Archive for August, 2015

Tattoo

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

I’ve been considering getting ink done. I’ve been considering it for years now. I never really liked tattoos that much but when my daughter Boey died I thought of it as a way of honoring her. It would be a way of putting on the outside of my skin what was going on in the inside.

I even had a dream of what the tat would look like. My daughter fought against the beast of cancer from age 6 to 8. Her body eventually succumbed to it but I know that she won because it never took her loving spirit or her love for others and she never gave up. She encouraged others at her young age that were fighting cancer and imparted much wisdom to her family. The image I dreamt about was her beautiful smiling face on a warrior’s body with a shield that said “Never Give Up.”

I thought it to be a fitting tribute and a great conversation piece for anyone who wanted to ask. I really love to talk about my daughter but sometimes it’s awkward for others to bring her up. This tribute tat would do the trick. I’ve considered it for the last seven years.

But the thought struck me just yesterday that my heart is interested in honoring more than just Boey. She taught me so much about overcoming struggles and not giving up but there are 3 other people that I would be remiss if I did not include.

Of course I am referring to my wife and two sons that have been fighting a battle of faith that is ever so much a challenge as Boey fought and I would dare say, even more difficult. To say that the past 7 years have been difficult would be about as understated as saying that chemotherapy makes one feel bad. There have been moments that have been pure hell.

It’s been said that this earth is as close to experiencing Hell as a believer will ever experience. This rings true because it is about separation from God and that always involves confusion and pain. I have seen this pain in my wife and my two older boys. My wife and I have experienced this loss together and so I have seen her choices of faith but I am starting to see my boys’ choices, even the ones that have been challenging in the same light. The choices that my sons have made to cover their pain have been heartbreaking to watch and it took a long time for me to realize that I was powerless to influence since they are adults.

I never dreamed that I would have to deal with the issues of drug abuse and even perhaps losing another child due to these choices. For this reason their walk has not been as easy to wax nostalgic about as my young Boey. But the obstacles they need to overcome take just as much courage as their younger sister.

It is a common thing to idealize or even idolize a child who has passed away. With how much God used Boey to teach me about courage it is particularly easy to do. I am beginning to realize on this day that both Chris and Joe are walking out their lives with the same DNA of courage that their sister did even though the issues of their lives camouflage what is happening. Proverbs 24:16 says,” For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again” The falls have been traumatic and sometimes difficult to process but things have been changing.

It’s been said don’t judge my journey unless you have walked my path. I see this about my boys. I don’t excuse or sugar coat the decisions they have made but I do understand the battles they have faced in many ways have been alone. Actions and decisions have hurt but I recognize that the choices, as well as the consequences have been their journey and is forming their character because they have not given up. I now am realizing they are exhibiting similar faith that I have been celebrating in their sister and I want to celebrate them now.

It’s easy to celebrate victory in the heart of a innocent child fighting cancer. It is more difficult to celebrate the perseverance of someone whose pain has influenced them in making poor choices. I am now recognizing that in just about every way their battle is more difficult and they have had to overcome more demanding situations emotionally. I am proud of them both. I see the spark in both of their eyes of not wanting to give up in spite of dark emotions demanding they do so. Yes I have spent moment of talking to them when that spark was absent and I feared they were not going to make it but I now see some things changing in them. And I am proud of who they are becoming. As I process my emotions and let go of my stuff I begin to see that they have the same DNA as their little sister.

So to bring it back to the tattoo issue, If I were to honor anyone with ink outside my body It would be necessary to include all of my children Boey, Chris and Joe because they are all fighting the fight of faith and NEVER GIVING UP, even though it looks far different. Perseverance doesn’t mean you don’t make mistakes and fall down, it just means you get back up again.

So I suppose it’s time to hit the gym so I can increase my arm size So that I can include my 4 favorite warriors of faith; My Wife, Chris, Joe, and Boey.