It felt like the rug had just been pulled out from underneath my feet, and all the hopes and dreams that I had of what our future was going to look like were gone just like that.
When we were dating he had a seizure and was rushed into the hospital and they found a tumor on his brain. He was always going in and getting check-ups for that but they totally missed his heart. How can it be that God allows me to be left on my own with a child with special needs?
My husband and I, we had been married for six years. He loved playing hockey, and hockey was everything to him. One day he came home from hockey and I just said, as you do, "How was your hockey game?" And he said, "Oh, it was really good but I kept on having to ask for a time out to be subbed off because I felt like I was having a heart attack, and I would have a rest and then go back on the field again." So I said to him "Well, you need to get that checked out."
Being a typical bloke I think he said, "Oh, you know, I'll get a doctor's appointment." Then he went to hockey and played a hockey game another night and collapsed on the field. They worked on him for awhile and weren't able to resuscitate him. "I don't know," I remember saying to my sister, "I just feel like there's something really big that's going to happen in my life soon."
At the time I was expecting our second child, and I said, "I don't know what it is but I just feel that in my spirit." Then I lost the baby and two months later I lost Callum.
My sister lives in the UK, and I rang her and I just said, "I don't know if I can believe in a God that allows this to happen." So anyway, I just hung up the phone and got on with the evening, then went to work and when I came home from work, sitting on my front door was this amazing, beautiful, big bunch of flowers. In the card it just said, to my precious daughter, love from your Father God.
I rang my sister straight away and I said, "Did you send these flowers?" She said "No, it wasn't me." So I still don't know to this day who sent those flowers, but they were a real pivotal point in just realising that God was with me at that time.
One thing that I was really worried about were our finances because we had bought a home and we owed money on it. I had to make mortgage payments and things like that. People kept coming and saying, "What can we do to help, what can we do to help?" I don't know whether it's being a Kiwi and wanting to be independent or whatever, but I would often say, "Oh, you know, it's okay. You know, I don't need any help."
The pastor's wife came and said to me one time, "Fiona, let people help you because it helps them. It helps them feel like they can do something for you." So I said, "Okay." The church congregation told me "We want to take a special offering for you." It was about $43,000 in one service that was given.
My husband was a secondary school teacher and he taught chemistry and science. There was a man whose sons had both found learning difficult, so Callum took time out of his own schedule to coach them through their exams so that they could pass. Their father, he really appreciated Callum's time and effort, because he did it all on his own time. So they held a fundraising event and through that event they raised I think it was about $200,000.
I was able to buy a home that was all flat because the house that we'd bought when we got married was on a hill and it had three tiers and it was very difficult for Brin because of his cerebral palsy and getting around the house. He couldn't get up and down the stairs, and that was amazing faithfulness and provision for us, and just set us up for life, really.
How does God use people to demonstrate His love? He uses them all the time because we are His hands and we are His feet and we are His voice and we are His love. I think too that when people are open to hearing God's voice and doing what He asks us to do He can use us in amazing ways.
In those situations we can either choose to allow them to crush us or we can choose to allow them to reach into God. God meets us. He always meets us, even when we're really hurting. In fact, I think He meets us more at those times. He gives us the joy to go on.
Life is good, life is good because God is with us and, you know, life hasn't turned out the way I imagined it would have turned out for me, but it doesn't matter because God is with me in it.