Archive for January, 2008

Beautiful Grief

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

I just got a flower arrangement with a card that read, “In loving memory of BOEY.” I am crying right now. Oh how I love BOEY. Oh how I remember her. I was emotionally steady a moment ago but now I am crying. I am upset but this is THE perfect thing! Someone else is remembering our BOEY with us.

I don’t want to forget and not be in pain. I cannot. I am still in pain; excruciating debilitating pain and I cannot forget. What would be worse to divorce myself from the pain: the only way to do that would be to forget the love. It would be like a man carving off his skin just to resolve the itch he is suffering. No I must not do that.

So what will I do? I will hurt. I will miss. And I will love; a paradoxical experience in this incomplete world. Again I am drawn to a greater thing. My Boey is drawing and teaching me about love and about the source of love which is GOD. He is the source that she is in the presence of with her complete being. He is the source that I am floundering to hold on the the belief of His being good.

But I go on. I cannot deny the pain that I am feeling or the extreme love for my daughter that it flows from. It is real. It is genuine. There is nothing in my life that is more real. It would seem that there still is nothing much else in my life at this time. I am longing for the future. I am longing for that source of love. Remembering Boey does that to me.

Sending the flowers was the perfect thing. They are beautiful and they did the job of remembering BOEY. They did make me cry but for that I am thankful because that is truth. I remember my beautiful daughter and I am sad. I do not want to avoid that and I do not want others to either. I dread the day that the cards and flowers stop coming. I know they will and I am certain that it will be way before the emotions stop.

And by the way, while I am addressing this; I am not ready to stop talking or writing or crying about my daughter. Don’t avoid the issue. I think that is why the internet is so cathartic; my link to most on the internet is due to my wonderful daughter. It’s in regular life where the gas attendant asks me how I am doing or when a relative does the same. I am not doing well at all. I am not sure how I ever will. I will always love Boey and I will always remember her and right now I am not ready to let that intensity dim.(interesting topic I think I will write about that next and title it Is my grief just vanity and the duration in my control?) Nevertheless in my grief I received flowers reminding me of the beauty and that I am not alone. Thank you for the flowers; they were the perfect thing.

-ROB

Ugly Is How We Deal With It

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

I was walking out of the store last night and was struck by the sight of a Father walking hand in hand with his daughter. The girl was Boey’s age so when I saw them I winced. Before I got too upset, my mind said to myself, “boy are they ugly…” Wow… I thought about that…What an interesting way to deal with painful emotions. I did not want to make a scene in public so instead of doubling over with pain and crying in anguish for all to see, I just labeled them “ugly” by the power of my mind. In doing so I was able to walk past them and out into the frigid air and into my car.

I knew in my heart that it wasn’t the best way to deal with that situation. I also thought of other situations where I, as well as others, do the same exact thing. We as humans often don’t live from the heart, but rather use the power of our thoughts to squeeze out unpleasant feelings so that we can avoid them. I thought about the mindset of someone who defines themselves as an “atheist”. That has always been interesting to me. They define themselves by something they don’t believe in. Why bother? I do understand at the outer core why they feel the need to do that. I would guess that they have had the experience or people trying to obligate them. People who do believe telling them that they must believe or they are going to hell or in some way demeaning their beliefs. In defense they call themselves an atheist to stand up to any obligation that they don’t desire. They prove that they are not to be saddled with any such obligation. But why bother?

I have had many people approach me to sell AMWAY. You know the multi-level marketing “business.” Their method is similar to the style of some believers who is trying to obligate the unbelievers. They have approached me and said, “You don’t make enough money,” and “wouldn’t you like some freedom that you don’t have.” Etc. It is very irritating. Even though it is very irritating I don’t feel the need to define myself as an “A-Amwayist”-someone who does not believe in AMWAY. It is just not that important.

This is because being an Amway salesman is not something that is placed in the heart of man. I do believe that the knowledge of GOD is placed in the heart of man. I believe that because it is intrinsic to the core of a person’s being it is what forces them to respond. They deny the existence of this pull in their heart so as to not be saddled with any obligation to GOD.

This brings me to my point. I believe a big reason that people do this is because they are very hurting. They have been let down and disappointed in life. This stuff is very real and placed in the core of their being. Damage is real. Maybe it was a parent or someone they trusted that shut them down. At some point they reasoned that they do not want to open up or be vulnerable to any GOD type person. It is easier to say “GOD does not exist” than to open up to that possibility and then be let down. It is so much easier to let the mind be in control. There are no feelings there. There are some very intelligent people that can give all kinds of seemingly smart arguments as to the validity to being an atheist. In the final analysis it is about as intelligent as me saying, “they are ugly” to avoid the obvious beauty which would remind me of my intense pain.

Aha! Some may say that my current situation disproves GOD. I believed in GOD and look how much I was let down. That is absolutely true. I am at a very low point right now. I am confused and I feel abandoned. The scripture I relate to right now is Psalm 22 “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” Did you know that no Psalm is quoted more than this one in the NT? I wonder why? Could it be that this is a common cry from the heart of Man? It certainly is a common cry from this man.

So I have a decision to make daily; do I continue to believe or do I let it go and forget about all this believing stuff. In my mind I can justify many reasons for not believing in GOD. I am offended and I am hurt and I am wrecked. To be quite honest at this point I don’t know how to rebuild anything in my life which has crumbled. One part of my mind tells me that GOD is not real. But my heart, now there is a different matter: my heart still tells me that “God is enthroned as the Holy One.”( This is also what David says in Psalm 22.) It does not make sense to my mind however my heart is as dependent on God as ever. I am hungry for God as never before. As a matter of fact God seems to be the only answer for my aching heart. Jenessa is in Heaven with GOD, a part of eternity. Eternal things are the only things that pledge satisfaction. My mind cannot deny the beauty that has been in my life these last few years. I had unusual and very real experiences with GOD. I experienced incredible favor blessings and love. My mind can try, because of pain, to deny GOD but in the end I am still aware that I am only doing a mind trick.

I suppose this mind trick is because I cannot understand what happened to my daughter with my mind but I am desperately trying to. So what shall I do? My only answer is to “trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not to my own understanding.” At this point in time my heart tells me this is the correct path. My mind argues that this way is not complete and that it doesn’t add up. I can’t argue with that point at this time. But I use my mind to weigh my options reasonably and I still find GOD to be the direction I want to go.

So in conclusion, I don’t have a conclusion yet. I am still in the middle of it all. I am in pain and my emotions are screaming and my mind is analyzing and my heart is holding on. At least I am in reality most of the time and not denying the beauty that I know was and is still in my heart. I am not using my mind to make myself more comfortable with a lie; I am choosing what I want to believe and I am keeping all of the pain that is real. Not a fun road but it is the right road. It is the road that I am on. My daughter successfully took that road her entire life. She loved Jesus even when many other minds would wonder how she could do that with all she suffered. I know how. She loved GOD. She received from him what she needed for each day. Her life is an invitation to truely live. May I, May we all follow her example and follow our hearts and not our minds.

-ROB

And What About GOD?

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

I picked up a copy of C.S.Lewis “A Grief Observed”. It would seem he understood a bit about grief. He did not marry until his 50s I think and his wife had bone cancer. They prayed for her when she had days to live and she was miraculously healed. She lived for a couple more years where they really enjoyed life. Then she died. This sounds familiar to me.

I used to love Lewis more when I first became a believer. He gave great explanations for difficult spiritual truths. Made me feel “smart” to be a Christian. At some point I stopped seeking the validation to be smart and from the fruit that Christianity gave me in my life I didn’t much care if I was “smart.” I started to seek to know God in a deeper and more intimate way. I love the otherworldly spiritual stuff as well as the prophetic stuff. But with the passing of my beautiful daughter my faith has been dealt a blow. Of course one response is to question everything. Did we do everything? Did we do something wrong? Where is GOD? Did our faith fail? Did GOD fail? I have been asking these questions. By asking I don’t really mean intellectually reasoning and figuring out– I already know the intellectual answers but I need something more. I need it in the core of my being, in my soul and in my spirit. My mind is not adequate to give me peace.

While travailing in this I read something of my old friend C.S. Lewis on the internet. Something struck a chord. It said that he questioned GOD after his wife died. The article said that it was not because his faith was week but it was because his faith was strong it allowed him to extremely question his GOD. That is what I hope to have enough security in GOD to be strong enough to do.

That has been a subject that I have thought of often these weeks. It is a lesson that GOD has impressed on my heart through another life experience with my beautiful daughter… During her last month with us in this world she had a broken hip. It hurt like hell only when she moved. So she was still. We needed to move her to wash her off and to change her bedding. I ever so gently cradled and supported her and lifted her from her comfortable bed. She moaned and started to slap my face and then started saying, “I hate you! I hate you!” When everything was done I gently put her down she relaxed and quieted and then repeated over and over again, “I love you. I love you. I love you”, until she fell into a deep sleep. Heartbreaking it was. However on the heals of this heartbreak I found a beautiful truth. I knew exactly what just happened. She loved me so much and knew my love for her so much that she was confident to express her pain in the only adequate way an 8 yr old girl could. “I HATE YOU!!” She never had spoke like that to me before. I knew this “hate” was not true. I also knew my daughter needed some sort of release for the intense pain of a hip fracture. She needed to say that. When the pain was over she reinforced the truth that we both knew… “I love you. I love you. I love you.” We both knew it.

Another spiritual truth taught to me in the context of me loving my hurting daughter. This was a deep truth imparted in intensely deep emotions. An intellectual theologian could not have more eloquently taught that truth in any deeper way than I understood at that moment. GOD is bigger than me. He understands my pain. He can take my best way of expressing that pain even if it is hate and blame.

I have no fear in questioning GOD. I don’t feel Hate…yet. I don’t think I will. But I do feel the intense pain of a fractured hip and I don’t think I like GOD much right now for lifting me up from my comfortable place. It is not as easy to see why this happened as why I needed to lift my daughter…maybe it never will. But I do know I love GOD…but in this intense pain often I can only hear my cries of agony. Sometimes I fear there will not be another side to this; that I wont really understand or see there was a valid reason for Boey to be taken from us. I am in the middle of that now. Not understanding GOD or his ways. But I do know I can yell at him and he will still love me and when the pain subsides a bit you will find me, without giving much explanation because I know GOD understands, quietly saying, I love you GOD, I love you…..

Thank you everyone who is supporting us, has supported us in the past and those that are grieving with us.

ROB- Boey’s Daddy forever

BOEY IS MY TRUE HERO!!!!!

Monday, January 7th, 2008

Hi everyone, My name is Felisha and I’m a family friend of the Byers! I never thought that I would be writing a blog about Boey under these circumstances. Boey means the world to me, honestly she IS my WORLD! I remember when I first heard about her and just thought that she was the most awesome, amazing, strong, and BEAUTIFUL little 7 year old girl I could have ever seen. When I got to meet her for the first time for her 8th birthday I really got to see how special and precious Boey was- IN PERSON!!! The more I would get to know her through out the year I just couldn’t stop thinking about her, and you know what I see myself in the beginning of 2008 in the same situation with having Boey in my heart and on my mind 100% of the time. I remember when I was younger and people would ask me or I’d fill out a survey and I’d always be asked who was my hero, well of course I would say the Backstreet Boys, Celine Dion, Elliott Yamin, etc., but you know what those days are GONE…my BIGGEST and the TRUE HERO in my life and in my heart is the one and only BOEY!!!! I mean how could a little girl who was batteling the WORST, HORRIBLE, and just DISGUSTING disease (CANCER) keep that most beautiful smile, that cutest laugh, and that spunky sparkle on her face? I think right there shows just how amazing she truly is. I can’t and never will say that she was this or she was that…cause you know what she’s not really gone. She might not be here on Earth with us, but she’s in all of our hearts and here in spirit with all of us who truly loved her!!! I know that she’s up there telling all of us to stop crying and to not be sad for her, but to keep on FIGHTING and BELIEVING for her and her dream and for her little warrior friends. There’s soo many children in this world who are batteling this HORRIBLE disease and they are not given any hope and they need someone out there to fight for them and to show them that they can NEVER GIVE UP! If you watched Boey on the Extreme Makeover well then you would just love her famous quote and I think it’s the most awesome quote anyone could EVER SAY let alone an 8 year old girl! “Be Strong, Never Give Up, and If You Believe Then It Can Happen!” Boey’s dream is to find a cure for pediatric cancer so these children don’t have to worry about being in the hospital and having no childhood…just like Boey wants, I want to see every child in this world with a smile on their face and to be 100% Cancer Free and so they can live a great childhood and fullfill all of their dreams! There’s soo many stories I have of the time I got to spend with my sweet little Boey and there’s soo many amazing words that could describe her, but we’d be here for years…but of course if you love Boey as much as I do then that wouldn’t bother you a bit! I just want all of you to know that we have to continue to FIGHT and BELIEVE for BOEY and we have to make sure her dream comes true!!!!! I want you to know that the Byers family really really needs all of our prayers! They miss their baby girl soo much and I don’t blame them…I mean I’ve only known Boey for 7 amazing months and I miss her so much I can’t even explain it. Please pray for them to find the strength to go on and to live as normal of a life possible, and to fullfill their daughter’s dream! Please pray for them to find comfort and to not feel alone and to just know and feel Boey and her spirit around them. Please pray for her two brothers Chris and Joe to know in their hearts how much Boey loved them and how awesome they were to her as brothers! I know in my heart that Boey is up there just soo happy and proud and truly blessed to have Rachel, Rob, Chris, and Joe as her family! I don’t think anyone else could have given her a better life on this Earth and could have given her the spunkiness and fiesty and loving heart she has! I’ve seen how much prayers work and I know the more we pray for the Byers family the better it will become for them!

Rachel and Rob wants to thank EVERYONE for all of your thoughts, prayers, and loving and caring words for them and of their amazing BOEY!!!!! It means soo much to them that a thank you is truly a HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT. Please make sure to keep sending all of your prayers their way and just keep telling them how much Boey means to you and how much you love her! If you would like to help them the best way you could help them besides all of the prayers is by buying a boey bracelet, writing to your state’s senator and finishing Boey’s work to get the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act bill signed! You could also donate to the Sparrow Club and there’s an account in her name. All of the donations are tax deductible. The Byers family would like to thank Daughtry for all of the kind words they posted about Boey and had posted on their front page of their site. It truly meant a lot to them, and I know to Boey too!!!!

Boey is the most amazing girl I’ve ever known. She’s changed my life FOREVER. She inspired soo much and has made my faith in God soo much stronger than anyone could have ever done and for an 8 year old girl to do that well all I can say is that, it is a miracle in itself. She showed me what’s really important in this world. We take SOOO MUCH for granted every day that we forget to realize that it’s the very simple things in life that really truly mean the WORLD. I have to thank God EVERY SINGLE DAY for blessing me with the little sister I never had but wanted soo bad. Boey BELIEVED and LOVED her King til her very last breath taken on this Earth. I am soo proud of her and I know WE ALL are but no one could be any prouder and honored than the Byers family. The Byers family are soo proud of their daughter and sister and who could blame them? She is the MOST AMAZING little girl I have ever met! Boey truly is HEAVEN on EARTH!!!!! I believe in my heart that she has made all of us soo proud of her that we need to return her the same favor by making her proud of all of us!!!! The only way I know that we could do that is to make sure her legacy never ENDS. My goal in life is to make sure that EVERYONE I know will learn about Boey and what she is and about her love, her faith, her dreams and about the fight she fought and the fight she is still fighting…not for herself anymore, but for her WARRIOR FRIENDS!!!! Let’s make sure we get President Bush to sign the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act Bill! If this is Boey’s dream, then I will make sure I will FIGHT for her dreams til the day I die! I hope that this brings some inside of how much Boey means to me, because there’s soo many things I could say about my Boey that it still wouldn’t feel like I’ve said enough about her. She’s my miracle, blessing, little sister, and my TRUE HERO and I thank the Lord for bringing her and her whole family into my life!!!!!! BOEY I LOVE YOU AND ALWAYS WILL LOVE YOU…and I will ALWAYS BELIEVE AND FIGHT FOR YOUR DREAMS AND FOR YOUR WARRIOR FRIENDS!!! Rachel, Rob, Chris, and Joe I LOVE ALL OF YOU SOOOO MUCH and your always in my thoughts and prayers and I want you to know that if you EVER EVER EVER NEED ANYTHING you know how to contact me! I’m here for you 100% of the time!

The Byers will write a blog soon about Boey’s last days, but right now it’s just too hard for them and too painful…please just take the time to let them know how much you love Boey and just keep sending them as many prayers as possible…THANK YOU SOO MUCH FOR ALL OF YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT FOR BOEY AND THE BYERS FAMILY!!!!!!!! May God continue to bless all of you and your family and remember we always will BELIEVE FOR BOEY!

-Felisha