Thursday, March 27, 2014


I have this thing about singing lullabies to my kids. Maybe it's the fact that my own mom sang them to me when I was growing up. They gave up a lot for me, my parents did. One of the things they gave up was their blossoming careers in Korea. They traded them in for backbreaking blue collar jobs in America. Due to working the 3rd shift, my mom wasn't really there during the nights. Before leaving for work, she would gather my brother and me in her bed and sing us lullabies until we fell asleep. These lullabies served as a lifeline to carry us through the darkest of nights until we met again in the morning.

I've sung countless lullabies to my children in the past six years. And I also let them sleep in our bed, just like my parents did. Yes, I would complain from time to time and NOT appreciate the fact that they frequently managed to migrate into a horizontal position so that a face or a foot would often be in my personal space. But then there were those days when Wisdom whispered in my ear and told me that these years would be the best years of my life. She was right, of course.

We picked up two new lullabies this past month. "Ladybug" was a song that Mike's mom sang to him when he was a child. Gwen fixated on this song and wanted Mike to sing it over and over again. I think it tops her list of lullabies at the moment. And the second song is one that Ava and I had fallen in love with prior to her diagnosis. I discovered it about a month ago and had been playing it in the car when I wanted the girls to fall asleep.

Since the diagnosis, nights have been hard. I'm not strict on bedtime as much anymore because sleep seems so trivial, such a waste of time. So we spend a lot of time talking, and reading, and singing lullabies.

The truth is, it's very hard to be walking this road right now. I don't want to lose my baby. I don't want to suffer. I don't want to have to "be strong." I want to kick and scream and cry. I want this nightmare to be over and my baby's hair to grow back so that she doesn't feel the need to look at the ground every time someone new passes by. I don't want to ponder the "what if's" and to imagine life without her. I want to be reassured that everything is going to be okay, that she'll live to see her hair grow back, and that there will be a happily ever after. I want more than two weeks, two months, two years...I want a lifetime with her.

But all I have right now are these words of comfort:

"May the Lord bless us, and keep us.
 May the Lord smile on us, shine his light upon us.
 May the Lord lift us, turn his face towards us.
 And give us his peace, give us his peace."

I also have the "Ladybug" lyrics but those seem a little less relevant. 

Thank you for your prayers. They are definitely much needed lifelines to us during this time.


Heather Rocen said...

My mom used to sing You Are My Sunshine to me at bedtime. Since I am 30 now and don't live with her she doesn't sing to me anymore but she bought me a little plaque and it says "you are my sunshine" and I keep it next to my bed so I see it before bed.

Kick scream and cry do whatever you need to do. Love you Esther.

apark said...

praying for ava continually! may these lullabies continue to give you comfort and peace even when it's hard, too.

Andrew's Army said...


Thank you for your brutal honesty. It wasn't too long ago when people were commenting on my blog when I didn't want the pain, the sorrow and tears and thanking me for my brutal honesty. I am glad you have this forum to share and process! Keep doing it, because many are praying for you and listening.
Thank you for sharing about lullabies. I too sang many a lullaby to my children. But the last words you quoted got to me. You see Esther, I would sing the "The Lord Bless you and keep you" to my kids since they were new borns and I sung those precious words to Andrew as I cradled his head right before he went to heaven. I kept singing and singing those words to him until the doctors declared him dead. I knew it brought him comfort even in death. I knew it was a comfort and I know in my heart of hearts that as I was singing those words, God was waving him into heaven.
I don't know why I am sharing this and my hopes are that this is not depressing, rather, keep on singing to Ava and Gwen and just stay in the "here and now". God's got your back and he hears every word you say. I wish I could take this all away from you and Mike, but that's not in God's plans for now.
I must admit to you that the past few weeks, the anger component of my grief has made an unwelcome return. I have raised my fist toward the Lord and uttered some choice words to Him and I know that he is taking my "best". I pray that you will continue to do the same. Somethings just don't make sense, but when I said I believed in Christ, I was "all in". And with that said, I still am all in, barely, but I will trust and I know you will too.
Bless you Esther!
Joe Park

Siew-Kim said...


I will be praying for your family - Ava, Gwen, You and Mike. Just found out about this yeaterday and naturally I am very bumped to say the least. But I want you to know that in the last 2 years, your family have regularly been in my prayers, each time I think of TLC, her pastors and congregation.

There is so much I wish I could say to you and Mike to ease and share your pain but also know that the best gift of love is my earnest heartfelt prayers for your family at this difficult time for He is indeed your Burden Bearer, Tender Comforter and Wonderful Counselor. I love your blog and will follow, listen and support you and your family in many other ways as well.

Love and Blessings

Christina Stowers said...

It was so precious hearing you sing with your kids. Most of your posts bring me to tears and my heart goes out to you all. The other day, while the 4th graders were leading chapel, we sang this song: For some reason it reminded me of Ava and all that you guys are going through. Not sure if it's super popular in the US, but it was the first time I had heard it, so I thought I would share it with you... and maybe you'll like it too?

Miss you and love you all so much!