Sleeping in a Brother’s Room…

Nick wanted to sleep in Zack’s room last night.

And as hard as that was for me – could the answer be anything but yes for him?

That’s the privilege of being a parent – we get to do what is best for our children but not necessarily what is “best” (convenient, easy, etc) for ourselves.

I’m pretty sure that’s called sacrifice.

Jesus sacrificed it ALL for me. Even though I didn’t deserve it.

Nick inspires me to push through the hard and do the things I must – not because I have to – because I want to. Because I love him.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:7


And my heart hurts that he grieves for an older brother. An older brother who was a best friend for nearly 7 years. An older brother who taught him so well. An older brother who taught us all the ultimate lessons of living.

Seeing Nick hurt is worse than my own pain.

And that fuels my strength to do whatever I must.

And we lay and read together in a big brother’s bed where countless stories were read before.

And we talk about the glow in the dark solar system carefully hung by a big brother and we turn off the light just to see.

Because the stars shine brightest in the darkness.

And Mayo and I tuck a little brother in and I remember an older brother and kissing his warm, living skin and I am thankful he was never too old to tuck in.

As long as your children are in your care, tuck them in – kiss them, hug them – no matter their age. They need it as much as you.

And we all prayed together. And we all learn together.

And we leave a little brother and his dog to sleep in the living memories of a brother’s room.

And I stare at the empty page of my daily journal and see the lack of answers, the lack of my desires, the lack of control.

And I look all around and see people with normal lives, normal families and my heart longs for that normalcy.

But this is MY life. My new normal. The life HE has laid out for me. The beautiful gift HE has given me.

And I cannot see the bigger picture that HE has painted for my life. But I know it is there.

And so I write the joys moments of the day. And in focusing on being thankful, my trust is once again strengthened.

And I know HIS plan is perfect.

I just can’t see that far ahead…

(and as I get ready to post this entry this morning – Nick has just awakened after sleeping ALL night – the first in a long while…)


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33 thoughts on “Sleeping in a Brother’s Room…

  1. What wonderful thoughts and what a Blessing you would be so kind to share them with us. So glad Nick slept ALL night….perhaps that bed is big enough for Mommy to give it a try?? LOVE AND PRAYERS!!!

  2. This was a great post Wendy. Thank you for sharing your courageous and wise words. Hugs to you, Nick and Mayo and lovingly thinking of Zack.

  3. This last August a dear friend of ours, who was staying in our home, chose to end her life here in our home. Besides being a close friend of mine, she had spent countless hours with my little girl who had just turned 9. My daughter has helped me walk through this. Not long ago she wanted to sleep in the room our friend had been staying in. While I personally struggled – she built a nest with her stuffies and snuggled right in…and slept all night. That bed has become hers. And she has reminded me that our friend -whose name is Wendy- laughed and loved…”but in the end didn’t know how to live.” I am so thankful for the blessing of a child – who teaches me how to live. Many thanks for sharing your journey. Your family is an inspiration. Blessings, Susan

    • Susan I am sorry for the loss of your friend – especially in such a personal and tragic way. I will be praying for your peace and strength. You are indeed correct – children teach us how to live. hugs!

  4. Thanks Wendy for the courage to post these beautiful thoughts. Every one of your posts inspires me in some way. Love and prayers for your family as you continue your journey.

  5. Such a heartfelt post, bringing tears to my eyes that softly roll down my cheeks. I think Nick slept all night, because Zach was curled up right next to him…bringing great comfort to such a great little brother…he is with you all Wendy. Forever and always…

  6. This puts a lump in my Throat and tears in my eyes. OUR GOD does have a plan for you, I know that it is very hard some days to get started but Nick reminds you I am sure on a daily basis the LOVE that Zack brought and that is is still there. Waiting and watching for the day that he gets to hug you all one more time. GOD BLESS YOU AND GIVE YOU PEACE AND STRENGTH this day and every day!!

  7. As we trust in God’s healing power, we also learn to trust Him to take us to places we would have never gone on our own. But knowing He never leaves or forsakes us, we can know His grace is sufficient and He will give it abundantly and beyond all we could ever expect or imagine. As the wound heals, the scar remains; but it serves to remind us that this is not our home and every step we take, in faith, is one step closer to feeling like we are already there.

  8. Wendy you are such an inspiration to me through your words of wisdom. I can never imagine the pain that your family feels, but I can feel the strength that you have to go on daily. I totally understand about being a parent. Our family dog died over the weekend and part of me was so glad because she had been very very sick for a long time. I told myself and Mark we are not getting another dog. Conner cried all weekend and even at school. I found my heart hurting for him so we went to the rescue and brought home MAX.

    Thank you for your words of wisdom and please let me know when you guys are here because we would love to see Nick,.

  9. Oh. Wet keyboard. I have a 12-year-old and an 8-year-old. Can’t even imagine how you’re living through this but am filled with good thoughts & prayers to help you do so. I hope you see how brave you are. And how much that will matter for your young son.

  10. Wendy, I hope that means you and Mayo got a full night’s sleep too–that would be a first in a long time as well, right? Love you sweet friend.

  11. Take it from me, I had to learn it the hard way… The only thing we have control over is our faith. My little family has had some serious problems the last few years and along the way I kept thinking from time to time that other people had “normal” families only to find out they had big sorrows too….some of which I wouldn’t trade my mess for! That has helped me have some perspective. Praying unceasingly is also a gift to me although I sometimes wonder if God is tired of hearing from me! I think about you a lot and pray for your family.

  12. Wendy, I’m so thankful Nick rested peacefully surrounded by memories of his big brother. I love reading your post and seeing how God is delivering you out of the darkness one step at a time. God bless you, Mayo and Nick.

  13. Another touching, inspiring and loving post! I am so glad to know that little Nick slept all night. I could never understand how he feels from losing such a close sibling. I know it was great comfort for him to be able to sleep in his brothers bed….and I just know that Zack was right there with him and helping you all have a great full night of rest!!! God Bless you all….My thoughts and prayers are with you all everyday. Thank you again for sharing your stories, whether they are filled with moments of joy or sorrow. You continue to give lot’s of courage and strength to lot’s of people!

    MUCH MUCH LOVE!! <3 <3 <3 <3

  14. I feel your pain Wendy. My son is having a hard time after 18 months of his older sister/best friend being gone, taken by leukemia at age 10. I am looking into someone he can talk to but I don’t know where to start. Has Nick talked to anyone yet? I would love to hear from you or others going through this.

    • Kelly I’m sorry for the loss of your son. Nick did see a counselor at first and still sees him from time to time. Ours is a Christian based counselor which was important to our family and he came recommended from one of our pastors. It is helpful to be able to talk openly and objectively – I think our children sometimes try protect us too so they “hold back” for fear of upsetting us. There are no rights or wrongs. We all do the best we can and turn to God when we feel like we just can’t anymore. Hugs!

  15. Zack was a great “big brother”…I can see why Nick adored him!! He was taught to love family, friends and life! You were truly blessed to have raised such a “child of God”. No wonder Nick wants to be like Zack, sleep in Zacks bed, wear his clothes…..Zack had a purpose during his short life, and that was to inspire others…..he has inspired me through his TRUST our LORD and be there for others just as is family is doing now!!!! Even though I never meet Zack: I can truthfully say ” I love you Zack Mayo”….thanks for all you have done!