The Last Normal Day.

DSC_0045I remember October 2, 2012.

It was the very last cancer-free day that my family would ever know. Ian was a busy, curly-headed senior in college who had neither the time, nor the inclination to schedule a doctor’s visit even though he’d been feeling crummy. At my mother’s insistence, he’d finally gone—and we’d made hurried, unconcerned  plans for me to drop a meal off at his apartment later that week. [After a steady diet of tacos and coffee, we figured that whatever was wrong would easily be righted by some normal food and a good night’s sleep.] Just one year ago today was the last day before IVs and a shaved head, before a thousand cheerfully colored “Get Well” cards and a blue fleece superman blanket that followed us from hospital room to hospital room. It was the last day before numbers and hearts sank, and the cold nausea of grief made her permanent home in the pits of our stomachs. I couldn’t have known  as I fell asleep that night, that things would never be the same. That the very next morning, cancer would burst through the doors and we would ache forever.

One year later, my mind and heart still stubbornly refuse to believe that it actually happened. One year later, I still expect to wake up and find that it was all just the very worst dream that I’ve ever had. And one year later, God is still just as good as he was on the last normal day. God was good when I was newly engaged and excitedly shopping for wedding dresses with my Mom and sister. God was good on October 3rd, when a woman in a white coat said “cancer” to a room full of wide, disbelieving eyes. And God was good in the ICU, when hand squeezes grew weaker and finally disappeared, and I kissed my little brother’s cheek for the very last time. God is good even then—He is incapable of  being anything else.

Today, I choose to believe truth. I remember that love is not simply something that God does, but who He is. His relentless love for Ian and for me was settled at the cross, and the cross leaves no room for doubt. I will never match a fraction of the love that God has for my little brother.

Today and every day, I miss Ian.

Comments

  1. October 2nd. It hit me this morning. One year.

    Ian is not forgotten.

    • Marge Farmer says:

      Dear,dear Peterson Family,
      I too remember a year ago….and the days and months following. My heart has ached for y’all but what a victorious posting today! Ian is NOT forgotten and even now is enjoying the unimagined Joy of being with his Lord and Savior. You have my continued love and prayers.

    • Thank you. :) I’m very grateful!

  2. Jen Thompson says:

    Your written words are making certain that Ian’s life and death continue to bring God SO much glory. Thanks always for writing the hard things and pointing your readers to Jesus.

  3. Jamie C. Warren says:

    Have typed several different things, have deleted them all. Your words are so powerful.

  4. Gina Winter says:

    Beautiful Ashley. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think of Ian.

  5. Sandy Maccioli says:

    Some walk in sorrow…some walk in joy…some seem less challenged…others seem steeped in adversity BUT special ones like you walk in faith seeing, touching, tasting, hearing and finally knowing that this is a temporary, imperfect place and that God’s love for us is real, His Word eternal and our permanent dwelling is a far, far better plan than what we can fully comprehend! Your love for your brother breathes life into the majesty of what is true love, true God and true faith. Blessings to your full heart and to Ian…blessings!

  6. I am so sorry for this tender loss, I stumbled on your blog, and it really lifted my heart, through your encouraging words, as the last few years have been rough for my family and I also. Thank you

    • Thank you, Brogan. I’m sorry that y’all have had a tough couple of years! Praying that God gives you the grace to believe truth about Himself in the midst of it.

  7. Suzanne Campoli says:

    I cared for Ian in the ICU. He and your family touched my heart like no other. He is very fondly remembered by all of us in the unit.

    • Thank you so much for taking care of my little brother. I can not say enough wonderful things about the medical team that worked so tirelessly to make him better–and I’m so grateful for it. I am blown away by what you all do. Thank you!!

  8. I have shared your blog with many. Thanks for continuing to share your joys, pains, struggles, and how you to continue to concede that God is good when albeit there are moments when every fiber of your being wants to ask why. But instead, you fight to believe truth. You are such an encouragement dear friend!

  9. I just read your message and with tears running down my face I marble at your faith and at Gods eternal grace. This is one of the most amazing and powerful words I have ever read. Thank you my love.

  10. Your eloquence is amazing…I feel every word….you are your mother’s daughter. With much love and a praying heart for your family.

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