was getting myself ready when Dylan had a majorly fragrant diaper. I had to give him a bath, get him ready, pack his bag, and make sure we had our gift. We were 20 minutes late.

Last Saturday I worked a six hour shift. Andy and Dylan went to my in-law's house to do laundry.

Sunday was church both in the morning and in the evening. In the afternoon, Andy's employer had their company picnic.

I worked three nights of last week: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday. I had Destiny and her boys over on Tuesday for most of the afternoon. Last night, I went with my church's sign language choir to a special service. Dylan and I left at 5:30pm and got back at 2am. It was a VERY long day! I would still have done it the same way though. I enjoy sign language. There were quite a few really talented groups there.

To say the least, I am pretty happy to have taken today off! We went to breakfast this morning. We came home and hung out. I put Dylan down for a nap. I decided I needed to start getting things around for our busy Sunday mornings/evenings. I washed my hair. I am back in my jams at 4:30. Its rather nice. (I've been refusing to let myself lounge around my house all day in my jams. I figure if my job is to be mama, maid and chef I should dress like I were going in public. I wouldn't got to work in my jams, so why do it with my home job?) Well its time to wake Dylan up. The poor boy is going to be super hungry!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Two things...

Add caption
A few years ago a southern state, I think it was Georgia, was experiencing a terrible drought. The people were put on water use restrictions. Stories about conserving your water usage were on the news everyday. Months had gone by without a nice soaking rain. Farmers in the area would watch the weather reports with baited breath in hopes their crops wouldn't be lost that year. The more time went by the more serious the situation became. The Governor (or a prominent religious leader) decided to call a prayer service for anyone who wanted to attend. He wanted God to open the storehouses in heaven and bless his creation with rain. The local news played host to this announcement along with all the details of the time, location and a request to bring something that would help direct the prayers.

The day arrived. It was a beautiful day in the park. The sun shone like it had never shone before. The sky was a beautiful blue without clouds. Religious leaders came from all over the state carrying their holy books, prayer clothes, candles and other things. They came in their dark colored suits and ties. They came in their religious garb. The news crews were there to report on this event. As they were getting settled in this park the crowd parted, there stood a little boy with a red umbrella and a yellow rain coat. The officiator was so moved all he could say was there is nothing like the faith of a child.

News casters later interviewed the child. When asked what he was thinking that day the boy stated, "I saw the news reports on the TV. I begged my parents to come to the park that day. They didn't really want to drive to the park but they finally let me come. I just wanted to play in the rain..."

This story has stuck to me like super glue, since the day I heard it. I want to have umbrella faith in my life! It has applied to many different situations over the years, but has forced me to think outside the box. I ask myself what would my umbrella and raincoat be in this situation? The answer usually surprises me and makes me thankful for my life.

In addition to the above story, I've had this delicious song stuck in my head. It is from the Madame Blueberry Movie. In the movie, Madame Blueberry is a wealthy hoarder because she thinks it brings her happiness. She is going about her business and stumbles upon a minimalistic birthday party for a poor family. The young little guy is singing the lyrics to the Thankfulness Song: (I tried to find the video on YouTube without luck.)

I thank God for this day,
For the sun in the sky,
For my mom and my dad,
For my piece of apple pie!

For our home on the ground,
For His love that's all around,
That's why I say thanks every day!

Because a thankful heart is a happy heart!
I'm glad for what I have,
That's an easy way to start!

For the love that He shares,
'Cause He listens to my prayers,
That's why I say thanks every day!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eleven hundred miles away... Bummer!

Hello Everyone!
Its quite a long month! I am working at living to my utmost. I never thought it'd be so much work. I want a comfortable, quiet, and peaceful life. I am learning that the outward environments you live in can be the start to either peace or chaos. I am cleaning out the clutter in my house in the hidden places and the catch-alls. Enter people I love 1100 miles away from me into this mindset...

This amazing young woman has been one of my best friends for the last 11 years. She has seen me through my parental drama, break ups with former boyfriends, a plethora of new dreams, graduation, several birthdays, marriage, and most recently the birth of my son.

I was so excited when she got married. She settled right into married life. It seemed to suit her. Her hubby already had the smiley young lady in blue prior to their marriage. My dear friend had a complex first pregnancy. Its been a couple years now. She is having the most difficult time with her second pregnancy. All I wanna do is help her out!!! I wanna help clean her house. I wanna be there to make her daughter's lunch and put her down for her nap. I wanna drive my friend around and just be an all around help. The best I can do is call her everyday to help her keep her sanity.

This little guy in the stripes is my newest cousin. The other boy is his brother. He was born about 4 months ago. I was super excited for his arrival! My Auntie is only 10 years older than me. Its amazing our sons are so close in age. Its like our sons are connected somehow. His 4 months of life have been one of struggle so far.  We knew my little cousin was going to have to have open heart surgery from the first ultrasound the Doctors did. The surgery was scheduled and preformed 5 weeks ago. This is him now...
Sampson on 10/13/2010. I had to post this photo after I wrote this.
My heart breaks for my Auntie, Uncle and his older brother. I wanna be there to help. They have my little cousin in a medically induced coma to keep him stable. He has had to go under the knife 2 more times since the initial surgery. He is on very heavy medications to control infections and other issues. He is being fed through a tube because he can't be held to nurse. He seems to recover just a little and then lose all his momentum. I've been praying like he is my own son because its not very hard for me to think it could be. I want so much to hear my cousin's laughter. I want to see his smile. I want to hold his tiny hands and know everything is going to be okay. I want to hug my Auntie and give her hope. I want her to be able to hold a baby, even if its Dylan, so she can know her son will be running around sooo soon! People I love are hurting. I want to be their salve.

This is my grandparents. My grandma is an incredible woman of Faith. My grandma has been a stable rock in my life. Her example has been such an inspiration, so imagine my surprise when my mom told me she went into the hospital for an erratic heartbeat. She has had this issue for several years now. Every time she goes in it is for longer and longer periods of time. They had to keep her for two days. She was given a prescription and sent home. It was two more days on the medication before she went back in for allergic reaction to her medication. It put her heart at risk. She had to stay over for another two days to make sure everything is okay. She is doing fine now. So much is happening so far away! I want to be there!

I very rarely regret my decision to move so far away, yet I don't think I could live in my hometown again. It is hard when so much is happening so far away from me. Family is everything to me after God. I know I could help. I could be effective there! I want travel to be cheaper. Stink! I am trying to do my best where I am at and be content with it. I don't have the money to travel, so I will continue to clear clutter and shine my sink. I hope with that work peace, quiet, and comfort will come...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Joy and Thunder

The last couple days I've been wondering what to write about next. I haven't really told very many people about this new venture. I know I will one day, however its been rather freeing to have something be solely mine. I been wondering how transparent I should be with my thoughts. The entire world does have access to this. Assuming they will stumble upon this, will they like what they see through my words? I am writing to not be forgotten. This is for my sanity...
Found on

I have always loved the rain. I enjoy the smell of it. I like how the earth basks in it's presence. Colors deepen in their vibrancy after the rain. I like how the rain plops into puddles. I used to sit next to the gutter during summer afternoon rain showers. I watch how the water rushed down through the grates to some unknown destination. I liked the sound of the pebbles tumbling down the warm pavement at my feet. It was mindless and beautiful to me.

I'm finding it is the little things in life are happiness like an afternoon rain storm. Happiness is found in five senses- hearing my husband and son laugh together, seeing a shiny sink when I wake up, tasting something new, smelling aromatic food in the Crockpot, or touching my son's soft chubby hands. In savoring the small things, we can find joy and contentment.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Introductions should be made...

Our wedding in September 2005

Hello World!
My name is Dana. I am 27 years old. I was born in Colorado, but now I live in the Great Lakes region of the United States. I have been married for five years, one month, four days, and eight and a half hours. :D My husband's name is Andy. He works for a commercial HVAC company. I am employed with a local grocery store deli. We are a year and five days apart in age with him being older. We just had our first and only child five months ago. Dylan is a joy to have around.

I have two sisters: Karly and Destiny. They live in the same town as me. They are both married and have children as well. Karly is 5 years older than me. She married a guy named Josh. They have three children together: Tyrus (seven years old), Alexis (six years old) and Carsten (will be four in a couple hours). My sister Destiny is four and a half years younger than me. She is married to a guy named Reymond (Rey for short). They have two boy together: Dom (three years old for another month) and Josiah (2 years old). Our Parents live in Colorado.
My immediate family minus my dad in 2008

I decided to start this blog to let my voice be heard. I've found, as a first time mom, that my thoughts are often pushed aside in caring for my family. I just don't want to be forgotten in the mix. I've always enjoyed a well written book, story, etc. I have been debating on doing this for awhile. I surrendered. Here it is. I sincerely hope you enjoy.