January 14, 2012 – In many ways it is hard to believe it has been four years since Collins left us to go home to be with Jesus in heaven. In other ways, it has been a long agonizing four years. It is hard to explain to folks that have not lost a child the heartache the parents feel as we travel along on this journey. You see, life goes on and everyone gets busy with their lives. Our family is still together, Thank Jesus! (because we alone would not have made it this far!). But as life goes on and you try to live the best life you can, you are always limited in the joy you experience because someone very special is not there to share the joy with you.
Folks try to understand (and I really appreciate it) and relate it to losing a parent or a close friend, but it is not the same. I guess the biggest difference I have recognized is when I hear someone I know that has lost a child, I cry because I truly can feel their pain. It does not matter how you lose a child; as a parent it is all the same loss. An emptiness that will always be there. At first it is like space and the pain just seems to go forever, but over time the memories of your loved one start to fill the space so little by little you are able to better cope.
Yesterday I posted on Facebook about Collins’ first MRI and how he was laughing when he was getting ready to be put to sleep so he would not be moving during the procedure. Robin and I looked at each other and looked at him and asked, “Collins are you okay?”
He smiled and said, “I’m laughing because for me it will only be a second because I will go to sleep and wake up and it will be over. But for you it is going to be a lifetime.”
As I said in my Facebook post: WOW!, because Collins was 12 years old and look at where we are now!
For Collins, it will be like no time has passed before he sees us again, but for us, especially his parents, it truly will be a lifetime before we see him again.
Collins was so courageous and cared deeply for his mom and dad and he didn’t want us to worry. His heart was full of love and care for others. He wanted to Give Back because so many others came forward to help us in our time of need. While Collins is unique in many ways, he is like many other kids diagnosed with cancer. They just want to be kids!
So, that is why we do what we do with Collins’ foundation, to be able to Give Back and share Collins’ story with others and to provide hope and encouragement to families that face a journey like ours.
Four years. We miss you, Collins!