Todd’s Journey

This is photo of Nick with my mom, Olivia, and Todd.

Todd, our 15-year old son, was only 8 when Nick was first diagnosed with a brain tumor. Through the years he has definitely had the biggest battle with the largest range of emotions-everything from fear to jealousy to anger to indifference to denial….

And many of these emotions have fluctuated back and forth throughout the past 7 years….

But I have never seen him cry or even seem sad.

So last Saturday when we realized that Nick was not going to be with us much longer, I was sitting on the floor beside Nick who was lying on our couch. Erich and Tim and my brother had already joined me. Mom was at Nick’s feet. I looked back to see if Evan was coming yet, and there stood Todd at the top of the ramp that leads to our “new room” looking down on everything. I said, “Todd, come say bye.”

As Todd neared Nick I could feel his fear. As he placed his hand on Nick’s shoulder and said, “bye,” he burst into tears and fell back on the chair behind him and cried and cried and cried and cried-loudly. My heart just broke for him.

See Todd and Nick were only 21 months apart, so in many ways they were treated like twins. They wore matching clothes when they were little. They shared the same friends. They played the same games. If Todd had someone over to stay all night, Nick was part of the pack….

And vice versa.

Over the past year and 1/2 Todd has branched out and created a new world for himself in high school with band, choir and new friends It has been hard to watch Todd form a new circle that didn’t include Nick, but at the same time, I am thankful that he has been able to do this.

Now that Nick is not with us in a physical sense, I know that Todd misses him greatly. He stays busy chatting online with friends and texting them, but I was in his room earlier today and noticed Nick’s program from his service is pinned right in the middle of his bulletin board.

Nick will always be with Todd.

They were such great buddies.

Please keep Todd in your prayers today. His Christmas concert is tomorrow night. I know it will be hard for all of us. Nick was with us last year for this event.

Trying to stay focused on the big picture in spite of the brokenness I feel so deeply inside,

12 thoughts on “Todd’s Journey

  1. My heart aches for you and your family. My prayers go out to all of you, and I will say a special prayer for Todd’s Christmas performance.

  2. Dear Tammy ~ I know how much Todd has struggled with emotions. You and I e-mailed about this very thing some time ago.
    Today I pray that as he processes things for him self he will remember the Nick that loved him very much.
    The first’s always seem to be the hardest. I hope you all can go and enjoy the season and KNOW that Nick will be sitting right by you all. He has the best seet in the house.
    I will offer up prayers for Todd and his program.
    Love and Peace ~ Deborah Peterson

  3. My heart just broke as I read this. I think it is so hard for men and especially young men to express their feelings yet alone know their feelings. I mean, it’s hard to be able to figure out feelings and to know what everything means. I can only imagine how Todd must feel since all his life he felt like a “twin”. How wonderful that he was able to let go and to say his good bye to Nicholas.

    I pray he continues to keep an open eye to his feelings…to be aware of his emotions and feelings. I hate the saying…big boys don’t cry. I think real men DO cry…
    Much love and prayers.

  4. Oops:( I spelled seat wrong. My mind types faster than my fingers. I hit the wrong key.
    ~ Deborah

  5. Tammy,

    As we were moving, I found some of Halley’s school papers. Many of them were from the CCA. Second grade was such a good year. What was there, eight in their class? Anyway, one the papers was a story that Halley wrote, everyone in the class was in the story, but the funniest part was her telling about “President Todd.”
    “He knows everything!” Halley and I laughed and now when I see Todd I can’t help but call him president Todd. I will try to find it again and make you a copy.

    Todd is awesome young man and Halley is so glad that he is at East. We love him and will keep this special young man in our prayers.
    Love you all,

    P.S. Give the “new room” a name. We had a “new room” for 7 years. It was not so new anymore, but we still called it that.

  6. Todd,

    When you were little I felt a connection with you. I always enjoyed spending time with you, you always cracked me up. Maybe the connection I felt is because we are similar. I know it’s difficult to figure out how to express emotion, but the most important thing to remember is that your emotions are normal and real. It is okay to express them in your way (as long as it’s legal) and when you need to. It took me years to figure that out. I’m praying for you!

    Jessica (Sheroan)

  7. One of my favorite moments with your family was when I got the chance to babysit Todd. I’m assuming you and Krista had gone shopping. It was probably around 10 or so and Todd had woken up and was crying for you. I took him in my arms, sang him a song and rocked him back to sleep. I knew then I had potential as a daddy.

    May God sing a quiet song of peace to Todd (and the whole family) and make you fully aware of how close he is and how he is holding you in his arms, helping get you all through the darkness of this night.

  8. Tammy, we’re still thinking of and praying for you all on a daily basis. I check your blog daily and often find myself with tears just streaming down my face. We love you.

  9. Tammy,

    My 2 youngest boys are 22 months apart and it has always been a love/strongly dislike relationship. And just like your Todd-my older one is not the best at sharing what is on his mind. I can only imagine how he must be “wrestling” with his thoughts and emotions. I will continue to pray for Todd and that he will be able to grieve in the best way for him.


  10. My thoughts and words cannot bring you the comfort that you long for…but please know that I am praying to out heavenly Father, speaking your name, asking Him for peace, comfort and blessings.