Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Scott!

Made By Caden Dale...
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Caden is watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving DVD…it still cracks me up every time I watch it with him…and also brings back a lot of memories, so thought I’d take a short break to do a quick update...."Chuck". :)

Today is Scott’s birthday. With his birthday always being so close to Thanksgiving, and sometimes ON Thanksgiving, it always makes me reflect a little more on how grateful I am to have him for my husband, which I know I should do every day. Don’t get me wrong, we have our days- :) you know, those days where we want to hug choke each other- I know, I know, that sounds harsh, but HEY I’m just being honest here! Believe me, he’d tell you the same thing. We’ve definitely had our ups and downs.

Going through the fight for your child’s life can either destroy a relationship, or strengthen it…I’m so thankful it’s been the latter for us. It hasn’t been easy though- we’re both hurting and grieving in our own ways. It’s stressful on a relationship. There are days we take each other for granted- BUT When I look at him, I know we can make it through absolutely anything together good or bad, and even if there are times it gets rough between the two of us, we won’t give up on each other. He really is my best friend.

Oh man, I just read that back and hope I didn’t jinx things, For some reason I just flashed back to the Jon and Kate+8 where they were getting remarried in Hawaii and told their tribe they were doing it so they could see mommy and daddy were always going to be there for them and married forever…YIKES, I remember watching that at the time and thinking, well what are they going to tell them later if they’re not??? If Scott ever, EVER starts wearing hundred dollar t-shirts, gets his ears pierced, and starts dating my plastic surgeon’s daughter, he’s in big trouble!!!…oh wait, I don’t have a plastic surgeon (obviously! :) so I guess we’re okay. WHEW!

Seriously, I am so grateful to be married to someone I know I can count on. Do we have the perfect marriage? No, but it’s always a work in progress. We’re both imperfect people, and we recognize that. I love him…he knows that…and I wouldn’t trade him for the world. Soooo, you’re stuck with me Scott! :) Happy, HAPPY Birthday to my favorite turkey!!!!
Here is a video Caden made for Daddy, and of course the video the boys made last year for him. Coleman adored his daddy, and for good reason. Scott is the best dad I could have ever wished for my boys. He continues to amaze me with his patience…Caden always ALWAYS picks daddy over mommy, but he apologizes and tells me he still loves me, he just loves daddy a little more… then adds “but just a little bit!” :) lol I always tell him it’s okay, I understand. I’m so thankful they have that special bond. Happy Birthday Scott, we love you.

From Caden:

And last year’s….

Happy Thanksgiving to you all- may we remember to count our blessings every day of the year…we really do have MUCH to be Thankful for. I thank God for family and friends who have surrounded us with love this year.


Dear God,
Thank you for the people who have been there for our family, and who continue to pray for us. Thank you for Coleman’s life, and helping him to make a difference in the lives of others. Thank you for letting us be his parents...He made such an impact in his five years. I admit that we miss him so much it is hard to focus on our blessings some days. Please forgive us God. Help us in our selfish ways to realize we have so much to be grateful for, and help us to see not everything is about US. Help us to focus on others, instead of ourselves.
I pray for those who are hurting. Please give them Hope and Strength Jesus, to keep their eyes and hearts on You, and to know You are the way to our eternal lives -free from any pain. You know the suffering in our hearts God, and we know YOU Love us beyond imagination. We THANK YOU.
When Coleman went to Heaven, I tried not to ask you “WHY?”, but to ask “WHAT NOW?” instead. Please continue to lead us Lord in answering that question. Please help us to help others….and bring glory to you.

Here are a few of Caden’s latest Art Projects I thought I’d share…this is the picture he made at school for what he’s thankful for. He said it's him and Coleman having a wheelchair race.

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And here is a turkey he had to disguise. He came up with dressing it like a Christmas tree and even did the sewing of the candy canes and stars on his felt...Caden with a needle in his hand- YIKES- he only poked himself a couple of times, NOT as bad as the pocket knife incident at least! :)

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Monday, November 23, 2009

A Time of Thanks...

Well, long time no update….for several reasons really. Life gets so busy- doesn’t it? AND there are times I’m just a loss for words- (I know some people find that hard to believe, but it’s true :)

Things here have been busy as usual…school keeps me busy- something about a room full of 23 first graders- there isn’t much ‘down time’! They keep me hopping. Scott’s been working really long hours- leaving for work in the morning before Caden and I even wake up, and getting home around 9-10:00 every night. He’s worked straight through the last few weekends. Caden, well- Caden is Caden, and remains his ‘happy-go-lucky’ self most of the time. He started wrestling practices last week, and is a riot to watch, but he loves it.

Here are a couple of pictures of him in his gear:

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He wore himself out so much doing his moves he had to lay down to play Wii! :) Check out the orb in the picture next to him on the floor...hmmmm
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He also LOVES going to school and daycare, which we’re so thankful for. He told me last week, “mommy, when I’m at school, I don’t miss Coleman so much…I still miss him, but not as much cuz I have kids around to play with”. Then he looked at me, like maybe he shouldn’t have said that, but I told him it was okay to feel what he felt. School is something he and Coleman never got to do together, so it’s kind of Cade’s own thing, and he doesn’t have the memories of Coleman there like he does at home, or when we go to the places we used to go with him. He has his sad moments, but I just keep reassuring him that whatever he feels is okay…he’s entitled to his feelings.

Several people have mentioned that this will be a hard time of the year for us. At first I thought, ‘well, every day has it’s hard moments’…but I do have to admit, as the holidays get closer, so many memories are coming back, and they aren’t exactly the happy memories I’d like them to be- funny thing about memories is that you can tell yourself you’re only going to think of the GOOD ones and then those nightmarish ones just sneak right in there when they want to, and especially at the times you DON’T want them to….We’ve been doing okay… we do have our days, our moments of struggle- BUT we have so much to be thankful for as well…and THAT is what we do our best to focus on.

Thinking back to last year this time, Coleman was really beginning to be in pain from his tumors. We were sent home from New York for the last time, knowing there was nothing else anyone could do for him medically. He was packing on the weight from the heavy dose of steroids he was on, and he was uncomfortable. He slowly lost his ability to walk on his own, and kept to the couch most of the time, unless I helped him to the bathroom, or moved him to another part of the house for a change of scenery. He was OBSESSED with doing art projects, even more than usual, and the tremors in his hands were slowing him down to the point it was getting harder for him to complete them the way he wanted to…it frustrated him- still, I remember him pushing on, with his paint brush in his little shaking hand, determined to finish what he started. He was NOT going to give up! THAT was Coleman. The other thing I remember so vividly is his mood swings…also made worse than usual from the tumors. He would be so happy, then suddenly SNAP at you, then instantly glide back to his sweet self. He’d say, “can you come div me a tiss mommy?” I’d answer, “sure Coleman, you know I will!” Then when I’d kiss him he’d yell, “NO! I SAID ONE TISS NOT TWO!!!” and get all grouchy. He’d see me back away and sweetly say, “but you know I wuv you mommy.”

One day I helped him to the bathroom. A couple of minutes later he yelled, “mommy? Tan you tum and talk to me while I’m poopin?” :) He could never be away from someone to converse with for long, and many of our best conversations together were while he was in the bathroom ‘doing his business’. I’d sit on their little step stool for the sink and he’d chat away. This day he asked me a lot of questions about why he couldn’t walk any more. It was excruciating explaining it to him. I tried to stay as positive as I could, but he wanted to know WHEN DOD was going to make him walk again. Not that he really wanted me to answer him…a lot of Coleman’s questions were just him thinking out loud. HE wanted to answer them himself, and if you tried, he usually corrected you with what HIS answer would be. The words that I remember the most from that day were when he told me, “I know Dod is dunna help me, but it’s no fun livin like this mommy.” At the time it choked me…it was one of those times as hard as I tried, I couldn’t hold back the tears. Those just aren’t words a four year old should ever come out of his mouth. It broke my heart.

BUT remembering those words also brings me some sort of peace- I know Coleman is no longer in pain. He didn’t like living the way he was. As hard as the holidays are going to be this year, they will not compare to how hard it was this time last year…knowing that cancer was slowly taking everything away from Coleman broke my heart into a million pieces. I can’t begin to explain how helpless we felt…time stood still, yet went way too fast- if that makes any sense. All I know is I wouldn’t wish Coleman back here, if it meant he had to be in pain. The hardest part of the end for me was signing the ‘do not resuscitate’ papers. I remember the doctors taking Scott and I to a room by ourselves to have a talk. At the time I saw it as meaning we were giving up- something that went against everything we had fought so hard against since the beginning of Coleman’s diagnosis. I wasn’t ready, yet there were no options left. Giving up wasn’t in me…we needed to fight! Yet, seeing this swollen shell our Coleman was stuck in, I knew – it was time. Not time to give up, but to give it to God, knowing He would take care of ALL of us. Through the entire two and a half year battle, THAT was the moment I cried the hardest.

God HAS held us up this year though…He brings us strength when nothing/no one else can. The thing is, as much as I tried to teach Coleman about faith, he ended up teaching us so much more. He ‘knew’ things that weren’t things we’d taught him, he just knew, and THAT is why I can find peace knowing his fight is over- and he doesn’t have to go through any of the horrible things he endured ever again. Still, there is this HUGE hole left. We feel it each and every day. I always told him I wished it was ME who was hurting and not him…and he would so sweetly say, “I wish it was you too mommy, but no, it’s me.” Oh do we miss him.

Caden’s (and Coleman’s) birthday is coming up….last year if you were on the carepages with us, you’ll remember the boys had a small party at the Sport’s Page. I remember Coleman wasn’t feeling the best, but we did our best to celebrate knowing it would be his last birthday, their last together, yet always, always holding out hope.

Caden is planning a BIG skating party this year, with MANY people on his invite list. It will be a bittersweet day, but we’re determined to make it a good one for Caden. He deserves that. And of course he will take a birthday present out to the cemetery for Coleman, and we’ll send some balloons up to his “brudder”…for they will always have a bond, whether they are together or apart.

Here’s a little piece of video I found on my birthday- it was Coleman reading Caden a Clifford Christmas book. This was taken shortly after Coleman’s release from his stem cell transplant. The boys were still getting used to being together again after their many week separation. Each one was getting used to sharing the spotlight, as Coleman had had our full attention while he was in the hospital, and Caden had been top banana at Grandma’s for many weeks. The video really shows how different their personalities were. Caden is still just as bouncy as he was here- and Coleman always, ALWAYS talked non-stop. I’m so thankful we have these memories on tape…

Tomorrow is my last work day this week and then I’m going in to help for a bit in Caden’s classroom on Wednesday…then we head back to my sister’s for THANKSGIVING…

We’re wishing you all a very HAPPY and BLESSED THANKSGIVING. We can’t thank you enough for all of your support and messages- you have been a HUGE blessing to our family, and we thank God for sending us so many angels to be a part of our team. Please keep praying for all the little heroes still fighting, and for all of the families missing their little heroes this Thanksgiving and every day.


BLESSINGS to you all,

A old picture, but one I love-
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

What? October is OVER?!?

Happy Halloween from the Team Larson Dirt Bike Rider! :) He only
spilled his candy bag 30 or 40 times because he couldn't see where
he was going, and those are DEFINITELY RIDING boots and NOT made
for walking! :) Still, he thought he looked GREAT!

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Well, an extra hour added to the day. I planned on using that extra hour to get sooooo much accomplished- ha.
It's only a little past eight now, and it already feels more like midnight! I forgot how much I dislike it getting dark by 5:30.
It was a busy weekend around Team Larson Headquarters. After the week last week with two late nights at parent/teacher conferences, and then our Halloween party at school, I was about tuckered out!
Then Caden was awake Saturday morning at 6:00 a.m.! This little boy who I have to DRAAAGGGGG out of bed each morning at 6:45 was WIDE awake at six, and ready for the day! Go figure.

He had such fun trick or treating last night. It was his first true trick or treat experience, as last year Coleman wasn't feeling the best and the weather wasn't exactly perfection, so we only ended up going to 3-4 houses.

Last night's weather was perfect...just enough chill to keep you cool. Caden had a BLAST, and of course got way too much candy, which he dumped out on the table when we got home and sorted into piles of like kinds- "all Butterfingers go here, all M&M's there..." Yeah, he takes after his daddy- I'm pretty sure when I was a kid I just dug through the bag to find the piece I wanted :)
His first words once everything was sorted was "NOW LET'S GET TO EATING!" haha Now THERE is where he takes after his MOM! :)

We had church and Sunday school this morning, then visited the cemetary to visit Coleman's grave- {and remembering All Saints Day.} Coleman would have LOVED the scarecrow display- thank you Ferrells. We love you guys so much.

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Caden told me he had a good dream last night. He was playing with a little boy with dark hair, but he didn't know his name, but he knows he saw him before...and they were going down the slide and having LOTS of fun chasing each other. hmmmm...I never know what goes on for sure in his little head. I do know I like it when he tells me he has GOOD dreams.

He went to a friend's birthday party this afternoon at the skating rink- and then we went to the dreaded grocery store...hauled everything home, put things away and crashed on the couch.
It's been a long, well, not really long, but more like too short, weekend...but like I was talking to Caden about- we are THANKFUL for being blessed to be able to do all the things we did.
Caden sat in the back seat and said, "yeah, like look at what ya DO have, not what ya DON'T." (he sounded soooo much like Coleman when he said it...I remember Coleman saying those exact words.)

No matter who said it, it's good advice for the week I'd say.

Thanks for checking in on us...
We're so thankful for all of YOU!

Blessings to you all,
Forever Team Larson

Here's our Fall video I finally finished. Caden picked the song, and I added his trick or treat pictures to the end...oh and the pig nose was from the day he had to take something for show and tell that started with the letter Nn. So he took a nose. He said he was the only one who had that idea. :) Imagine that!