One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, in waves, Fear was mounting a surprise attack on all we held dear.  Ultimately, by night’s end, Despair boasted a commanding claim on our hearts and minds.

One year ago today my then 2-year old firstborn and beloved son was diagnosed with a rare and inoperable brain tumor.

The MRI earlier in the day was ordered to rule out that dreaded possibility.  Still, relying on the convictions of our neurologist at the time, we had a reasonable amount of confidence that the scan would be clear.

That hope was tested by the mannerisms of the doctor who called us to the consultation room to see the MRI images.  The eyes and shear number of the other medical professionals in the room to which we were ushered almost made it unnecessary to see the scans.

There were two empty chairs set in front of a computer monitor.  It was clear that time and thought had been spent to consider the environment and circumstances in which we would receive the weighty news.

A underperforming grade-schooler could have read the results . . . it was obvious that there was a large mass directly in the center of Brouwer’s brain.


I remember my shock.  Fairly quickly, Ginger and the doctors moved towards discussing the implications, next steps, etc.  I remember my mind turning down the volume on their conversation as I starred at the recognizable profile on the computer screen.

My son.



My mind flashed back to the quiet room in the wee hours of the night where I held Brouwer after his birth.  Alone, just him and I.  I recalled the promises I made him in that silence . . . “I will always love you” . . . “I will always provide for you” . . . “I will always fight for you” . . . “I will teach you about Jesus” . . . and on and on and on.

I thought about his personality and other enviable qualities.  His smile.  His laugh.  The ease by which he makes others laugh.

This couldn’t be.

We haven’t had enough time.

I remember cutting in on the ongoing conversation effectively asking, “Retrace this for me, WHAT?”

We were told that Brouwer’s tumor was blocking a key passageway in his brain which had caused an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in his brain; a condition known as hydrocephalus.  They said that Brouwer needed surgery, possibly even that evening, to relieve the fluid and that, if the surgery was not done in time, the condition would threaten his life.

Many memories from this day a year ago are still fresh . . . the kindness of Emily, the nurse who watched Banner as Ginger and I unraveled sharing the news with my parents . . . the knowledge that my many siblings from near and far were dropping everything to descend upon us and offer their support . . . the phone calls I made and texts and emails I sent to solicit the prayers of the saints and collectively storm the gates of Heaven with cries for my child . . . the urgency and fervency with which Ginger and I poured out our love on Brouwer and shared with him, again and again, the Good News . . .

Yes, in an instant, on this day one year ago, everything changed.  A war for our hearts had broken out and our sense of security was shattered.

One year ago today.

September 2, 2015

September 2, 2015


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  1. Such a hard memory. Such a roller coaster ride of a year. You have faced this incredible trial with grace and faith. We pray for continued healing for Brouwer.

  2. Thank you, and Brouwer and Ginger for being such a testimony to God’ sustaining grace. I Samuel 7:12

  3. Because of this war on your hearts, you have been able to share the Good News to so many. And sweet Brouwer along with his family are forever in our hearts and prayers!


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