Sunday, June 3, 2012

Prayers for Patrick (not my brother)

There is a family Brooke has followed for awhile on Facebook.  The mother is from Kentucky, but she now lives in Hendersonville, TN (where Brooke is from).  The family is friends with a lot of Brooke's friends, and she heard about Patrick through mutual friends on Facebook.  Patrick is a 2 year old, blond haired, blue eyed boy.  Patrick is a big UK fan. Patrick likes Thor and race cars..... Patrick has a brain tumor they found just 70 days ago that was discovered by his pediatrician. His pediatrician happens to be his grandfather.  It is scary and shocking how fast your world can be turned upside down.  Patrick is an incredible fighter.  He has defied all odds to live this long but it is getting more and more difficult for Patrick.  They have stopped treatment for Patrick and are simply trying to make him as comfortable as possible.  I recommend you go to "Prayers for young Patrick F" on Facebook to read his entire story.  If you want, a video is available here....tissue alert

For the most part, I have refused to let Brooke read me any of Patrick's story.  It is simply my worst nightmare, and I cannot listen to it without getting emotional.  Yes, I recognize the immense struggle the entire family is going through, and the pain that Patrick must feel.  Selfishly, I shy away from the story in part because you can't help but imagine it being one of your kids. Being a parent can be one of the most challenging, yet rewarding things you can do as a human.  It isn't always beautiful but it is such an amazing ride.  However, sometimes the world is cruel, and occasionally you are placed in a position where must watch your children suffer.  You are always supposed to be the calm, reassuring force for the family.  Seeing your baby become ill is very difficult.  Seeing your baby slowly die in front of your eyes is unimaginable.  You suffer because their future is disappearing, you suffer because you can't take away the pain, you suffer because they suffer.  

Enter my girls above.  Brooke decided to have a garage sale this weekend.  With that, the education of what a garage sale actually is began for my girls.  They didn't quite understand why we were selling all our stuff.  One thing they do understand was getting money.  Dollar signs danced in their heads, and future plans were being made with their soon to be acquired riches.  At some point, Brooke told them to hit the brakes and slow down.  Perhaps with the garage sale they could also have a bake sale.  The next step then was to explain about the possible options of donating the money from the bake sale.  We don't think they fully understood what all this meant.  Brooke had to explain almost everything.  Some people don't have money, some people are hungry, some people don't have homes.  One thing they did understand was that there was a sick baby that their mother talks about, and that this sick baby could probably use the help.  The girls decided to make a poster (see above), and that they would donate some of their money from the bake sale to Patrick.  The girls decorated the poster above and Reagan thought it would be best to draw an angel watching over the sick boy.  Each girl made their own mark.  

Im not sure of the success of the garage sale, however the girls made $17.50 from their bake sale.  There were people who didn't even want the cookies but couldn't say no to the girls.  When all was said and done, Reagan made the executive decision that all the money should go help Patrick.  

This is a horrible situation, any way you slice it.  There are very few silver linings in this cloud.  Maybe, it will make you a little more appreciative of your good health.  Maybe, it will bring you closer to your God. Maybe, you will hug your children a littler tighter tonight.  One silver lining, for me, is how proud I am in the girls (all 5 of them) for doing what they can to help Patrick.  Im proud of Brooke for teaching the girls some good lessons,  and Im proud of the girls for giving up their money.   Brooke and I  thought it would be best to put some of our money in the pot to send to Patrick too.  None of it will pay back to Patrick and his family the lessons his family has given to mine.  A boy, far away, belonging to two parents we have never met, teaching all of us a lesson.  

All I ask is that your be thankful for your blessings.  Don't wait until a day in November to give thanks. If you believe in God, whoever your God is, say a prayer for Patrick before you go to bed tonight.  

I pray that your suffering is short.
I pray that your parents find comfort knowing that you will soon be snuggled by the Angels above.
Our loss is heaven's gain.


  1. I just heard that Patrick is the nephew to an SAE.

  2. Man. I didn't need to go to the tissue alert for this one. Your blog is bad enough. Tell the girls that their Mamaw is sending a check north this morning to throw into the pot, too. I have told you since before Reagan was born. These girls are meant for something special. So proud of them, and you. Also, so sorry for Patrick and his family. No words can explain our thoughts at a time like this, but your prayer is better than anything I could come up with.

  3. OMG--so fricking sorry. As a Deacon in the Catholic Church it is times like these when it is very hard to not go over to the dark side. It is equally hard not to give up and be hypocritical when you are preaching or talking to people trying to help them. I have no words and no advice that does not seem worthless or self-serving.