things that will get you blocked from my blog

I lost a reader.

I may lose a whole bunch of readers.

I don’t care.

As insensitive and unfeeling as that sounds, I just can’t care.

I wrote a post happy about the fact Peyton made it to the Survivor Program in her third year post-treatment.

Never forgetting the friends we had that we lost. Patients that didn’t make it. Sons and daughters who were loved ENOUGH, prayed for ENOUGH, believed in ENOUGH.

A person came here and left a comment that I deleted and answered.

She wrote me in congratulations of “praying my child back to health”.

I wrote her telling her I was removing her comment because she might not not realize that it was a slap to the face to every parent who had lost a child.She answered that I should be “proud” my prayers were answered.

*sigh*

And while I had one entering the survivorship program there is the baby that will always be lost to me.

I prayed.

I believed.

I loved.

I lost.

A lot more than one reader could ever mean.

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47 Responses to things that will get you blocked from my blog

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  2. Kellen February 17, 2011 at 4:17 PM #

    Faith is taking the leap off the cliff with no idea where you might land. Prayer is OUR way of communicating with God about what we perceive to be our needs and wants. However, God already knows what we need and what we want. He can always see our hearts. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.” He never ignores us, but He may have other ideas for our future.

    Through trials and triumph, tribulation and celebration, my prayers bring ME comfort. But never have I been so egotistical or selfish as to think that my prayers alone have fixed my kiddos from something they suffer. God has plans for those kiddos. (I’m pretty sure His grand plan for me is to have a heart attack trying to help them survive into adulthood, but I could be imagining that.)

    Blessings to you and your family. Congrats on the 3 year survivorship. More prayers to you on your journey to recover from your strokes. May God continue to grant you peace and gift you with love. And may He continue to use you to bring contemplation to those of us who need it. Thanks for your words.

  3. Rhonda February 14, 2011 at 12:22 AM #

    I appreciate your blog so much Anissa. I just always try to pray for God’s will-because I know that no amount of prayer or worry will change an outcome since it is my belief that He is, after all, the one in charge. I am so glad that Peyton made it to this HUGE mark-and at the same time I continue to keep the families of those children who didn’t, in my heart, thoughts and prayers for their strength and comfort. None of us who haven’t been there can even begin to imagine what it must be like. All of you are my heroes~

    Rhonda´s last post…Sadness

  4. Crazed Nitwit February 12, 2011 at 11:40 PM #

    From a mother who’s lost a child and believes in a loving God: Thank you!

    Crazed Nitwit´s last post…Slapping Silly

  5. Liz February 9, 2011 at 11:30 AM #

    Anissa,

    You must know Angie Smith’s blog about the loss of her daughter, and this lesson, about what prayer does and doesn’t do, is probably the most important thing I learned from her. Prayer is not so much about asking for what you want — even when it’s the healing of a very sick child — as it is about striving to become reconciled with God and His will. That was a powerful lesson, one I still try to follow.

    And of course it’s hard because I can’t imagine why or how the sickness or death of a child, or any of the other hundreds of thousands of daily tragedies all over this world, could possibly be His will. So of course, we are to ask for healing, but it is not our prayers that make that healing happen, and smugness or pride in the face of such healing is the very opposite of what we should feel. Instead we should be humble and give thanks.

    Anyway, none of my experiences are like yours, not for myself or my immediate family, so my perspective is different. And I’m just a person, trying to figure it all out, and this is where I stand at the moment. My point is, I understand why that comment bothered you so much, and I appreciate that you’re blogging about it.

  6. Lesley February 9, 2011 at 1:57 AM #

    Well said…after we learned of my baby’s stroke and waited the months to learn of the impact, I admit that I whispered/cried my share of begging prayers. But, it always felt so wrong…like asking a boss to choose me for a job over someone else. As if I prayed just hard enough, that we would “win”.

    But, I felt just right praying for grace and strength and patience in dealing with whatever we had to face. I’m pretty sure my God always gave me all the grace, strength and patience I needed, even though I wasn’t always the most open person to it.

    Lesley´s last post…More Words

  7. Becki February 8, 2011 at 9:20 AM #

    My husband is a pastor. He often says,”Nowhere in the Bible does it say that if you are a Christian, your car will always start, your hair will always have that extra bounce, and your children will never be sick and always make straight A’s.” I always take that as a reminder that life, whether you are a Christian or not, is hard and sometimes just downright sucks!! Children dieing is one of the suckiest things, and to imply that your faith and prayers were stronger than someone who lost their child is both idiotic and shameful. You have your daughter still because the treatments worked, not because the doctors were better, you had a better treatment program, or because “the force” was stronger. I hope that the person who wrote that comment takes the time to figure out why her comment was unacceptable.
    Also, if you find my comment unacceptable, do not hesitate to take it down. This is your blog, and your voice. I am just here because I love your honesty and love of God. Also, you are freakin’ hilarious and a joy to me.

  8. Barnmaven February 7, 2011 at 8:56 PM #

    Thank you for saying what few will.

    It is a wonderful thing to be in prayer, if that is what you believe and what helps you in difficult times. But as a Christian I resent people who must insinuate that our prayerfulness makes us somehow more deserving than others, or that people who suffer misfortune just didn’t pray hard enough. The mere idea that someone believes that leaves a terrible taste in my mouth. Clearly, if I prayed harder my kids wouldn’t have special needs. My marriage would still be intact. My finances would be… existent? :D

    Well done, Anissa.

    Barnmaven´s last post…Morning coffee

  9. The Domestic Goddess February 7, 2011 at 6:38 PM #

    I don’t mean in any way to make my situation anything like yours. My child is healthy and my family has never been through what your family has been through. One thing that irks me, though, is folks who are praying for our particular situation. While it’s a nice sentiment and I do believe in praying, what you said about prayer:

    “There is never anything you do or don’t do that results in your child being sick/healed.”

    Is what resonates with me. YES. THIS. No amount of praying will help my child. He is what he is. It isn’t my fault and nothing I do or don’t do will result in my child NOT being the way he is. He just is. And trying to convince me that prayer and hope (I do have hope, but a different kind) will heal him? Makes me feel like he needs healing. That he is broken. That he needs to be fixed. That I should fix him.

    And, when people pray for my very, very sick mother? It makes me feel that way, too. That the prayers? Will change the situation. It’s not that I don’t believe. I just don’t believe the prayers will change the outcome. God isn’t punishing us for not praying by giving kids and loving grandmas cancer. He’s not punishing me with a severely disabled child because I did something wrong. I’m not being rewarded or punished. It just is. And being proud of it? Meh.

    The Domestic Goddess´s last post…Someday I’ll Learn to Keep My Piehole Shut

  10. Sunday February 7, 2011 at 6:01 PM #

    Thank you so much for writing this Anissa. It really touched me.

    Sunday´s last post…Thats how I feel

  11. margalit February 7, 2011 at 11:21 AM #

    My childhood was filled with pediatric cancer. My father was a pediatric oncologist and back when he was practicing, most every patient of his died. There were no cures for childhood cancers back then, and my dad felt it was important to ensure that the parents of his patients knew several things. The top of the list is that no matter whether they believed in the power of prayer or now, NOTHING that they did caused their child to get sick, and nothing they would do from than on would help to keep a child alive besides medical care. He used to talk to us as a family about how hurtful it was to see parents guilted into thinking that they had somehow caused their child to become so ill, and he would not allow those relatives around his family. He literally booted them to the curb. When my nephew died at 5, the relatives came to the service dressed My beyellow. I guess they told us!

    There are few things that piss me off more than laying your (universally) religion on me. My beliefs are mine alone. My relationship with a higher being is only for me and HaShem. It isn’t a group activity. And laying guilt on my because I’m not Christian… wow, that would bring out the fire in me.

    Good for you for not taking that kind of guff. It takes a strong person to say “I won’t tolerate your behavior.”

    margalit´s last post…What is my role

  12. Amanda February 7, 2011 at 11:01 AM #

    It’s awful when our desire to say something, anything, leads us to speak when really what we should do is just be present or acknowledge not having the words.

    I come here over and over because I admire your courage and revel in your candor.

    Amanda´s last post…According to who

    • Anissa Mayhew February 7, 2011 at 11:07 AM #

      HEART!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Adventures In Babywearing February 7, 2011 at 10:17 AM #

    When Noah first started having seizures our (then) Pastor came to the ER, and in the hallway- we hadn’t even been given a room yet- we sat on a gurney and he looked at Jeff and I and asked what we were doing in our life to invite this in… what area of sin did we need to examine? !!!!!

    And you know, for a long time I totally bought it. I totally thought it was because of something I did. I caused it because I am a sinner. As if I didn’t have enough to go through at the time. This almost ruined me.

    I do believe in prayer and I also believe that our faith and prayer had a lot to do with finding a way to treat Noah- just the way things fell into place. But there is nothing that we can do ourselves to heal anyone. It’s such a crapshoot. (Is that a word? It looks weird when I type it out.) Anyway. When Noah became seizure-free it was so hard for me to show our face in the circles and webgroups I had used for support because their children were still sick. It seemed so unfair, I almost wanted to hide it. Because I know that they prayed if not harder than I had. It sucks for a child or anyone to be sick. I don’t know that we’ll ever understand.

    Adventures In Babywearing´s last post…A Casey Of You

    • Anissa Mayhew February 7, 2011 at 11:52 AM #

      That preacher can get in the line forming for spleen-punching.

      There is never anything you do or don’t do that results in your child being sick/healed.

      i know that if it was ever me or mine, i’d want yur prayers!

      WAIT. It has been me.

  14. Karen February 7, 2011 at 4:11 AM #

    Firstly to avoid repetition, I’ll invent the dreaded Facebook “Like” for all the comments so far. I’m not sure I could put any of the expressed sentiments better so I won’t even try.

    In addition, however, I do wonder if this is evidence of rhetoric gone wrong. I’m not sure if anyone else has experienced this, I come from quite a rural part of Australia and so my experience might be different to that of others, but I often find that there is a subsection of the Christian following who seem entirely convinced that God is standing behind them with a copy of “The Good Little Girls and Boys’ Book of Lovely Things to Say” glaring sternly at them for being behind on the day’s quota of rhetorical verbal slush. It seems, at times, to be default vocabulary for all those instances in which they would otherwise find themselves completely without anything to say and it can be very frustrating, and just a wee bit hurtful, to have it turned on you at times when the chips are already down far enough. In most cases, I try to remind myself that the speaker is generally well-meaning and is probably trying as much as I am to put the situation into a context that they can cope with but gritted teeth will eventually break and can, in extreme cases, lead to vampirism.

    And not the sparkle-sparkle kind.

    I suppose all I’m saying is that ignorance in the face of such huge, unfathomable odds is probably understandable, it makes a lovely cocoon. Faith can become a crutch upon which we rely so much that we fail to see the need to walk unaided and though my own beliefs are hazy at best and in a constant state of flux, I don’t believe God really intended for us to take our freewill and our right to self-determinism and put it in the ‘too hard’ basket. God is a darn good cheerleader to have rooting for your side but Peyton is alive because of good people. A lot of them. The same good people who are there for those who have had to say goodbye to children far earlier than seems fair. They each have a piece of God in them, they each give 110% to the crusade they’ve been sent into and they should all be proud. Loss is not failure. Love is not measured by success. A parent is a parent forever and if that commitment isn’t something to be proud of, I don’t know what is.

    Karen´s last post…Well- I Did Warn You

    • Anissa Mayhew February 7, 2011 at 11:55 AM #

      “Loss is not failure. Love is not measured by success. ”

      YES.

  15. Joan February 6, 2011 at 6:20 PM #

    Thank you, Anissa for calling this out. I have a son who dealt with depression and anxiety for years. I was talking to someone about my son’s struggles and this person responded with how his Christian faith has brought his family good fortune, like somehow my son’s depression is God’s punishment for me not being a good enough Christian. Try telling that to anyone with a sick child or has had any senseless tragedy happen to their loved ones. I have had my own faith issues over the years but I never have felt that God punishes me for my questions and honesty. He has brought some wonderfully supportive and loving people into my life to walk beside me and I am certain he has done the same for you.

    I’m thrilled that your daughter has reached the three year mark.

    • Krista February 7, 2011 at 5:49 PM #

      This one hits the mark right on. It seems people think that if you’re a Christian that’s the magic bullet and everything in your life should be peachy keen. And if it’s not then you’re doing something wrong. No where, and I mean no where, does God ever tell us that following him will be easy. If anything he says it will be hard.
      And throwing it in someone’s face that they prayed hard enough or NOT hard enough is like saying it’s dependent on you. What a heavy load to bear! I’m so thankful that it is NOT dependent on me, but on God and although I may not like the way things turn out I still believe that his will is perfect.
      I have fallen into saying the wrong thing when I shouldn’t have said anything and I’m sorry for that. Anissa I don’t really know you, but I’m thankful that your daughter is still here, that you are still here, and I hope that God gives you many more years together!

  16. Amy Hillis February 6, 2011 at 5:31 PM #

    I’m so glad you addressed this – I’ve been stressing about this ever since Twitter last night. Having just lost my son, after spending 5 months in the ICU – it crushes me to think anyone would think I didn’t do enough to save him. Do I know if God exists? Nope.Does anyone know for sure? Nope. Did I ask for prayers over and over and over again during our 5 month ordeal? Hell,ya I did. Could someone, anyone have the audacity to say the hundreds, if not thousands of folks who stopped by my blog, not to mention the prayer chains and churches and prayer websites I left requests on and the friends of friends who offered up prayers – didn’t do enough? That’s simply ludicrous. It’s a crap shoot all the way around. I am always joyful to hear someone else’s child is succeeding in fighting their illness, just as I am devastated when I hear of another lost child.
    And I know it has nothing to do with a few words spoken to the wind, in the hopes there’s an Omnipotent being listening, willing to intervene as He sees fit.

    Amy Hillis´s last post…Grief’s Playlist – Updated

  17. Lynn @ Walking With Scissors February 6, 2011 at 1:23 PM #

    An aquaintance of mine is an extremely devout Christian and her 5 year old daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor about 9 months ago. She started a blog and kept everyone updated about what was going on. Her daughter had brain surgery to remove the tumor and radiation to make sure that all of the cancer was wiped from her body. While I was extremely grateful that her little girl had survived, each entry made me a little angrier than the one before because she is absolutely convinced that prayer is what saved her daughter. Her words flat-out said that the reason her daughter survived is because their family serves God and was rewarded for being good Christians. What those words implied was that if you’re NOT a “good enough” Christian, or don’t pray hard enough or whatever, then your punishment will be to lose a child. It’s appalling and I can’t wrap my head around how some people can actually believe that nonsense. It’s awful and very disheartening to know that so many so-called “good Christians” are so judgmental when it says right in the Bible to judge not.

    Lynn @ Walking With Scissors´s last post…You Can Do Better Than This- 2011…

    • Gail February 8, 2011 at 7:46 PM #

      I don’t know if this is the same family but a sweet little girl I follow just went through this, like you describe. And their cancer is back.

      It is heartbreaking to see that the well-meaning parents have passed this “Pass Jesus and Collect a Cancer-Free Pass” thought process to their little girl. This little tyke is now wondering why, if “Jesus can heal her with one word” he is not talking! She “quietly begged Jesus to heal her young body” in prayer. So this little one is feeling lost and forgotten and probably wondering why he won’t just fix it since Mom and Dad said he could if he wanted.

      I just can’t wrap my mind around how anyone can think such nonsense–that God sits in heaven watching, and refuses to step in? Huh?

      These poor parents are among the group I have watched who get very “quiet” when prayers don’t work. Then the horror of their child’s death sets in, and they believe that somehow they didn’t do enough or that God abandoned them. Talk about setting yourself up for a fall. It is very sad. Thanks for speaking up, I love how you all say what many are thinking but don’t have the guts to say.

  18. David Wirth February 6, 2011 at 12:41 PM #

    Anyone who measures life in days or months or years or who measures the success or failure of faith in the perceived results by man’s (or woman’s) definition has missed some of the significant points of being human.

    We get everything we want…well, no, and if we did how could that even happen? How can I be first in line if someone else isn’t second?

    We will have trials and tests and all those other things that make life both tough and rewarding.

    Climb a mountain. Reach the top. Now compare that to being dropped off at the top and having the same view. Which experience was worth more, skinned knees, sore legs, and all?

    For those of you who knew our Paige or who know Peyton, tell me about the joy of life, the smile on a child’s face even when forced to endure cancer treatment. Now tell me that any life no matter how many or few days, how hard or how easy, is worth living.

    The impact of those around us who we know and love must never be measured by time but rather by impact.

    Keep on loving and inspiring those around you. Believe in them and what they believe in and try not to judge.

    ~ Rant over ~

  19. MFA Mama February 6, 2011 at 11:50 AM #

    As a lifelong atheist, I have had a hard time with this kind of thing as the mama of a very sick little kid. I don’t mind when people say they’ll pray for my son because while I may not believe what they believe, I appreciate any little bit of goodwill. I did, however, have a very terse conversation with a pastor’s wife and neighbor who came to the hospital to visit us one time and suggested that maybe the reason things HADN’T turned around (at that point) was that I “refused” to pray. The insinuation, to a mother of a sick child, that she is failing to do everything possible to save them is VILE. And that’s to say nothing of the mothers who DID pray and still lost their babies. As I said, I have no problem with other people praying for my son, and letting them feel like it helped him, but the other side of that coin can be very, very hurtful. Good on you for remembering that!

  20. Chris February 6, 2011 at 11:49 AM #

    Anissa, awesome post. Very thought provoking. Some wonderful comments posted by Cindy and Karen.
    It truly is a personal thing whatever our relationship with God is. Not anyone elses business. I also do not think that the God I pray to picks and chooses who He will listen to. Keep the faith! You are an awesome lady and I applaud your honesty!! Go Peyton! Always have you guys in my prayers…(((hugs)))

  21. Jasmine Robertson February 6, 2011 at 10:52 AM #

    I have a friend who lost her child unexpectedly a few weeks ago. This is a wonderful family and I cannot imagine that this loss was a direct result of not praying enough for them. How can people be so insensitive. Your family has been through so much and you have every right to celebrate and be grateful for all of your blessings. I agree with you deleting that remark, it was insensitive. I find it upsetting that someone wouldn’t see how upsetting that remark would be.

  22. Kathykate February 6, 2011 at 9:42 AM #

    bravo. when tragedy strikes, I for one, don’t need prayer. I need compassion. and dinners and our driveway plowed and health insurance and kids driven around town and help picking up the pieces of our lives. looks like you have friends answering the call during your unfathomable story. I’ll take that phenomenal support system of friends holding me up more than the “prayer circles” picking and choosing who to save.

    Kathykate´s last post…Match Made on Craigslist

  23. Bejewell February 6, 2011 at 9:20 AM #

    As a confirmed Agnostic, I have plenty of doubts about the kind of god (if any) that surrounds us — but I DO know I could never, never believe in a god that picks and chooses “winners” and “losers” based on faith. What a sad world it would be if that were true. To suggest that parents who’ve lost children to cancer are somehow responsible, because they were less “worthy” than other families — Wow. Somehow I’m just SURE Jesus would not approve.

    That said, I’m so happy for you and Peyton — and amazed at how you continue to face every hardship with grace and humor. You are making it count!

    Bejewell´s last post…I’m Not Actually Sure HOW Cold A Witch’s Tit Gets

  24. Anissa Mayhew February 6, 2011 at 9:19 AM #

    Karen, thank YOU for writing this. I don’t think anyone should explain their relationship with God. Like marriage, mine wouldn’t work for you, but it is all I can imagine.

    I think our prayers, quiet (or not-so-quiet) time with you Maker is yours and should be respected as that.

  25. PaulC February 6, 2011 at 9:14 AM #

    I’m just imagining a sign up at the ER: “Today’s your lucky day, 25% discount on finger reattachments.” What a strange definition on what being fortunate is.

  26. By Word of Mouth Musings February 6, 2011 at 8:57 AM #

    I believe that we pray because it brings us closer to God.
    I also believe that the bible tells us “Thy will be done’, and God has a plan.
    His plan.
    I suffered 3 miscarriages, children I will never know, I cried, I prayed …
    Some were supportive, some astounded me with their apathy.

    My husband, the atheist, has little patience with the hypocrisy he sees in the Christian community around us. He is always quick to point out that ‘there was a reason they fed the Christians to the lions’ … some days I agree with him.

    I am glad I came here today – and you just gained a reader!

    • Anissa Mayhew February 6, 2011 at 9:11 AM #

      It’s so nice to meet you on here!

      With a stroke in ’04. pediatric cancer,diagnosed in ’05, two more strokes in ’09 you can’t tell me that someone would look at our life as EASY.

      But it has been faithful and resilient.

      xo
      A

      • Peter Mayhew February 7, 2011 at 10:25 AM #

        Get it right…..Stroke in 05….Pediatric cancer in 06. Come on….try to keep up with me sweety!

        Peter Mayhew´s last post…Milestones

  27. Jules February 6, 2011 at 8:55 AM #

    I agree with you. Parents and loved ones pray every day for their children and family members to make it through their illnesses. Sometimes, they just don’t. That’s an awful amount of guilt for someone to carry for an event that they couldn’t control. I’m very happy for you that Peyton is doing well though! That is great news!

    • Anissa Mayhew February 6, 2011 at 9:04 AM #

      There’s guilt for me to know that a friend’s child SHOULD also be in that survivor program but isn’t. But I have been so blessed to have special friends who also love my child and are happy for her survival. I mourn their losses and they share my joy.

  28. Molly February 6, 2011 at 8:54 AM #

    You know my feelings on this. I’m with you 100%. I cannot at all believe that my friends have lost children because they didn’t pray hard enough. Their hearts were ripped from their chests when their children died.

    • Anissa Mayhew February 6, 2011 at 9:13 AM #

      You know, my one strong arm is really, REALLY strong!!

  29. Cindy February 6, 2011 at 8:48 AM #

    If your prayers availed anything, pride would certainly not be the right attitude, but humble gratitude. God does answer prayers! I think more often than not, though, he allows the chips to fall where they may. What that reader basically said was that you, through your prayers, were strong enough to bend God to your will. That reader has made God to be some kind of miracle-dispensing machine, provided you’re smart enough to trick him into giving you what you want. That reader is blasphemous.

    God does answer prayers, but we have no way of knowing what his purposes are. Sometimes, for his own reasons, and with all the love he has for us, the answer is “no”. Nature has to take its course. People die. It’s not a lack of faith that causes that. It’s not even God that causes it. It’s a fallen world. The mortality rate is 100%.

    Cindy´s last post…Easy Lunches at Home

    • Anissa Mayhew February 6, 2011 at 8:58 AM #

      Cindy. What you said is really meaningful. A friend last night said (at my frustration) prayer for strength is a) the prayer to be strong or b) an opportunity to show the strength God can give us.

      Thank you,
      A

    • Wendy February 6, 2011 at 4:07 PM #

      You so eloquently articulated exactly what I am thinking, Cindy.

    • fracas February 6, 2011 at 11:10 PM #

      Thank you for taking the time to leave that Cindy; I’m going to print it.

  30. Amy in OHio February 6, 2011 at 8:42 AM #

    Most of us will never, ever comprehend the life you’ve had friend.

  31. Karen February 6, 2011 at 8:40 AM #

    Oh, thank you for writing this. It is just awful to think there are parents shouldering such a burden and that such a comment could make it worse – make it seems like they have failed their child. I don’t understand why two of my 5 pregnancies ended in bleeding in the bathroom, ER trips and no healthy baby. Why was my sister’s baby born still and too soon? Why might a friend even have to be praying against the cancer in her child’s skull?
    But I know it is not because someone else prayed more, or -a less sectarian version- was more open, accepting or grateful. Christians say “You prayed well.” Others say “You manifested that in your life by being open to the universe and being grateful.” They both suck. This is where we all have prayer and/or power of positive thinking confused with control.
    Why do I pray? For myself? For my kids? For yours? I don’t know. I guess I do it just to be in conversation with a God who I believe is love – no matter what else happens, I hold on to that. If God is love, I want to make sure I’m talking to and about Love everyday. I don’t do it to get my way – and if I had my way no one’s kids would ever, ever die. It’s not just mine I pray for.

    • Anissa Mayhew February 6, 2011 at 9:21 AM #

      Karen, thank YOU for writing this. I don’t think anyone should explain their relationship with God. Like marriage, mine wouldn’t work for you, but it is all I can imagine.

      I think our prayers, quiet (or not-so-quiet) time with you Maker is yours and should be respected as that.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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