Addressing Collin…Only Once

I have had several people respond to different blogs and mention “our other son”. I will take this opportunity to address Collin and unless necessary, will not do so again.

Collin is 13 years old and is in middle school. Anything that is said on any form of social media will be taken back to him. If there is anything, ANYTHING I have said in multiple blogs it has been that it is hard to grieve publicly.

These are the facts I can tell you that Collin is aware of. Now I want you to remember, he is preteen, just lost his brother, and suffers from ADD/ADHD combined typed with Depressed Mood Adjustment Disorder since 2nd grade.

Now…he’s a patient of St. Jude himself. Tomorrow we go BACK to St. Jude to see his oncologist to get the results of his blood work and check his tumor markers. That is after he spent two and one-half hours with his psychiatrist and psychologist today at St. Jude. Collin does not have cancer but is only being screened.

Ball all of that up and let your 13-year-old handle it. Or better yet, let your friends talk to you about it. Are they compassionate?

If I had a dime for each time someone said, I can’t imagine what you are going through. Don’t worry about me. Can you imagine what a 13-year-old is going through who will not mention his brother’s name. Bottom line, nope, you can’t imagine.

I told a sweet lady in McAlister’s tonight that I did not ever want to get to this point about Collin. We ask that you respect our privacy when it comes to Collin. We are dealing with school, hospital, church, family, all delicate issues.

God did his work though Trey and right now, His word is spreading through Trey’s strength and faith. God is still working in Collin’s heart and in all facets of his life. I will do what I need to protect Collin. Matter of fact, he has no way to view social media (thank you school grades).

My last request will be that you put Collin at the top of your prayer list for our family. Those that are close to our family immediately come to us and always ask, how is Collin? He needs love. Lots of love and understanding. I can’t wrap my mind around what his little mind is trying to process. He is shouldering so much. All I know is God is Good. He will never leave us. Collin believes in The Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior and we will walk through this time of our lives just like we walked through a year ago with Trey.

As Collin knows… Phil 4:13 COLLIN can do all things through Christ who strengthens him!

There is a Difference

I have been pondering this for some time.  Today, I saw a comment made by a friend of ours, Ryan Gwaltney. Trey and Ryan were close friends. Trey was like her little brother. Ryan attends LSU and she had attended the concert of All Sons and Daughters. They sing one of my favorite songs you might know – I Need a Reason to Sing. She said in her post that they had just led them in singing 10,000 Reasons. She went on to say, I’ll never forget you @treyerwin13, little buddy.  We talked back and forth how both songs made us cry and eventually I had to stop talking and just go to the bathroom in tears.

Many times I will tear up at work and need to leave my desk.  It can be because of a quick thought that flies through my head, looking at his picture on my desk, reading an email a client sent asking about Trey, or any number of reasons.  I’m thankful that the people I work around do not ask me all the time what is wrong.  They know. 

Most of my “realization time” is when I am in the car.  There are just thoughts that I just can’t believe that he is gone.  People still wear the shirts, but he is gone.  People have moved on.  Living their life like nothing happened a year ago.  Do you remember Trey?  The one you fought so hard for? I had someone tell me that he spoke to several youth in a heated tone and asked them what had happened to them?  They wear the shirts and this time last year, they were all about praying for Trey and living their life differently and now they are back to living a way that is not pleasing to God.  I said AMEN!  We talked about how people wore the shirts to be on the bandwagon and other wore the shirts out of the actual spirit of the meaning.  We are praying the spirit of God is living in some of their lives.

This is wear the difference comes in.  When I give public speeches, I try to tell them that I still grieve.  I still cry.  You will still see sad posts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and even this blog.  Why?  Easy answer.  I will ALWAYS be Trey’s mother.  That will never, ever change.  In speaking with our psychologist at St. Jude, she supports the theory that our grieving will not get better with time like the saying goes – time heals all wounds.  The wound will always be there.  Now it may take on a different form, but I have talked to many, many mothers that still very much grieve for their child.  A friend was working out putting me with Mary Beth Chapman and I was told that Mary Beth’s grief is still so real, that she does not talk one on one with people about the loss of the daughter of Steven Curtis Chapman and Mary Beth.  Instead, she has written a book and is sending it to me. 

“My soul weeps because of grief; Strengthen me according to Your word.”  Ps. 119:28

Grieving publicly is very difficult.  But when you grieve publicly, you also have the opportunity to share.  God is giving me the opportunity to share through so many different venues.  Just because I am grieving DOES NOT mean God cannot speak a word through me.  If I am being obedient to Him, faithful to His word, then He will use me and continue to use Trey’s story.  It is a matter of me being willing.  God uses all kinds of circumstances for His glory.  Some we may never know about this side of heaven.  On Friday night I will have the opportunity to speak to a church in Independence, Mississippi, and on Monday, I will be speaking during the Harding Academy chapel.  (Please pray for me.) There are other things around the corner.  I get excited when I know that God is going to potentially reach out and touch someone through Trey or just through any kind of encouraging word.

I remember saying one time in a blog that I will never stop talking about Trey.  And I will not.  I will never stop talking about the awesome way God used him.  God changed our lives.  I truly, truly have to stop and think if I had to do it all over again, would I do it differently.  That is a hard question.  I feel I gave up my son for Kingdom’s glory.  But then Jay and I were talking and said, God knew before Trey was conceived what his purpose would be.  We see so many signs through his life that point toward what Trey accomplished in just four short months.

So you have the difference of body and spirit.  I grieve for his body to be here with me.  I’ve said it before – grieving of the senses.  I rejoice that his spirit is with Jesus and experiencing everything that he read about, tweeted, talked about, and the things we shared in the quiet moments of the night.  Those moments, I would not trade for anything.  My mother is still alive and I still remember having those with her at night.  They will always be special to me. 

I am trying to instill into so many that I speak to that this was the will of God.  This is what WE believe, but we are still human, children of God, and He, our mighty Savior, is holding us in His hands daily.  Because I weep, I will not let Satan tell me I am weak.  I am NOT weak, I am a mother.  I am a vessel, emptying myself daily to be used by God, washed by His blood, blood mixed with tears.  Sometimes, it is hard to tell the difference between depression and Satan, but it is NEVER hard to know God.

Yes, there is a difference.  A difference in our family.  A difference in ME. But the biggest difference is I know that I have the right to grieve because I AM – not WAS, I AM and will always BE, Trey’s mother.  God purposed that almost 17 years ago.  And I’m here to tell you why.  Because my son was chosen by God to BE the difference.