Friday, June 1, 2012

The First of Many

I can't believe it's been a year since that painfully beautiful day. There are no words to explain the emotions of being able to hold your child in your arms for the first time, then give him to heaven. No words.

Today is a celebration of the latter, and a mourning of the former. I cry selfishly, and selfishly I wait impatiently to be with him.

This morning I woke up to the sounds of tap dancing rain on the windows, just as it had that day at the hospital. These would be the first of many tears.

The second cry came, when I read Uncle Allen's post: "Dear David, One Year Later"

Tonight we will be taking our oldest to her year-end talent show. She shared that at rehearsal another child was singing David's song. It's going to be hard for her to concentrate on her own performance, and I have to be strong and send a comforting smile and a wink when she scans the crowd to see my face. Lord give me the strength.

Today is David Allen's Day, the first of many.


To view David Allen's Fight and other Trisomy 18 Stories visit

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Company Meeting

I was a late arrival, but instead of sneaking to the back, I kicked the door open (in my mind) walked in with my head held high and smiling ear to ear. There were whispers throughout the front rows. As I approached the center row, I noticed what the whispers were saying "what is it?!" "well" "what is it?!"

I held up that black and white sonogram image like it was a golden ticket to Willy Wonka's place. My wife let me hand pick it - the one that had an arrow with the word "boy!" beside it. "It's a boy!" I semi-whispered back. I was going to be the father of three boys and two girls!

Today, I face walking back in to that same meeting. This time I'll probably go in early and sit down in the back.  To say that life goes on would be a very real and true statement. Life does go on, but now as I anxiously await 3pm to roll around I can't help but to remember my entrance last year.

When we found out the diagnosis of David, I told God that I would go to the ends of the earth and walk through whatever he has ahead for me, but "Don't you dare back out on your promise to never leave me!"

So Father, just as you have escorted me through these times, consider this an open invitation to my company meeting today. Amen.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Haynes Family Update

Hello out there from the Haynes Fam.  First, I just want to thank you so much to those who have tried to keep in touch with us despite the fact we have just moved a century backwards with technology.  We are without internet, house phone and are now using prepaid wireless.  You would be surprised how much money we are saving. 

Anyhow, we are doing okay.  We have moved into a season where there are more good days than bad, but our hearts will always wish we had our son here doing life with us.  I have to say that God is faithful.  In the begining of this journey I remember asking God why he was going to take my son from me.  He told me two things, no he promised me two things.  First, he promised me that he was going to use this loss to establish Destiny's faith in him more firmly.  Second, he promised he would resurrect a dead man from within my husband.  (Honey, I hope you don't mind me sharing this.)

I am begining to see the start of what he is doing in Destiny.  She has more questions about God and Faith than she ever has before.  She is still trying to understand why God would allow something like this to happen, but it is this very question that is leading her deeper into relationship with our God.  She has become more patient, and more giving of herself.  This is a miracle in itself, simply because she has now entered adolsence. 

If you are a parent of a middle schooler you know exactly what I'm talking about.  If you'd like to pray along with our family for Destiny and the work God is doing in her then we ask that you pray for her to have wisdom, and to stand up boldly for Christ no matter what pressures surround her.

The second promise is being answered as well.  I have seen my husband grow leeps and bounds in his faith, despite the struggle we are walking in the midst of great loss.  He is leading us in doing devotions together in the mornings and at night.  He is clinging to God and trying to gain more understanding of his own faith and his savior all at the same time.  God is moving mountains in his life, and all I can do is be greatful and watch the mighty work of our awesome God.

As for the rest of the crew.  Lexi is doing well, although she does have some anxiety for the safety of her siblings ever since David Allen passed.  She is not having nightmares anymore which is huge progress. 

Andrew is walking through the anxiety part of mourning as well.  It surprised me to see him greiving and mourning as much as he has been.  It is amazing how much a two year old can understand. 

Joshua, well, he is Joshua.  He was too young to understand any of what went on.  He is a force to be reconded with, but he doesn't know it yet.  He is kind of like one of those giant-sized dogs that thinks he is a chihuahua.

And mommy, how is the mommy.  The mommy is reaffirming her faith everyday.  I am so grieved by not having my son with me.  Yet, I see God's goodness and mercy and grace in it all.  Clinging to the promises of God, I breath in and out, and slowly put one foot in front of the other.  I know that his plan is better than anything I could have come up with.  With my broken heart in hand, I will follow him.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Death Changes Things

The death of someone we love, stops us in our tracks.
photo by: Jacqui Janetzko

It has caused me to question everything I thought I knew. It caused me to question my God, my personal faith, and everything around me.

Death is something that can test whether or not we really believe what we say we believe.

At times, it has even caused me to ask myself "What do I actually believe?" "Can I find a scripture to back that up?"
I like that it is causing me to delve deep into the Word of God, the research I am doing on Heaven is quite exhausting, but I am seeing the word more in depth.  I am clinging to God, and every promise I know to be true, and quite honestly I am looking for promises that I may have missed or do not yet know of.

I want to know what life is like now for David Allen.  I want to know if he knows how much I loved him and wanted him to stay.  I want to know if he knew how much this family wanted to do life with him.  Will he know that he changed my life forever? Will he know that he awoke so much passion for The Word in me?  Will God tell him?

photo by: Jacqui Janetzko

I don't have the answers to any of these questions.  If I find any of them I will be sure to share them all with the rest of you, don't worry.  One thing I do know is this.  God has known me from before the beginning of this life and he is constantly reminding me of that.

Since I was a little girl, as young as twelve maybe even younger, I have always wanted to be a wife and a mother.  When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up that is what I told them, until someone busted my bubble and informed me that the question was referring to what job I would like to do to make money.

Right along with knowing that I wanted to be a wife and a mother, I also knew my greatest fear was to lose a child.  I remember being very young and playing mommy with baby dolls and thinking of how sad it would be for a real mom to lose a real child.  That fear has plagued me for most of my days even long before I ever became a mother.  Then I did become a mother and the fear of losing a child gripped me in ways that I never understood.  The very thought of losing a child would bring me to tears in seconds.  I never knew anyone that experienced this kind of loss when I was young, so I have no idea where this fear ever came from, but I know that it has been very real all of my life.

I  thought about this for a long time two or three days ago.  As heartbroken that I am about David Allen, I do believe that God has given me a bolder faith since his death.  You see, David Allen is the second child that I lost.  Not many people are aware that our son Joshua had a twin.  We lost the other baby at seven weeks gestation.  Now I know that some people will not understand how a loss that early in pregnancy can affect a mother, but trust me it does.  There was another child, my child in the womb and I never got to meet her (I believe God revealed to me that it was a girl).  Of course there was more of a bond with David Allen because we did get to know him much more than the other child we lost, but it was still a loss.

As strange as all this is for me to say, I have two children that are dead.  Those words are so harsh but it is the truth. Two of my children are dead in this life.  Now I do believe that they are alive and with The Lord, but in this life I will know nothing else of them ever.  Yet, I am okay.  I don't mean that I don't mourn, oh Lord how I mourn.  I don't mean that I don't miss them, my empty arms ache for them.  My heart longs to know what would have been, and my human nature begs God to let me experience something of them while I wait to go home and be with them.  What I do mean is that I am okay mentally, I am not sinking into a deep sea of depression, I am not struggling with what is reality and what isn't.  Somehow in the midst of my grief I am still able to hear what the Lord is saying to me.  Somehow I know that his purpose is better than mine even if it hurts.

My faith is bolder now.  I feel like God took the biggest fear my heart and head have ever known and threw it into the depths of hell.  You see, if I could come through the loss of two of my children, then is there really anything that I can't do with my God?  The answer of course is no, and now I know that.  The irony in it all is haven't I known that all along?  I mean doesn't scripture say, "If God is for me then who can be against me" and "In God I trust and am not afraid, what can man do to me", and again God tells us "through Christ who strengthens me I can do ALL things."  Of course I have known these verses for years, but there is a difference between knowing something in your head and knowing something in your heart.  I believe it is the difference between knowledge and wisdom.  Knowledge is the information and wisdom is what you do with it.  Wisdom for me looks like living more boldly for Christ.

Seriously, what can the enemy do to me.  What's the worst that he can do?  Death, isn't that the worst.  Death is his biggest weapon against us right?  And what is the result of death, Going to be with my sweet Jesus and meeting the child I never got to meet and holding my sweet baby David Allen again.  So again, I say with boldness, "God I trust in you and I will live more boldly for you everyday because WHAT CAN THE ENEMY DO TO ME?"  I AM YOURS!  

My dear sweet David Allen, it is because of you I am bolder in my faith.

photo by: Jacqui Janetzko

Please know your life had so much purpose.  Thank you for teaching me unconditional love, deeper faith, and how to stand strong in the face of Satan and say you can take anything from me in this life except my love for God, and my destination in eternity.  David Allen, I miss you and I will think of you everyday until I get to hold you again and thank you for helping me to feel deeper, laugh harder, enjoy more and drink of God more deeply.  I love you son.
photo by: Jacqui Janetzko

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sail Away

At David’s funeral I walked up to a microphone, looked down at what I was about to say and went into a surreal shock.
“I can’t believe I’m doing this”

My mind is not quit right, my heart skips a beat, the tears stream down my face - then dry up, but I am still whaling with the mute button on.
I can’t eat, can’t sleep…then all I want to do is just eat and sleep.

This earth, this world, this life – such a mystery to me.

Overwhelmed with emotions, then numb from head to toe.
Back and forth goes the boat as the waves flow.
So Beautiful, So Perfect

Today was amazing – then today hurt like hell. Hell is the last place I want to be. My focus is above.
Please Lord don’t let me fall, my oh my, how I miss my son.

I have so many reasons to count myself blessed. I truly am a BLESSED fellow. Here’s a few examples:

I never knew what lightning felt like, til the day I held the hand of the woman I now call my wife.

I always wanted a daughter – and God gave me two.

I longed for a son – I now crawl through our house with two little cowboys on my back.

I always wanted a big family – we now drive the swagger wagon (thanks Brittany) because standard size can’t hold us down.

I wanted to give my heart to a faith-based business – CEO of the Salt & Light, Co. 3 years strong.

I’m a home owner, I have a Saddie-dog, a car dubbed “The Tank” to get me from A to B, and an amazing family to greet me when I get home from a long day at work.

My son is in heaven at peace.

Yet, I can think of nothing – nothing else other then the day I held that 5 pound baby boy, with hair so curly. All I want to do is run back to that hospital and scoop him up again. I would rock him and explain to him what ESPN was, how a quarterback had 90,000 people read a bible verse on Saturdays just down the street, then I’d teach him how to pull back when you feel a tug on that fishing pole.
My son David Allen
Why, Lord is this such a painful mystery to me.

If I know that I know, he is with you, and I know that I know, you will get us through this time. Why God, can’t I see? My heart and soul cry out to you to please calm my sea.

Be my Prov 18:10, my 2 Samuel 22:3, my Rev 22:16, the John 6:48, you are the Rev 1:8, tattoo me with Jeremiah 29:11, be the Psalms 119:105, and give me Acts 1:8 and the boldness of 1 Sam 17:32, so that I may be the Matt 5:13-16. Oh father hear me now –
Psalms 51:10-12 (the message) 10 God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. 11 Don't throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. 12 Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails! In Jesus Name I pray, Amen, and Amen, and Amen

Through an amazing blessing from my coworkers and family at Charles Perry Partners (,
I get to take down the "post-it" note that sticks to our family’s white board – a goal/bucket list item.
I get to take my family to Disney for the 4th of July.

This weekend I’m looking for calming seas, and when I steer us home,
I will be praying for “a fresh wind in my sails.”

Monday, June 27, 2011

Heavy Coats

Grief is like a heavy coat.  You can take a coat off and put it on.  The heaviness of grief comes and goes.  Sometimes it comes on so strong that it physically feels like wearing a heavy floor length fur coat in ninety-eight degree weather.


Today is like that for me.  The lump in my throat has grown so big I can barely swallow, and my breathing is very calculated.  My heart is broken like I've never experienced, and while I know it's okay to cry, I have four children with me all day.  It hurts them to see their mommy cry and I can't just cry everyday all day.  If I really let go that's what I would do, at least for two or three days at a time.

This loss is overwhelming, and there are many aspects of this grieving process that continue to catch me off guard.  One thing that I really didn't expect was that I would constantly feel the need to check on my son. Then in the midst of wanting to peek in on him I realize that there is only an empty bassinet.  No baby, no crying, no need for a feeding or a diaper change, just the heaviness of loss and an empty bassinet are what we have to peek in on.

David's life here on earth fits into a photo album and two small boxes.  Two small boxes of the things that were his during his short stay with us.  It's almost too much to bare.

I called Shands today to see if we could get his ashes yet, and she said they weren't ready.  All I could think of was why are they taking so long to get my son to me.  I know it may seem ridiculous but I just want what's left of my son to be at home.  It's the only part of him I get to bring home from the hospital, and the thought of leaving my son there the day we were released has stabbed like a knife everyday since his birth and death
Initially this blog was to help us get our thoughts out and to let our friends and family stay updated on where we were at in this journey.  At some point later the purpose became to encourage others.  Today, this journal entry is completely selfish.  My heart is broken and I keep looking for relief from the heaviness of the coat that I am wearing.  I thought this might help me feel as though I have taken the coat of grief off, even if only for a minute.  The truth is though, that I know this will never be made right in this lifetime, and there will be no true relief until I get to see my son again.  How long this life has begun to seem.

My prayer for today is that God helps me to remember to breath despite the heavy feeling that is over me, and that he would give me the peace that surpasses all understanding.  That the peace would change the coat I am wearing from a heavy fur coat into a light windbreaker perfect to wear while feeling a heavenly breeze embrace me.  Lord, I know it's only another drop in the bucket for you but God please hear my cry, and tell my son I miss and love him.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Healing and Joy

It's 4:30am, the newspaper article just came out.
I'm reliving each memory, the sights and sounds of David's birth. I'm trying to experience Joy, but the pain is deep.  

I then read "You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy." John 16:20 (NLT)

And I realize how blessed I am - just to have been his Dad.  This is all fresh in my mind, because I got to celebrate Father's Day today.  My kids gathered around me at the table.  I opened my homemade card and unwrapped my new wallet with little photobooth pictures hidden inside.

This was epic.  Then it hit me.  I just want to be a great Dad.

No matter how long my "dash" is (1980-20XX) I want my kids to remember me by the unconditional love I give to them.  This is a tall order, but I am up for the challenge.

I started processing through how I can make a memory vault to showcase all of our great memories.  I thought of how much this blog has helped me.  So, I created a little site for my kids to go watch, read, and see not just "the good times with dear ole Dad", but to hopefully see growth in their Father as an individual, and as a Christ Follower.

Here's to you hard-working Dads everywhere, Happy Belated Father's Day.
Epic Life of a Dad