What is this?

What is this? I don't really know, other then a continuation of my updates and writings that I was sharing previously on Caringbridge of this journey through cancer and now widowhood and single parenting.

Maybe it won't end up being anything at all, or maybe it will be a glimpse into my heart, my life, my current situation, my testimony.

Whatever it becomes, I am touched that you are interested.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

7month / 4.5 month Update

Well, my little Aria is now 7 months old.  Yes, it has gone fast.

She is an active little one!  Very interactive and expressive.  Many people comment on how many faces she has.  She definitely gets that from me!  She is clapping, scooting around backwards on her belly and even scooted herself forward sitting up.  In no time she will be crawling....uh oh.....

She is eating some solid foods now, and has not yet become a picky eater.  We have enjoyed some playdates and lots of mall walking on evenings and weekends.  Oh how I can't wait for spring and summer and outdoor walks!  However, Colorado has been good to us this year so far with quite a few sunny days in the 50's or 60's.

Aria brings so much joy to everyone.  I wonder if someday she will look back on these posts and marvel at how just being a baby helped hurting hearts.

Brandon had asked me when on hospice if we had known this was going to happen this way, would I have still wanted to start a family?  I was taken aback by the question.  I thought for a moment before answering.  I told him I didn't know, and what was the point of examining the thought further, when it is what it is?  This was very difficult to say to him, because I wasn't able to give him the reassurance he was probably seeking, but he would have known if I tried to pacify him with what he wanted to hear.

I thought on that a lot that night.  I'm going to be very candid here, so bare with me.

Initially I thought, hell no.  Why would I choose to put myself into this predicament?  We knew we wanted to start a family back in 2011 when we made it into remission.  But we chose to wait until 1 year cancer free.  Then we still felt too unsure, and waited till 2 years cancer free just to feel more confident in Brandon's response to the treatment, so we could hopefully not be in this situation.

My greatest fear was exactly this.  Not many people choose to be a single parent.  Let alone someone who is widowed with active Lupus and in my financial situation.  I thought of how hard it was to find Brandon.  How hard we worked on our marriage, and how beautiful our relationship was.  If I come to a point in my life where I am looking for a relationship, not only will my standards be high because of Brandon, but add a child and the chances of finding someone good enough for me and my child?!  Psssh...good luck!  Then just add in thinking of all the details of life with a child and no partner to give you a hand.  Every choice, illness, bedtime, errand, all housework, yard work, homework, sports and school activities and such - on your own.  No live-in help.  No time for yourself.  Then add life altering grief as the cherry on top.  I would have been crazy to have thought this through, and signed on the dotted line.

Keep in mind, I'm being asked this as I'm sleep deprived from care taking for my 2 month old newborn and my dying 33 year old husband.  My world has been turned upside down.  No, just adding a baby turns one's world upside down, but the pieces settle. This...this was spinning out of control with no end in sight and I was utterly overwhelmed with fear.

Then I thought of how I would always have a piece of Brandon in Aria.  How she and I are now a team.  Loving her brings me joy and is indescribable by words.  I couldn't imagine not having her now that I have held her in my arms and call her mine.

The next afternoon, I sat down and told Brandon with honesty that I absolutely would not change the decisions we made.  The hope and relief that I heard in his voice when he said, "Really?" was worth every challenge I have and will face as a single mother.

But God.  He's a wise one.  He knows.  Would I change the decision we made?  Emphatically NO!  But, our choice to wait to start a family till we were further away from cancer says it all.  If we had known, we would not have started a family.

Again, but God.  He has a plan.  And it was for Aria to be here.  If left up to me, and what I would have thought best for me, what I thought was "logical", I would have missed out on one of the biggest blessings in my life.  We don't see the big picture, so we are left to simply trust that each stroke is exactly as it should be by the Master Artist.  But it's hardly simple to trust.  Especially when up close the canvas looks like a total disaster, and nothing you thought it would be.

Every time I get angry with the way things turned out, I look at Aria and am reminded that I am not my own, I am not the author of my life - but the One who is, knows best.  Always.  Even in suffering.

"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." Luke 22:42

Well, that didn't quite turn into the update I sat down to write!  Oh well, hopefully soon I can actually share with you some of the other things that have been going on, including the ways I have been putting to use some of the generous gifts and donations you have blessed me with.

Til then...don't forget to sign up for notifications on this blog for new posts if you were getting them from CaringBride.  (From a mobile device scroll to the bottom and click on "View web version", and "Follow by Email" in the right column, or become a "Follower" below the "Blog Archive".

(Feel free to share on FB/Twitter/Email.  I've been told if I ever follow the suggestions of many to write a book, having a successful blog following is key to getting published...)



  1. Christina,

    Your story is heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. You give perspective on the world that is full of God's wisdom. This post especially touched me as I struggle with trying to understand God's plan or make my own plan instead of trusting in Him. I keep you and Aria in my prayers - keep writing!

  2. You are so right. Aria brings a joy and a peace to everyone around her. I hope when she reads this when she is older that she realizes how many people are truly touched by her, and not just because she has Brandon's same calming and peaceful spirit, but because she was blessed by the lord to be our light through this dark time❤️ I am blown away by how much you have shown love and grace to those around you Christina. You are such a wonderfully strong mother and I absolutely look up to you for the amazing way you raise your daughter, how you hold your head up as a single mother and never let your sorrow or grief get in between your relationship with Aria. It's a heartbreak no one can really understand when you yearn to share your babies triumphs with the only other person who could ever love her the way you do. But remember Christina, Brandon is watching her grow from heaven, with a smile on his face telling Jesus how proud he is that you were his wife and aria's mother.

  3. Look at this beautiful Aria! It is wonderful to see her growing, and you too, in grace. Lifting you up to the all-knowing and all-sustaining God we serve. You are blessed.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!