Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Music That We Call LIfe

I am a huge music fan. I love listening to many, MANY different genres of music. As I think back over the past few decades, there are different songs and artists that stick out and bring long lost memories out in to the light as if they happened yesterday.

I remember laying on our kitchen floor as a little boy, listening to Alabama's "There's No Way" balling my eyes out because our dog (actually our neighbor's dog...but it lived at our house part time) Fritz, had died. I thought my world had come to an end and this song, of course, made me feel better!

I remember Colin coming to my house in 7th or 8th grade and listening to the Steve Miller Band cassette. We might have been working on some project for a class, but I remember him introducing me to "The Joker!"

I remember Touch and Go as the first song on our Blue Devil Soccer "Warm Up" tape....many of you remember that...still one of the best songs out there and believe it needs to be brought back for the 2014 season! If you don't listen to any other song on definitely have to listen to this one...will bring back memories for quite a few of you I am certain!

I SOMEWHAT remember pulling Jasons speakers out through the windows in our apartment in Macomb, along with the Christmas tree (in March), and Cory, Evan, Nikki, John, and I blasting Kenny Chesney on our deck selling hamburgers and hot dogs to all of the underclassmen walking back to North Quad at 2 in the morning!

And I remember the video that I found when I was lost a few years ago. The video that showed me that even though I had messed up, even though I was completely lost and had turned my back on God, He was still right there, waiting for me, trying to show me His love and that His plan was much better than anything I could ever devise. This is the song and video that gave me the courage to go to Bob with my problems and ask him to for guidance and to help me find myself and Jesus.  Don't worry, I wasn't feeling everything the girl was in the video...However, I was lost and I realized that God was a forgiving God and that He has always been trying to throw me the lifesaver to pull me out of the troubled water. This video, the first time I watched it, hit me like a truck. Performed by some teenagers in 2006 in Tennessee, is probably one of the most powerful things I have ever viewed. 

As mentioned, music has had a profound impact on my life, and I am nowhere close to a musician. Every one of these songs had a role in getting me to where I am today, but I am most thankful for the last one. It was this video that finally allowed me to see the signs around me and allow God back in to my life and prepare me for what lied ahead of me. I can't imagine how we would have ever made it through this journey this past year without God at our side. It is because of Him that we are where we are today.

As Kelsea and I approach January 18, 2014, we have been reflecting daily on where we have come in the past year and where we are heading. As we approach Hayden's birthday on Saturday, it has been hard to not become overwhelmed by the flood of emotions that we have been reliving. This has been one awesome crazy roller coaster of a ride and I am so thankful that God has been on our side, through the good times and bad. 

It is crazy to think that we have an appointment Friday in St. Louis, the day before Hayden turns one. It is his 6-month check up with Dr. Warner after his closure surgery and we will be in the hospital on the same day of the week (Hayden was born on a Friday) and at the exact same time as we were a year ago. What started out as a "normal" trip to meet Kelsea in St. Louis (who had been there for two weeks) turned in to a day that I didn't give God control and tried to shoulder the load. I was a mess! For those of you who saw our interviews on Fox, it was evident that I didn't give my worries to God in those few hours from Kelsea being wheeled to Labor and Deliver until Hayden arrived.

In the days and weeks to follow, we met some incredible people who helped us through the daily NICU life. We felt so blessed to have the nurses, doctors, and medical staff that we had as well as one of our favorite NICU "neighbors" who is truly a remarkable woman to be able to do what she did on a daily basis with her daughter. HEY CHANTA! We felt as though (and still do) we were among celebrities!

The wonderful people in our lives continued to come out of the woodwork over the next few weeks and months. God has placed so many wonderful people in our lives that did countless selfless things for us. There were family members, coworkers, best friends, and long lost friends. There were neighbors and "O" families from around the world and there were people we heard of and complete strangers. There were people we have never met, but know that God brought us together for a reason and even though circumstances have changed, we will be lifelong friends and will come together one day.  Kelsea, Hayden and I have been so blessed over the past year and we have tried to show others the love that God has shown us. 

We have tried to thank everybody for all that you have done, but we know we have not been perfect. From the prayer service at church before Kelsea left, to the fundraiser in September. The things our coworkers did and the things our best friends did have had such a profound impact on our lives. The messages on Facebook from the day Hayden was born (pretty crazy to go back and read my posts from that morning (1.18.13) as I was travelling to St. Louis for what I thought was a routine appt. for Kelsea to the Otten's bringing me a change of clothes on Saturday (Thanks Casey for digging through our dryer).

We are forever grateful for everybody mentioned and everybody not mentioned. I know that the things we have seen and the things we have experienced, although bad to us in the moment, pale in comparison to what others experience day in and day out. However, there are two nights that will stick out in my mind forever and there is a doctor, who on two different occasions, poured his heart and soul in to our son, as if it was his own son. He reminded me time after time that he was just doing his job. I know he was "just" doing his job, but watching him make that quick decision that night on the 10th floor, then waiting for Kelsea to get to the PICU, not certain if Hayden was going to make it, watching him keep Hayden alive with his hands, had such an impact on my life. He, among the many other doctors and nurses, became my hero who I am forever in debt.

There have been tears of fear and shouts of joy. We have had arguments and high fives and hugs and dirty looks. There have been comments made under our breath, and comments made out loud. There have been kisses and long embraces and fingers running through hair. There have been perplexed doctors and matter of fact doctors. There have been dad and nurse standing up to the doctors and there have been snuggles with favorite doctors, and mo-hawks, baths, and late night pictures as well as OCD cleaning by two nurses who WILL be the namesake of our future daughter! Kelsea, Hayden and I have experienced many things in the past 365 days and every day it is something different. There is one thing that has remained the same. That constant in our life. That non variable is that God loves us and even though, at times, it seems like He has forsaken us and nothing makes sense, as my blog title states, if He leads you to it, He will lead you through it.

I leave you with one last video tonight, that shows just how good God is. This was the first time he had done this and I was so excited that I was able to witness a first for him instead of somebody else telling me about something new he did!  I also ask that you keep us in your thoughts tomorrow and that Hayden's check-up with Dr. Warner goes well. We are afraid he has a hernia and will need another surgery, but are hoping God's plan doesn't include that, just yet!


  1. i am a fellow QPS employee. i have enjoyed reading your blogs and tracking Hayden's journey. i wanted to let you know how AWESOME i think this blog is not only because of the moving video performance by Lifehouse, but because you are sharing your faith in God and encouraging others to do so. we may not understand his plan, but having him in our lives is the only way to handle all the obstacles that life gives us. i have been continually praying for Hayden (and just said another prayer for good news at his dr appt today). Happy Birthday Hayden!
    Caren R

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