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Our faith keeps us from being swallowed by despair

Shortly after Leah was diagnosed, our local community started fund-raising for us. We had been advised by our haematologist that the house that we were currently living in would not be suitable for Leah to live in after her bone marrow transplant.

Enough money was raised for Leah to choose new furniture and bedding for her new bedroom. Leah was very excited about this. It was going be the first time that she would have her very own bedroom.

Leah sat in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit in Bristol Children’s Hospital, perusing the online pages of Dunelm Mill, a popular UK home furnishings retailer. This provided a very welcome distraction when she was seriously unwell. Leah chose well and a small army of helpers was busy back home in Ireland getting everything ready for our eventual return.

However, when they went to assemble Leah’s very pretty new bed, they found that it was faulty. Dunelm Mill were contacted, who advised us that this particular bed was out of stock and nothing similar was available. We bought another bed locally in the interim and Dunelm Mill advised us that they would contact us as soon as Leah’s chosen bed became available.

Six weeks after Leah died my mobile phone rang and I didn’t recognise the number that was calling. When I answered it a voice said “This is G…. from Dunelm Mill, sorry for the delay, your daughter’s bed is now ready, do you still want it?

I explained as kindly as I could that no, we no longer needed the bed – the poor girl on the other end of the phone sounded very uncomfortable.

Then I sat and sobbed.

I came across this quote by Nancy Guthrie who has buried two of her children and it resonated with me:

Our faith keeps us from being swallowed by despair.
But I don’t think it makes our loss hurt any less.”

Vicky Whyte

Vicky lives in Northern Ireland with her husband and two younger children. All she ever wanted in life was to get married, have kids, serve Jesus and love other people. Just quietly and without too much excitement. Her favorite spare time activities are catching up with friends or getting lost in a good book. Then, in 2013, family life changed forever. Leah, the second eldest of their four children, was diagnosed with a rare genetic mutation and went through a bone marrow transplant. Nine months after her initial diagnosis, Leah developed a rare side effect of her treatment and died shortly after her 16th birthday. Devastated and heartbroken by her daughter's death, Vicky has found that blogging helps her to trace the rainbows through the rain and see God's hand in everything.

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