Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Incredible Woman #1 - Janie Squire. Tuesday's questions

Kara: "Every person has to go through trials. I believe that HOW you handle your trials is important, not only to yourself, but to those around you. I know you've had some trials in your life. If you can, tell me about them. Which has been the hardest?"
Janie: "There have been a couple of trials in my life. The first one began with Brandon's diagnosis of Duchenne Muscular Dystropy. He was three when he was diagnosed. At the moment, your whole world comes to a stop. You want everyone to stop with you, but unfortunately as you look around, the world keeps moving with everyone on board. We have to decide to jump on board or refuse the ride. We all have jumped on board and taken the ride - haven't we? It was so difficult knowing that the beautiful, brown-eyed, brown-haired little boy was not as healthy as he looked. I knew as a mother, what things he was facing. It was difficult trying to keep things in perspective. "O.k., he will eventually be in a wheelchair, but let's take it one step at a time. We will cross that bridge when we get to it." That had to be my motto, otherwise it would have been too difficult to handle. When he lost his battle with this disease, and left our side, it felt like someone had ripped my heart out of my chest. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't fathom my world continuing without my son, even though I knew that someday this would happen. It didn't make it any easier! I had lost the one that gave me so much joy, the one that could make me smile in an instant. It did feel like my world had ended for a time. I had been so accustomed to having my life revolve around him and his needs. I didn't know what I was going to do with myself. I did the every day things around the house, but I was lost without him here, needing me to get a drink for him, or brush his teeth, or comb his hair. I was lost for a while. That was in March 2003. Then, in June of 2007, I was faced with my own personal trial of breast cancer. That takes the wind out of your sails as well! I truly was surprised at the diagnosis. It doesn't run in my family, etc., etc. But, I think the fact that there was another trial to go through was a bit overwhelming. I didn't think "Well, the Lord has put me through the most ultimate test of losing a child, certainly He wouldn't give me another major trial", but when all of the tests started coming back positive, it was a bit surreal.

(I'm updating this post with this picture that Janie just sent - she says that a little neighbor boy, Zane, wanted to try on her wig. Have I mentioned how brave I think Janie is? I don't think I even have a picture of my head completely bald. Look how absolutely gorgeous she is!)

The trial that was the most difficult was definitely losing my son. No parent should have to bury a child. It isn't the natural course of life. Children should outlive their parents."

"How did you get through these trials? Can you give us some advice on tackling our own trials? What are some important lessons you've learned from your trials?"
Janie: "Advice on tackling trials... take it one day at a time. Cross those bridges that you have to cross as they come. Don't think about what will be happening in a week, a month, a year, 5 years, etc. Rely on the Lord to give you strength and remember what He had to endure in the Garden of Gethsemane. Keeping that in mind, truly helps you face your trials. I've learned that no one is immune from trials. We are here to learn, experience, and grow. What we do with these trials is our choice. What we learn is up to us. How we help others with their trials is also up to us, but if we choose to be of service, then think of how much richer our lives could be!

I have learned to not judge others. I have learned that some people have disabilities that are seen and some have disabilities that are not seen. We can't know what each person is going through just by what seems to be so apparent. I have learned to be patient. I have learned to enjoy each day of my life and not take it for granted. You never know when it is your last day."

I'd like to thank Janie for the answers to today's questions. I know they were difficult to talk about and I appreciate her candor. Janie has the most incredible statue in her front yard. It is of Brandon's wheelchair. Cydnee, her daughter, is holding on to the back and is flying, and Brandon is flying out of the front of it. Here are two pictures of the statue, with Janie's description (make sure to click on each picture to see them close up - they are amazing!)...

"This statue represents Brandon's new journey. He is no longer confined to a wheelchair and is "on his way" to begin this journey. He is looking back to his little sister, smiling and saying "Don't worry about me! I will be just fine! So will you!" Cydnee could be found on the back of Brandon's wheelchair going for rides with him around the neighborhood. Her ponytail would fly in the wind and she would hang on for all she was worth! It was such a beautiful sight to see! Dennis Smith, famous sculptor from Alpine, was able to capture both of them so perfectly. We unveiled the statue on Brandon's one year anniversary. It gives us so much comfort and joy. The statue is a wonderful reminder to us of how life doesn't end here. We believe in eternal life and that if we live our lives in righteousness, we will be together as a family forever. We look forward to seeing Brandon again. He will no longer have an imperfect body, but a healthy body and we will see him standing and walking. What a glorious day that will be!"

How touching, Janie. Thanks for sharing that with us!

Tomorrow we'll be learning what Janie's thoughts are on service, and what she'd do with a full day to herself!


blushing rose said...

Awesome post, love the statues ...

She is right! No parent should loose a child. I am the Mother of my angel son, Sean Ean. This is the hardest mountain to climb after such a devastating loss. Forever there is a daily emptiness & memory or thought of our children. Without God leading us, we'd have never made it thru such devastation.

May God bless Janie for sharing & may she be blessed with good health forever, may her sons soul rest in peace. TTFN~ Marydon

Dena said...

Very inspiring story. As a parent who has lost a son, I know how difficult it is to take baby steps forward without them. Thank you.

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