Sunday, January 10, 2010

Save A Place For Me...

As the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2010, I felt a physical weight lifted from my shoulders. A fresh start to a new year. I am choosing to move forward with life. I almost feel guilty saying that, because it sounds like I am choosing to forget about Sara. That is NOT the case. I am the person that I am because of the couple that we were. At my grandpa's funeral last week, the pastor said, "...memories are God's gifts to us." The memories of Sara and I continue to mold me into who I am.

When Sara and I moved to San Antonio, we quickly became friends with the Ertmers. Holly was pregnant with their first child and when Sara was on bed rest (at home), Holly would drive her to the bi-weekly fetal testings at Wilford Hall. When Sara had her seizure at the house, I called the Ertmers after calling 911. They were at our house within minutes of the ambulance arriving, and I left Chloe with them and went in the ambulance with Sara. They were the first people that we ever left Chloe with. Since Sara's death, they have become like family. Holly always said that when we talked about Sara, Ethan (their baby) would kick like mad.

This past week, Holly started having headaches. The headaches worsened and on Wednesday morning, her vision started to blur and her left arm started to go numb. They went to the OB and he ordered a MRI. Hours later, Brad and Holly listened to the doctor tell them that their was a tumor on Holly's pituitary gland in her brain...and it was bleeding. They soon found out that a C-section was scheduled for the following morning and brain surgery would occur within a few days. As I was driving to the hospital to visit them on Wednesday night, I thought "could this really be happening?!?" Needless to say, Holly was scared.

On Thursday morning, I got a phone call before going to work. It was Holly and she wanted to tell me that she was not scared anymore. Her new nurse came in and introduced herself...her name was Sara.

Thursday afternoon, Holly had a C-section and Ethan Michael was welcomed to the world as healthy as can be.

The Ertmers

Friday morning, Holly was wheeled back into the operating room for brain surgery. I'm not very well versed in brain surgery, but after a procedure which went up her right nostril, drilled through her sinus cavity and lanced the tumor with a razor wire, the problem was solved. Hours later, she was in recovery and after one night in the Neuro ICU, the Ertmers were back together.

Sunday evening, the Ertmers arrived at home as a family of 3.

Please add the Ertmers to your prayers, as they have some more follow up appointments with the neurologists in the near future.

Chloe Grace - 4 months

This is a new song that I really like. "Save A Place For Me" by Matthew West. Click the title to hear the song.

...I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. --Phillipians 4:11

52 comments:

Trixabelle said...

WOW! That story gave me chills! The Ertmers are in my thoughts and prayers!

Chloe is looking as cute as ever! Good job dad!

MommaMindy said...

Today I found your blog while cruising through other blogs and read from the first blog to the end with a lot of tears and a lot of kleenex. I am so very, very thankful for the confidence you have in the Lord and the praise and honor you and Sara have given the Lord through this blog. I was also grieved to hear many of your friends are suffering, as well. As of today, I will be praying for you and your precious little Chloe.

Deborah said...

Wow. Amazing. None of Us knows what the future holds. Its stories like yours and their's that make me stop daily and treasure my children and the people who love me.

Many prayers for all of you!

courtney said...

Oh my word. Praying for your friends.

Chloe is just the cutest thing ever.....

And, praying for your continued strength and healing, too.

Stephanie Anne said...

Brady,

I think of you and Chloe on a daily basis. I constantly wonder how you are doing but I am comforted in knowing that you are such a Godly man and a wonderful father.

We all miss Sara very much and none of us will ever forget her or her smile. I know she is smiling as she is looking down at you and Chloe. She is proud of the wonderful job you are doing with the baby. And she is happy to know that one day the three of you will be together again.

While reading this post tears began to swell in my eyes when you said the name of the nurse taking care of your friend is named Sara. How much more of a sign of comfort could one ask for?

God bless you and Chloe. You both remain in my prayers and I will add The Ertmer family in there as well.

gail said...

I was holding my breath through your recount. I am thankful she and the baby are doing well.

Chloe is growing and a beautiful baby.

I am glad to hear that you are moving forward in life. God led Moses and the people - they camped when God told them to camp, and they moved when God told them move. At special places they set stones for memorials. God is telling you it's time to pack up camp and move. It doesn't mean you forget, it means God is still leading.

Melissa's Thoughts said...

You had me on the edge of my seat...please don't take her too, Lord was all I could think. Is it not amazing that God has allowed you to walk this path and you have been used through it? WOW! Chole is amazing too. Such a pretty little girl.

Kate said...

Your friends are in my prayers as are you and Chloe.

Jessica Faith said...

I got big chills... God is wonderful isn't he?
Chloe is adorable!
Praying for you guys all the way from Colorado,
Jessica Faith

Stephanie said...

I started following your blog after a friend on Facebook posted a status about what happened to Sara. I am deeply saddened by your loss and I pray that God continues to give you strength! Chloe is absolutely adorable!

I am also a former pitutary tumor patient. I was diagnosed with a bleeding pituitary tumor in 2001 and had transphenoidal surgery in September of that year. I was only 17 years of age when I was diagnosed. I am now 26 and have had follow up appointments every 6 months to make sure there hasn't been any regrowth and thankfully, there hasn't. I know I don't know you or your friend, but if she ever has any questions, she is more than welcome to email me. My email is stephayoussef@yahoo.com. I also joined the pituitary network association and that helped me a lot as I talked to other ppl who went through what I did.

Again, I am so sorry for your loss! Sara was a beautiful girl and I'm sure she is looking down on you and Chloe with a big smile on her face!!

Jessica Faith said...

i don't know if u know this song but i think you will like it...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLYxtuC0oRk
God bless!

Mrs.Olson said...

Thank you again for continuing to share this amazing whispers of love from God. I havnet experienced your heart ache but it is so inspiring that you continue to love and share that Love! Never stop sharing. We may never meet on this earth but I will be in line to shake your hand in the kingdom of God some day.

Tara. said...

Absolutely praying for your friends.

Chloe is precious. I can't believe she's 4 months old already.

slotmachinemimi said...

Brady, I held my breath until the end of your post...may God continue to bless your friend and her family. Chloe is getting so big and beautiful!! I spoke with Rita Kolb the other day and she filled me in on how you were doing and what a great dad you have become. You and your beautiful daughter remain in my prayers. Take care, Susan

Tiffany said...

Chloe is growing up so fast and is such a beautiful little girl!

The Ertmers will certainly be in my prayers as will you and Chloe continue to be.

Peppermint Patty said...

I love Matthew West. Very anointed singer.

Chloe is a cutie! She looks like her dad. :)

emily said...

Chloe is such a beautiful baby.

Prayers for your friends for a healthy recovery.

devro said...

Wow! What a story. Chloe is getting so big. She's such a good mix between the two of you. Somtimes she favors you and then other pictures she looks like her momma! I enjoy reading your blog and look forward every day to more.
Devin

Rachelwoods said...

Wow. That gave me chills. Will definitely be praying for your friends! Chloe is beautiful.

I just stumbled across your blog, and I can't stop reading...Will be praying for you and Chloe as well.

Ashley Andreano Photography said...

Chloe is SO beautiful!I love the new picture. The story about the Ertmers was very touching, and as always- thank you for sharing Brady.

Alex and Jill said...

Praying for your friends.

Chloe just gets cuter and cuter. :)

Thank you for writing - you continue to inspire.

Kimberly Cox said...

I will be praying for you and Chloe as well as your friends. You are such a strong man and you continue to inspire me to be a better person and christian.

Minnesota Girl said...

Thank goodness she's okay. I feel just horrible for you that all these bad things keep happening around you.

Keeping you and your sweet baby girl on my thougts and prayers, as well as the Ertmers.

Montgomery said...

awesome words, Brady. So thankful for the new life and sustained of mom. And thankful for Sara, always.

Brad Lane said...

Praying for you and the Ertmers. I love how specific and intentional the Lord is about reminding us that HE is soveriegn and in control at all times. I can see how he placed y'all and the Ertmers in each others' lives so purposefully.

Chloe is sooooooooo precious. I just want to hold that sweet baby girl!

Prayers,
Erin and Family

The Lugo's said...

Chloe is growing up beautifully Brady. Your story continues to touch my heart, and continues to change my life. Thank you!

Still in my prayers...
Krystina

MoreThanMyOwnLife said...

I love reading your blog. You & your family are always in my prayers!

Melanie said...

Brad, I wanted to let you know I cut off 13" of hair to donate to Locks of Love in honor of Sara. I know she didn't ever like her wigs and she wasn't a kid, but God was putting it on my heart to do this. Just wanted to let you know. Jake and I think of y'all often.

Colleen said...

This post made my chest tighten as I read it, fearing where it was heading. I am so relieved for the Ertmers and will keep them in my prayers. I think of you and the Friedmans every single day and pray that 2010 brings some peace to all of you.

Kelli said...

Chloe Grace is an absolute doll!!! Praying for the Ertmers and for you as well.

"I will repay you for the years that the swarming locusts ate, the young locust, the destroying locust, and the devouring locust...

You will praise the name of Yahweh your GOD, who has dealt wondrously with you.

You will know that I am present...and there is no other."

Joel 2:25 - 27

Susan said...

Brad, I've been reading your blog for months now, and pray regularly for you and your precious daughter. God is surely using every tear that you've shed to shine His light out into the world. I've got serious emotional wounds from my recent past, but think of your courage in the arms of our Lord, and smile. May God continue to use you and bless you, restoring you both 'after the locusts.' I am in MI, but my boyfriend, Chris, is serving in the Army and is at Ft. Sam Houston. He is a 'baby' Christian, and needs a solid church in the area. Suggestions?

Stacy said...

I've followed your blog for a few months now. Your words consistently give me pause and fill my heart with assurance and peace. My heart is broken for you, Chloe and all who knew and loved Sara. My heart sings with joy how you lead by example and never take your eyes off your Savior. You're a special man. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Ms. Elaine said...

Chloe is just precious. I know you are enjoying every minute with her. Happy New Year

Rachel Kerbel said...

What an amazing man of faith you are. God bless you and your sweet family...

AJ said...

My first thoughts were No! No! No! I am so glad Holly is doing well. To hear her nurse's name was Sara brought tears to my eyes. How awesome. With my own daughter scheduled to deliver next Saturday, I am doubly affected by these stories.

Chloe's just gets more beautiful all the time. She is just precious, Brady, but then... you knew that. ;-) God Bless!!

Grandma Becky said...

I just came across your blog while visiting another blog. I read a few of your entries. I'm sorry for your loss of your dear Sara. You have a beautiful little girl who needs you. I'm glad you are strong in your faith. May you continue to seek God's face in your life. I will keep you in my prayers.

I was looking in the 2008 entries where you were in Japan. Yes, you look huge there as my hubby looked huge in England. We were both stationed in England in the late 70's with the Air Force. I see you are Air Force as well, thank you!!!

Take care and hugs to you and Chloe!!

Angie Campbell said...

Brady, I posted once before on your blog, but I used to teach math at FHS with your mom. I will add your friends to my prayer list. I continue to pray for you and Chloe daily. My little Ian is just a few days older than Chloe, and they are at such a fun age. Know that you are constantly in our prayers.
Angie McDaniel Campbell

This Journey Called Life said...

AMAZING!!! I come to your blog daily but never write anything. your daughter is such a cutie.

Terri Lynn said...

wow, that gave me goose bumps, i am so glad she is doing great and i do believe the nrse was sara the angel!!

Nicole VP said...

What an adorable little one you've got there! I've been following your blog for 6 months or so and pray for you and Chloe frequently.

Mary said...

Chloe looks like her daddy! Sending up prayers for you & Chloe and the Ertmers.

Sara Mac said...

Thanks for sharing about the Ertmers...adding them to my prayer list.

Wow, Chloe is big! Please keep posting pictures! (Like you'd ever actually stop... *grin*) Maybe someday I'll get to meet her. She looks kissable.

Leah said...

Prayers for you and for Holly and her family.

La Famiglia Repucci said...

Brad, Thanks for always sharing what's on your heart. I understand your new hope for what tomorrow will bring. I pray for A new beginning this new year and think about you and Chloe. I will definitely keep the Ertmers in my prayers and will continue to pray for you back in SA. I digg the song too. I've been using a song by Mercy Me, called Home, to get me through tough times lately. It pretty much sums up how I miss Sara. Keep on keeping on Brady. We miss you and Chloe and Love you guys!

Kathy said...

What a truly inspirational story. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

I'm so glad that all is well with their family.

Shonda said...

Wow chills all over! Congrats Ertmers!

Chloe is growing so much! She is just too cute for words! Good job daddy!

As always you are in my thoughts!

Always,
Shonda

Lisa ~ Prims From Above said...

I will definitely keep the Ertmers in my thoughts and prayers. As goes for Chloe Grace....she is beautiful and getting bigger everyday. Thanks for sharing the song... I can see why you like it.

Blessings to you and your sweet Chloe Grace!!

~Lisa

Amber Elizabeth said...

I heard that song last night and its really good :)

Following my King said...

Today I found your blog through a series of events that only feels like the Lord lead me to your blog and I read a large portion of your whole blog... Wow. I am so impressed by how you and your wife clung to Christ. I am so encouraged by how you are focusing on Christ now as you face this new chapter of your life with just your daughter and you.

I cannot imagine what you must feel like on a daily basis, but I know that the Lord must be carrying you and I will be praying indefinitely that he will continue to hold you in the palm of his hand.

You have encouraged me to keep my focus on Christ in all things. Thank you for sharing your heart here!

In Christ,
Angela

Following my King said...

Today I found your blog through a series of events that only feels like the Lord lead me to your blog and I read a large portion of your whole blog... Wow. I am so impressed by how you and your wife clung to Christ. I am so encouraged by how you are focusing on Christ now as you face this new chapter of your life with just your daughter and you.

I cannot imagine what you must feel like on a daily basis, but I know that the Lord must be carrying you and I will be praying indefinitely that he will continue to hold you in the palm of his hand.

You have encouraged me to keep my focus on Christ in all things. Thank you for sharing your heart here!

In Christ,
Angela

Cambra said...

Brad,
I found your blog while cruising online for info about the lumpectomy I am about to undergo. I'm a 27 year-old, diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago. I've been keeping my own blog and was really enjoying Sara's story, and then devastated by its conclusion. I just send out my thoughts and prayers to you and Chloe. God Bless.
-Cambra Overend
cambra.weebly.com

Sunny said...

So good to hear updates on you both. God is so faithful! Chloe looks more and more like you.