Wednesday, February 8, 2012


 A couple of weeks ago someone asked me how can Ken and you experience any type of joy? You just lost you son. This statement made me think some unkind thoughts and since then I have been dwelling on that statement. Why not? Why are we not allowed to experience joy?

 Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said this about joy, "Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love."

 Contemplating on this quote lead me to realize that I find joy every day. I have joy because there is love. There is joy in knowing that Our Lord is good and loving all the time even in the midst of sorrow and saddness. That He had the perfect plan for Adam as well as for our family. Joy that Adam is free of hurt, sorrows and struggles of this world. There is joy in my son, Ross, his laughter brightens my day. Joy in hearing him telling others about his baby brother, in hearing Adam's name in that tone of voice filled with love and pride. I find joy in my husband in his love for his family and for me. I see joy in our embrace after yet another day without being able to hold our baby boy. Joy surrounds me. Should I be ashamed that through all the toils of this life that I see joy around every corner? No. I take comfort in it. I want to breathe it in and exhale joy.

What is life without Joy? How horrible it would be if we could not see God's love and joy for us. Joy comes from peace and though all of this I have been at peace. We both have. Every moment of Adam's life has been surrounded by peace and knowing that God's plan is perfect. Trusting in His will.

 "Christ is risen and life is freed, Christ is risen and the tomb is emptied of the dead: for Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the Leader and Reviver of those who had fallen asleep."
 St. John Chrysostom.

The Good News fills my heart and soul with overflowing JOY.  Rejoyce and be glad yours is the kingdom of God. Adam is where he needs to be with Our Lord. I can not wait to enter into that kingdom and praise and thank God for ALL He has done in my life. For all the JOY.

 "It is better for us to reach eternal bliss after a few difficulties that to go down into the depths of hell after brief joy." St. Caesarius of Arles.

To have true joy that is life giving is to remember why we are here on this Earth to remember that it is only through Christ that we have eternal life and to know His love. I have joy do you?

Love, Joy and Many Blessings,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Adam's story

Have you ever tried to see through tears? Everything appears so blurry and abstract. You look forward but all you can see is shadows. Shadows of your life of what you want it to be, what you need it to be. Once you start to make out the shadows and see through the tears you notice HIM. You notice God in all things. Guiding you, holding you, uplifting you. This is how I have felt the past couple of months. I have seen past the sorrow, past the ache and hurt and seen Our Lord. He has carried me and helped me and is bringing me through the unthinkable. The loss of my beautiful son Adam.

Adam Marshall Bertram was born on April 2, 2011 via a scheduled C-section. I birthed Adam into this world and immediately upon arrival he was sick. There is a long list of medical diagnosees and I will not go into detail that is not what matters. Adam was taken to Akron Children's NICU and stayed there for 26 days. Adam was born during Lent and although this should have been comforting I found it to be a dark cloud looming over us. The passion of Jesus left me feeling scared and mad. Was Adam's outcome going to be death?  I had so many questions for Him and I could not see the answers. I was in a very dark place and not in control. Looking back on those moments of dout brings me to my knees in repentance. I became fully aware of the lack of faith I had in God. I remember turning to Him in prayer and asking Him to help me be more like His mother, Mary, but found myself acting more like St. Peter. Denying Him every chance I could get. I still had so many crazy thoughts going through my head so I decided to write them down, to get them out of my head and on paper and to start my Litany of thankfulness. Thanking Our Lord for everything. For the Good, for the bad, and for the  ugly. For being there and for understanding my pain. I still had some crazy thoughts but I knew how to get rid of them to step aside and let them pass by me. I acknowledged them and gave them over to God. He started to mold me again and made me new in Him. He began to transform me and to heal my son Adam through the intersession of Our Lady, HIS mother. I asked her to go to her son and ask Him to heal Adam to take all his suffering away. To rub away the mass on his head which doctors thought might be neuroblastoma, to heal his kidneys, his liver, and his lungs. I begged her mother to mother. Through the rosary I meditated on Jesus' life and I begged for grace. I yearned to know my son. To spend at least seven months knowing him and loving him. On Good Friday Adam was scheduled for brain surgery. The mass on his head was growing bigger and starting to put pressure on his brain. Again I had so many questions. The feelings I had at the start of our NICU stay seemed to be flooding back. I was drowning in a sea of disbelief. I kept praying to Our Lady and to Our Lord. Physically trying to rub away the bump on this head and praying for the same intersession. On Holy Thursday Adam's surgery was cancelled. Praise the Lord! This change of events quickly went from despairing to optimistic. The doctors started to talk about going home. Just like that my prayers were answered. How quickly things turned around for Adam. Since the beginning of his life we were told that Adam would be in the NICU for months. Here we were not even a month later talking about going HOME.

On April 28, 2011 we brought Adam home. Adam was seen on an out patient basis. Things were getting better the mass on the inside of his head was completely gone by July and his liver enzymes were also continually reaching normal levels. I was so thankful to have a healthy baby boy. I looked back to reflect and to grow in faith seeking a spiritual advisor and starting a book study. During this time I grew in faith and I started out on this new journey. I am thankful that He lead me to wonderful faith filled women as friends because once again I would need them along with my family to get through to the next hurdle in Adam's life.

On November 14, 2011 I took Adam to Akron Children's once again. For months doctors kept telling me Adam's chronic pain and discomfort was from teething. I was so unhappy with this prognosis that I decided to take him back to where his journey to healing began. I went strait to the ER and because of his previous medical history was seen right away. Adam was given an ex ray. The doctors discovered a couple of masses in his belly and it was also eating away at his rib bone. Neuroblastoma is what the ER doctors thought it was. They admitted Adam to the PICU for further testing. I fell apart how could this be happening to my seven month old baby? I thought he was done with this. How could the doctors have gotten this so wrong?  Two days into Adam's admittance we met the oncologists and they decided to do a biopsy of the mass and bone marrow. The surgeon also had to put in chest tubes because there was fluid around his lungs and the pressure was making it hard for Adam to breathe. She told us it was most likely neuroblastoma and that since he was little he had a good chance to fight this type of cancer. The results didn't come back for weeks. Two weeks turned into four and still no definitive answer. We never received one. We did start a chemo protocol called Euwings a very aggressive type of chemo treatment used to treat a NUT Carcinoma. On the days Adam received the treatments he was a happy baby boy. These days were some of his best. We bounced from PICU to 5600, the Oncology floor, back to PICU, 5600, and then stayed in the PICU. We really spent the most time in the PICU and that is were Adam and I formed the best relationships with nurses and doctors. On December 20, 2011 my husband and I were faced with the reality that Adam was not getting better with the chemo treatments and that there was nothing medically that the doctors could do to heal Adam. I had been fervent with pray from the beginning of this hospitalization and knew that God was preparing us for this moment. I was confident in my prayer that God would give him total healing. The biggest decision my husband and I had to make was to wait in the hospital for the final opinion on his pathology or to bring Adam home with hospice care. We decided that we wanted our baby home for his first Christmas. On December 21, 2011 we brought Adam home to spend his time here with family. Our house had been decorated for Christmas with our family tree and the nativity. It brought tears to my eyes just how perfect it all was for him. It was just how I would have prepared it for Adam.  Just as we prepare the way for Christ during Advent my family prepared our home for Adam. The next day was a hard day for Adam his pain was hard to control and we had issues from the get go with the hospice team. I was drawn to prayer again and the Holy Spirit came to me while praying the rosary reflecting on the Luminous mystery of the Wedding Feast at Cana. I tried so hard to push away His words to me and I just wanted to cry. Once again God was preparing me for another indescribable moment. It was raining outside and we were anxiously awaiting the hospice nurse to help us with Adam. While looking out the window my husband noticed a caravan of cars parking along our road and out from the darkness came light. Tons of lighted candles held up by many friends showing their support and love for one little boy. This gave us great comfort in knowing just how many people cared for our son. Later that night we decided to take out his chest tubes because they were blocked and unable to be stripped. We wanted to hold our son with out the tubes in. To lay with him in our bed and comfort him to sleep in heavenly peace. Adam passed away on December 23, 2011 at 5:15am. Adam's miracle was not in his healing but is in his passing. Many people have been touched by Adam and I am so blessed to be his mother. This is where my journey starts anew. I am laying it all down for Him, for Our God.  With Adam as my little Saint in heaven. It gives me great consolation to know that the Passion of Jesus Christ has afforded me the opportunity to be with my son once again for all eternity. The Passion of His death that I was so afraid of I can now see with new eyes. His divine mercy pours out to all of us. Please join me in my new chapter in life with God as my guiding light.
Love and Blessings,

  I am forever grateful to the nurses and the care they gave my son. They treated him like he was one of their own and I will never forget that. They will forever hold a place in my heart. The doctors and nurses became an extension of my family. They cried with me and laughed with me and showed me support when I was alone at night after friends and family had gone. I miss them.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Weekend Fun

Every family needs to have their "thing", an activity that they can do together. For our family it's bicycling. When I first met my husband, Ken, he was already involved in the sport. It was his stress release and a way to unwind from the day. One fond memeory I have of Ken and his love for biking is when he biked to the place that I worke just to surprise me. While boyfriends past would have just driven Ken did the unexpected and biked to me. It was such a surprise I didn't expect him to be waiting for me after work and especially not in his bike gear. As our courtship continued I did not bike as much as I would have liked to. I didn't have a fondness, to say the least, for this sport. I hated how much my butt hurt and all the other aches and pains this "fun" gave me. Ken was so much faster than I was it really wasn't fun for either of us to ride together. So we gave up this activity in exchange for going out to dinner and spending money on other activities. Ken's parents who have always been involved in the sport kept asking us to go with them on their rides. Most of the time we declined but the persistance was there and Ken still had a passion for this sport. Then we had our son and things changed as they most often do when you become parents. No more going out to eat and spending money we could save. We had the need for a free activity and bicycling was our answer. But now we had a baby. How were we going to include him on our adventures? We looked into carriers and pull behinds and found one on craigs list that we liked. Next was the bike. I wanted to be able to keep up with Ken and not trail behind I wanted us all to stay together and to be able to keep a watchfull eye on my newborn baby. The answer, a tandem bicycle. We searched for one just right price wise and fit. Another must was a bike that could handel the trail and the street. We began our journey back to bikeing together, as a family. We have had many biking adventures and our son has grown to love this sport as well. It has been an activity that we can do as a family and also a great stress release. Biking has given us a sense of freedom and adventure, the ability to work as a team rather than individuals, and great conversation. Ken often ponders the idea of leaving his job and biking around the country. I hope to one day fullfill this wish of his and do a trip around the country with him by myside. Biking for us has been a great family event and a sport we will never again give up. On to plan our next weekend adventure!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Gloomy Weather = Paper Hats

Yesterday was a very gloomy day in my neck of the woods. "My little man" and I have enjoyed the weather so much basking in the sunlight. It was such a shock to our system when we did not see the sun in the morning. I turned on all the lights just to see if that would make a difference but to my dismay it did not. Its amazing to me how much the sun effects our moods. After my efforts to illuminate my life with lights didn't work I proceeded to get on with our day. The daily tasks had to get done so off we went to start the laundry, empty the dishwasher, and clean up any mess my little man got into while I was doing the above mentioned tasks. Then, it was off to play with my little one. We ended up at my parents house where we played in the sandbox making sand pizza and inside crafting paper hats. Making those hats brought back childhood memories and I was so excited to see my sons face light up as I put the paper hat on his head. I wish I had a picture to show you but I have lost my camera! He was so adorable and the day which began gloomy was lifted with laughter and paper hats!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pizza for Breakfast

This morning my darling son woke up asking for pizza and cheese "pleeze?" I was astonished because he hardly ever eats breakfast because he still "na nas" in the morning. But I was all too happy to comply to his request. Hey if he wants pizza for breakfast he'll get it. I pulled out the whole wheat bread and the tomato sauce and topped it with two different cheeses, which my little man helped me with. He then proceeded to take out a placemat and put it at his seat. I guess he was serious about this breakfast meal. He also reminded me to say grace by placing his little hand on his head and patting away at his chest. I was so impressed that he remembered when I forgot! I guess he really is paying attention to his daddy and me when we sit down and say grace. Well I have to go play "choo choo" with my little man now!

Have a blessed Day!!!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Early morning TV?

Today has started out to be an early morning for Ross and me. The first words out of his mouth this morning at 6:00am were "Elmo." I could not believe my ears. He has just formed an interest in TV these last couple of weeks and I have limited his viewing to once at the most twice a day. So for these words to come from his mouth this morning was a shock to me. Makes me wonder if I am letting him watch TV too much during the day. I don't want him to be a couch potato. This has been something I have struggled with for most of my life. Growing up the TV was always on and I don't want him to have the same experience with it. It is such a vice for me. I want him to want to play outside and be in nature and use his very creative imagination. Maybe I am worrying too much. I guess I should just be mindful of how much he watches and make sure my day is planned out better to incorporate fun activities that involve using his creativity. Well I guess I need to start my day. I have allot of laundry which I have been dreading doing. Then comes all the other daily chores. Have a blessed day!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Welcome to my first blog.
I intend to use this blog to help collect my thoughts and ideas that I have in raising a family. I needed somewhere that I could organize all the ways I want to incorporate my Catholic faith into our daily lives at home. I hope to accomplish all this and a little more. I also would like to share all the different ways that I am bringing the Church's teachings and traditions into my domestic church.
I guess I should introduce myself now....
I am, as you have gathered by now, a Catholic wife and mother. I have been married for four years and truly believed I married a man that makes me better. At times we have our differences but we always try to live our lives according to the teachings of the Catholic Church. I am blessed to have met him and to raise a family with him by my side.
We have one darling little boy, and for the sake of further postings, I'll refer to him as "little man". He is full of "great ideas" and always keeps me on my toes. He is a very active and I enjoy every minute of it.
My world changed when I became a mother. I was so worried I was going to make the wrong decisions and then I came to the conclusion that one, I have to do things the way I feel comfortable with and two, I am not perfect! I try to do everything with love from a mother's heart. My heart is open to all the possibilities of love and of life.
I hope you Enjoy!