Mother’s Day is not always filled with cards and sunshine. Sometimes it’s accompanied with a heavy heart. Guest blogger Tammy Treat-Boyne knows all too well of the pain that accompanies celebration.
As Mother’s Day approaches I am brought back to my memories of a missing puzzle piece of my heart. I have buried a child. No parent should go through this. Friends tried to placate me with the 23rd Psalm and words of “she is not in pain anymore”. That did not help this grieving mother.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” Psalm 23:4a (NKJV)
I was there all right. In the valley and I was angry, sad and disappointed.
Fearing evil? No, that never entered my mind. But all the other, yep. Why? My baby girl had just died. No, she wasn’t an infant, she was 24 years old, but she was still my baby, my child. Brain cancer had whipped out a life too early.
I remembered how the doctor had handed me this small squirming girl. I inspected her, as we mother’s do. Counting her fingers and toes as my own fingers caressed hers. I smelled that sweet baby smell as I marveled at her black tuft of hair wrapped in a purple bow. Gingerly I rewrapped all 6 pounds 12 ounces of my second girl and prepared to return her to the incubator. Her lungs needed help and I could not hold her except for a few moments of time.
Nineteen years later this delightful, often, rebel child was diagnosed with P-Net (Pineblastoma CNS primitive neuroectodermal tumors) cancer. It had been hidden from the time she was born. A brain cancer that lays dormant in children until the ages of six through 20. This cancer begins, lives and draws on the brain stem and cerebral fluid, often running down winding throughout the spinal cord and affecting multiple organs.
A short four years later, I was again in the hospital with this girl. She was totally bald this time, looking at me with angry, hurt, dark mad eyes. Spitefully she said, “No one ever told me I was this sick”.
Those were my child’s last words before she slipped into a coma.
A few hours later, my daughter took her last breath and died. My mother and I held hands at the foot of her bed. We could not look at each other as we had shared the burden of raising my three daughters. The tears fell. My other daughters surrounded us. The room was void of everything except our pain.
Isaiah 66:13a (NKJV) “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you”
The following week I was raw. But Jesus was there. He walked through the valley with me. He covered me from the shadows. Even on the days that I didn’t know He was there, He was beside or He carried me. He protected me, gave me peace and a strength that I didn’t know that I had.
That was fourteen years ago. Even today there is a continued peace and comfort. Somedays I must lift my tear-stained eyes to my Lord for peace as my heart is heavy with new pain. But through it all, I know my daughter is pain-free.
Tammy Treat-Boyne is a survivor. Life has thrown multiple adversities in her path, but through the strength of her Lord and Savior, she is able to carry on. From the death of her father Christmas Day, 1971, through an abusive marriage. From the loss of a child to the struggles she now has with Fibromyalgia. Tammy’s rally cry is “I will Survive”. Her life verse is I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
Tammy has two grown daughters and six granddaughters. She also has two step-children, a boy and a girl with two step-granddaughters and a step-grandson.
Tammy is an inspirational speaker, teacher and she also sings and writes about her past, present and her future in Christ. You can find her on Facebook. Stop by and tell her hello!