November 2, 2014

by Robyn Bryant

November 2, 2014


This is Christian’s Birthday Month!


The last month has been difficult, but really difficult for other parents, I am just a by stander now, but I feel every parent with a child with cancer’s pain. I have been more involved directly with parents in the last month than ever before. I question my involvement, do I make things worse? I just do not know, I love all of these families deeply. 


In the last 2 weeks 2 beautiful girls have left this world and joined Christian in Heaven. Grace was the first, I loved her and love her Mama and Daddy and I am thankful we met and The Christian Bryant Foundation was able to help them. I am not divulging a confidence, Grace’s family was very open about telling people about The Christian Bryant Foundation. I will stay in touch with them and help them survive emotionally as others have helped me...


The second beautiful girl is Isabel Pridgen! Her diagnosis devasted me. Two weeks before Isabel was diagnosed her Mom, Marla, stood and listened to me and another childhood cancer parent talk about the devastation of the disease. Marla, later shared with me, that she did not know why she kept standing there listening, because she thought she should walk away, but that day when we were were standing in T.C Thompson Children’s Hospital she said, now I know why I listened...that statement broke my heart that day and will forever break my heart. 


Today, we celebrated the beautiful life of Isabel Pridgen! I will never understand why she got so very sick so fast or why she died...but I still do not understand why Christian died!

Isabel’s Celebration of Life was beautiful! But today has been harder for me than the many funerals of children I have attended since Christian died...The service was similar to Christian’s, and so many people I love and that love me and my family were present. 


Today, I am thankful for Sugar Wheeler, the social worker in the Oncolgy Clinic where Christian was treated that came and sat by me...I am also thankful for so many that just patted my back or offered a hug...the first hug was from Bud Williams, a man I love deeply like a member of our family, the 2nd hug was from Taylor Spahn, a young woman that I have known since she was very young...but very soon she will be an RN taking care of children. I am thankful for Debra and Steve Dunn, Martha Piccola, Katie Tatum, Brian and Heather Anderson....I am very thankful for Dr. Greg Talbot, a PICU Intensivist that took excellent care of Christian! When I saw him on the way out of the church today, I just broke, I almost fell into his arms and hugged him tight and cried for what seemed like a long time, but know it was probably not. That was good for me, I think I got my emotions out and was able to pull it together to stand in line to go speak to Marla and Will. And then, one of my favorite PICU nurses, Janna (and I have more than a few), stepped up beside me and stayed there until we got to speak to Marla and Will. Yes, today, brings back so many memories for me, but, today, Will said, “It helps seeing all the support.” That is so true! We need the support for years and years.

Tonight, I had a converstaion with a good friend and she told me something about how Christian’s death was communicated to her friends that I need to correct. In the next week I will be texting Christian’s closest friends to clarify Christian’s final moments...I may even blog it....


Remember, Love Deeply, Forgive Often and Find you Blessings, Robyn