Thursday, November 17, 2005

One of the primary ways we could show affection for Beej while he was in the hospital was to stroke his hair. There was little else we could do as he was hooked up to so much medical paraphanalia. I know some of you recall the story about how Beej reacted to that, written back in August or September.

When your child is in this situation, you are so limited in what you can do to express yourself. The sense of touch communicates volumes. Unfortunately, some use it or should I say abuse it, and leave hurt and broken people in their wake. This was nothing like that. This was our way to say, "Beej we are still here, and we love you so very much." I do believe there were times that he was aware of that message as we tried to convey it.

I look forward to one day finding out from him what he was aware of during those long six weeks. What an amazing battle he fought. The most remarkable non-verbal reaction we saw was the day someone Beej admired dearly came to visit.

Beej was heavily sedated throughout his fight. On this day, while he was on ECMO, and had tubes entering and exiting his body, he rested six feet up in the air on his bed. The bed was supported by a motorcycle jack to raise it that high. It needed to be elevated for gravity to maximize return blood flow to the ECMO pump.

We had to ascend a ladder/platform to get up to his bedside. When his special guest arrived, I climbed up and told a normally sedated and medically paralyzed BJ that Dr. Walker Moore had come to see him. His legs came up into the air, and his left arm rose, all in an effort to get up and see Walker. Never before or after did any visit evoke such a response. I was stunned. I didn't think he could do that if he wanted to. Beej's reaction showed us how much he loved and looked up to Walker. Especially since he was not conscious, even then.

I often reflect on those last six weeks and can still feel his hair passing between my fingers. Even after he left us, that was the only way to feel him close... a new way, a learned way, but it brought a small sense of comfort. I remember having to take turns with Deanna, Lauren and Whitney, as we all wanted to remember...

Not long ago, I was talking to my sister Lynae. She shared with me something that was both comforting and emotional. She conveyed that as she was grieving and praying for us, she received a very distinct picture from the Lord. Jesus was seated, and was holding our heads (Deanna and mine) in His lap. He was stroking our hair.

We could so closely identify with this visual. It stirred so much inside of us...how we longed to feel His touch and comfort...How we longed to feel Beej's hair pass through our seeking fingers just one more time. Oh what a blessed picture, and it was healing as well.

It reminded me immediately, and specifically of Revelations 3:21
"To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne."

I was comforted by two ideas. The first, that BJ was seated with Christ on His throne. How awesome and powerful is that? Second, that as they were seated there, Christ's activity in those moments was bringing comfort to us by holding us near, and letting us feel His touch in the familiar way we had come to so dearly understand in BJ's last six weeks.

What a God of Comfort we serve. How worthy is He!

dad

Just to let you know, for Thanksgiving, all four of us are heading to Louisiana to take part in the relief effort. We are looking forward to serving.

Also, if you are planning to attend the Christmas Dinner Theater at Christ Wesleyan Church in Winston-Salem, N.C. tickets must be purchased by November 25th. They will not be available at the door.

23 Comments:

At 7:22 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Once again you have me in tears. Many a night while caring for BJ, the nurses in his room would run our fingers through his hair also. We saw you all do it, knew that he responded, and it was our way of letting him know that even if he wasn't hearing his family's voice, there were still people there who cared. Everytime I did it, I longed for some sort of response and my heart leaped the few times I saw his eyes twitch.

May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving while giving and ministering to those touched by the tragedy of the hurricanes. You are such an amazing family. You are always in my thoughts and prayers!

 
At 8:24 AM, Anonymous marissa said...

I know I havn't posted in about a week but I just wanted to share my experience of Disciple Now with you and how your daughter touched me. Lauren was my leader for the second year in a row and I was sooo excited when I found out. She made the sessions so clear and so fun that I never felt like I was bored or tired, which is hard! But she really shared herself with us and we all felt like we really knew her like she was our age. But what I enjoyed the most was her singing every night. The Hearns have a piano in their house and each night before bed she would play and sing, and she sings sooo beautifully! She would pour her heart out and I think that was what touched some of us the most. She has such a gift of praising the Lord in song and we loved just sitting there watching her face as she sang and we could tell she was really worshipping. She is such an amazing and fun person and I was blessed to have her as my leader again!

 
At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for continuing to share with your "family". I continue to pray for you and thank the Lord for your son BJ's life.

 
At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear God,
Please bless the Higgins family today. Fill the grief with your peace, as only You can do! We praise You for them!
Amen

 
At 10:25 AM, Blogger Sheila said...

Did you ever think that your lives would become an open book (blog)? Thank you for trusting in our Lord. He is working through you in such a great and mighty way. You touch my life everyday...thank you Higgins Family!
"God bless the Higgins Family today, put your arms around them, hold them, touch them like only you can, thank you God for them, they are such a blessing to me." Amen

Sheila
Troy,IL.

 
At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Cedarburg Tina said...

ditto on the tears...but that's okay because it is a depth of sharing between God's people that we are brought to share in each others pains and joys.

Your sister's visual is one I use often when I am struggling. I often picture myself sitting on God's lap with his arms wrapped tightly around me. I love stroking my own children's hair as a way of connecting with them and I'm sure BJ loved to feel your touch, even if he couldn't tell you that. May God continue to touch you through these small ways and help you as you continue to heal, albeit a slow process.

Blessings and love to all of you. It amazes me that you choose to continue to serve others, not just us on the blog but the people of Louisianna. Peace this day.
Tina

 
At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Morning Higgins Family. This blog today was so awesome. Im so amazed at how strong you all have remained through this entire journey. Its not fair to us that BJ had to die. But we know that he had to. God has perfect reasons and thats why we can't understand them, because they're perfect. So many people have been touched by YOUR SON. And MANY MANY more will be touched for years to come. How great is that?!?
I cried today when I read your blog. I know I've said it before, but I'll always say it. The reason that I cry is for your family. Im so sad that you all have to go through this. But once again, God is so great and He knows exactly why this HAD to happen. Im always thinking of you guys. You'll be a part of me forever.
Love you Today,
amanda.

 
At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With each tear, a cleansing of grief deep within the soul, slow but necessary. Although it is hard to understand in times of trials, God really does have a plan. Thank you for leading me to the Truth through this blog.

 
At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where do I start...

I am overwhelmed everytime I visit this family (online of course). The
confidence they have in the Lord is
so powerful. I continue to learn from them everyday.

Yesterday I almost fell to the floor in pain, generating from my lower back area. I have a history of kidney problems. I have been diagnosed with a kidney disease. It
is degenerative and life threatening. Although my doctor does not expect complications until much later in life, it still resides in the forefront of my mind. Today, again I have terrible pain, as I did throughout the night. My issue is this...

If God's word tells us in black and white we will have what we ask for, as long as we ask for it in Jesus name and with the right heart and motives... we will receive.

I lead a discipleship study on Wednesday nights at church, almost 15 people worth. I engaged them in
the same thought, with no luck for answers. If I pray for God to heal my physical body, I am right with God, is it lack of faith to make the doctors appointment to have the pain checked out. If I am claiming the power of Holy Spirit, which the word states many times I have, I should expect to be healed. If I have the faith.

Maybe I am just rambling through the pain and tears this morning. I would appreciate someones perspective on this matter. I want to have faith and conviction and confidence like Jesus. In doing so, I am claiming healing on my body. The pain is still there... is that mean a lack of faith... should I make the doctors appointment or should I get real and trust God will touch me.

Kurt Bachmann of Drumright
a3_time_daddy@sbcglobal.net

 
At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Family
You are all truly awesome.
Thank you so much for sharing.
I have a prayer request.
My son Jack has been fighting an infection and tests are still out.
First round of meds, 5 weeks and not much improvement for an ulcer.
My request is Pray for right diagnosis and I pray that in next weeks meeting at school, they will continue to
provide Jacks education even if he does keep missing so many days at school. He is doing what he can when he can to maintain passing grades.
Thank you so much.
Sister in Christ
Lisa
Indpls., IN

 
At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dad--
thanks for being so real. it is such a moving time for me when i come to this blog. it helps me put each day into the right, Christ-centered perspective, and drives me to His throne in prayer. thank you for keeping so many of us on track, even though we often don't post. your family is amazing. having volunteered in a PICU the images and descriptions you gave are very powerful to me. it makes my heart ache for all of the parents who have lost a child. thank you again for being so real. have a great thanksgiving.

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger the leaf family said...

Thank You, Your words are overwhelming for me today.. I pray for each of you everyday.. I'll continue to pray for you as the Holidays approach..
I havn't had a chance to share yet about Michael's sermon, he gave two Wednesdays ago. He talked to our Jr. High students about the Armour of God and BJ.. He shared something that God laid on his heart and about he and BJ's last conversation.. I know BJ would've loved hearing his words.. I am so Thankful Michael had a chance to be apart of BJ's life, I know that BJ made a huge difference in Michael's life... Thank You for sharing your son.. With all our Love and prayers from KC-Tracy

 
At 1:40 PM, Blogger Tara Case said...

Family-
My computer has been down for about a week and i haven't been on. Right now i am between classes and I sit in this computer lab with all these people around me as tears roll down my face. Yes, i may have closure of some kind but it still evokes all kinds of emotions within me. To get to continue to see his heart as you share with us-I miss my brother. I miss those times on the bus when he would sit and talk about who knows what and now, i see it so vividly with his hands on top of his swords, held between his knees, as he looks out the window. What a day of ministry we had. Im so hungry-Im so broken because my gosh why do I just sit in this battle field so often! Why do I let the dark side creep in and take my time! NO MORE! Im sick of feeling so defeated and standing and defeat and stand-Its like defeat is something I look for. ugh...how frustrating. My hearts screams out so much right now that I dont have the words to explain it all but I cry until then. And thats ok. Because I miss him-and in the back of my mind i want to go sob in the hall in hopes that someone might ask if Im ok and i might get to share through my pain and hurting.

...
Tara
Yukon, Oklahoma

 
At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deanna, Earlier when the snow was falling in my head I could hear you singing breath of heaven. One day face to face you will sing to our King
Jeannie

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger Christina said...

Brent: Thank you for sharing your most precious memories of your son. I so enjoy reading about them.

I would like to ask you all to please pray for my dad. He is in the hospital right now with pneumonia. Mom says he is ok and not in any danger. It is just a scary thing to not be there for one of my parents. Dad is not a Christian, but knows how important prayer is in my life. Please lift him up to the Lord. I am praying for healing.

Thank you!

 
At 3:31 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

I am so thankful that you continue to use this blog to express yourself. I find your words to be a daily comfort and inspiration to me. You have a beautiful way of writing. Thank you so much for sharing you life with us.

 
At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Brian said...

I just want you to know that your words continue to encourage, inspire, teach and guide me, not to mention paint me a bigger picture of who God is everyday. I'm thankful that one day, everyone who has ever been touched by your lives, or who will be touched from this point on, will gather together at the foot of Jesus in praise. There's still so much to look forward to.

Brian

 
At 6:49 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Tara, my sister: I will pray that you do get to share your story through pain and suffering and (sometimes) through joy and praise. Thanks for your open heart before Him.

Kurt: You are not wrong to pray in faith. Jesus prayed in the garden, "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will." (Matt. 26:39) I don't think Jesus was wrong to pray in this way. He tells us that we can ask ANYTHING and know that He hears us. We will pray for you as well.

In the same way, we were not wrong to pray in faith, knowing that the Father had all authority to heal BJ. He could have chosen to heal him physically--but instead, He healed him completely and permanently by taking him home to heaven.

I hope that doesn't sound like a pat answer. We definitely don't understand everything about prayer--but we do know that we have a loving, caring Father who will listen to us (even the "long version"), hold us, stroke our hair, and gently love us.
May you, the Higgins, and all my fellow bloggers rest in His tender care today. Praise Him!

 
At 7:40 PM, Anonymous Carol said...

Dad, your tender words continue to bring tears to my eyes. What a gift of expression you have! Still praying for your family in Arlington, TX.

 
At 11:22 PM, Anonymous Jamie Fillio said...

Higgins family,

It is so good to hear from you. We have been inexcusably out of the habit of checking in with you, but you are never far from our minds (in prayer).

It is often one of the girls will refer to BJ or the events of just a few weeks ago. Ellie was recently asked who she'd like to have dinner with if she could pick three people. One was Daniel Ratcliff (Harry Potter) on whom she has a major crush, one was John Adams (her favorite Founding Father - which she's been studying in history) and BJ. When John asked her wouldn't she rather visit with Jesus...she said "Well, BJ is closer to my age and I really want to know his reaction to Heaven and stuff." I thought that was neat.

We have really been struggling with Corrie this school year. Unfortunately, that has made me a little myopic, and focused entirely too much on home.

Please forgive me for not checking in on you all.

You will be held up in our prayers specifically regarding Thanksgiving.

You are very, very special - each one of you. We thank God for you and the ways he has blessed you for service!

Jamie

 
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