Celebrating Nolen Bradford Chandler

It has been almost 2 months since little Nolen Bradford Chandler made his entrance into this world.  He was welcomed by the strongest, most loving arms a child could ever desire.  (Being a parent myself, I don't make this statement lightly.)  For a reason we may never know, God gave Nolen his wings just one short week after he was born.  His little body was not strong enough to overcome ARPKD (Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease) or PKD for short.  I have traveled this rocky journey (sometimes from afar) with my dear friends, Josh, Rebecca, Caleblee, and Havanna. 

I dare not even try to understand the emptiness in their hearts, the ache in their arms where sweet Nolen should be sleeping, or their broken dreams.  He wasn't even my baby, but not a day goes by that I don't think of him.... his little hands and fingers, his dark hair, his sweet lips... and I scream in my head, "It's NOT FAIR!!"  No parent should ever have to bury a child.

I will never forget the look on Josh's face as he carried his baby's casket down the ramp from the funeral home to the hurse.  He looked back at Rebecca with tears streaming down his face, so vulnerable, so helpless, with an anguish in his eyes that pleaded to heaven, "Why didn't you take me instead?".  At times, this memory wakes me from my sleep with a start.... and I take a moment to truly thank God for my healthy children.

Today, I write this in celebration of Nolen's life and to remember with happiness.  To read more about Josh and Rebecca's story, please read their online journal.  Beverly Williams of Chuck Williams Photography arranged a beautiful slideshow of Nolen's birth and graciously captured all of these beautiful memories.

The PKD Foundation is sponsoring a walk in Atlanta on November 13, 2010 to raise money for further research and to prevent any other parent from experiencing the nightmare that Josh and Rebecca have lived.  To learn more about walking in memory of Nolen or supporting Nolen's team, please contact jbcbec199@yahoo.com

I Love You Josh and Rebecca!!