My son is 22 years old, and has seen a tremendous amount of sorrow for one so young. He has had a young friend pass away when he was 16 to Leukemia. He has lost two Grandfathers and a Grandmother. He has watched me, his Mother, go through cancer treatment right after a friend of his lost his Mother to the same disease. He is the son of a soldier who has had separations with his Dad because of the military, so has said goodbye and hello many times, never knowing if his Dad would return. He is an only child, to older parents (we were in our late 30's when he was born). His latest trial was meeting, falling in love, getting engaged, and losing a lovely young lady named Katie to Cystic Fibrosis. Heartache after heartache...and though he questioned his faith at times (who doesn't?) he has finally settled into a much deeper faith through all this. Here is what he posted on Facebook this morning...
hing, it's still a battle of ups and downs and you learn you're just a moment away from something good you can celebrate, or something terrible that will make you stronger. And even in those tough times, if you have your priorities in order, the work you put in will not be in vain, something good even if it's small will come out of it."
I want to explain what all of this tattoo means. First, let me say, I'm against tattoos. I have spent a couple of years talking him out of them, because many of his friends have them. I could not say no when he told me what his plans were for this one. Just Breathe is the motto for Cystic Fibrosis patients. Katie spent a lot of time working with organizations to help raise money for research, so this phrase meant a lot to her. The line is a respiratory wave....but not just any one, this is Katie's actual wave. Ben asked for a copy of it while Katie was in the hospital the last time. He had asked Katie's permission, told her what he planned to do, and Katie agreed to it. And the last quote is a Bible verse "Your labor in the Lord is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:58. Katie and Ben are Christians, and their faith is important to them. They were active in a church, went to Bible study together, and would pray together.
Sometimes I can hardly believe this is my son. He's been compassionate, strong, kind and loving to a young woman who told her Mom she never thought she would know real love because she thought she was "damaged goods". He has faced such hard trials that even as an adult I had trouble facing. I can't think of him as my little boy any more, he has become a really good man, and I'm so proud of him!! While his Dad and I would like to take credit for how he has turned out, we know that it is also the influence of good people who have crossed his path. So if you want to raise a wonderful child, work together as parents, be a role model, teach him Biblical principles from a young age, seek Godly council, place him in the path of wise and Godly people, and pray like never before.
While we are sad at Katie's parting, we know for certain we will see her again, and we know that good things will come from this extremely hard experience. How do I know this? Because time and time again it has happened through all the tough stuff we have had to overcome, something good always comes from the experience. You just have to keep your eyes open, and keep the faith.