Cole’s Special Day, Part 2

***Warning*** You May Need A Box of Tissues!!


cole muscles

I am terrified.

I am terrified to write what I am thinking.

I am terrified to think what I am about to write.

I know it is the truth. I know it is the truth. I know it is the truth.

And maybe if I keep telling myself, I will believe it with my heart and mind.

But it is a close, close thing, this that I write, feel, question, doubt, believe, and get mad about all at the same time. I try to find peace all while wanting to shout, scream, rail, and shake my fist at the sky.

I am literally sitting here afraid to put the words on the page. Some will read them and instantly understand. Some might read them and think I am finally ready for prime time Loony Tunes.

I belong to both groups.

How I wish with all my heart that this dilemma was not mine. I would rather have never been born. But not being born would have meant missing some incredible moments of living–both before and after the tragedy that changed everything.

I see the hand of God in my life. I feel the blessing of God in my life. I am still mad at Him–and thankful He loves me anyway.

And I am delaying the inevitable.

I have to write.

I don’t want to write.

I will write.

These are the words I hate/love: On October 10, 2011, my son Cole, my precious beloved son, Cole, had his most special day ever.

How special? On October 10, 2011, Cole took his first whole, perfect step into an eternity of bliss holding his mother’s hand and the hands of Jesus.

I am so angry God never let me see him whole, well, and functioning like the young man we hoped and prayed about.

I am so angry he had to suffer and struggle his entire life.

I am so angry that people like Paul Buckman are allowed to personify Satan and walk the earth stealing, killing, and destroying.

And yet…

I am striving with all I am and will ever be to see Cole, not as the helpless victim of murder, but as God fully intended him to one day be…

It is so hard to want my son with me and at the same time be thankful his problems, heartaches, and struggles are no more.

Dilemma? Yes, it’s the conundrum I live with.

If you remember in Cole’s Special Day, Part 1, I made mention of my new belief regarding the Holy Spirit? I believe when those four gun shots were fired, Cole and his mother were no longer there. I believe the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, was shielding them from those final terrifying moments–and long before the echoes of gunfire faded away, they were walking the streets of gold…

In the meantime, I am going to live and celebrate life. I am going to enjoy and love my family. I am going to do more than survive; I am going to thrive.

There is still a great adventure ahead of me. No doubt I will continue to wrestle with God. And in this world I may limp from my struggle, but one of these days, a certain young man and I are going to have the best footrace ever!

Don’t you wanna go to that Land? 
Don’t you wanna go to that Land? 
Don’t you wanna go to that Land? 
Where I’m bound, where I’m bound.

25 thoughts on “Cole’s Special Day, Part 2

  1. Amen Les…”will you go away too” Jesus ask. “To whom shall we go”? You have the words of “eternal”life! John 6:68:)

  2. Les, I have gained so much from reading your writings. You def have a gift. I think of you all so often and keep you in my prayers. If you are ever near the Grenada area, my family would love to see you! Allen and Kim are in Korea for a year or so… We miss them terribly .. Please keep the writings coming! They have touched me in ways unbelievable! Much love..

  3. Hey Les,

    We don’t know each other, but I know and love Kyle & Karrissa very much. I’m on staff at Landmark in Montgomery.

    Anyway, just wanted you to know I’m for you and with you. I see how you would have been terrified to write so honestly on this post. Thanks for your courage to do it.

    Maybe we can meet someday and sit and talk. You have a friend in Montgomery. You can say, ask or whatever you want about God or this whole ordeal and I’ll give you a listen. I’m already learning from you, so I’d be honored to hear your heart and your doubts.

    Grace & peace,


  4. Les I too struggke with those feeling. i am so thankfully Timmy is free from from his wheelchair….running and playing in Heaven with no pain….talking without stuttering….being a healthy 15 year old kid. But I too wrestle daily with being mad at God because Im stuck here in this hateful world snd am not able to see him do all the things he was never able to do on Earth. People tell me hes in a better place. Some days I believe that. Hes in Heaven out of pain. Some dats Im greedy and think what woukd be a better place than here with me and his brother. Please know you are not in this daily struggle alone my friend. I di have some comfort knowing Cole and Timmy have met and are having fun with no pain and no wheelchairs. I also tell myself that I couldnt ask for a better mother than Karen to watch over my son until Im called home. Thank you for allowing me to be your friend and thank you for allowing myself and so many others a small glimpse into your grieving and healing procesd.

  5. Just a bit over five years ago, the puzzle that was my momma’s life was made whole. Over the preceeding seven years, I watched Alzheimers Disease take her apart piece by piece. At first, just a few seemingly insignificant pieces here and there…nothing too noticeable. You could still easily see the picture of who she was. But as the months and years passed, and more pieces were removed she became less and less recognizable as the momma that taught me to love, taught me to play, and that could easily engage in verbal banter with the best of them. Yet Alheimers was ruthless in stealing more and more pieces until my final moment with her, seeing her slumped over in a wheel chair, unable to talk or respond in anyway seems almost impossible to comprehend. But on August 27, 2007, God reassembled all that she was and transformed her into more than she could ever be in this life. I, too, struggle with a lot of “whys.” But I know where she is and I rejoice in her wholeness with our Lord. Her favorite song was, “When All of God’s Singers Get Home.” She had lost her ability to join in on the song on this earth, but I figure she’s making up for lost time now. It is one of the sweet sighs that a Christian can experience in spite of the grief and agony of here. Hey, Les, I just had a thought. Can you imagine what Cole and Momma are doing together given BOTH of their senses of humor? No doubt they are having a blast together, you think? Now that’s a combination I want to see! Just got to smile at that thought.

  6. Never thought of the Holy Spirit in that way ( Cole and his mother were no longer there. I believe the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, was shielding them from those final terrifying moments) and I believe you are right. Also, one of my all time favorite songs. Love you brother! P.S. I believe Cole will take you in that footrace, lol……..

  7. Needed those tissues. I do believe your views on the Holy Spirit! I pray that God, Jesus and the Spirit will continue to bless you and your family! I am thankful that God gave you Becky to help you through this journey! Keep writing.

  8. It took them three hours to find John Robert. For a while I agonized over those three hours. The trucker pulled over, called the highway patrol. He hit someone. He did not know where they were. Fire departments responded. For three hours he lay out there in the midnight darkness of the medium of the interstate. Finally Father reminded me that when Lazarus died, the angels escorted him to comfort. I realized that John Robert was not alone for those three hours. He was no longer there, taken to a better place. I wish he was here, but I bet if he could send me a letter it would say, ‘sorry – no way I would leave this place…see you soon.’ And there’s a part of me that thinks he might write, ‘Cole and I are having the most awesome time… and he introduced me to this awesome friend Timmy.’ What counts more than where we’ve been and what we’ve experienced is where we are going. That hope rises above all my fears and questions and disappointments. Love you much. Hugs to Wendy, too.

    • John, I hate this horrible club we belong to! You really can drive yourself nuts asking questions that there are no answers to… I understand that and yet sometimes you cannot help yourself. I loved John Robert. I hope he, Cole, and Timmy are having a ball!

  9. I needed those tissues, too, Les.

    My cousin, Tisha, was born with a very rare genetic disorder. We knew when she was born the expected lifespan of children with this disease was 10-13 years old. I loved this child with all my heart. Tisha lived 18 years. In those 18 years we watched helplessly as she slowly went blind, deaf, her joints deformed and painful everyday of her life. That child loved her Jesus more than anything else. 2 years before she died she told me she was so ready to go home to Him. The last time I saw her was on a Sunday afternoon at my mother’s house. Tisha wanted me to go to church with her. I hadn’t brought “church clothes” with me on that visit. Tisha said no matter, wear your jeans. But no. I promised her I would be back on Thursday, with a dress, and we would go to her church the next Sunday. Tisha died in her sleep on Wednesday. I brought a dress, and went to church, but for her funeral. I’ve never gotten over that. But I believe that when Tisha took her last breath on earth, she took her next breath in Heaven. I believe Karen and Cole did, too. I believe Tisha and Cole are strong, healthy. Tisha and Cole can see and hear and run, and like you said, they are what He intended them to be.

    Thank you so much for writing. Thank you for letting me share.

  10. Is it silly to be honest and tell you that I refused to read this for a while? I just couldn’t do it. But as much as I didn’t want to, I needed to. Thank you for using your voice…broken as it may be. I love you.

    • No, Julie, it’s not. I didn’t want to write it. Most of the time I don’t even want to acknowledge it. I know Cole is in a better place. I know…

  11. Very selfishly, I am so thankful that you were born. I feel guilty saying that, knowing that if you hadn’t, you would not have had to endure this pain. But, you were born and it is obvious that you are a gift to many. Your words are so honest and, while heart wrenching to read, are inspiring. They inspire me to be just as honest in my faith and in my relationship with God. I have shared your blog with so many friends who are suffering in life and grappling with these difficult questions. I feel like the words “I’m so sorry you have had to go through this” are simply inadequate. No one should have to endure this type of grief and pain. Perhaps,”thank you, you inspire me, I admire your ability to share and make yourself so vulnerable to others” might be worth something. There is no doubt that yours is a story that needs to be told and that your dream of a book will become a reality. Keep writing and know that we are all pulling for you and praying for you. Seems like a very small way to thank you for the way you minister to us.

    • Erin, I will smile the rest of the night with your compliment and affirmation. Thank you very much for this encouragement!

  12. Haven’t been here for a while as it’s been very busy these days. As you may or may not know (can’t remember if I ever mentioned this to you), I was a preacher for over 30 years and am now working with our son (and my wife / his mother) in our family funeral home. Your writings have blessed so many people indirectly, not to mention the blessing to me, personally. I don’t tell your story. Don’t mention your name. But I do share the hope you share. I share the fact that it is okay to feel what they feel. I share your struggles so our families know it is okay to feel what they are feeling. I would not want to be in your club, but I am there by proxy as a funeral director and pastor to our families. And when my younger brother suddenly dropped dead about a year and a half ago, a lot of what I’d read in Scripture and preached in sermons suddenly took on new meaning.
    Again, Les, thank you for opening your heart to us. Your ministry is far-reaching.

  13. I want. I want. I want. I spent four months telling God what I wanted. I want this to have been a bad dream. I want to wake up. I know that You can do that. I know that You can just have me wake up and none of this would have ever happened. It’s hard to accept that what you want is not what God wants. That’s its not even what you should want. Why should I want to bring my husband back from his heavenly home, where his knees and back no longer hurt, where he no longer has to worry about anything, where he no longer has to work so dang hard. Where he is getting to do all the awesome things he always wanted to do and to learn everything he always wanted to learn. To bring him back from a happy reunion with his earthly father, his younger brother, his beloved cousin. Well, I can tell you why – because I wasn’t finished with him, his four children weren’t finished with him, his many patients who loved him weren’t finished with him, his full life here wasn’t finished! That’s why. So, there’s the problem. My mind and soul know God’s will be done. My heart knows I want, I want, I want.

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