My husband is dying, blessed be the name of the Lord?

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I stood in the aisles of Trader Joe’s, scanning the calorie counts of various foods, desperately trying to find foods that had the most calories per bite.  I was sure that my husband just needed more calories to gain his strength back.

I didn’t know that the toxins that his liver was no longer removing from his body had already built up to the point that they had taken away his appetite.

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One of the store associates teased me about calorie counting, saying that I certainly didn’t look like I needed to be watching my calories.  He didn’t know that the reason I’d lost so much weight was because I’d spent the last two years helping my husband fight an exhausting battle with cancer.  And that we seemed to be losing.

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Countless cross country flights we took where people were gruff with others and others extended us mercy and grace.  No one knew the weariness and exhaustion we carried in our hearts.

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Friends comment on how independent our children are, and many don’t know that it’s because they have had to learn to be, having been bounced around between friends and neighbors and folks they barely knew, while I took Kevin on countless doctor’s appointments and ER trips.

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When Jude and I snuck Daddy out of the hospital for lunch, we didn’t know it would be our last trip to the beach with him.   But I’m glad it was a great one.

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When I wrote a post like this one, I didn’t know that my words would give a friend struggling with the pain of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis the inner strength to keep soldiering on.

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When Jude squirreled away some of our hope postcards in his backpack and then dropped one of them on the floor at church, he didn’t know that the words on that card “Thank you for giving us hope” would speak words of comfort to a stranger who had stepped out of the church service and sought refuge in the ladies’ restroom.

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The day I wrote the first post, “The C word”, I never knew the lengths to which Kevin and I would go to fight, the miles that we would travel, and the number of lives that our story would touch.

 

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And last night, when I was driving down to the airport to pick up two of my best friends who have come to stand beside me as I watch my husband die, I pondered these things.  I pondered the number of people who have dug deep down into their own souls and wrestled with God in ways I can only imagine.  People who have begun to dialogue with God and ask Him the tough questions, like why the hell is this happening.  And knowing that God can more than handle it and that He is overjoyed to be hearing from His precious children.

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I thought about the doctors and nurses and caregivers who wept as they watched our children, dressed in their tiny scrubs, crawl up onto a hospital bed to snuggle with their father, and went home thinking about how our children were neither sorrowful nor afraid, and how could that be.

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I thought about all the ways that God has stretched and grown Kevin and me, and the ways that He has instilled an amazing compassion and empathy in our children.  I thought about all the ways that God has stirred the hearts of so many to provide for our little family in truly supernatural ways, and the people who have watched it all and shaken their heads, trying to make sense of it all.  I thought of the people who have begun again to speak to the One who created them and loves them beyond all imagination, if even only to yell at him and hurl rocks and cry out to Him “Why?!”  And how God can take it ALL and is wrapping His arms around them whether they believe in Him or not.

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I thought of how surprised Kevin will be at how packed the church will be when we gather to celebrate his memory, both here and in Atlanta, and for the thousands upon thousands of people who have been touched by his life and his story.

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I thought about our sorrow that our children will grow up without a father, but already see how their pain connects them with the greater suffering of the world and how their joy and perspective will be a source of light in my life.

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I thought on all of these things, and for a moment, just maybe even a second, I saw it from God’s perspective and I thought,

 

 

“It’s a fair trade.”

 

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Kevin loves to play poker, and was always talking about how it’s not a game of chance (he hates games of chance).  He would always tell me, “Why would the same people be at the world poker championships every year.”  He said it’s about playing the hand you’re dealt as well as you possibly can.  So I tried to find a good poker metaphor to wrap this up.

 

 

“Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes playing a poor hand well.”  -Jack London

 

 

I will never say that Kevin’s death is God’s will.  This was NEVER the way it was supposed to be.  And why it’s happening and how God can be all good and all powerful and still not stop this is a mystery that many of us will grapple with for years to come, myself included.

 

 

But.

 

 

I do believe… that NONE of this is a surprise to God.  It was not just luck or chance.  God may have not dealt Kevin and me this hand, but he knew exactly which cards we would receive.

 

We did our best, we played a shitty hand as well as we could.

 

As I watch my husband decline, and see already how pieces of him have left this earthly place, I am finally ready to think back on Job.  Many have compared our trials to those of Job’s, especially when so many crazy things have happened, like trees falling on our house and stuff.  Both Kevin and I took that reference very seriously though, and would never be willing to make that comparison.  Go back and read the story of Job and ALL the suffering that he endured, and you’ll understand why we would constantly say that this doesn’t even compare.  And yet, the words of Job come to mind as I see my husband no longer able to care for his bodily functions, no longer able to communicate verbally, sleeping off and on for short amounts of time, but greater amounts overall, much like a newborn.

I think of Job as he tore his clothing and shaved his head and dropped to his knees.

“Naked I came from my mother’s wound, and naked I shall return.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Is the Lord’s name blessed?  Do I feel that?  Do I truly believe it?  I don’t know right now.  I know that I will miss my husband so terribly and that, while I feel peace and surrender today, there will be many many moments where I feel I cannot even breathe.  And even more when those very words will cause me to hurl obscenities at God for allowing me to endure such pain.

At Kevin’s uncle’s funeral, his cousin played the song, “The Gambler”  I know it may not make sense to many, but Kevin would probably agree with me that it’s a fitting end to this rambling post.

On a warm summer’s evenin’ on a train bound for nowhere,
I met up with the gambler; we were both too tired to sleep.
So we took turns a starin’ out the window at the darkness
‘Til boredom overtook us, and he began to speak.

He said, “Son, I’ve made my life out of readin’ people’s faces,
And knowin’ what their cards were by the way they held their eyes.
So if you don’t mind my sayin’, I can see you’re out of aces.
For a taste of your whiskey I’ll give you some advice.”

So I handed him my bottle and he drank down my last swallow.
Then he bummed a cigarette and asked me for a light.
And the night got deathly quiet, and his face lost all expression.
Said, “If you’re gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

Now Ev’ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
‘Cause ev’ry hand’s a winner and ev’ry hand’s a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.”

So when he’d finished speakin’, he turned back towards the window,
Crushed out his cigarette and faded off to sleep.
And somewhere in the darkness the gambler, he broke even.
But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep.

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

 

Fuck it dude, let’s go bowling.

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74 thoughts on “My husband is dying, blessed be the name of the Lord?

  1. Rachel,
    You don’t know me but I am a friend of Sarah’s and you and your sweet family have been constantly on my mind and in my prayers. I’m so sorry that you and Kevin and Evie and Jude and Sarah and everyone else in your family are having to go through this. I can’t imagine the pain, anger, sorrow and so many other emotions that you must be feeling right now. I wish that I could take away some of that pain, but I can’t. It’s something that we as humans we just have to feel. But please know, that during it all, you have so many people that are praying for you. Kevin’s story has touched so many people and you are an angel for sharing it. THANK YOU for being so brave and allowing us to be a part of this process. Please give yourself and Kevin a hug from me. I hope that at some point I have the opportunity to meet you and hug you for real! God IS with you and DOES love you so much … don’t forget it – even when it’s so hard to believe! Merry Christmas sweet friend.

    -Kat Davenport
    John 16:33

  2. Dearest Rachel,
    You have been brave so long. I know God is embracing you now as I write this comment. It is a puzzle to me why God allows such difficult circumstances in the lives of His saints, but you & I know God does not allow us to walk alone. He sees every tear that falls. Praying for continued strength for you and those wonderful friends God has in your life and peace for our precious Kevin.

    Wish I could be there with you, but you know right now circumstances make that very difficult so I must be content to send my love to both of you and uphold you with prayer.

  3. I can’t choke back the tears anymore. I love you all so much and wish I could find the right words to write. I think bowling is better right now. Rachel, you are inspiring almost as much as Kevin..no, maybe more. Please know that we love you all very much and we will see you all soon. Blessings and honor for all four of you!

  4. I should write something thoughtful and kind and heartfelt. Instead I want to make you laugh so …. today at work we asked someone to send a headshot for our external magazine and he sent a selfie.

  5. Kevin! My heart is so heavy for you and your family. I know we haven’t seen each other in years, but what you don’t know is how much I remember you and what a great man you are. One of my most memorable trips to Disneyland was with you when we were in Jr High at Village. To this day, it lives as one of my favorite memories of that time in my life. My family and I are gone for the holidays, and honestly it was only a couple months ago I found all this out, thanks to Facebook! I know this has been going on for sometime, and this battle has been a hard one but I do hope I can see you soon. You will forever be in my mind the freckly faced, kind, genuine Jr Higher I valued as a friend. I love you and will be praying for you and your family.

  6. Rachel, I left a message for Sarah but I do not have your phone number. Please call or have someone call, and I will come to help you guys for the rest of today. 323-620-5324. Tears and hugs!-Amanda

  7. When Tomorrow Starts Without Me — by David M. Romano

    When tomorrow starts without me,And I’m not there to see,If the sun should rise and find your eyesAll filled with tears for me;I wish so much you wouldn’t cryThe way you did today,While thinking of the many things,We didn’t get to say.I know how much you love me,As much as I love you,And each time that you think of me,I know you’ll miss me too;But when tomorrow starts without me,Please try to understand,That an angel came and called my name,And took me by the hand,And said my place was ready,In heaven far above,And that I’d have to leave behindAll those I dearly love.But as I turned to walk away,A tear fell from my eyeFor all my life, I’d always thought,I didn’t want to die.I had so much to live for,So much left yet to do,It almost seemed impossibleThat I was leaving you.I thought of all the yesterdays,The good ones and the bad,I thought of all the love we shared,And all the fun we had.If I could relive yesterday,Just even for a while,I’d say good-bye and kiss youAnd maybe see you smile.But then I fully realized,That this could never be,For emptiness and memories,Would take the place of me.And when I thought of worldly things,I might miss come tomorrow,I thought of you, and when I did,My heart was filled with sorrow.But when I walked through heaven’s gates,I felt so much at home.When God looked down and smiled at me,From His great golden throne,He said, “This is eternity,And all I’ve promised you.Today your life on earth is past,But here life starts anew.I promise no tomorrow,But today will always last,And since each day’s the same wayThere’s no longing for the past.You have been so faithful,So trusting and so true.Though there were times you did some thingsYou knew you shouldn’t do.But you have been forgivenAnd now at last you’re free.So won’t you come and take my handAnd share my life with me?”So when tomorrow starts without me,Don’t think we’re far apart,For every time you think of me,I’m right here, in your heart.

  8. When Tomorrow Starts Without Me
    by David M. Romano

    When tomorrow starts without me,
    And I’m not there to see,
    If the sun should rise and find your eyes
    All filled with tears for me;
    I wish so much you wouldn’t cry
    The way you did today,
    While thinking of the many things,
    We didn’t get to say.

    I know how much you love me,
    As much as I love you,
    And each time that you think of me,
    I know you’ll miss me too;
    But when tomorrow starts without me,
    Please try to understand,
    That an angel came and called my name,
    And took me by the hand,
    And said my place was ready,
    In heaven far above,
    And that I’d have to leave behind
    All those I dearly love.

    But as I turned to walk away,
    A tear fell from my eye
    For all my life, I’d always thought,
    I didn’t want to die.
    I had so much to live for,
    So much left yet to do,
    It almost seemed impossible
    That I was leaving you.

    I thought of all the yesterdays,
    The good ones and the bad,
    I thought of all the love we shared,
    And all the fun we had.
    If I could relive yesterday,
    Just even for a while,
    I’d say good-bye and kiss you
    And maybe see you smile.
    But then I fully realized,
    That this could never be,
    For emptiness and memories,
    Would take the place of me.

    And when I thought of worldly things,
    I might miss come tomorrow,
    I thought of you, and when I did,
    My heart was filled with sorrow.
    But when I walked through heaven’s gates,
    I felt so much at home.
    When God looked down and smiled at me,
    From His great golden throne,
    He said, “This is eternity,
    And all I’ve promised you.
    Today your life on earth is past,
    But here life starts anew.
    I promise no tomorrow,
    But today will always last,
    And since each day’s the same way
    There’s no longing for the past.
    You have been so faithful,
    So trusting and so true.
    Though there were times you did some things
    You knew you shouldn’t do.
    But you have been forgiven
    And now at last you’re free.
    So won’t you come and take my hand
    And share my life with me?”

    So when tomorrow starts without me,
    Don’t think we’re far apart,
    For every time you think of me,
    I’m right here, in your heart.

  9. Rachel,
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. I’ve been reading your posts and am amazed by your strength! I pray you continue to feel God’s love, and he continues to give you the strength to rise above the negative feelings you will encounter.
    May God bless you and your children!
    Love,
    Tammera and Mike Rice

  10. The Lord said I go to prepare a place for you if you open your heart and let me dwell in you. The Lord is almost completed Kevin’s Manison he is just putting a few final touches on the inside. I am 76 Kevin so I will see ya soon!!!

  11. I screamed in anger at God when bacterial meningitis took my beautiful strong healthy 3 year old little boy, Matthew in 1991. After I emptied all of that pain and anger on Him, He came and filled me with His peace and love. He has carried me on an amazing journey of seeking Him and His knowledge since but I know there will not be complete healing until we go home. May He bless you and your family with the comfort and peace that surpasses all understanding.

  12. It’s ok to be mad at God. God can take it. This sucks, Rachel. It just flat sucks. I pray for peace for both of you–not necessarily acceptance, because I believe that will come with time. Your courage and devotion to each other and your children will burn for many. I love you. I wish I could fix it.

  13. Somehow the phrase “cancer sucks” doesn’t even begin to describe it. I don’t even pretend to understand the hands I have seen dealt to people (amazing, good people). If I could reshuffle the deck I am sure I would… playing God sounds very tempting, so I suppose it is good we don’t have that gift. But just damn I’d do it. I have no faithful words of scripture, no poetic quotes of hope or peace. Honey, this just sucks to Hell and back and I am so sorry.

  14. Hello,
    You guys don’t know me but we know the Blackwood’s (Iain and his family) God bless you and your family and we hope for a miracle and peace.

  15. Thank you for sharing your story and allowing others to lift you and your family up in prayer. Kelly and I, along with the rest of the Leonard gang have been praying for you. Our hearts are broken for the suffering that you have endured. We are encouraged by your faith, transparency, and authenticity. May the Lord continue to be your source of peace and comfort, and may He continue to use your tragic circumstances to glorify His great name.
    Your brother in Christ,
    Jonny Tillery

  16. You don’t know me, but I became a widow at age 35 with two children to care for. My husband fought head/neck cancer for nearly two years. Looking at your pictures takes me back to the gauze and padding we had to keep wrapped around his neck to stop the unending bleeding from his tumors. As a caregiver, oh honey, I know how it is. SO hard. And to be mom and daughter and churchgoer and employee and yet still a WIFE is all such a hard thing. These coming moments will be filled with hurt and grief, but you may be surprised at the God-moments that make themselves so apparent. He is SO right there with you, in anxious anticipation of showing your dear husband heaven. It was a privilege to pass my husband into God’s arms – I was witness to so many mini-miracles in the last day. My heart hurts for you…I will be in prayer for your family, sweet lady.

  17. Hi Rachel,

    I do not know you at all. Your friend, Janine, is in a women’s Bible study I am in. But after reading your post I just had to comment. Almost 2 years ago, my baby died at 11 weeks old of a rare heart disease. Reading your post connected with me so much. It was almost surreal because many things sounded very similar to some of my blogging that I did while my daughter Julia was dying. I appreciated your raw honesty. What you and your family is and has been going through is indeed shitty- in fact, it’s more than. There is no other word for it. And it is indeed not fair. I just want you to know that I will not claim to understand just what you are going through. I know it has to be overwhelming thinking about the future without your husband. That I can not imagine. But I have watched my daughter take her last breath in my arms. I know that pain and that very surreal experience that few people experience. I also know the incredible ways God has used my daughter’s short life of 11 weeks to touch many many people and how He is still using her life to touch and affect people. God used and continues to use her mightily. I will be praying for you, Kevin, and your children. My heart breaks for you all. And I want to you to know that if you ever wanted to contact me please feel free. But no pressure, obviously… even 6 months from now or a year… or never. Nancy Guthrie’s books- Holding on to Hope and Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow were very helpful for me. Also, Hinds Feet on High Places was a book that touched me deeply. May God’s amazing love and Grace surround you. He has given you and will continue to give you the supernatural strength you need when you think you have none. He is and will always be faithful. My heart breaks with you.

  18. Kevin your time here may be short but the legacy you leave will last your children’s lifetime. You have been strong and fearless, faithful and loving such a gift to give your children and Rachel. You are loved by all who are bless to know you and how magnificent a gift you are to God. No regrets no fears only trust in God who will watch over your family because they are so dear to you. Look for the peace in his love to carry you forward.

  19. Rachel and Kevin,

    You do not know us, but I have been following your blog via the Tenney family. My prayers of peace are with you both, and also with the little ones. May our God wrap you in His mighty arms of comfort. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” John 14:27.

    ~Blessings, Love, Prayer, and most of all, Hope ~

    -Katie and Chuck Anderson

  20. Rachel – I have read your story and watched you from a distance for many, many months. You met my husband briefly when he came to your home to buy a toddler bed. We have shed tears and said many prayers for you and your family and will continue to do so as the healing continues in so many different ways. You have impacted more strangers and are loved by more strangers than you will ever know. Thank you for allowing us to walk with you in this terrible, incomprehensible journey with you. We love you all and prayer is constantly being lifted up for each of you.

  21. Rachel, you don’t know me, but I’ve been following your difficult journey through a mutual friend on Facebook. I wish you peace and comfort.

  22. Hey Guys, You don’t know me but I’m in Jake Maquires Small Group at Trinty. I have completely Touched by ALL of you in Every Way Possible. I’ve watched God heal others and personally have been healed myself so I am Never suprised when God chooses to heal someone but I remain heartbroken when He does not! I am certian that one day our Eyes will be opened and we may be able to understand but I don’t get it at the moment. Rachel, your Faith and Confidence is absolutely Astounding!!!! I often wonder if God ever has second thoughts about createing this world… then I come across Someone like YOU and I see why he would have choosen to do all he has done for our salvation!

    I don’t have any poetic words or scripture you haven’t heard that will make the pain go away. What I would give to be able to offer such a thing. That’s Gods business though! I can tell you First Hand…. Joy Does Come in the Morning!!!!

    May God Richly Bless You!!

    Skip

  23. Dear Hill family,
    I heard some of your story by way of my Trinity community group. Reading this courageous and beautifully written post brought tears to my eyes. Though we haven’t met, I hold you in my heart. I’m grateful that you’ve found the grace to live in the real life tension of neither denying how wrong and evil Kevin’s cancer is, nor the reality of God’s absolute goodness and love in the midst of it.
    May you ever feel his presence and strength. As unimaginable as this may feel I am confident that He will give back far more than the enemy has stolen.

  24. Rachel,

    I do not know you and I will spare you the story in my life that makes yours resonate with me. I commend you on your grace and honesty during this horrible time. I will think of you, your lost husband, and your precious children this Christmas season. Wishing you all the best as you try to make sense of this random madness that has come your way. Peace and strength be with you always.

    JL

  25. Rachel, you do not know me…yet but the last memory I have of Kevin is on our porch in Burbank at a college Bible Study my husband led….it seems like yesterday…..the memory…his laughter!!! My heart breaks for you and your family but rejoices in knowing….Blessed be the name of OUR LORD in all things. Our family have had one of the toughest years we have had in a long time, health, finances, family crisis but nothing compares to your battle….Blessed be the name of OUR LORD will be my motto!
    Love because of HIM! Dawn Frendt

  26. Oh my I didn’t want to read this but knew I must! I can’t begin to know how you’re feeling or what to say…. Just know my heart is wrapped around yours in Spirit and love! God Bless the name of The Lord! And Hell yes….. Go bowling! Xxoo

  27. I am without words as I read your honest feelings. I want you to know that while I don’t know your family, I wish I did. I wish I could be there to help carry you through this journey. I think about you and Kevin everyday and am grateful that you allowed so many strangers to take this walk with you. May God wrap his arms and show you his love during this time. I am so sorry.

  28. All of us at Mustard Seeds are praying for you guys and hurting for your family. We’ve sent a box for Jude to have and it should arrive today or tomorrow. We hope it brings him a little joy right now.

  29. Rachel, Kevin, Sarah and family- I saw this tonight and thought of you.
    You are constantly on my mind. Your strength in God and in each other is awe inspiring. Much love to you and your family.

    Psalm 34:18
    The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

  30. Rachel,
    Know without a doubt that you are loved by God, by your families, by your Trinity church family, and by those of us you may have never met. Know without a doubt that God’s promises are true, and that His Grace is sufficient. Rachel, even when you don’t think you have the strength to lift a finger, keep raising your hands in praise the Almighty and He will honor that and give you the strength to take your next step, the strength for your next breath. Don’t let the enemy rob you of your confidence in the power of the Holy Spirit. My heart breaks for you and my words are so inadequate. You have a testimony that you don’t want to have to share. You have a story you don’t want to have to tell. But you have walked the path that was before you in a way that has honored Kevin, and that has honored God. Thank you for speaking to my heart and to the hearts of many.
    I have no doubt that our Michelle has a welcome home party all ready to help usher her Trinity brother into Glory.
    Prayers will continue for you, your children and your families.

  31. My heart hurts for you
    O Lord, we call upon You in our time of sorrow, That You give us the strength and will to bear our heavy burdens, until we can again feel the warmth and love of Your divine compassion. Be mindful of us and have mercy on us while we struggle to comprehend life’s hardships.
    Keep us ever in Your watch, til we can walk again with light hearts and renewed spirits. Amen

  32. Hi Rachel. I haven’t had the opportunity to talk with you since we graduated from high school, I think, but fairly recently Sarah and I have reconnected on Facebook. I’ve been following your and Kevin’s journey these last few months and I just want you to know that the distance of time and miles in no way damper my heartfelt sorrow over all that you have faced and will face. I am deeply, deeply sorry for the hand you’ve been dealt. I just want you to know that I’ve been praying for you a lot, and will continue to do that. I would wager that I represent hundreds of others who may not be a close presence in your life but who are touched by your story and are moved to cry out to God for you. I’ve been talking with my 5-year-old son Nolen about courage and what it really means–which is doing the right thing, even when you’re scared. And you and Kevin are some of the most courageous people I’ve ever encountered. You have fought the good fight and you have finished this race strong, whether you feel like it or not. I hope that, in the midst of your grief and sorrow, you can feel the encouragement and love from people who have stood with you, either literally or figuratively, on this side of Heaven and on the other. Sending much love, peace, and yes, joy to you from Nashville. I hope we get the chance to meet again one day.

  33. I’ve cried every time I’ve read this post. I have no idea what to say except that I’m reading every update, praying like crazy and so deeply saddened. I can’t believe you can put together such cohesive and gracious thoughts. These are powerful words.

  34. As my heart breaks for you, at the same time I am inspired. Inspired and reminded of so many things. Thank you for being who you are. I will continue to pray for you and Kevin.

  35. God bless you and your family. What strength, faith, and love you have. I don’t know you guys personally, but have read your story through Facebook from other friends who went to Village (I went there also). I am so moved by your story, and so truly heartbroken for you. I’ll be praying, praying for you, for your children, and for your amazingly strong husband. That is what a hero and true inspiration is. Thank you for sharing your story.

  36. Rachel
    You don’t know me, I knew Kevin in high school. I’ve been following your guys’ journey the last couple of months. I didn’t know Kevin was so ill until someone shared one of your posts a couple of months ago. My heart is breaking for you. You are such a strong woman in all that you have done for Kevin & your family. Your love for Christ has just shone through during all this where I know many would have not been able to do as you have done. I’m not so sure I could have. I want to tell you that you will get through this but it sounds so trite during your grief now. I am so glad your family is together now, it’s awful that it is during the holidays & I hope one day your family will have only the wonderful memories of when Kevin was alive with you to remember during this time. I wish I had words to get you through this, but it seems like nothing right now would help. You have been so strong throughout this & I know you will continue to do, but know it’s ok to break down & grieve. It’s not fair & it effing sucks that all this has happened to you guys, I too question why. Please know I think & pray about you & your family often.

  37. your pain is real and unimaginable. I am so sorry you have to go through this.Your family in our prayers daily. Thank you for being so real and vulnerable.

  38. Rachel…tell my fellow high school hurdle buddy to soar and roar! My love goes out to you guys…even though you and I have never met.

  39. O Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need: We humbly beseech thee to behold, visit, and relieve thy sick servant Kevin for whom our prayers are desired. Look upon him with the eyes of thy mercy; comfort him with a sense of thy goodness; preserve him from the temptations of the enemy; and give him patience under his affliction. In thy good time, restore him to health, and enable him to lead
    the residue of his life in thy fear, and to thy glory; and grant that finally he may dwell with thee in life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

  40. Rachel, my heart goes out to you. You and Kevin have been so brave and have left no stone unturned. As hard as this is, you’ve got this! You are an amazing woman, wife, mother…I just want to reach out and hug you and wish I could do something to change all this. I will continue to pray for you and your children; I will pray that as Kevin transitions from this life to the next that there is peace – peace that passes understanding. Keep pressing toward the mark of the high calling…

  41. Bless you and your boundless faith. My guy and I did the liver fight 5 years ago, not Cancer but the decline to transplant was horrific. 5 Years later we are still traumatized by the experience….thank you for sharing. May God bless you and your children as you journey onward.

  42. I lost my husband when my son had just turned 6. Life does go on. But I do know your pain. I sit here on Christmas eve morning, getting ready for work, with tears streaming down my face for a family I have never met and probably never will.
    I have cancer too. Mine is slow I am told. But I am checked every three months, “just to be sure”. Please cherish every moment of your life. The good – the bad- it is all wonderful. My prayers go up for you today. Please rejoice in whatever time you have.

  43. Oh Rachel, I don’t even have words, just want you to know that more people than you can even imagine are praying for you and your family right now. Lord, shower this family with your love and peace.

  44. Bless you for your example. It reminds me of Daniels three friends being thrown into the fiery furnace. “God will rescue us from your hand,– but even if He doesn’t..”. Sometimes He doesn’t rescue but we still bless Him. Good job

  45. Rachel, I went to high school with Kevin. And while I didn’t know him well, I have come to know him through your blog which I have been following for six months now. I have tears streaming down my face as I read this post as a wife, a mother and a believer. I have shared your blog with other friends on Facebook and they too have cried out to the Lord for you. I cannot imagine what this journey has been like, but I am so incredibly thankful for your raw, real, God-glorifying words.

  46. It’s all been said by everyone who has posted, so I shall post our relationship: Those sneak out of the hospital trips are AWESOME, aren’t they!?! Our son does not have cancer, but has been sick all of his life. We have lost him a few times now but we have always gotten him back. But we think we are as prepared as can be since we have had enough experiences and read others’ experiences as well. It brings a smile to my face to see others pulling the same stunts we do, finally reaching the point where we don’t care; we’re just living life the best way possible.

    Your post has given me the inspiration and the faith once again to keep up the fight. It is sometimes hard and those who are callous, who are gruff, who seem uncaring. For some, we see why the attitude, THEIR coping mechanism. Then we see the others who are afraid to get near for fear of getting sick. God bless you and your family! Our continued prayers for your fight ahead. While I can imagine what it is like with the countless hospital trips, the emergency room visits and going to pick up your children after a long separation due to hospitalizations, I have yet to walk the long road home without my baby. God bless you all!

  47. May the good Lord wrap his arms around you and give you the strength you need at this time. Our prayers are with you and your family.
    Bill and Eileen Graham

  48. God’s peace surround you, your family, and all the people that have surrounded you during your time of need. Prayers continue to go out to you and family with much love and respect.

  49. We will always remember Kevin from the trumpet solos in high school and on his wedding day. In time, your special memories will bring you comfort too. Our deepest sympathy to your family.

  50. Dear Rachel,

    I remember meeting you and Kevin on a Monday night at Village church, many years ago.
    I have been following your and Kevin’s journey via these posts. I have mixed emotions. I am grief-stricken by your trials yet inspired, amazed and in awe of your faith in God.
    Thank you, sweet, sweet Rachel, for sharing your and your sweet husband’s precious journey.

    Tammy J.

  51. Thank for sharing your story and your love with me(us). While you do not know me…you have brought me some peace and some understanding. You expressed deeply how I feel. I have never understood when someone has said that it is Gods will. I have never believe God wants good people to suffer. It’s hard to understand why we only get to spend a certain amount of time with loved ones. I try to be thankful for the time I have with them. Even if it is not enough time and if it’s just not fair. I know you will see your husband in your kids often.:)

  52. Rachel,

    I know you from Village Preschool when my kids were there. Several VCS friends posted your blog and I realized it was you.

    I am SO sorry for your loss! I can’t imagine your pain right now! I know that Kevin is in the best place now, but I pray that The Lord will give you & your family all the love & comfort you need!!

  53. Rachel, thank you for trusting us with your thoughts and feelings. I am so sorry Kevin and you are going through this.Your thoughts have given me a perspective on how to navigate through times of sadness and sorrow. Sickness, death, tragedy, sin….the why’s will continue to be a mystery but thanks for writing that God can handle our questions and our responses. He is Emmanuel “God with us,” and He is going through every bit of it with us. Can you imagine such a heart to go through it with all of humanity?! Kevin will one day have a strong, vibrant, healthy body…and he’ll be waiting for you. Your children will be a source of joy and strength. They are God’s gift to us….just being who they are. My love to you on this Christmas eve. May God’s peace surround you. Lean on Him. —Rocio

  54. God Bless you and your family Rachel. I have very fond memories of Kevin and the amazing spirit that he was during our KWU days. I have been following your challenges and have prayed all along the way. I Thank God for allowing me to know Kevin and will continue to keep you and your beautiful children in my thoughts and prayers as you walk through this difficult walk. Love and Prayers, Alicia

  55. I dint have words to console you Rachel and you probably doesn’t even remember me, but I know you as an exceptional photograph that was able capture the soul of my child while he was at the Village preschool in Burbank.
    Your story touched my heart and I just can only pray for you, your kids and the new life you are going to face without your loved Kevin. I will pray for you as you shown me in your posts the awesome wife, mom and friend you are. May the memories of Kevin help you find peace.
    What we have once enjoyed we can never lose… All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. ~Helen Keller

  56. I have fond memories of Kevin being a great friend of my younger brother and sister. He always had the best attitude and was a great kid.
    I hope the amount of people who have cared about Kevin brings warmth to you.
    My condolences to you and your family, Rachel.

  57. Rachel, I never met you, but once your posts were online on Facebook for Trinity, I have been following your life stories and have been so touched by your blog about Kevin and your family. I don’t have words to console you and I don’t know how you’re feeling, except lost, I’m sure. Please know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of so many people. You have let us be voyeurs into your life and you didn’t have to do that, but thank you for allowing us to see and feel what you’ve gone through. I pray for strength and comfort for the coming days, months, and years for you and the children. God bless you and your family.

  58. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. If there is anything I can ever do no matter how small please let me know. I am a friend of Chelsea Rotunno. I live in Burbank. You and your children are deep in my thoughts this day.

  59. Blessings to you sweet Rachel and those precious kids. We have a lot in common. You’re doing it right, dear Sister. One day at a time, Sweet Jesus!

  60. Rachel, forever a smile will be in my heart when I think of Kevin. Each time I think of him, I think of you and Jude and Evie. I will continue to pray for you. As Kevin used to come play trumpet while I played piano, I will think of him each duet my daughyer and I play. That means many more prayers ahead.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    From the depths of my heart, God’s love and peace to you.

    Aimee Brown Woycenko

  61. Hi Rachel, this is Kay. We met on our very last morning of the Mexico cruise with the 13 month old baby boy and husband Alex. I hope you, Jude, and Evie have settled back from your trip just fine, and I read that you have made a decision on your “next step”. I just want to say that I have found your story to be incredibly inspirational through your strength with the entire ordeal. There has not been a dry eyed moment reading your blog. You are a true testiment to what it means to be a spouse and partner, through sickness and in health…. You will forever have a place in my heart and have become a voice of encouragement in my time of despair. Thank you for having touched my life.

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