Judson's Legacy

10 Months without Jud

Dear family and friends…

Jud has been gone 10 months.  Time is passing.  Life continues.  But the gaping hole in our hearts remains.

As we are only two months away from the anniversary of our little man’s death, I am reminded of an experience I had at “Judson’s Park” back in October 2006 (several months before the onset of Krabbe disease).  I began to chat with a woman who, a couple minutes into our conversation, shared that she had lost her 5 year old son just a year prior.  I was so taken back by her story and unable to even begin to imagine the depth of her loss, but I also specifically recall thinking that her grief had likely diminished significantly at that point—a year seemed like a long time to me.  I realize now how unfamiliar I was with severe loss and how it’s very likely my assumptions about her sorrow were completely wrong. 

The other day I was at a local coffee shop and ended up chatting with a man, and as our conversation unfolded, he asked me how many kids I have.  After informing him that my almost 3 year old son died last November, he kindly asked me if I still get emotional sometimes.  The question surprised me….still get emotional?!!!??!  Does he not see my bloodshot eyes from the tears I just cried this morning?  Does he think it doesn’t hurt very often anymore?  And then I remembered my conversation in the park back in 2006; unless you’ve been through it, it’s so hard to understand the enveloping nature of severe loss.

We are on a very long journey of grief.

This last month has been one of my hardest since Jud died.  My grief certainly looks and feels different than it did in the beginning months, but it has actually been just as searing as of late.  And Drake had a season where he was feeling pretty good, but he has hit another low too.  This is simply a natural part of grief—the ebb and flow.  But when the sorrow hits severely, it is hard to see much else.

That being said, I have begun to notice changes in my heart that seem indicative of progress toward healing too.  I have observed myself responding differently in some areas than I initially did after Jud died – changes that seem more healthy and whole (a future blog post in the making).  It is strange to notice progress, but encouraging as well.

I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office this week when a stranger suddenly turned to me and said, “Are you Christina?”  Perplexed and surprised, I responded in the affirmative and then she proceeded to tell me that she has been praying for our family for almost a year.  She said, “You probably have no idea who God has raised up to pray for your family, but there are many.”  Right at that moment she was called into the doctor’s office, and I was left standing there with tears pooling in my eyes and an overwhelming sense of gratitude.  Who are we that anyone should be mindful of us?  We are astounded when people mention that they continue to cover us in prayer.  And may I be so bold as to say that we still desperately need it…we have discovered that the doldrums and challenges of life seem to hit hard while we are weak and weary under this heavy blanket of sorrow, making us easy targets for the enemy to attack and try to take root in our sin-prone souls.  “Thank you!” does not adequately express how grateful we are for each and every prayer that is offered on our behalf.

Along with the love expressed through prayers, we have had some other blessings arise this month .

Angels Charity, a non-profit organization in Costa Mesa, kindly included Judson’s name on a new sign at a local playground.  This was a huge honor and we are so touched!  You can read more about it and see pictures on Judson’s In Memoriam page.

We had the chance to finally meet and catch lunch with a family that significantly co-labored with us in prayer throughout Judson’s illness and has since continued to love and support us.  They happened to be in our area for a family wedding and it was a gift to finally connect face-to-face.

Lastly, Jessie turned two this last month.  She continues to be a saving grace, a symbol of hope, a tremendous joy, and an incredible blessing just like her big brother.  We are regularly in awe over our little “Ladybug” and grateful for each moment we have with her.  Just like Jud, we recognize that she is not ours; she is simply a precious gift entrusted to our care.  We pray for God’s grace as we seek to honor Him in our parenting of her, asking that He protect her from any ill-effects of our grief and pain.

As we move into the Fall which is filled with a whole host of emotional triggers for us, we want to continue to lean into the Lord and trust.  God help us to that end!

Much love and gratitude,
Christina (on behalf of Drake too)


7 Responses to "10 Months without Jud"

  1. Christie says:

    It seems that singing hymns at church brings you to mind, and then I pray for you … Today it was "It is Well" that prompted my prayers for you.

  2. 35345 says:

    Where to begin? I have watched and read your journey from a distance. I think and pray for your family all of the time. The Lord has put it on my heart constantly to make contact, but I pushed it aside to protect my heart. There are no words to correctly express or explain my lack of keeping touch other then just on a human level it was to close to home and hard for me to stay close. Your entry today was finally IT. The entry that screamed to me that I finally had to stop my silence. Reading about "the girl in the park" (me) was finally that push to contact you. I have all of the excuses… moving, computer crashed, etc… but the bottom line is I just dropped the ball. I hope you will forgive me. My lack of keeping in touch in no way minimizes how much I have had your family on my heart. We now live in Ventura County (Newbury Park), and went to a fund raiser for Hunter’s Hope that the mother of a little girl who had passed away from Krabbe hosted. It was a bowling night and Kelly and I went with friends. We went because when I saw the fund raiser advertised I couldn’t believe that I actually knew what Krabbe was! I’m sure not very many people do. This girl’s family are fellow believers so I shared my story and your story with the mom. Anyway, I’m right there with you in your grief. Now is the hardest time for me as John would have been 8 on Aug. 18th and passed away Oct. 21. So Aug-Oct is always my toughest time of year. I read all of your posts and blogs. Thank you for your honesty and openness. You always seem to put perfectly into words this journey of parents who have lost a child prematurely.

  3. 33705 says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart and exactly what you are feeling. It gives us a specific way to pray for your family. I’m sorry to read that you are having a paritcularly hard time right now and my heart aches with you. I can relate as we are on the heals of that 9 month mark without Makinley as well as her birthday. It is refreshing to read that you have, however, amidst the pain, been able to recongize signs of healing. Isn’t it strange, what a misconception we had about how deep the pain is and how long it takes before we found ourselves in it. I had a conversation about this with the Hospice social worker just Friday. Maybe it is one of the ways God will use us through this, by being able to eventually understand and help others.

    With Much Love…..
    Makinley’s Mommy, Dawn

  4. 33871 says:

    Dear Levasheffs,
    Our promise to you… of continued prayers for you and your family as your grief remains just as consuming in your lives today as it did almost a year ago. Be reminded that God holds you today, just as He always has, and will continue to do so…just as much as you need…at just the right moment!In the midst of all grief, We relish in praises to our Lord, as we watch you grow in so many immeasureable ways, and we too, have grown alongside! We love you, dear friends! Take your time grieving, remembering and cherishing your sweet son! Know we care so deeply for you. We are praying for you each step of the way!
    Stevenson Family

  5. 34666 says:

    Christina and Drake…
    I continue to pray for you, hurt with you and cry with you. Judson weighs on my mind so very often. I constantly have very clear mental images of him from the videos you have shared. The one scene that tends to play in my mind over and over is his cute little voice saying "Merry Christmas Mommy." I really do feel like I’ve known Judson. Continue to look to the Lord for peace and one day it will come. Maybe not in the form you think, but it will come…


  6. 36658 says:

    Oh how I love the story of a girl in a waiting room recognizing you. She was right that there is no way you and Drake could possibly know all the people who pray without ceasing on your behalf. I pray so regularly and follow your blog so closely that I feel like I know you and when I’m out and see someone that looks a bit like you I jump at the chance to say hi. I have come into contact with countless moms who also pray for you, weep with you and rejoice with you when you are able to rejoice. Again I can’t thank you enough for your time spent blogging, sharing this with us, teaching us about grief and giving us the opportunity to meet our Heavenly Father on our knees for you.
    Your sister in Christ.

  7. 41896 says:

    Hello Christina

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