Monday, February 25, 2013

Dear John Paul,

So many times when I have sat down to write were just a few steps away.  I would stop my letter to suction you or check your diaper.   That is different now.  Last Wednesday afternoon, you went to heaven.  I know that now, I don't have to tell you what is in my heart.  I don't have to explain to you what happened.  I know that you know God's plan even better than I do now.

Your wake and funeral were amazing.  I know your view of it must have been unparalleled, but even from is hard to express...the numbers of people, many I didn't even get to see or greet, so many family members and friends pouring out their time and skills and love to make the days a perfect expression of gratitude for your life.

The days leading up to your death were intensely prayerful.  Priests praying many Masses, Stations of the Cross, writings of saints, rosaries....all of these again and again confirming the gentle urgings of the Holy Spirit that your work on earth was done and that you had much more awaiting you in heaven.

It wasn't how I thought it would be....I always dreaded a caregiver's mistake being the reason you left us.  Doctors prepared us for respiratory failure in the course of a secondary illness, a pneumonia or cold or infection.  None of these things happened.  Ultimately, for you, your disease did progress in an unexpected manner...maybe there was a second diagnoses that doctors could not discover, maybe it was just your version of SMA...we will probably never know.  But towards the end of your life, if you could see at all, it was not discernible.  We learned in the week prior to your death that a large part of your brain had wasted and was replaced with fluid.

I hesitate to even write those things for fear of being misunderstood....your life even in the very last moments, was beautiful and infinitely valuable.  But I do know that the Holy Spirit uses the physical truth in order to help open our hearts to His will, that we may not have otherwise have been open to hearing.   I can only compare it to a vocational discernment.   In the case of marriage for example, the person seems right, the timing is right in a very material sense, but in order to have the certainty and confidence to move forward, there must also be an inner conviction that this is God's will.  We are just cooperating, unable to see how His Providence will play out in its entirety.

I miss you immensely now.  Especially as the beautiful events celebrating your life have come to an end and we have to keep moving.  The house is quiet....for a kid who couldn't make a sound yourself, you came with a lot of background noise.  But more importantly, I need a mission.   Yes, I have four other kids to raise and get to heaven.  You would think that that would be mission enough...but I had that mission before you were born, and you added such an awesome way of bringing all of us closer to Christ.  Don't get me wrong, you still do....but your mom needs help in getting into a new groove.  I'm not used to having the added family dynamic of a saint to lean on.  

I know you will help me gradually discover God's plan for the family you couldn't take with you.

I love you more today,



  1. What a beautiful life, that lives on! We are praying for you and your family until the time when you are reunited with John Paul. Praying Philippians 4:7 for you right now.

  2. Praying for you. Thank you so much for your beautiful example on the dignity of life. We will pray to John Paul to intercede for us.

  3. My wife and I have been following your blog for quite sometime, we are so sorry to hear of his passing, but we feel truly blessed to have known your family and precious John Paul through this blog. We lost our daughter back in November of 2011, she lived for 30 days in the NICU. You ARE a wonderful, caring, and thoughtful mother to your child, he has effected more people than most will in their entire life. Thank you for sharing with us your thoughts and feelings, I know JP is proud to call you momma. Thanks to the good Lord we will see our babies again in Heaven.
    "They say that time in heaven is compared to 'the blink of an eye' for us on Earth. Sometimes it helps me to think of my child running ahead of me through a beautiful field of wildflowers and butterflies; so happy and completly caught up in what she is doing that when she looks behind her, I'll already be there." ~Author Unkown

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine what it feels like to lose a beloved child. All I can do is offer you my prayers and to thank you for loving and giving your son the best part of you. May God comfort you..Sincerely, Sue Bryan

  5. I am so sorry for your loss of a precious child. I pray for comfort through the Lord for your family. Your letter is so heart warming, You are a wonderful mother that has a heart full of love. Your baby will be waiting for you and you will be ready for him. God Bless you and your family and little John Paul. Sincerely, Wanda McGhee

  6. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful life! My thoughts and prayers are with your family.