Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Life isn't fair.


This post is full of straight talk. I need to tell it like it is and try and share what's going on behind the public smiles of Brian and I. Someday, somewhere, someone may read this and know they are not alone in the heartache of losing a loved one, even a child.

Clara is ready for a conclusion to this pain and suffering. And we are ready to have her free of pain and distress. It's more than our hearts can bear. I don't understand how or why she is still able to endure, but the pain in her face will surely be with me as long as I live. How I long for the day when I am reunited with a sweet, happy and twinkle eyed 3 year old girl. I really do believe when I see her in heaven she will be 3! I can't wait.

The medical professionals (and her family!) are stumped she's still hanging on. So many times we've been prepared for her passing. The signs are present and yet we wake up every morning and she's still there beside us. Our Clara has always been a fighter and so we aren't completely surprised she is fighting to her death with all that is raging in her body. She has several lumps on her head that are only getting bigger. Just this morning we discovered many lumps in her abdomen. And with her yellowed skin we can only guess it means a failing or affected liver. All day and night long she wants us to rub her tummy, arm or leg. She is thin and frail. Every bone in her body is visible. Walking is painful and at this point she can only handle a few steps a day. Two weeks ago she reached the point of being unable stand up by herself when she bends over to pick something up, stuck in a bent position. She refuses to take oral pain meds and the patch is only taking the edge off her pain. She won't even look at herself in the mirror anymore. The sadness in her eyes is heart breaking.

This has been and continues to be a trial of my faith. Amidst the tiring and trying days of watching Clara suffer and caring for her there have been many tender mercies. I know God is there. His love is abundant. He is hearing my pleadings to release her. We are being sustained and strengthened in our refiner's fire.

And it's true: Life isn't fair. But, I never thought it was. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. I know it is through our faith in Him and the infinite Atonement that we are able to endure.

If you pray for Clara, join with us in praying for her release from her pain that she may soon find rest in heaven. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

43 comments:

The McGary's said...

Your family's strength continues to amaze me! We have been praying for sweet Clara to be free of pain but I had no idea just how much pain she was in. We will be more specific in our prayers for her and of course you are all in our prayers. Thank you for sharing and updating us. I think of you guys often. -Jande McGary

A Mother's Love said...

I am so sorry, y'all are in my constant thoughts and prayers.
God bless you, Kelley

::lindsay said...

You guys are absolutely amazing! I wish I could adequately express how much I admire your strength and faith! We will continue to pray for sweet Clara and your family. Love you guys!

Paulette said...

Natasha and Brian and Family,, we love you and pray for you everyday. your whole family is a tender mercy to all of us. Clara is such a strong mature but yet a little child who loves life and being with her family. We feel your pain and pray for little Clara to be able to be released from her pain. She is beautiful!!!!!

Shannon Low said...

Thank you for the straight talk...it's best that way. Much love to you.

Alicia Leppert said...

Thank you so much for your honest update. We have all been wondering how things are going and it's nice to hear it as it is. We will pray harder than ever. Our thoughts are with you. Your faith and strength astound me. Hang in there.

Jackie said...

Candace and Cody's cousin Jackie here. Absolutely praying for you and your family, and crying too. Bless you.

April said...

Oh how my heart aches for you...May you be wrapped up in love in your hardest hours. You are all in our prayers.

Jake Lybbert said...

Aubry started to read your post aloud to me. She could not finish. I picked up where she left off and could only make it through a couple of lines. I read the rest with a quavering voice and tears streaming.

Our hearts ache for you, Bryan, Clara and your entire family. We remember you all in our prayers and often think about you and hope for more of the relatively "good" days you sometimes mention.

I wish I could write something that would ease your collective pain. Let me simply say "amen" to your testimony and faith. Indeed, Christ's Atonement will, in the end, balance out life's many inequities (a word that does not do this justice).

We love you all. May God bless you with what you need.

Marion said...

May you know that your family is held in the arms of a loving Heavenly Father and that he weeps with you. I know you have felt his love and because of the strength of your faith, your family has blessed the lives of many others. You are always in our thoughts and prayers.

Paradise said...

Oh my heart is aching for you and Brian and Clara. You all are in our prayers for strength and endurance. Your reunion with Clara will be so sweet. Love you!

Whitney said...

I love you, Natasha and Brian.

Cindy said...

Oh, your poor baby! That picture just brought tears to my eyes. I will be praying for peace and comfort for Clara and for your family. I can't even imagine seeing my child like that. I'm so so sorry that anyone has to go through such suffering as a parent. What a terrible disease. Again, my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Deanne said...

Your words of faith, sympathy, and abiding love for Clara have inspired all of us. I guess the words of Isaiah are fitting, "Your ways are not my ways and your thoughts are not my thoughts, even as the heaven is higher than the earth, are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." I suppose someday He will show us why but in the meantime, we simply trust that He knows why and He will carefully calibrate the dose so that when enough is enough the poor child will be released. I trust Him though I don't understand. I pray for Clara's release. Alan Fielding

Carol said...

No words can express what you have and what you have asked of others. You are strong in so many ways but in others she is here teaching us lessons we may not know today. God truely only give one what we can handle for I see it every day in the young and old. I will pray for your sweet child for she is a gift and yes one day you will be back with her as she will be in perfect form smiling and laughing and saying she missed you. Your family is blessed in so many ways, you had many preasous days with Sweet Clara!

LKP said...

Love you guys. Praying for release & for peace in your hearts. ::many, many hugs::

Terramisu said...

You are all in our thoughts and prayers. We love you and admire your great strength and strong love for our Dear Father in Heaven. My heart breaks for Clara's pain. I admire the fight in her. She is an example to all.

Laurene said...

We have a mutual, very amazing, friend, Shanda.
So many wonderful and supportive comments here: spirit to spirit.
I hope and pray that you may all be together in the room at the time of her passing; God willing. I know there is reason for me to be a minute part of this struggle. Thank you for the courage to be so inclusive. May you feel the deepest warmth and hope.

Melissa White said...

It's hard to find any words that could express how my heart aches for your family. I can only say that I send my love, thoughts n prayers for the challenging moments ahead. Always keep your faith strong and He will guide u thru the roughest hours.

Kori said...

We think of you and Clara all the time. Please know our prayers are with you, Clara, and your family always. She is so beautiful and such a fighter! Goodbyes are hard, but your reunion will be so sweet. Sometimes I just close my eyes and try to picture it. I am sure it will be more beautiful than any of us can imagine.

Weslie D said...

You are all in my thoughts and prayers. What a heartbreaking trial you are going through. Thank you for being such an amazing example of faith and so much more.
Much love,
Weslie (Graham) Durtschi

Anonymous said...

Brian and family, So amazed at the strength of your little angel! I hope our prayers comfort Clara, may the Lord bless her and bring her home. Love always, Lucas & Jessica Thorne

Sherri said...

Natasha, thank you for telling it like it is- our heart aches for each one of you and wishes that there was something that we could do to help ease the pain, just know that we are praying for EACH ONE OF YOU that you may constantly feel our Saviors love.
We will pray for Clara's release and also for your family that you may continue to be comforted and have peace.
Love, Garrett & Sherri Stark and family

Unknown said...

It is amazing how you have inspired and strengthened me in my MINISCULE trials with your faith and trust in the Lord. Sweet Clara is a blessing to many. You ALL are in our thoughts and prayers. XO

Carole said...

Natasha, you are an incredible mother!!! You have to be a very special person, to have been chosen to be Clara's mother. NO ONE else could have done it as you have, and you can be sure the Lord is with you at all times. This adorable little soul has blessed so many lives, in so many ways. She is a indeed a choice daughter of our Heavenly Father. May the Lord bless you and your family as you go through this trial with Clara. We sincerely thank you for sharing your story with us. Our lives are better because of it. This little darling's release is the subject of our prayers this day. May God bless and keep you and yours.

Jodi said...

Sherri said it perfectly. Love you guys!!

Anonymous said...

I am praying for you, your family and your wonderful daughter. I hope she receives the peace she deserves sooner than later and that you receive the comfort that will come with that peace. The Gospel is true. Stay strong.

Alainna Beus said...

My heart is literally aching for her and you. I have cried many times reading the updates on Clara, and this time I was sobbing. I feel unspeakably sorry for the immense suffering you've all had to endure. We will be praying for her release. Much, much love to your family and sweet Clara.

Anonymous said...

My tears cant stop while I read your blog. but I do know that our lord and saviour is hearing all the prayers that are going to flood heaven for YOUR BABY Clara. In Jesus name I pray.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE read this!!!! My grandma cured herself of a terminal illness with this. It certainly won't hurt and it could literally be a life-saver and cure the suffering.

http://gerson.org/gerpress/the-gerson-therapy/

Dani W said...

I have followed you guys on your journey since I heard about Clara and have prayed so many times for her and your family. I have a three year old and a two year old and watching your family brave on breaks my heart and gives me strength all at once. You have such strong faith and I really admire your ability to push forward. Know that we (many many many of us) are rooting for you guys and your journey has touched many lives. Bless Clara and her mission in this life to touch the hearts of thousands. She really was meant to do great things. Thank you!

Cooper Squared said...

Natasha,
I am a friend of Candace's from Texas. When Clara was first diagnosed, I shared this song with her. It was a favorite of ours when my brother-in-law was fighting terminal brain cancer with three little kids at home. I know it brought a lot of hope and peace to my sister during that difficult time (and the years that followed).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12RXdyNGVYE&feature=related

Complete strangers are thinking of and praying for your family all over the world!

--Therese

Kristin Milius said...

I've been checking your blog daily. Clara runs through my every thought and prayer. I do not know your family but sweet Clara has impacted my life. Thank you for sharing her. She is the ulifimate valiant servant and must be desperately needed in the Celestial Kingdom.

Anne Marie said...

I don't know if you will ever even read this, but I had to tell you how amazing you, Clara and your whole family is. I am Kyms sister, and I have followed all your posts. You have an amazing ability to express yourself with words. Your stories and experiences have changed and influenced my life more than you will ever know. Everytime I read one of your posts my heart breaks for your sweet family, but I also leave with a strengthened testimony of God's plan for us. We pray for you and sweet Clara everyday.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for what your family is going through. I am an inactive member of your ward and my visiting teacher told me about Clara. I can't even begin to imagine... I am praying for your family and your sweet baby girl. You are an inspiration to the rest of us.

Gloria said...

My prayers are repeatedly in behalf of Clara and your family. You have been such an inspiring example of faith & hope and I pray that you will be blessed with release from this soon. It breaks my heart to see how Clara is suffering from the pain. You may never know the impact of your journey but it is beyond your imaginations!!!

Stephanie said...

I pray for Clara and your family and I hope and pray that she will soon have rest from all the pain's that her physical body is having to endure at this time. No child should have to suffer like she has, and no mom should have to watch their child go through everything that she has been through. Life truly is not fair! Your faith and strength have been so inspiring and helpful to me, and I have received so much strength through reading this blog.

Love from a fellow cancer mom,
Stephanie

Sheryl Gayda said...

I wish there was a way I could take away all your pain and heartache. There isn't even anything I can say that will help. My Grandpa has told me many times that "everything will be O.K.". Sometimes that is the only thing that has kept me going. {my Grandpa died in 1984. he has told me that since then.} Someday we will know all the reasons and have all the answers.

Kesterfam said...

I saw this link on a friend's facebook and meant to click on it for a quick peek. I was so surprised when I recognized you in your family picture. I'm sure you don't remember me, but I remember you and your kindness. It was almost 5 yrs ago. Our family moved to Pasco and I was a month away from delivering a baby. We didn't know anyone in the area and we were so grateful when you invited us over for dinner & offered to help with my other kids if the baby came before we expected it to. It was such a relief for me.
We now live in China and it is amazing to me that from halfway across the world I stumble upon your blog. I ache for you and your sweet family and have been again blessed by your strength and testimonies. I pray that your prayers will be answered. Truly you are beautiful people.
Much love
Alicia

Melinda said...

Brian and Natasha, I have told you before how your sharing your trials has helped our family so very much and given us strength and courage to face our own. I know what we went through this past winter and spring does not even compare to the heart ache you have had to endure, but every time I read about Clara and your family the reality and pain comes back. We so far have been blessed with a different outcome, however ours is still very unknown. I hurt for you so much and pray that as we all mourn with your family that somehow it will help ease your burden. Prayers and love to each of you. Brian, may you be blessed as the head of your wonderful little family to have strength beyond your imagination to heal, and to hold your family through the grace of our savior as the days and years move on.
Love and best wishes,
Melinda Westover and family

kimberly said...

Natasha,

Thanks for your sharing your straight talk and intimate feelings publicly on your blog. On my particularly difficult mommy days, I lock myself in the bathroom with my phone and read an entry of yours. I emerge with wet eyes and a tender heart, as well as arms that are aching to hold my own children and a changed attitude. Thank you for influencing me to be a better mother.

-Kimberly Sonksen Wernli

Echo said...

I don't know if you will get this. Every night my 5 year old Lovestory prays for Clara prays that heavenly Father will bring her home and keep her safe and she can smile and play and prays for her mommy and her family she w never forgets to pray for Clara. Not a day goes by that our family does not think of yours that my children do not talk about your family and how heartbroken we are for you. I love my children even more tenderly after reading your story. I just pray that Heavenly Father will answer your prayers and he will continue to bless you.

Rachel Murdock said...

I stumbled upon your blog tonight and I can't stop reading your blog posts about Clara nor can I stop the tears from falling. I've never met you but my heart goes out to you and the trial of faith that you and your family have been through. I battled cancer six years ago and I understand the pain and suffering of the disease and treatment. I survived that trial.. But I don't think I could handle ever watching one of my children go through it themselves. I would instead take it on again a thousand times. The strength and faith that you have shown is deeply humbling. I pray that your family will continue to feel the love and strength from our Father in heaven. I'm grateful that your sweet daughter no longer has to suffer. My daughter is three years old. Her terrible twos have stretched into the terrible threes. As I've found myself exasperated at times, I read this blog and have a new perspective. I must never take my children for granted and need to love and treasure every second I have with them. God bless you.