Writing is Seeing..


It’s been more than a year since I have typed a word on this blog. I always assumed that writing through the aftermath of Phoebe’s and our family’s tragedy would be cathartic, but it has not proven so. What I didn’t anticipate was the all-encompassing fog that grief wraps around the mind. Cohesive thought becomes a luxury, and the ability to remember dates, appointments, or conversations might as well be a super-power.

Articulating the roller-coaster ride without flying off the rails into raw, unbridled emotion has also been difficult to master. It has been more simple and less dangerous to just be quiet. Trying to assign words to my pain requires that I give focused attention to it, which is difficult when so much of one’s energy is spent trying to avoid that very thing. So, I come back today, hoping that you’ll forgive my silence as it pertains to grief. I don’t yet know what I want to say about it, but I imagine that what I need to say will soon make it’s way to front of my heart and spill out here.

I don’t want to wait until all these messy feelings are neatly packaged and wrapped up in a tidy little bow to then present them as some type of accomplishment. I don’t even think that’s possible this side of heaven. My goal is to be authentic without being disturbing! Ha! I have been so encouraged by friends these past few months that I need to write again, so I place full blame on them if the writing here is found to be something more akin to the rantings of a mad-woman than the musings of my former self.

We are two years and 3 months past the loss of our Phoebe. Thatcher is now 15 months old and walking and screeching and cutting four molars all at once. I had forgotten about molars and the total upheaval of life they present for the parent of the unlucky toddler. His usual disposition is sunny and bright and extremely affectionate, just like his big sister. It’s in those moments of being hugged so hard by him, that I feel him living up to his name “Yahweh has comforted.” He is such a gift.

Benjamin is now 13 and in 8th grade. He loves to read, play soccer, hang out with friends, play board games with his dad and brothers and bake with me. He is so helpful to me. Averic is 11 and in 5th grade, he also loves to read, play football, and is a Star Wars fanatic. He is the out-doorsy, animal lover of the bunch and wears his heart on his sleeve. Deacon is 8 and in 2nd grade this year; he loves math, exploring, playing in his tree-house and board-games. His heart still hurts as the fullness of his understanding of our loss comes to him. He was only 3 when Phoebe was diagnosed and it was all very confusing for him.

Nathan continues with the Agriculture and Appropriate Technologies ministry through YWAM Tyler. The last year has been focused primarily on building training systems at the YWAM Twin Oaks ranch, appropriate for training missionaries and for replication in third world settings. I will post pictures soon that will give a better overview of their work.

I am gearing up to speak at the first Ziglar Women conference since 2012, and since losing Phoebe. It will be held in Odessa, Texas at the end of February. I am still home schooling the boys and taking opportunities to speak at local MOPS or Moms 2 Moms groups when I can. On Monday night I attended my first-ever writers group. I left feeling so welcomed and encouraged and I look forward to continuing. The first few chapters of my long-neglected book have remained untouched for over a year as I have navigated some treacherous waters. Sometimes feelings are TOO raw and unchecked, and they don’t help anyone except the author in some type of purging mode. But this is not the stuff for books, it is the stuff for diaries with little key holes on them.

Mostly, I need to practice giving shape to my thoughts again through written words. Kate DiCamillo said “Writing is seeing. It is paying attention.” And that’s what I long to do again…I long to see through the fog, to pay attention again, and to write.



About Amey Fair

I am Amey Fair, wife to Nathan, and home-educating Mom to Benjamin (9), Averic (7), Deacon (4) and Phoebe (2) . Phoebe was diagnosed with a rare childhood malignant brain cancer called Atypical Teratoid Rabdoid Tumor on January 1, 2012. She had complete resection surgery to remove the tumor on January 4th and began chemotherapy using the Dana Farber protocol on January 26th. A few weeks ago I was sleeping in the chair next to Phoebe's bed in the hospital when I heard her little voice drawing me out of sleep. It was 3 am and it took me a minute to shake off the slumber. "Mommy I'm a mean girl" I thought she said. "No Phoebe, you're a nice girl!" I replied. "No Mommy, I'm a MIRACLE!" Phoebe said. "I'm a MIRACLE, I'm a MIRACLE, I'm a MIRACLE!" she continued on. My tears welled up and spilled over as she made her declaration. Phoebe doesn't know the word "miracle" nor the concept, she's only 2. It was as if the Lord was speaking through her like a prophetic utterance. She fell right back to sleep and I sat there awake, lingering in the magical moment. Less than 40 children are diagnosed with Phoebe's type of cancer in the U.S. each year. This is why it's called "ATYPICAL Teratoid Rabdoid Tumor". So, I have titled this blog in honor of Phoebe, our "Atypical Miracle". We are YWAM'ers, serving in missions through Youth With A Mission since 1998. Before returning to the states 1 year ago, we lived near Guadalajara Mexico for 3 years. It was during our year of agricultural missions training in Waco, TX that Phoebe began exhibiting symptoms from the pressure of the tumor on her brain. Weight loss, lethargy, extreme thirst and vomiting were her symptoms. We have been granted sabbatical during this time to focus on Phoebe's intensive chemotherapy treatment and are renting a home in Dallas near the Children's hospital where Phoebe is being treated. Like the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' robe in Luke chapter 8, we cling to Him, knowing that He is Phoebe's healer. If we can just touch Him, be near Him, bring Phoebe to Him each day, we have hope. He is our hope. Thank you for coming along on this journey with our family. It's therapeutic for me to write it all out, and in so doing, I hope God will use it for His glory.

43 responses »

  1. It’s was truly a pleasure reading your update today. Your family is so beautiful and over the years your followers feel like apart of your family. Thanks for taking the and sharing with us, this site is also one of your ministries now with a lot of people that appreciate your words and understanding on life and how the Lord is working on you guys. God bless the Fairs!

  2. I am so pleased that you are back to writing. You are gifted and sharing your “life” has helped others.
    I lost my son, Steven last year and appreciate what you are going through.

  3. What a blessing to hear your words, Amey. We still love and miss all of you here in Mexico. Jeanne is now 14 and taller than I am. She remembers Phoebe and the boys and said to tell you hi. Love and hugs to all of you.

  4. So nice to hear the updates. I feel honored to be let into the rawness of your pain of loss and desire to continue to treat it tenderly with prayer. And although it may not feel like it to you, you are an encouragement to others…to continue to live life to the fullest…despite the pain. Thank you, for opening that up to us. We continue to lift up your precious family and the work you do for the Lord!

  5. I’ve missed seeing you write, I was hoping you’ve been well! Your family has a special place in my heart.

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. Missed you… Thank you for sharing the family update. Remembering you all ~ALWAYS~ keeping you all ~CLOSE~ in my HEART and prayers. (((HUGS))) from McAlester…Benji

  7. Thanks for sharing your heart for all of us. I love to read about all of you and what God is doing in your lives. Love to all your family. Tell them hello.

  8. I was just about to ask Ryan and Annetta if they had heard from you. I know they keep up with some of their YWAM friends. Thanks for sharing with us.

  9. So very much looking forward to hearing what you have to say. You’re an incredible example of Christ’s love and I know you’ve touch and encouraged many in their own faith by living yours so boldly, passionately, humbly and gracefully.

  10. Thank you for posting! Having lost both of my sons I know your feeling of loss… I have a daughter… but both of my sons are gone. Loss is hard… and especially when it is a sweet, innocent child. However, Heaven is more beautiful than ever with your sweet little girl there.
    God bless you and your family! I miss that sweet little girl’s smiling face!

  11. My friend who lost 2 of her 3 children, not at the same time and not when they were very young. She once told me, “You never get over the loss of your child, it just gets a little easier with time.” I lost my mom 8 years ago, and when the memories or thoughts of her or that feeling, it is just as raw and painful as if she had gone yesterday. It just doesn’t seem to come as often, so maybe that is how it gets easier. May God fill that empty spot in your hearts, and bless your family!

  12. I’m so happy you’re writing again, not for me (though I hold your family in my heart) but for you. God guides us thru the murky waters and though we may not understand his timing, we have faith and trust in it. I look forward to reading your words and witnessing how he guides you. Many blessings,

  13. Thank you for the update on your precious family. I often think of your sweet girl and it was so nice to hear from you again. Keeping you and your dear family in my prayers! God Bless you All!

  14. How wonderful to read your words. Wonderful in the sense that I love the way you express your feelings…so honest, so raw, so meaningful, so beautiful….you and your family are prayed for daily.
    Amey you have a gift…..unwrap it when you can.
    Love and blessings…Gayle Ball

  15. Dear Amey Thank you … I was just wondering about you the other day – and praying. Blessing! Karen Ames

    Sent from my iPad


  16. Sweet Amey, I am beyond thrilled to see that you have written again. Step by step, stride by stride. I love you Sweet One. I believe Holy Spirit will guide you in the writing and what power will come forth through your testimony. I pray for you and think of you often.

  17. It’s late, and I’m too tired to answer with coherent thoughts, Amey, but when I saw your blog, I couldn’t go without reading it!. Thank you for trusting us with where you and your family are now. God really does take our situations and turn them, but sometimes it really takes a long, long time. May His Mercy and Grace sustain you through.

  18. I’m so glad to hear from you again. My daughter Leah and I followed Phoebe’s story together. Leah died from a cancer related illness shortly after Phoebe. Sending you hugs. ❤️

  19. “My goal is to be authentic without being disturbing!” Oh, dear Amey, how wise you are! When our Maggie died almost 30 years ago, another family in our church lost their infant daughter only a month later. They put out a statement that “There will be no tears, because we believe God is good.” I agree, and I think that when He stood in front of his friend’s tomb and wept, he set the example for us. Phoebe’s life and death changed my life in so many ways. She “lit my path,” I say so often.
    God bless you and Nathan and your wonderful sons.
    I cried as I read your words. God is good.

  20. I am part of the club that no one wants to be in with you. The parents who have lost a child. It is not something anyone would choose. But you can survive and even thrive. Thanks be to God.

    I will be at the conference in Odessa. I am looking forward to attending. We are bringing a group of ladies from Stanton. Crossroads is a wonderful facility and has helpful staff.

    Prayers as you prepare.

  21. Oh Amey, you are so brave to take steps forward even before the fog has cleared. I know well the fog of grief and, as a writer, the frustration of feeling hemmed in by it; the discombobulation, the fear of doing more harm than good, the exhaustion from formulating a single thought. I loved what you said, “…authentic without being disturbing”. Yes. This is SO real!!! You will find it, Mama. The Lord is leading and you are following. It will come. No pressure… no demands… just small steps in the right direction. I am so grateful that you are sharing your journey. Grace…

  22. Amey, I remember and have not forgotten your journey with Phoebe. I have recalled what wisdom Phoebe gave you regarding God, that He was not mean, but real and very loving. I continue to pray that you believe the words of a child and release your pain to a loving Father. Letting go and Letting God take over is not easy, nor comfortable for us as parents. But, we have a lot of hope in His words and He will give us the courage to walk through our valleys of pain. He will lift you up and carry you in HIs loving arms. My prayer for you is that you will allow yourself to enjoy what God has for you here and that your pain will not be in vain, that your writing will edify and encourage others around the world. Your mission as Gods servant in spreading His seeds of hope and faith. God bless you!

  23. Thank you for writing an update. As always, it was straight from your heart and you are such a blessing to so many. You are truly gifted in many ways and writing is certainly one of them. I hope you continue to do so whether it is public or private and that it will continue to be a benefit for others as well as yourself. Blessings to your family.

  24. Dear Amey – Thank you — as always — for sharing your heart with us. Phoebe is remembered here — from My Little Kitty snow boots, to snuggle-buggles at bedtime. I love you and continue to pray for you and your family daily.

  25. My heart breaks for you every time I get an email update. But yet, I absolutely enjoy reading them and being part of your mourning. It makes me feel like reading what you have written helps in your healing process. Like I am somehow a part of it and helping you cope. I cannot imagine what it does to a mother to lose her princess. My daughter is the same age as your Deacon and I cannot even think of how to grasp her not being here. I continue to pray for your family.

  26. So good to hear from you Amey, when love runs deep so does mourning, but we have a God who loves us so very deeply. He is our comfort. He understands. All in His time for it to be well with your soul. Phoebeliscious is a part of so many lives around the world, thru your words she was cemented in many hearts as a blessing. We love you and your family Imua (forward) in Christ. With much Aloha (love) Your Ohana (family) in Jesus…the Keever’s,

  27. Your writing is a gift Amy and I gobble up each word. Don’t neglect us so long. I miss Phoebe too and I never met her but I fell in love with her through your writing. You are truly blessed.

  28. Hello, Amey, It’s so great to read your update. We’ve missed hearing from you. Praying for the fog to clear more and more. Thank you for being real and honest. Wish I could attend the Ziglar Women’s conference and meet you in person! hugs and prayers from Cali — Jeannie

  29. You would not believe how much I think of you . I have pictures of your beautiful family. You and you family are in my prayers . I use to live in Texas and friend wIth Dee. I loved seeing pictures of your daughter and saved a lot of them. God bless you

  30. So good to hear from you. Everything you pen is full of meaning and understanding. Thank you for not forgetting the ones that loved and prayed so fervently for your Phoebe. I have her picture in front of me, think of her when I see Hello, Kitty toys, hear of a sick child are just random times of day. Bless your heart and your dear family. LaNell Rogers, Jacksonville, TX

  31. Oh, Amey. I was so delighted to see that you’ve update the blog. Thanks for sharing a bit of your heart. You have such a gift for writing and it will touch the lives of many for generations to come. I just know it. Wishing I could hug your neck tonight. Much love to you and the entire Fair gang.

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