Love of my Life

Love of my Life
Happy moments... Praise God. Difficult moments... seek God. Quiet painful moments... Trust God. Every moment... Thank God.















November 29, 2010

Final thoughts from Dad




At approximately 11:22 pm last night our beloved Lindsey was released from her broken body and allowed to enter God’s kingdom. God must have needed a new teacher, one who understands what people, especially children, sometimes have to endure during their earthly existence. We as a family are obviously devastated and saddened by this loss, but because of the enormous faith Lindsey displayed during her life we have to hold onto that same faith and be happy that she is indeed in a much better place, free of suffering and sorrow. She can fulfill her dream, albeit in a different place, of teaching children. During the times that I sensed she was very sad and very frightened I would try to comfort her by reminding her of the numerous small children we had met during her treatments who had indeed lost their battle at a very young age, these beautiful children I told her were not finished learning and would need a teacher in heaven too. This statement seemed to comfort her, seemed to make at least a tiny bit of sense of what was happening to her because perhaps she would indeed be able to fulfill her ultimate dream—to teach and make a difference to kids.
Lindsey enjoyed twelve “normal” years before the battle with brain cancer began. She was playing competitive soccer and doing quite well; three weeks later she had been diagnosed with the brain tumor and was headed to New York for surgery. I am aware that this information is already well known by most but I repeat it because it shows what Lindsey is really all about, it shows how she made adjustments with grace and dignity when her world was turned upside down in an instant. After the surgery she couldn’t walk, talk, or care for herself, she was in tremendous pain and yes she cried, but she never complained. She taught herself to write left-handed as her right hand no longer worked. She relearned simple tasks like tying her shoes, clasping her bra, simply walking and even though she walked with a limp, she never complained. The love and compassion she showed for others during this time was truly amazing. She told Sandy and I on more than one occasion that she was glad she was the one in the family who had the tumor because she simply couldn’t bear the thought of seeing her parents or siblings suffer. Lindsey described herself choosing the words kind, caring, and compassionate and I have to agree whole-heartedly. I would readily add the words strong and tenacious.
Although Lindsey had cognitive impairments following treatments she refused to give up. Yes, she would become frustrated by the extra time she had to invest into studies while her peers and siblings seemed to excel with relative ease, yet she stuck with it and in fact was on the honor roll repeatedly during her high school years. I am especially grateful to Lindsey’s peers at UCM who realized that although Lindsey didn’t have enough hours for her education degree she did in fact have enough for her Bachelor of Science. Thanks to these wonderful students and several of her professors after seven hard fought years Lindsey fulfilled her dream of earning her college degree and was able to walk across the podium with enormous pride and satisfaction from a job well done.
Lindsey was filled with excitement because she was about to begin her final semester of college, complete student teaching, and work toward acquiring employment. In January however the first of two car accidents occurred, within two weeks a second accident occurred and we knew we needed Dr. Allen, her neurologist , to evaluate. We took Lindsey for the needed MRI and then waited………, two days later Sandy got the call from Dr. Allen. Lindsey asked that my father, Dr. Jay Morris, accompany us to her appointment with Dr. Allen for the results. We were all taken into a dark office where the disk of Lindsey’s brain scan was inserted into the computer. Although Dr. Allen was carefully describing the regrowth of the tumor I looked to my right and saw my father’s face illuminated by the computer’s glow and I knew instantly that my beloved Lindsey was about to receive the most terrifying news of her life. After viewing the scan we were taken to an adjacent examination room where Lindsey received the prognosis of the images we had just seen. I’m quite sure that her screams could be heard throughout the entire office. Numb, I observed in total disbelief as Sandy and my Dad did their best to comfort her. I was at a total loss for words, I simply put my hand on her thigh and turned my head as the tears streamed down my face. The prognosis was dismal.
What followed next is what I believe was a shorter than usual “WHY ME!” grief period for Lindsey. She wept, she was angry, she ranted justifiably over the fact that she was so very close to earning her teaching degree and marrying the man of her dreams and now it was seemingly being jerked from her grasp. “ Why, why,why,why, me , I’ve already been through this and I thought after ten years I was safe. Please tell me why!! “ It wasn’t long however that Lindsey displayed an acceptance of her situation. What she did next speaks volumes about the person she had become. We witnessed her going to her study and her storage area in the basement and carefully organizing, categorizing, and boxing up all the teaching supplies and tools she had saved for the day she got her own classroom . Once she satisfactorily completed the task she phoned our neighbor’s daughter who is employed by Lee’s Summit R7 school district and asked her to please use them in her classroom. This was a very mature and selfless act which made me very proud. A hand made poster from the students who received the supplies hangs in Lindsey’s room which has a circle of the children’s hand prints surrounding a picture of all the books and supplies she had donated and the words, “your gifts have fallen into good hands .” Lindsey also had Aunt Nancy help her get pictures enlarged which she knew I cherished. They took them to be framed and brought them to my office where they now hang and remind me daily of the love we share. Also on the office wall there is a school assignment Lindsey completed entitled, “My Hero,” she wrote this paper referencing me but I certainly believe it pertains to her so much. The following is a quote from the paper………

A hero is an everyday person who can change the world for the better. It could be simple like helping one person out or by helping millions.


Responsible, honest, trustworthy.

Courageous and Brave - Is willing to take risks, stands up for his/her beliefs.

Intelligent - logical, sees the big picture, identifies the problem and plans a solution.

Selfless and humble-puts others first, doesn't seek rewards or prasies.

Has a sense of humor

Mentally strong and self confident - fear, mistakes, problems don't stop him/her.


The difference between the first and second battle with the tumor was hope. The first go round there was always hope and optimism, the second time there was none. Watching Lindsey slowly deteriorate from this disease has been gut-wrenching , I won’t repeat the information documenting the downward spiral because Sandy has done so already in this blog. It just hurts and hurts to the very core of your being to watch your child, your twenty-five year old daughter decline day by day.

Lindsey's only request was that she be able to die at home and I gave her my word that she would be able to do so. Dr. Taylor said it would take an army to accomplish this enormous task but that it could be done. I have to thank my wonderful army, the core of which was Sandy and Nancy. Our trio learned to do many tasks that hospice normally does which certainly helped Lindz feel more dignified and intimately loved. You allowed me to keep my word and I will be forever grateful to you. To the rest of my little army I say thank you so much, we did it.

I will end by quoting something my mother said when she was here last, she said as she wept, " I never knew anything could hurt this much." I couldn't agree more.........This HURTS!

Information about Lindsey's memorial will be shared at a later time.... a private family graveside service will occur for immediate family members prior to the memorial.

12 comments:

  1. I woke up this morning and was thinking of Lindsey. I put on my Josh Wilson CD and listened to the song she loved so much, Before the Morning. The lyrics at the end of the song say it all ...."Cause the pain that you've been feeling is just the hurt before the healing. It's just the dark before the morning" God has given you so much strength and endurance this year and now I pray that he gives you encouragement and peace. I found this scripture in Matthew 10:39 "Whoever finds life will lose it and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." From all I know about Lindsey, she definitely lived her life in Christ's sake. I wish I had personally known Lindsey better. However, through Sandy and through this blog, I feel like I knew her well. You all did such a great job sharing your journey and making all of us feel like she was our dear, personal friend. My prayers go up for all of you. God Bless. Sherryl

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  2. Bob, thank you for sharing your story, I cried as I read it.

    Lindsey will always be beside you, watch for the signs, maybe a dream, maybe a bird or butterfly, but you will have signs, God does that for us.

    Sending prayers for you and your family.
    Dona

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  3. My heart breaks for your family right now, but I take comfort in knowing that Lindsey is at peace and free from the pain. I rejoice, because I know that this life is not the end of the road for Lindsey, and I am certain that I will see her and her contagious smile again. She will always be missed and never be forgotten.

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  4. Bob, losing a child is a pain like no other. I wish I had words of wisdom from my own experience with losing a child to help, but I also know that the pain is overwhelming right now.

    Just hold onto the fact that Lindsey is okay - her spirit is eternal, and is always going to be with you. And I know that you are right, Lindsey is an angel to all the children. I hope my son was there to greet her, and I fully imagine Lindsey finding a way to comfort him because she was always thinking of others first.

    time helps, I promise you that.

    Blessed Be,
    Krisana

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  5. What a beautiful example Lindsey has been to so many. Your faithfulness during this trying time is such a testimony of true faith in our heavenly Father. Lean into Him and let His comforting arms surround you with strength and peace. In Christ’s Love ~ Bob & Jan

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  6. Bob, Sandy, Todd and Hannah,
    Our heart breaks for you all and our prayers continue to be lifted up for you. None of us can take away the hurt and pain, nor say anything that will truly comfort. We weep with you but at the same time rejoice that Lindsey no longer is in pain and we will all see her again. May God continue to be with you, to comfort you and hold you in the palm of His hand. John and Carolyn Mulder

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  7. My heart is breaking for your family and close friends. Knowing what is like to lose a child is the hardest thing to bare with but always know that she is always with you. Lindsey was a beautiful girl from inside and out. She is inperation to alot of cancer victims and non cancer victims knowing that you live your life to the fullest. And Lindsey had just done that. Just from the short time I had known her, it was like I had know her for a life time. Our Father, let him be with you and your family. We all will miss you very much..

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  8. Hello! My name is Kristina Douglas. Lindsey and I had many education classes while I was at UCM. I graduated in Spring of 09, while Lindsey and I mainly hung out that year before that. She was such a fun, friendly person. We hung out many times outside of classes as well. I remember doing countless homework assignments together and studying for tests together. She was such a hard worker and I admired her determination to succeed. I am so sorry to hear about the loss. I found out about it on facebook and was ultimately shocked! Her and I hadn't had any contact since I left Warrensburg in 2008 for student teaching. I thought about her just a few weeks ago, and I feel guilty for not trying to make contact with her. She is now in peace and feeling no pain. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. I will miss you and always remember you Lindsey!!

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  9. Bob - I don't know you and the only one of I know of your family is Sandy, but I have been following Lindsey's story and praying for you. I have to tell you that I haven't been able to read your post until tonight and I am still crying and very moved as I am reading it. I think what you shared that Lindsey wrote about being a hero applies to all of you. I think that how you have managed through this time is a testimony that has had a positive impact on my life as well as many others. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

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  10. I hadn't spoken to Lindsey since high school but I remember her so well. She was the definition of kind and was always smiling. I don't have much to say besides the fact that I am praying for and thinking of you all. I a,m so very sorry. I have never understood why God takes the very best first. She must have been needed for something extra special. I am so sorry for your loss. She was very precious.
    hillary

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  11. Sir, I have never met you or your daughter. Oddly, I have a dear friend whose name is Lindsey, who also has an inoperative brain tumor now that has come back after 5 years of freedom. My friend is a 31 year old nurse anesthetist who wants to marry the man of her dreams in August. I don't know that this dream will be realized.
    My friend is full of questions, like your daughter. Why me? Where is God in this? Honestly I have no idea how to support her. You obviously were a rock to your daughter. What a testimony.
    How can I support my friend? She is a christian, but is having a hard time reconciling this with her faith. I am sure you understand.
    Your blog has helped me. Thank you for being so selfless.

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