On Brennan’s 3rd Birthday

Dear Brennan,

Today you are three! You’ve officially outgrown your babyness and realize you are able to test your (and our) limits daily. Even on our most exhausting days, one look into your eyes can flood my heart with nothing but gratitude.

This year brought about some big changes for you! You started off year three with some speech therapy which gave us some awesome tools and always an extra reason to play bubbles. Then, you went in for your final surgery series to save your kidneys and for the first time in your life, had a fully functioning bladder. Not only that, but only three months later, you potty trained in less than a week. You take your medicines by yourself and can tell us when your kidneys hurt and though it makes me breathe a little easier, I realize I will never take an effortless breath again.

Our family finally left the fiery inferno of Texas and moved to Missouri, where around the same time we found out you were going to get another little brother! Watching you prepare for this baby has been totally different than when we were waiting on Winston because you’re a big boy now and such a big helper!

Speaking of Winston, I’m awfully glad you still like him, and I’m slowly learning that a home full of WWE – like smack downs is simply brotherly love (most of the time).

We are very proud of the boy you’re becoming, and super glad that you tell us all about your conversations with your guardian angel, who, according to you, is ‘very noisy and funny’. Thank you for memorizing the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with me (seriously, we would not be nearly as pious without your constant reminders to pray)! You give me many opportunities to be like Mary (though I fear I often fail in this regard) but your forgiveness with a hug and a (minorly patronizing) head-pat remind me to run boldly into the arms of Mercy.

You love Star Wars despite having not seen the movies (yet!), guns, all stickers and playing priest…and pretending to be daddy… (jury’s still out on your vocation). You don’t like pizza or baked goods (??). You can spell your name out loud and write the letters A & B!

Your medical history and future still weigh heavily on my heart even though we are done with surgeries for a little while. I was always looking to run into the light of “normalcy” and found only irritation in that quest. But your bravery has shown me that our light lies elsewhere. We belong in the doctor’s office; the surgical waiting room; the clinical trial and I no longer fear it. I have hope, but not simply in science or cures (though people mean well in their ignorance) but in God’s plan for your life. If you hope and trust in nothing else, may it be in God’s grace.

Thank you, Brennan Mackley, for bringing continual joy to our lives, for loving so big, and for being exactly who God created you to be.

I love you, but always remember that Jesus loves you more and that mommy simply tries her best.


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