Simply A Farmer’s Wife

Looking Back.
July 18, 2008, 6:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

So, when we started the foundation and we started Parker’s House I never imagined that my life would change in the magnitude that it was the day that I met April, Russell and Seth.  I remember our first visit with them.  It was at Parker’s House.  I felt an immediate connection to them and as we drove off I told Ashley that they would be lifelong friends.  Not the kind you see every once in a while but the kind you plan trips with and the kind you talk to all the time.  They are truly some of the most amazing people I know.  Their courage is indescribable.  Their love for each other evident.  Their faith in God everlasting.  When I went to the hospital to see them and Seth I had butterflies all the way there.  Not the good kind either.  The kind where I felt like I was going to throw up.   I knew that I needed to be strong for them.  I promised myself I wouldn’t break down.  I wouldn’t cry.  I even asked Parker to help me.  I was in the parking garage and I said a prayer.  I know that God heard me because I felt this amazing gust of wind and I knew it was Parker.  He had sent one of my favorite angels to comfort me.  I walked in the PICU and I felt this numbness start to come over my whole body.  April knew something I think because she put her hand behind my back.  This woman who’s child lay fighting for his life was comforting me.  It wasn’t supposed to be like that.  I was supposed to be strong for her.  I immediately started crying when I saw him.  For many reasons though.  He was gorgeous and perfect in every way.  He opened his eye and looked at me.  It gave me chills.  When I touched him he moved and I remembered never seeing Parker move.  Never seeing her eyes.  Never seeing her do anything except lie exceptionally still.  My heart was heavy for the Van Dykes and for myself.  I know that it’s selfish of me to think of myself during a time like that but how do you not.  I cried myself to sleep that night in the hotel thinking of Seth and Parker.  Praying that God would spare his life and heal his body so that April and Russell could take their son home with them.  Reliving Parker’s death isn’t easy.  It tears my heart a part all over again and I find myself in that same dark place that I was two years ago.  I questioned whether i needed to continue with the foundation or just get out while I still could.  I didn’t think I could continue to be connected to families and CDH babies and walk away not scarred.  I knew that each time a family moved in my heart would break all over again and I would have to relive Parker’s death.  Was the reward worth the pain? 

And then it hit me.  The day Seth passed.  It all hit me like a ton of bricks.  I was given Parker for a reason and it wasn’t to quit.  It wasn’t to lie in some dark hole and feel sorry for myself.  It was to help families like our own.  To change the face of CDH as we know it.  I know what my purpose is now.  I know what I have to do and I have never wanted it more than I do now.  Not just for my beautiful little girl but for every single baby who has been and will be born with CDH.  I wanted to bring to her home.  I dreamed of the day I would bring her home.  That day never happened but I’ve been given this amazing gift because of her.  Her life has touched so many people and her story is one I will tell forever.  Parker will live on not only in my heart but through our foundation.  My plans for her ended before they ever began but now I have new plans for her and her memory. 

I know that this journey will mean reliving the worst moments and days of my life but it also means reliving the greatest moments of my life too.  It means honoring the one person who I love the most.  Parker.  So is the reward worth the pain?  Absolutely it is. 

Tomorrow Ashley and I will travel to Kings Mountain for Seth’s funeral.  Please continue to keep his family in your prayers and say one for us too.  This family has a long journey ahead of them.


4 Comments so far
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You have succeeded where so many others have failed to even try. Parker will always be with you – to guide you as she guided you in that parking area. She is the wind, the sky, the trees…and she is your heart.

The Parker Reese Foundation will succeed too – because of you and the strength you carry in honor of Parker.

I am so proud of you, Jes.

Comment by Shawn C

I just wanted you to know that I think what you are doing is amazing and you are doing Parker proud. You are changing the face of CDH, because of your foundation Seth’s family had such a different experience than they otherwise would have. And you were able to help ease the pain for them as well as be a bright spot in their journey.

Comment by ittybittyblog

My prayers go out to you and to Seth’s family.

I am really proud of you for being strong and deciding to continue on with this very good, important and needed work. I know it must be extremely hard, but what a beautiful way to memoralize Park’s life!

Comment by Amy

Powerful post Jes, thanks for sharing. I’ve been thinking about y’all and the VanDykes so much. I hope you’ve felt it!

Comment by Jennifer

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