This story (or snippet of a story, rather) was written by Wendy Pederson, whose son Brendan was diagnosed with brain cancer on February 19, 2013 and died 5 weeks after his diagnosis on March 26. She included this picture of Brendan making a
gingerbread house in December 2012.
“Every year since I can remember the kids have built gingerbread houses for Christmas. I had no idea that this would be the last gingerbread house Brendan would make. I had no idea that this past Christmas would be his last Christmas. I had no idea that I would not have taken enough pictures. I had no idea that I would not get another chance to experience Christmas as a family of 4 ever again here on this earth. I had no idea that a huge tragedy was about to happen and it was heading straight for our family. I had no idea that each and every experience that we had last Christmas would be our last - the Christmas lights, the opening of gifts, the baking of Christmas cookies and goodies, all of it. I had no idea that God would allow such suffering into our lives.
“I had no idea that He would give us enough strength and grace for each day. I had no idea that I could draw so close to God, much closer than I ever thought I could. I had no idea that I could cry so many tears. I had no idea that I would meet so many people who are suffering from this same kind of loss - so many! I had no idea that God would meet me where I am, even when I've not been so faith-filled. I had no idea that I could love God even more than I already did. I had no idea that God had planned any of this for my life. I had no idea that Brendan would express his desire to "go home" only 2 days before he actually did go home to heaven. I had no idea that he would die in just 5 short weeks after he was diagnosed. I had no idea that so many people loved him and us. I had no idea that I would start writing my experience with grief on this page. I had no idea that we would start a foundation in Brendan's name that would allow us to start giving away Bibles to children who are fighting cancer. I had no idea that I could LOVE so deeply. I had no idea that I could be so grateful and truly thankful. I had no idea that I could be so humbled.
“Lord, Jesus, thank you for opening my eyes to so many things. I don't understand all of your ways but I trust you. I will continue to seek you every day with all of my heart, soul, and strength.
“Mitch, Shelby and I thank you for your continued prayers as we move through our first Christmas without our boy, we miss him so very much!”