Thursday, January 13, 2011

{a letter}

Dearest Avram,

At 12:45am on Tuesday you woke up screaming, which was very unusual for you. Your dad and I were up for two hours trying everything we knew to try to console you; we even gave you a bath. When nothing worked, we called your pediatrician and he told us to take you to the hospital. Of course, once we put you in the car seat and took off, you fell right to sleep. We tried to wake you up once we got to the hospital, but you just wanted to sleep. We thought you must be fine or maybe just had bad gas, so we turned around and drove back home.

Once we parked on our street I picked you up out of your car seat, being careful not to wake you up.

And then you started to seize.

We drove back to the hospital. Fast.

After two days and a whole lot of tests, the doctors decided that the schizencephaly is causing your seizures, and that for now you should be on daily medicine. Medicine that makes you sleepy, and grouchy. It stops the seizures, yes. But so far you just don't seem like you, and I am hoping, praying that will change.

You will never remember the last two days, but I will never forget them. I will never forget the feeling of my heart in my throat as we drove back to the hospital, or how limp your poor, tired little body felt in my arms as I ran into the emergency room with you. I will never forget how helpless you looked, lying on the hospital bed hooked up to all those monitors and IVs, or how desperately I wanted to take all your pain away.

I will never forget rocking you to sleep in your hospital room, with tears running down my face, asking God how He could let this happen, how I was supposed to not be mad at Him right now, how He was planning on fixing all of this. Asking Him to help me trust, to help us be good parents, to give the doctors wisdom. To heal you. 

I will never forget the relief I felt when you opened your eyes and smiled and started babbling away.

I will never forget, but you will never remember. You will not remember this pain, this exhaustion. You will not remember the doctors, or the nurses, or the tests. You will hear us tell doctors about it when they ask about your medical history, or when we tell stories about it years and years from now, when it will all seem like a bad dream...but you will not remember. And for that, I am grateful.

You may not remember all of this, but it is shaping who you will be for the rest of your life. I believe that all of this will make you more a tune to the pains and needs of others, and teach you to be kinder, more compassionate to everyone. I believe all of this is making you tough as nails, making you strong, able to handle whatever life throws your way with grace and patience. I believe all of this is making you grateful for the life you have, grateful for every blessing God grants, grateful for the things you do have and not anxious about the things you don't. And I believe God is teaching me to be all these things through you, and you are teaching me so much: you never complain or fuss, you never worry, you are only interested in the present moment, you are unfailingly kind.

I believe the medicine is temporary. I believe you will outgrow these seizures. I believe that you will keep exceeding the doctors' expectations by leaps and bounds and miles. I don't believe that you are going to live a normal life: I believe you will live an extraordinary one. I believe that you will grow up with an amazing story of Grace, of Healing, of Hope.

I love you with every bone and fiber in my body, with all the force of the universe, and I am infinitely proud of you: of what you have been through, of who you are, and of who you are going to become.


your mama


dandlmueller said...

You make me want to be a better mom, and a better woman of God. Thanks for sharing, Cassie!

brittany fry said...

I believe all of these things too, cassie. Hold on to your faith.
I believe this letter alone shows me how much more I need to give, how much kinder I could be, how much more I can pray. You have a remarkable son. God is going to bless him with many many years of happiness. You are all in my prayers. Life was crazy for me in the hospital. But I couldn't imagine it being lucy in my place. I don't know if I could be that strong. I love you all.

PCPaino said...

I love you, Sister. God knew where best to place Avram!

Anonymous said...


YOU are an amazing mother!! I have a group of friends that I have sent to read and follow your blog. We all watched you grow up at CT, we all are mothers (many of 4, 5, and 6 children), but we are ALL amazed by your strength, wisdom, faith, trust, perseverance, and attitude. We've all been through tough times with our children - some with tumors, seizures, minor scrapes and bruises, surgeries, but nothing compares to what we see you, Jason, and Avrum battling and beating :) Your blogs are inspiring - never ceasing to draw tears, prayers, and desires to look for the amazing ways God meets us everyday. Thank you for sharing and know that I(and my friends) pray over "that little girl" we remember and her family :) May God continue to use you and Avrum in ways you may never even know.

:) Stacey (Warstler) Zeisloft

BEtsy said...

Thank you once again for sharing your story. You are so beautiful.

Sarah said...

you are amazing and such an inspiration and a great mother and so strong. i love you with all my heart

Anonymous said...

Just want to hug you and tell you how amazing you are as a Momma and what an inspiration you are to me. We are constantly praying for that sweet boy of yours. Jesus knew you'd be the perfect Momma for Avram.

Love you Cass!
Dori Lynn

Jason Beer said...

i know I've graded too many papers lately when my first thoughts are...

"good use of parallel structure; way to mix up your ending punctuation marks; nice use of a letter to connect with your audience"

I certainly see those traits being embedded into who you are, and after the fact it is clear upon reflection that any amount of suffering shapes more powerfully than any intelligent understanding. It's gonna be is good.

Anne Woehnker said...

Your words are so beautiful and your strength and faith is such an inspiration, Cassie. Yes, Avram is one lucky young man to have you for his mother! He was most certainly given to you b/c God knew you could handle it and give him the best life possible. My prayers are with you and your family. I believe he is and will always be an extra-ordinary man! Even though I don't know you I would just love to give you a HUGE hug right now:)