Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Expiration Date

Just as a warning, this is bit of a heavy topic. It has been something that continues to come up lately. I was not even sure if I should blog about it but I wanted to know your thoughts, so here it goes...

The past month, we have heard about and watched families grieve the loss of loved ones (as I mention these people please pray for the families). Our pastor recently lost both his parents, a family at our church lost their husband/father to a heart attack, our neighbor’s mother lost her battle with cancer and my mother-in-law’s cousin passed away because of a heart attack. It seemed as though every week we have been hearing about a family’s loss.

We pray for families that are dealing with a life threatening illness; Daniel, a sweet toddler, who is fighting a brain tumor (his parents have been a wonderful support for us, I will have to blog about later), missionary family whose wife/mother is fighting cancer, we watch my grandfather fight the effects of Parkinson’s, all of them fighting a disease that is wreaking havoc on their bodies.
These circumstances can raise many questions.

The last couple of months, I have finally had enough nerve to start reading books, articles, websites about having a child with disabilities, brain abnormalities, seizure disorders…So many families trying to find their way in all of the information that is handed to them. Several of the families have been told how long to expect their children to live. Being told “these sort of kids” live into their teen years. Jeremy and I talked about this. Not one of Brayden’s doctors has ever mentioned anything about his life expectancy. We never even considered asking the question. We know that seizures put him in danger but thankfully, for now, his seizures are not at that level. We do not know, nor do we want to know, if his brain abnormalities, seizures or feeding difficulties will shorten his life. We need to know the severity of what we are dealing with but we do not need to hear an age or time that could be Brayden’s expiration date. Do not worry, Brayden is not dealing with anything life threatening but having a child with severe disabilities definitely raises the question. I know that we are no where near the difficulty level of dealing as to the families that have experienced a loss or serious disease.

I think about Jeremy’s Aunt Janine, who has Down Syndrome. Many years ago they were told she would not live past her teen years. Well, she is now a thriving and full of life, forty-something year old.
Knowing Brayden’s life expectancy would not change how we love and care for him.

You always hear the expression “live each day as if it were your last”. Would you want to know your life expectancy, your child’s or your loved one’s? Would it change how you lived? How would it change?

Do you know where you or a loved one would go when they passed away? Please take the time to read this for more information: Focus on the Family - Coming Home or Crosswalk - The Need for Jesus

An amazing read about a mother who lost her baby, a wonderful testimony:
Bring the Rain


Andrea said...

I, for one, would not want to know. I also tend to not believe the timelines that doctors give anyways seeing as they are not God and cannot see the future. I spent years saying several good-byes to my grandmother as the doctors told us she wouldn't make it through the night, out of a surgery, etc. She defied them by living 6 extra years and being able to see me graduate, get married, and receiving a call that I was pregnant with her first great-grandchild (who I miscarried right after she died actually, but I like the thought that she is playing with my litte one in heaven.) I think so much of your recovery and prognosis rests on attitude and Brayden is such a happy boy, so alive right now, that I think he would prove doctors wrong...just like his loving Aunt Jeannine. =)

Andrea said...

Oh, and my grandma ended up passing away due to a wrong dosage of meds given by a doctor, not her disease, so who knows how much farther she could have gotten?

Debbie said...

No I wouldn't want to know my "expiration date" or the expiration dates of my family. No way no how. I need to trust that the Lord has a reason HE doesn't want us to know....because where is the trust in HIM when we know what will happen?? I am glad no one has said anything to you about Brayden. They aren't God. They don't know what HIS purpose is for that sweet boy's life on this earth.

Aunt Julie said...

I try to live each day to the fullest, and trust in the Lord to make sure I've got everything in order when I go. I've got a good friend with pancreatic cancer, and the doctors told him "3 months to 3 years." Now, what kind of diagnosis is that? You'd think with all the advances in medicine these days...But on a lighter note, I'm pretty new to the blogosphere--pleased to meet ya!! I'm running a giveaway on my blog, so please drop by!

Anonymous said...

In some ways I'd like to know, because I am motivated by deadlines ;-) and because some how your voice seems to have a greater impact when people know the time with you is short. In other ways, it is true... ignorance is bliss.
At any rate, like the other poster mentioned, there is a reason that God holds back that information and I must yield to His wisdom.
In His Word God reminds us not to fret about tomorrow... just live for today shining His light!