Friday

The last couple of days have been a continuation of my previous post.  Holden has slept all but a couple of hours each day, and the hours he has been awake, he's been uncomfortable and unhappy.  The frequency of "good" moments are waning each day.  We stare at him constantly, waiting for him to stir so we can try to make him smile when his eyes first open.  We crave his warmth, his grin, his humor, and all the things we love about Holden.  We wait and wait.

During this journey, Alex and I each have our tougher, more emotional moments.  Tonight was a tough one for me.  We started to clear out some of the cluttered toys in our family room to create space for a small Christmas tree that Holden can enjoy each day.  It dawned on me that Holden hasn't been asking for those toys, and I sank deeper thinking of other things he's not asking for and things he is not doing anymore, and worst of all the things that he won't do anymore.  I realized tonight that we have already lost so much of our little boy, and it has happened so fast.  

Holden returned home from the hospital after his seizures on August 21.  He spent the next several weeks regaining his strength and even surpassed his pre-seizure status.  He started walking without help for the first time, walking from room to room!  He was stronger, more balanced, more comfortable and happier than he had ever been.  I was hesitant and cautious, but open to the idea that there was a miracle in the making.  His recovery from that episode was nothing short of  remarkable.  Alex and I felt the same but we never dared to jinx it by speaking of it.  Our Oncologist was actually interested in another scan to see if there was some improvement that might explain his recovery.  My, bone-dry, empty glass was beginning to fill just a teeny bit.  That all changed just a couple of days later when he woke in the morning and vomited.  We were too familiar with that sign, as Holden had been vomiting on and off for about a month prior to his original diagnosis before his first birthday.  He bounced back from that October 8th episode and had another couple of good weeks filled with plenty of happy moments.  Although he was becoming increasingly sick over the last 6 weeks, he has been been WITH us in a way that felt normal and familiar.  At some point during the last week, without us knowing, that changed.    

He is still with us today, but nothing about these days are normal and nothing is familiar.  There is no racing from room to room in his blue car, looking for packages every ten minutes, begging for a trip to Dairy Queen or the "cement mixer place," wanting to play is his camper, riding the tractor or mowing the grass together, hitting golf balls every which way, securing duck eggs in the coop, rolling in the bouncy house, sneaking candy when Mommy isn't looking, decorating the entire house with stickers, sneaking into his sisters' rooms while they are in Zoom school, sitting on the front porch making us chase balls, or even carrying his little cars around, one in each hand.  No, this is not familiar at all.  One by one, these special moments have been plucked away from us, and it was heartbreaking to recognize and accept this tonight.    

 

80 comments

  • Mullen Family- you are loved by so many and kept in prayers by so many people you have never met. When your faith waivers, lean into God. Ask for peace, for strength, for healing. His work and comfort will exceed what we are able to comprehend.

    It’s not fair. It’s not right. It’s not ok what is happening to your sweet Holden and your family. There is no explanation, no reason, no sense of it all. I believe God hears all prayers and he hears your now. He hears them before Holden existed. God just doesn’t always answer in the way we want sadly. But that doesn’t mean we stop believeing or stop asking. God gave you Holden, God gave you all of these wonderful memories with him and God is giving comfort and peace and strength in this time.

    I pray to the God of healing, miracle maker, please heal Holden’s physical body. Please Lord rid his body of this cancer and let us rejoice in a miracle only you can perform! Father please be with the Mullen family, give them strength, comfort, peace, and love. Restore their faith, ease their pain, and may they know you Father.

    Love to all!

    Sara McDonald
  • My heart breaks for you, your wife, and your family. Losing a child is not the way we view the circle of life. I have followed Holden’s story, and prayed so many prayers for a miracle. I realized last night after reading your wife’s last post about questioning losing “faith” as Holden is getting worse and not better. What if God already gave you, your wife, your family, and the millions of life’s that Holden’s journey has touched? What if God’s miracle was Holden’s birth and Holden’s life? Take a minute to pause, see your life, now see your life had Holden never been born, or never lived. I believe in Miracles, and I truly believe you have experienced several miracles through Holden’s birth, his life and in sharing Holden’s journey with millions of others.
    I love you, your wife, your family, and I love Holden as he is one of God’s miraculous Miracles.
    Mary Van Der Kroon
    Dallas, Texas
    11-22-2020

    Mary Van Der Kroon
  • Praying for you all as you take this journey. Thank you so much for sharing your family with all of us. You have a beautiful family and your sweet son has touched so many lives. I did want to tell you a little bit about myself and what happened to me 19 years ago. I had pulmonary emboli multiple blood clots both lungs involved, I blacked out numerous times that last day before I was admitted to the hospital for a little stay ( I was told I had pneumonia 2 weeks earlier at another hospital), but on the day I was admitted to the hospital, while I was still in the doctors office I passed out a couple of times and the last time I went out, it didn’t go black like it did all of the other times. it took me at least 6 months before I could ask my husband what happened to me because even as a strong Christian we worry about what those close to us will think, he told me I turned as white as a sheet of paper and my lips turned blue, it was 10 years before I ever really talked to him or anyone else about what happened that day but almost on the 10th anniversary of my “near death” experience the medical people call it, God had me in the hospital again for 9 days because of a sinus infection and emergency surgery and I was scared that I would not make it through this hospitalization if I didn’t talk about what happened back then. On the day of my blood clots the last time I passed out it didn’t go black or dark instead it turned so so very bright,and splendor is the only word I can think of to describe it, there was a warmth and a peace like you have never known here on earth. We go to Holden beach every year since the sinus infection or since the 10 year anniversary of my death) for Thanksgiving and to celebrate my son’s birthday camping there at the pier. I get up as many mornings as I can to watch the sun rise, the cool November breeze that suddenly warms your face and body as the sun starts to beak the horizon, not many people are there at that time of the year so the peace other than the breaking waves is felt somewhat, but as the sun starts rising at its brightest point where the sunshine is glimmering off the oceans rough surface is about as close to what I experienced that day 19 years ago as I have been able to find here on earth. Your faith is worth it, everyone’s faith is worth it, you don’t realize how many lives Holden has touched and as a Christian we can only pray that someone has met Jesus through your family. Hold fast to your faith, hold on to that sweet angel that God has blessed you with as long as you can, we are still praying for a miracle because I know for a fact that God is still in the miracle business. When my son was about 4 1/2 we were on vacation and my husband had not said anything about how sick he felt because we had to take our camper home but he thought he was going to have his 4th round of pancreatitis and didn’t tell me until they came back from riding in the tractor parade in Denton NC because our son had asked his daddy why were the angels watching them ride the tractor that day, my husband said that he asked him twice about it and both times he pointed to the top of an empty barn and said those up there in the barn, my husband was deathly ill the first 3 times so he was very concerned about the outcome a fourth time, luckily no hospital that time, but when they got back to the camper with me my husband was shaken and crying like a baby, it took a good bit to get my son to discuss the angels with his mommy, but he finally did after I asked him about them a lot that day and my son would tell me all of the time about seeing them back then. I felt so blessed to have been privileged to discuss that with my son and I have discussed this with only 2 or 3 people to help them through a time that they were experiencing , of course as he got older and got to the “age of accountability” as I have always heard it called, he no longer talked about the angels and he doesn’t remember them now either. He was baptized when he turned 9 after accepting Jesus as his savior. I am only sharing these things with you in hopes that they will help you feel God’s presence with you all right now. I know that you are struggling with what you are dealing with right now but please know that God is right there with Holden, you just cannot see what an innocent child can see. We have all fell in love with your family. We so appreciate your willingness to share your lives with us, i just pray tonight that you can have some peace knowing how much you are loved and we pray that you can experience the peace that only God can bring. We most surely are praying for a miracle of healing that we can all be a witness to on earth not just healing in heaven. We are praying for you ⁶ right now. I pray for sweet Holden and his family. May you feel God’s presence with you right now.

    Monica
  • I know that there’s NO words that will ever comfort you and Alex. I check on Holden at least 20 times a day and pray for him just as much a day if not more. You all have been a huge part of my day ❤. I am truly grateful that you and Alex have shared all these special moments with us all. 🙏🙏🙏

    Stacey

    Stacey Bianchi
  • I’m truly praying for a miracle, I want to thank you and Alex for allowing Us to be apart of your Family. And I truly love You all like Family. You are not alone in this fight for Holden! I go to sleep praying for him and he is My first thought when I wake up. I pray for this little boy all day everyday. I’m not sure if Chad got his cuddles yet so I am still praying on that to. Holden will always have a special place in Our hearts. Lot’s of Love and lot’s of Prayers 💕🙏💕🙏

    Rachel Farley

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