Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sweet Baby James

The first time I heard about Baby James was through a post that my blog friend Jen had written. The Sikes were friends with Jen and they found out that their 7 month old little boy had a brain tumor. When Jen first posted about James she was asking for prayer because he was scheduled to have surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible.

I can remember the day that I read about him. I was with Bryan celebrating our 2nd year anniversary, and in Jen's post she showed some adorable pictures of James. I had to show my husband b/c Baby James had the MOST awesome head full of hair that I'd ever seen! He was so cute. I showed Bryan and he couldn't believe it either. It struck me though when Bryan said, "It's so sad." I said, "What?" and Bryan said, "You know that he's going to loose all of his hair right?". It hurt when he said that. I hadn't even thought about it. I just prayed that everything would be alright with James and that his surgery would be successful.

Later that week, I shared the prayer request in my Sunday school class and in my growth group that week. I saw that Jen had posted a link and James' parents had started a blog to keep everyone up to date on James' progress. I began reading everyday and am still reading their updates. You can go there to read his whole story and everything that happened. If you do, you'll find out that his surgery was successful and they removed I think 95% of his tumor which was awesome. You'll also read that a week later after he kept having seizures, they did another MRI and found out that the tumor had agressively returned. You'll read that eventually the Dr.'s gave the Sikes two choices, to start James on chemo, or to take him home and make him comfortable. They decided to take him home and James went to be with Jesus on July 16, 2011. He was 8 months old.

I was devestated. I can only imagine how his parents feel. If me, a complete stranger feels devestated, I have no idea how the actual parents are feeling. It literally broke my heart every time that I read an update. I couldn't read them without crying. I was sitting in Texas Roadhouse telling my husband that they had decided to take James home and I was crying. I don't know why his story had such an impact on me, but it did.

From the Sikes family, I have learned that I must cherish every moment, because it could all be gone in an instant. I've learned the most important thing about being a parent isn't if the nursery is perfect, or I have all the latest gadgets and baby toys, all my child really needs is love. I've learned that instead of getting frustrated with my child when they throw a fit, or don't listen, or disobey, I should hug them and love them because they could be gone tomorrow. I don't even have children right now, but those are the things that I've learned from them about being good parents.

I praise Jesus for the impact that baby James had on me and everyone else during his short life on this earth. I praise Jesus that James is in Heaven right now, tumor free. I praise God for the impact that James' story will continue to have on people even after he's gone.

Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thankful!

So, about 2 weeks ago, I got a phone call from my teammate Kara saying that she had gotten a new speech job at another school, so she wouldn't be teaching with me anymore. I'll admit, I was pretty bummed that she was leaving. I'm going to miss her like crazy, but I'm happy that she's going to be getting to do something she really loves! I know God will bring the perfect person for me, just like He brought me Kara!

With Kara leaving, that meant that if I wanted to, I could move into her classroom. Her MUCH bigger, and spacious classroom! Even though we all know I hate moving rooms with a passion, I just couldn't pass up all of that space. The decision was made. I was moving rooms.

If you're an elementary teacher, you know exactly what I'm talking about, and why this task is SO extremely daunting. Elementary teachers are...shall I say, prepared...for a tsunami, flood, hurricane, tornado and anything else you can think of (as my husband put it). While we were moving things, he kept complaining that I had so much crap (which is true). However, I told him, I just chose to think of it as being prepared for anything! :)

Anyways, I began moving rooms before we left for Vegas and then picked it up when we got back. I have pretty much been up there nonstop, every day, working. By this past Saturday, I'd probably put in about 20 hrs working on my room. To say that I was exhausted is an understatement. Sunday afternoon, I went up there and worked for a couple of hours and then my friend Amanda said that she would come up and help me with my room, so of course I took her up on it!

I kid you not people, we worked from 7:00-12 Sunday night, only stopped for about 30 min. when our husband's brought us dinner, and we basically finished my entire room! I know, I'm still in shock. I know that if I was working alone, that would have probably taken me the whole rest of this week to finish. However, in one short evening with Amanda, it was all done! You have no idea how relieved I am! People, I'm actually ahead of the game instead of behind, like I thought I was! Whoo hoo!

I titled this post thankful, because I am. I am so thankful for Kara's friendship over the last few years, and having the chance to teach with her. I am sad to see her leave, but know our friendship will remain. I am SO thankful that I have a friend like Amanda who came up and helped me work in my room until midnight and helped me when I really needed it. She just wouldn't give up until it was finished! Thank you God for giving me the people that I need, in your perfect timing!


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