Telling Our Son

July 6, 2014

Simon has been back in the hospital three full days now.  Long enough to start decorating. Thank you, Texas Flag Fairy.

Texas flag

It feels like we’re at an impasse. They drained over two liters of fluid from his abdomen again and gave him another blood transfusion.  It seems so redundant to take blood and put it back in unless it’s dialysis.  But they are closely monitoring all sorts of levels and numbers and we’re hoping to hear there is good progress happening.

The social worker and oncology nurse gave us some helpful resources to help the children adjust to our new normal.  We are wanting them to be more active in this journey but still aren’t using the words cancer or death.  Not yet.  We don’t have a time frame so they don’t need a time frame to worry over. We had our seven year old son come visit Simon for the first time in the hospital tonight.  (FYI,  in case you haven’t figured it out, we’re not using our kids’ names – or specific names of most people,  places, and things –  on this blog for their protection.  Our friends and family know them.  Creepy internet weirdos don’t need to know them. So don’t be surprised if you accidentally use our kids’ names in the comments and it gets changed or deleted.  It’s because we love them.)  Anyway, our oldest kid came to visit tonight.  He met the nurse, saw Simon in his new habitat, and worked on a Star Wars puzzle with me that was smuggled from one of my coworkers from another floor. The visit seemed to go very well.  Until the car ride home.

During the short drive home, our son says he hopes Dad will get better really soon.  I agreed that we all hope he will get better soon.  And that’s what we’re all praying for.  But I simply explained Dad may stay sick and might not be able to do the same things he did before.  And that it didn’t change how much he loves our son. I didn’t say a word about dying.  But even hearing that his dad might not get better floored  him.   He burst into tears.  Hysterical tears. MY. HEART. BROKE.  Our son has always been particularly sweet and sensitive.   There is no way around these tender emotions.  I held him, cried with him, assured him how deeply he is loved by so many people, and that Dad will always love him, even if he can’t play basketball with him.

handsThis is by far the hardest part. The kids.  I really do feel strong in many areas of this journey but envisioning how I’ll help the kids cope leaves me feeling raw and overwhelmed. I KNOW we have so much love and support. I KNOW kids are amazingly resilient.  I carry a burden thinking about the balance of caring for them, keeping up with their routines, and being flexible when plans change.  Being careful to remember they are emotional creatures but that their thought processes aren’t as abstract as an adult.  And consistently reminding them that God loves them every bit as much as He loves me and you.  He has been preparing them for this journey, too.  Keep praying.  Even if you never have before, make tonight the first night.  Pray for our kids. Pray for my fears. Pray for your own battles.

Let Him bear your burdens.





  1. liliana on July 5, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Praying for you kristy!!! Praying for your beautiful children.

  2. Marxel Lavallier Leobez on July 5, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    <3 <3 <3 Prayers

  3. Debbie P on July 5, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Keeping you all in my prayers! Hugs all around

  4. Crystal on July 5, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I think about your family often and my heart hurts for you and your children. Your writing is so beautiful. It’s so unfortunate to learn that under such circumstances. I will keep your family in my thoughts. Stay strong.

  5. Stephanie Ahlstrand on July 5, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Oh Kristy, my heart aches for you all! I just can’t even fathom what you are going through, not only dealing with your own grief, but how to let your children know that their dad is sick and may not get better. You all are in my prayers

  6. Lori Rutherford on July 5, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Gut. Wrenched.

  7. Ariana Mullins on July 6, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Praying for you and Simon and your sweet kids. Unfathomably difficult. Thank you for sharing, Kristy.

  8. D . Frank on July 6, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Well, I have no words of wisdom, I have no way to comfort you. The only thing I can tell ya is that you and your family have our love and undying support. You truly do have a great support system, and even though we don’t see you regularly, our prayers are daily and our friendship is there.
    Love you and give our love to that brave husband of yours

  9. Jeanette on July 6, 2014 at 3:59 am

    You have my knees.

  10. Dylan on July 6, 2014 at 6:00 am

    I love y’all so much. Praying even now.

  11. Sarah e on July 6, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Praying!!!! Sweet sweet boy. What a heart he has

  12. Amanda Dupree on July 6, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Keeping Simon, you, and your precious children in my thoughts and prayers.

  13. Belinda Pettit on July 6, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Praying each day for this …..God will take care of you.

  14. Erin on July 6, 2014 at 7:33 am

    I love y’all.

  15. Linda manley on July 6, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Much love and continued prayers for your precious family.

  16. Donald & Diane Brown on July 6, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Kristy, we’ve never met. Donald was Simon’s principal in high school and he went to school with our daughter Ashley. We are of course from Atlanta. I wish I could say something that would take away the pain that you and your children are feeling right now, but of course I cannot. I can only say that there are a lot of folks thinking and praying for you and your family! And, God’s got this. Only He knows what the outcome will be – and He doesn’t make mistakes. Please tell Simon that we are thinking and praying for not only him, but the entire family.

  17. Pauline Lopez on July 6, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Even though I read your warning I started reading your post….I am now crying at Fry’s. My heart and prayers go out to you all.

  18. Gina Rossman on July 6, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Kristy I always knew you were this amazing mother, wife and coworker. God holds you, Simon and the kids close to his heart. Keep up the great work you have managed to navigate through this shock of Simons illness. My deepest thoughts and prayers are with you all. Much love, faith and hope,.

  19. Ashley Stowers on July 6, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    I went to school with Simon. My prayers are with y’all. I’m a palliative care nurse and we use a book with a lot of our kids that have parents with a serious illness. It’s called, When Someone Has a Very Serious Illness: Children Can Learn to Cope with Loss and Change. I hope this is helpful. You can find it on amazon.

  20. Melanie on July 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Praying for you both with this process of answering questions and responding to the kids as they begin to notice more and conversations come up. Praying for wisdom and strength and comfort for you all, and the presence of God Himself to tangibly meet the kids as a personal real Father GOD in Spirit beside them each step of the way. Prayers and Love.

  21. Jason Edwards on July 7, 2014 at 5:08 am

    Continuing to pray for Simon and your family, Kristy. Lord, have mercy, Christ have mercy.

  22. Alex on July 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    From my personal experience, I find it’s a good idea to let your kids know. I was a kid when my dad got diagnosed with Cancer. My mom never told me how bad it was and that he wasn’t going to get better. In her mind she thought she was protecting me. I, however, grew up with a bottled up anger because she didn’t tell me those where the last moments with my dad. It’s weird to explain. I wasn’t mad at her, just mad at her choices. If I would have known, i would have hugged him more. Instead of a hundred kisses a day, I would have given him a thousand.

    Praying that it would be God’s will to heal Simon. To make his pain go away and give him the strength and comfort he needs. Also praying for God to give you the strength and patience when dealing with medical stuff, being there for the love of your life while balancing a “normal” life for your kids. I don’t know what the two of you are going through, but I can somehow relate to your kids.

  23. Alice Perez on July 30, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Simon and Kristy,

    We are truly blessed to have met an extrordinary couple who shared a glimpse of true love. Through God’s work you have inspired many to live and know what a perfect marriage looks like. God made no mistake when he united both of you because you are “truly soul mates.” May God strengthen your lives with His love . (Psalms 23)




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