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so this is the new year

It’s 2011. A new year. This past month Robyn, Charley and I have been getting some rest and doing our best to enjoy the holidays. It’s been difficult, but we’re surrounded by a large group of loving family and friends who’ve been more help than they’ll probably ever realize. We took a vacation. We danced in friend’s living rooms to celebrate birthdays. We crammed 17 people around a wooden table for Christmas and smiled, laughed, and shouted to pass the baked feta. We walked around the world at Epcot for New Years and celebrated in each “country” at the time it was turning the year there. Robyn and I have cried both by ourselves and together deeper in this past 6 weeks than we have in our entire lives. We’ve felt an intense bond in our love grow as we feel this together.

Charley is doing so good! He is still on oxygen, but has been able to be off an hour daily, and he has no issues when he’s off it. We have another appointment for him the end of this month where the doc thinks he’ll probably be completely off oxygen, or at least during the day (might still need it while he sleeps just as a precaution). He’s getting better at taking the pacifier again, which is good – from there we can start working on getting him to take food or bottle by mouth. He’s nearing 20 pounds already, and still wearing the same size diapers Ezra did! My mom likes taking him out through the neighborhood on strolls when the weather is nice. Charley is babbling a lot now, and his little personality is showing itself all over. He’s an obstinate little guy, and we love it. He puts up with a lot! With many babies the hardest thing their day consists of is laughing – Charley has spent his life having his most difficult thing being to simply breathe. Typical things we take for granted like breathing, eating, and even moving your head around are difficult things for Charley. He is overcoming them well and it looks like there will be no permanent issues at all, which is a miracle in itself, but it is a long road of a lot of work for him. The worst bit is already behind him though. He smiles every time he gets a kiss on the cheek.

We had set up the Because of Ezra foundation early in December and set it aside for a month to do our vacation and holidays. We’re now in January and ready to pour into the thing – flesh out the website a bit more, and begin making solid steps forward. We will be meeting with a few doctors this month to clarify direction in some areas, and are flying to LA in a few weeks as well to meet with some really cool folks who are going to be a part of the fight with us. We’re very excited about the future of Because of Ezra – I know it is going to have a significant impact on raising awareness and pushing funding towards a cure. Many of you have emailed in asking how you can help – we’ll be finalizing a lot of those details this month too. 😀 We have a ton of ideas and we’re looking forward to making them happen, and having you all along the way with us. I’m also looking at writing a book of Ezra’s story this year. There’s so much to do!

The pain of loss doesn’t get any easier. Folks say it hits you less often, but the pain is the same. It’s a deep, gut-wrenching feeling of wanting something so bad and realizing you can’t have it. God promises we’ll see Ezra and Price both again, but never in this life, and that pain hits at the strangest times. Sometimes for a minute, sometimes for an hour. 2010 was a hard year. And not just for us – all around us we’ve seen hurt, confusion, and doubt. Pain has littered the lives of so many we know, and although I know a life without pain is a life without understanding of joy, I can’t help but ache when I see everyone’s struggle. In the New Year, I hope you do make your resolutions to get up on your fitness and all the typical ones. Your body deserves to be respected – God calls it a “temple of the Holy Spirit”. But more than that, I hope we resolve to pay attention to the people around us and care. I said the morning Ezra died – “Recognize the flawed world we live in, and work to help the ones you can. Really work. Recognize the hurt in the world, and recognize the grace that gives us a chance to still be beautiful.” I say that in my head every morning, every day. As we are all in reflective moods this week now that the year has turned, I pray that challenge will find a deep spot in our characters.

Truly, you are all incredible, and I thank God for you all often!

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26 Comments

  1. Beautifully said! I hope that 2011 brings all the things that your family so deserves – happiness, joy, peace, laughter, etc. Though there may still be hard times, may you remember that God’s love surrounds you, embraces you and keeps you. I cannot wait to see what beautiful things will happen in 2011 with Because of Ezra and Charlie.

  2. I pray for you, Robyn and Charley daily. I think of Ezra often, as I watch my two boys play, when I see Elmo, at Starbucks. 🙂 Thank you for being so raw, so honest. You have encouraged and motivated me more than you will probably ever know. I am very excited to see all of the amazing things that Because of Ezra will be able to accomplish.

  3. Thank you for the update. My family and I often think of Ezra and of you all. I am so glad to hear that Charley is well. It was such a joy to see Kyle back up on the stage at Grace praising the God that gives and takes away. Looking forward to the wonders that Because of Ezra will do this year. God bless.

  4. Not a day goes by that I do not remember the treasure of your sweet Ezra. I am here for you 100% and pray that God Bless you, Robyn, Charley and the Because of Ezra foundation. May 2011 be a conquering year…

    Love,
    Gena, Cameron (17), Carly and Carson (2 3/4) Clark

  5. Wishing you much healing, happiness and peace for 2011. I will be checking back for updates on ways that I can help you kick some cancer butt!

  6. You always make me cry! I can feel your emotion & thoughtfulness! everyday I think of you all & of little Ezra. your story is so inspiring! Charley what a MIRACLE! I can’t wait to watch him grow! Thank you for being so honest & letting us all into your lives! Can’t wait to see what great things happen because of you all… because of Ezra! Bless you & let me know how I can help!

  7. God keeps blessing me through you and your family! Nothing you have gone through will ever be on vain! Not on God’s watch! Goodness, after Jesus, so many many people I will want to see in heaven!

  8. Oh…. Kyle and Robyn….
    I understand your pain and agony. Even after 10 years it feels as if someone is Pulling my heart out, and it still aches so for my daughter, Cassaundra. I still beat myself up for things I did and did not do while she was living. Now and then I burst into tears missing her. However I was so MUCH MORE Blessed than you and Robyn because I had her for so many more years than you had your precious boys! I even feel guilty saying anything about her, it is just to let you both know I genuinely know the agony!!!!
    I pray the Foundation gets off to a Grand Start and that people will realize how short-lived these children’s lives are. With LOTS more research perhaps the cure will come, I know God put here on earth a cure for each and every disease that comes up, it is just a matter of finding the correct formula. Trial & Error.
    Don’t forget me when you start delegating responsibilities.
    I pray God will grant you Wisdom, knowledge, resources, Great Health, determination, will-power, happiness, love and Prosperity.
    Just because I’m out of sight, don’t let me be out of mind!!!!! 🙂
    Blessings with smiles across the miles to all,
    Aunt Sharon Riehl

  9. Very well said as usual. Thank you so much for the update! I am glad that you got to take time out for a vacation which I am sure it was needed. And I am so glad that Charley is doing well. The foundation is going to be great and I can’t wait to be part of it!

    I am sure when you write your book it will be excellent! I want to buy it! Will it also be a ebook? Hope to be able to buy it through itunes!

    Kyle, Robyn and Charley…. you have made it six weeks so far and they have been painful… I know god is with you and know we are also.

  10. Still praying for you all daily. Still thanking God for the miracles He’s done in your family & the miracles He will continue to do through your journey. We would love to help out in any way possible. May 2011 be a year of abundance for you all

  11. Love love love the photo. I keep saying that Charley looks like Robyn’s daddy, but now I think maybe, you, Kyle may look like her daddy too. No, really, wow, I see your eyes and nose on him now. Excited to see lives continue to be changed forever “Because of Ezra”. Miss him lots too and long for another smile, one more hug… Does it get better? I too will love more, care more and give more. I consider myself so lucky to have known Ez. I pledge to continue his fight for a cure to neuroblastoma. I want to do that Because of Ezra.

  12. Hey Kyle
    Thank you for the update. My husband and I continue to pray for you and your family. It’s so good to hear how well Charlie is doing. And the you and Robyn got to take a vacation. Can’t wait to see what the Lord is going to do through you and Robyn with Because of Ezra. Will keep you in our prayers

  13. Kyle, Robyn and Charley:
    Looking forward to a good year for the 3 of you in 2011. Praying for each of you and glad to hear that God is answering those prayers. I pray that everything works together as you get ‘Because of Ezra’ off the ground. Exciting things sound like they are right around the corner. While you will never stop feeling the pain of the losses and experiences that you have had this year, I pray that God continues to walk beside you daily and provides for you what you need as you need it. God is there ready to wipe away your tears!

    Giving God all the praise and glory that He deserves as we enter into a new year.

    You will never stop being in my thoughts and my prayers.

    Sending love and hugs to all of you,
    Heather
    Windsor, ON
    Canada

  14. Inspired once again to just be a better person! Happy New year 2011!!!
    The Matthews family will be held in the deepest part of my heart and soul for all eternity. Charley is awesome and I wish I could make him smile with a tender kiss on his chubby cheek! So sweet.
    Kyle – I will but your book in a heartbeat!
    Ezra was not my child – I never met Ezra, however, I feel like I knew Ezra and loved him as if he were a direct attachment of myself. I love him and the pain I feel over his loss is great. I would never try to compare it to anything I have ever experienced. My own children are healthy and I have taken that for granted – until Ezra came into our lives. Because of Ezra – I am there however God makes it possible for me to support this foundation the best I can.
    All my love and understanding,
    Tammy
    Here’s to a year full of a constant state of graciousness and loving tenderness to all. I am a better person because of Ezra….

  15. LOVE the Picture. Thank you for sharing! Can’t wait to see what Because of Ezra brings. . . .
    Thanks for the challenge to change and appreciate things in a different light. May God continue to bless your family and the journey that awaits!
    Teresa Walrod
    Renton, WA

  16. May the Lord Bless & Keep You, Matthews.
    May your wishes for 2011 all come true.
    May you always do for others & let others do for you!
    We are ready to help in any way we can.
    Loved the new picture. So glad you & Robyn got some quality time together.

    My grandson was on O2 for 9 months & you would never know he was a premie on his 12/23/10 birthday. Praying for the same for Charley.

  17. Kyle & Robyn, Thank you so much for being so open in sharing all you have gone through the last several months. I feel as though I’ve known precious Ezra and I did cry with you when he was taken home to be with the angels. I am so happy to hear that you will write a book of Ezra’s story. I have thought often about you doing this. The blog has been so excellently written and I know the book will be wonderfully written and a tremendous help to others going through similar circumstances. I’m so pleased to hear that Charley is doing well, what a cutie!! I definitely want to be counted in to help in whatever way is best for the Because of Ezra foundation. Was good to hear that the 3 of you had a good, much needed vacation.

    Continuing to pray God’s peace & love for you in this new year.

    Caryl Harm

  18. You’re such an amazing family!! I think of you often & lift you to the Lord whenever you’re on my mind. Thank you for being so transparent through your journey. It’s a blessing to see your faith in Jesus lived out. God bless you guys!

  19. It did take my grandson nearly 2 yrs. to catch up, but we have been blessed & had a great time watching him grow. He did have only a slight motor skill problem (mostly with his hands). Some PT apts. brought him to the normal scale very quickly.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, MATTHEW’S FAMILY!

  20. Hi Matthews, I think of you almost nightly when I rock my son to sleep. I admire your strength, courage and faith. I know you and Because of Ezra will do great things. I look forward to all the great things I am sure your family will do and be in 2011!!!

  21. Kyle and Robyn
    I too feel as if I have known Ezra. I have poured over his pictures and videos craving another and another time with him. He makes me laugh and he makes me cry. But I know he is in comfort and with our Lord. He had a purpose on this Earth. Many actually. He brought a LOT of people closer to God even for some because they prayed for him so much. I DO feel like prayers were answered. He got to stay with you a bit longer (but never long enough). I DO also believe that God has given Charley extra chances to prove that God does ansawer prayers. I feel Charley will bring you great happiness. Also, Kyle, you have proven yourself to be a skilled writer capoturing your audience with your heartfelt prayerful messages about this life. And Robyn has proven herself to be a wonderful loving little woman and mother who so gracefully and lovingly asked for prayers and miracles for her little son. I FELT your emotions. I feel so much love for you and your family. I am SOOO glad Charley is looking so GOOD. He is a wonderful child. I will be hoping you continue to post pictures of him as he grows and progresses.

  22. I know that hurt you are talking about. Even 14 years later some days I find my self bawling because Jeromy is no longer here. He was one of my best friends and he taught me that life is precious and short and to value every minute spent here with others. It is something that you never get over, you just learn to cope in different ways.
    Even in Jer’s death I never wavered in my faith, I stood strong and knew it was in God’s plan for him. My only question that I have ever asked is why God, why? Sometimes I am angry about it, so I lament. It’s a good practice. At least I think so. It helps a lot in the beginning and even later on in years. Anyways I am glad that things are starting to look up. Those of us following Ezra will never forget him, and we will pass his torch on. Even as a small child I can see that he was a leader. 🙂