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...