Sunday, August 21, 2011

Losing the Future

When a parent dies, you lose your past; when a child dies, you lose your future.

I saw this quote a few days ago on a child bereavement website.  Maybe this sums up how I feel sometimes.  I guess a lot of times I feel like I have lost my future.  All of the things that I wanted to experience with James that will never be- like first steps, first words, coloring pictures.  First day of school, first dance, baseball.  Drivers license, graduations, wedding.  Grandchildren.  

Tantrums.  Scraped knees.  Broken arms.  Asserting independence.  Attitude.  As silly as it is, I wonder what his tantrums would have been like.  I am sure he would have had them.  And I am sure that they would have been exhausting!  But isn't that part of the fun looking back as a parent?  That you can tell those stories around the table when your kids are older and laugh, even though at the time the tantrums about did you in? 

Would James have given me sass when he was angry?  Or would it have been a quiet anger summed up with a slammed door?  Or maybe he would have learned to control his temper and surprised me by being completely cool, collected and articulate when upset.  That would be a stretch given his parents, but I guess it could have happened. 

There were so many things left to learn about him.  I hate that I will never know.  

So now James's future becomes what I make of it in some ways.  His legacy is completely in Matthew and I's hands.  I'm starting classes next week to finish my medical school pre requisites that I started as a freshman at Baylor.  I began pre-med, and now, 10 years later,  I'm going to try that route again.  

In order not to lose the future, for me, I have to make some sort of meaning out of all of this.  I learned a lot during our time in the hospital and I really feel like I need to be able to help other people even though I couldn't save James. 

Maybe one day I'll be able to find a way to cure this stupid tumor.  Today I am just really angry at it and wish that it didn't exist! I think that the timing of the beginning of the school year is hard.  I'm thinking about the First days of school that James will never have.  And for some reason that is hitting me harder than I thought it would. 

Tomorrow is another day, and hopefully it will be better.  I hope that those of you starting school tomorrow follow into a routine that becomes, well, a routine.  And a big thank you to all the amazing teachers out there!  You are selfless, patient individuals who sacrifice so much in order to provide excellent education.  Also, thank you to all the higher education administrators that work so incredibly hard to facilitate personal and educational growth to young adults that will shape the future of our country.  You are all in my prayers this week.


  1. Every time I see a new post and I see that there are new pictures of James, my face lights up! It's like I'm a kid on Christmas morning. I only know James and your family through this blog, but I feel like I get to know him a little more every time I read a new post and see a new picture. Thank you for continuing to allow me and others the opportunity to get to know your beautiful son. You and Matthew have done such an amazing job of sharing your son with so many people. James' legacy will not just live on with you and Matthew, but it will live on in the thousands of lives that you have touched by sharing James. His legacy will live on through the people that have accepted Christ, strengthened their relationship with Christ, donated time, money, done good deeds, etc.,etc. all because you shared your angel with the world. James' legacy is so profound, that there are complete strangers living their lives differently, and more positively, everyday because of your son. The impact of James' legacy is so far spread that you will probably never know all the amazing things that are happening because of him! I wish with all of my heart that you would have gotten to watch James experience all of those "firsts." My heart breaks for you. I pray for you and Matthew daily, and I will add your new endeavor into the pre med world into my prayers. Thank you again, for sharing your beautiful son with us. And thank you for being so strong to be so transparent in writing.

  2. What a wonderful thing you are doing. I keep you, Matthew and James in my prayers. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us.


  3. Kara you are so strong and your writing is just beautiful. I am always thinking about your family and praying for some kind of healing. James was so sweet and adorable and he was in your life for a special reason. I could tell he gave you guys so much joy and he continues to. He is always with you and always watching over you. Smile today, even just once, for James. He will be smiling back :)

  4. I love the new pictures of James! What a little lover! Good luck on your new adventures! You will be AWESOME in whatever you do! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, your wishes and your sweet baby boy with us!

  5. I continue to be amazed you! James is such a lucky baby to have you as his momma. Best of luck in your future. You must feel so proud that James will be with you every step of the way!

  6. What hair! What glorious HAIR!!! Lol, such a unique quality, rarely seen in one so young. Just an 'outside sign' of 'inner truth' all the way around for your Sweet Baby James!

  7. i went to medical school after losing our daughter. the loss of a child was the catalytic event for us that caused my husband and i to reevaluate the plans for our life and our family and i am now in residency in dallas and came across your blog. praying for you as you begin your journey through school. keep us all posted on the giraffe at the dallas zoo! btw, we now have a 5 year old son, who was born after we lost our daughter and today was his first day of kindergarten. and i have to agree with the above poster, your son's hair is AMAZING - never seen anything like it - so gorgeous!!

  8. Just wanted you to know I do and will think about little James every day. Makes me hold my babies just a little longer at night. Makes me set down the phone and the laptop and soak in my thankfulness for them. Thanks, James.

  9. Kara this is so admirable. I'm praying for you as you begin this new adventure. You are so strong sister. Best wishes as you go back to school.

  10. I think every single one of us agree on at least one thing - gorgeous hair, gorgeous boy!! I, too, love seeing all of the pictures of beautiful James!

    I still pray for both of you every night before I go to bed as I know many others do as well. Thank you so much for sharing with us! Much love to you!

  11. stumbled on your blog tonight... words cannot express.... I am typically an eloquent person but I just have NO WORDS.

    I will begin praying for you Kara TONIGHT! May God hold you close. May He soothe all of your raw parts, may He fill all of the empty spots, may He mend everything broken....

    God bless,