Sunday, December 13, 2009
Wow, lots of catching up to do on here…the days go by so quickly… but as the song says we’re ‘muddling through somehow’-
I have to back up and update on Caden’s birthday party last Sunday. This was the first party where he could invite friends (we had to be careful with germs during Coleman’s treatments- and with their birthday being in December, we usually just had a small family party). Soooo, I told him he could invite whoever he wanted to…he started with his WHOLE class of Kindergarteners, then started adding some from the other classes- and we ended up sending out 38 invitations! Yikes!!! It was going to be at the roller-skating rink though, so the more the merrier! We ended up with a final headcount of about 27 kids who made it to the party, and Caden was THRILLED! He really had a blast, and it was so good to see him enjoying it so much. Thanks to all of his friends for making it a great day for him! AND a BIG thanks to the Horn Family for bringing Eli up for the party- it was great to see you guys again! (cp: EliRHorn)
UPSIDE DOWN ELI! :)
I kick myself now for not getting a group photo of the whole bunch of kids, but it was difficult to get them all in one place at the same time! AND my battery kept dying…I knew I’d forgotten something! Here are a few pics I did get from the day:
After the party, we headed to the Gowrie Festival of Trees- where local businesses decorate theme trees…this was emotional, as we took Caden AND Coleman for the past few years, so I could definitely hear Coleman commenting on all of the trees this year. He would have had a LOT to say! :) One of the trees was decorated by the Funeral Home…and had a special decoration in memory of Cman- THANK YOU Palmers-
Another tree was from the Gowrie News and had an ornament with a picture of Caden and Coleman on Santa’s lap. I remember Coleman noticing this ornament before…so had to go back and find this picture…
Caden was very excited to take his birthday treats to school on Thursday- (he picked popcorn, sour gummy worms and candy cane sticks- what a combo!) but school was canceled because of the blizzard. He was BUMMED!!! BUT I was thrilled! :) He and I ended up spending the day together snowed in…we watched a couple of Christmas movies, baked him a cake, made some cookies, put a puzzle together, drank kool-aid out of fancy wine glasses, danced in the kitchen until I couldn’t breathe, and played outside until we couldn’t feel our fingers or toes! BRRRRR!!!!
He was a little sad on and off that day-
He talked a LOT about Coleman. He asked me, “remember when I would throw snowballs at Coleman mommy?” I told him I think Coleman sent all of the snow to show him what a snowball was like in Heaven…and I think he got him back! That made Cade giggle.
Caden and I got a LOT of talking about things in that day…He asked me if I could make an appointment with his counselor. He needed to talk to her. I asked him what he wanted to talk about, and he said, “well, not really nothing, I just wanted to see her dog MURPHY!” :) I told him we could go visit if he wanted to.
We also talked about how he could tell me any of the things he’s feeling, and he didn’t have to worry about making me sad, or mad…that I would just listen, and I would always love him no matter what. He just talked a lot about the things he and Coleman used to do together and how much he misses him. I was very matter of fact about things- and listened- and didn’t let my tears out until later. It’s so hard to hear him talk about how much he misses Coleman when there isn’t a thing I can do about it.
Later that night he came to me and said, “mommy? You know how you said I could tell you anything, and no matter what you would always love me, no matter what I did?....well, then how come sometimes you say you’re gonna send me to BOOT CAMP? HUH????” I started laughing and told him I would still love him while he was at boot camp, and I could still come and visit him! So he’d better be good! :)
He’s a character!
Caden’s birthday present was a new bedroom, which turned into more than I thought it was going to…He and Coleman shared a room- and it had been the same since they were babies. Last weekend I started taking their beds apart. Caden was in the room while I was working, jumping on his bed and then doing a maze book. All of the sudden I looked over and he was in tears. I asked him what was wrong, and he sobbed “there’s just a lotta memories in here!” It broke my heart…he ran out of the room and downstairs and told me to LEAVE HIM ALONE! I told him I felt the same way, and if he wanted, I would put the beds back together and we could leave everything the same- we didn’t have to change a thing…I thought he WANTED a new room. He yelled, “NOOOOO! I DO want a new room! I just want Coleman here too!” There were lots of tears for all of us that day….Caden kept running and hiding and I heard him sniffling and whispering, “I love you Coleman” over and over. It was a very emotional day for us all. I was ready to stop the project and put everything back, but Caden pleaded with me to keep working on it.
So finally I said, “I have an idea…What if we make it like a home-make-over show, and you aren’t allowed to go into the room until Mommy is allllll the way finished with it…then you’ll be surprised.” That got a BIG smile from him- and he agreed. I worked and worked at getting the teddy bear border down, painting the colors he picked out- (he wanted BLACK on one wall with red on the others, but settled for gray and red) and here’s the almost final project.
He loves it! And so far hasn’t rolled out of his new bed- it’s SO high up he needs a step stool to get into it! I ran off two of Cade’s choices of pictures of him and Coleman together, and we put those in what used to be Coleman’s side of the room…along with the Neva Div Up flag from the memorial race last summer. He also has a photo album of them together he can look through when he wants to. He’s thanked me over and over again for his new room, so I think he’s happy with it…except for not having a TV! :) haha
Yesterday Caden went rollerskating with his friend Zack and SANTA! :) This was the first time we didn’t have the wheels tightened on his skates, and boy was he flying! He was sweating up a storm, but loving every minute of it! He was really checking Santa over- and said he noticed a string holding Santa’s beard on, so “it musta just been one-a his helpers…” Hard to pull one over on him, but he is REALLY into our “elf on a shelf” the boys got last year and jumps out of bed every morning to see where the elf has moved to. The first day our elf came out he asked me, “mom? Do you think Coleman would mind if I changed the elf’s name to Elfie?” I said, “no, I don’t think he’d mind sweetie.” We sat there for a minute and he said, “Uhhh, YES HE WOULD!!!” I started laughing because I knew he was right! Coleman WOULD have minded! :) He would have had a LOT to say about that! I told Caden, “yeah, you’re right- he would, but go ahead and do it any way if you want.” He laughed and with that twinkle he’d get in his eye when he was trying to make Coleman mad, he said, “OKAY!”
Here are some pics from Skating with Santa:
Caden won a free pop for winning the LIMBO!
Here he is with his buddy Zack- and Santa…
While we were at the skating rink yesterday, I mentioned to our photographer friend Morgan that I had wanted to get some Christmas pictures taken of Caden, but I had waited too long- Last year she took our family picture with Coleman about his time… She told me to bring Cade in at 5:00 and she’d snap some pics! THANKS MORGAN!!! We should get them in next week some time.
Here are a couple of oldies of the boys together that I treasure now…
So I think that just about catches us up….I have one week of school left before Christmas vacation, and Caden has a week and a half. He has his Sunday School program coming up, and his school program too, so I’m sure I’ll be updating again soon. Oh- part 3 of this update is the Birthday letters I wrote to the boys this year. It’s a tradition I started 6 years ago for them. I debated on doing one for Coleman this year, but decided I’m going to keep writing his…and adding them to his box…not sure WHY, but for now they’ll continue. I’m also going to be reposting some of the Christmas Carol videos in the days ahead the boys made in the past…just because I never get tired of watching them.
Thank you for the prayers, the messages, and for checking in on us. We appreciate it more than we can say! Our hope is that everyone takes a quiet moment in the middle of these crazy days to remember the TRUE meaning of Christmas. There are so many gifts we can give that don’t cost a dime, but are more precious than gold…and these are usually the gifts we remember the most!
Blessings to you all,
Forever Team Larson
Here are the BIRTHDAY LETTERS 2009:
Dear Caden Dale…
I’m writing this letter on your sixth birthday. How did that happen so quickly? Well, usually I tell you what happened in the last year, but there is so much to list here. This has been quite a year for you Cade. The first thing I have to mention is Coleman going to Heaven. I know how painful that was, and still is for you…and I know you’re doing your best to deal with it in your own way. I’ve been doing MY best to help you along, but there have been many, MANY days- YOU show ME the way. At Coleman’s funeral you said to me, “why does everybody haffta keep cryin? Can’t we just go to our house and have a big party?” … THAT would be you! You and Coleman always did love planning a big party together! I’ve told you many times Coleman is still with you- in your heart…and always will be. You tell me he’s an angel on your shoulder…and you have the devil on the other. I asked you where in world you thought that up- and you said you saw it on Tom and Jerry! :)
This year on your birthday, we had a snow day- it was such a blessing to spend the whole day, just you and me together at home. We played outside, (until our fingers and toes froze!), put puzzles together, watched Christmas movies, drank kool-aid out of fancy wine glasses, baked some cookies and a cake, and danced in the kitchen until I couldn’t breathe anymore! YOU are quite the dancer Caden! :)
This year has been a WHOLE BUNCH of firsts for you. You started preschool in March, and discovered a whole new world…a world with many friends your own age. I’m so thankful for all of those friends who you’ve come to love. They’ve really helped you a lot this year. I know it’s tough to be around grown-ups all the time.
You danced the night away at Dance Marathon, walked in the Curesearch Walk, played your first year of soccer, t-ball, flag football, and are now in wrestling. You absolutely LOVE Kindergarten, AND daycare, and all of the teachers at your school and Sunday School. You have so much love in your heart, and you always look for the good in people. You took swimming lessons for the first time, went Trick or Treating for real, had a birthday party with lots of friends, and learned to roller skate this year.
You’ve faced all the firsts with such a positive attitude- you’ve always been an easy-going, “go-with-the-flow” kind of kid…much out of necessity, but I know you could have chosen to look at all of these things as hurdles; instead you faced them head on with a smile on your face, and more importantly in your heart, and always saw the best in whatever you faced. Our NEVA DIV UP motto is just as much a part of you as it was Coleman. I love that about you, and pray you always keep that smile in your heart Caden.
You’ve gone through a lot of “phases” this year…last year was Power Rangers- but now you tell me your “over those” and this year it’s been Star Wars, Bakugan, go carts, four wheelers, and DIRT BIKES! You’ve also started to love Art projects and can sit longer to complete them. This is the first year you have written your own Santa List, and you’re even reading a few books on your own. You’re always asking me how to spell something, and you do a great job when I tell you to “stretch it out”. I’m so proud of all you’re learning Caden.
Now that you’ve turned six, you tell me you’re looking for a new girlfriend, because you had 5 when you were 5 years old, so now you think you need one more! :) I tell you MOMMY had better ALWAYS be number ONE on that list! As rough-and-tough as you are, you give the best soft hugs and kisses when you remember, and you can ALWAYS melt my heart with a “Hey Mommy? ….I love you.”
We still have our secret way of saying goodnight, and our secret way of saying I love you….just between you and me. Don’t worry, I won’t tell any one.
My heart is so full of love for you Caden, and I promise to tell you that every single day. I promise to always be here when you need me…and to do my best to let you experience things without me when you need to. A mother couldn’t be more proud of a son than I am of you Caden Dale. I can’t wait to watch all of the things you are going to amaze me with as a six year old!
Heart and Soul,
Where do I begin? I remember writing your letter last year and not being able to face that it would be our last with you here in our arms. I couldn’t face it then, because it was just too painful…the thought of being separated physically from you tore my heart out, so I plunked out on the keyboard my dreams for your future, knowing deep in my soul that future probably wasn’t going to be here with us. This year as I sit to write your letter I have no choice but to face it. It’s like a kick in the gut, a true physical ache, but I’m doing my best. Do you remember all the times I told you, “sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do, but we can make the most of it…” – how many times do you suppose I said those words to you? Too many to count…but we always seemed to manage turning the most horrible situations into ones with at least a few giggles and smiles.
So now, I imagine YOU saying those words to me…oh how I miss your voice my sweetie.
Looking back, I cringe to count up how many times you went through “things you didn’t want to do”- YOU called those things “a buncha bullsh*t” and even though I told you not to say that…. I agreed. You had to go through so much Coleman, but when we were in the middle of the fight, it seemed like the only choice. I’m so sorry you had to be brave way too many times. Daddy and I were doing everything we could to keep you here with us. I wonder now… did we push it too far? Did we make you go through too much? Maybe, but we just couldn’t face the thought of losing you. We needed to fight. I hope you understand.
I smile because I think of you telling me in your ‘mr. know it all’ voice, “so why are ya worrying about that NOW? Geez mom.” You had faith that “Dod” would help you, and He did…Oh how I miss you, your outlook on things, I miss your faith in “Dod”…your wisdom of making things so simple. I know you wouldn’t want me going back second guessing the choices we made. The most important thing is we made the most of our time together, and we loved each other more than some people do in a lifetime. I just wish it could have lasted longer, but I’m thankful for the time we did have…
When you were born, I thought it was MY job to teach you…but YOU ended up teaching ME more than I could have ever imagined.
We all miss you more than I could ever put into words. Daddy and I think of you constantly, lots of times with tears in our eyes, because we miss you so very much, but many times with laughter…you always made mommy and daddy laugh- you had such a sense of humor that went far beyond your years…and Caden, well- Caden deals with missing you in his own way. I hear him whisper often, “I love you Coleman.” And I wonder if you two still have your little secrets. I know he’s hurting so much, but he keeps that big ‘ol Caden smile coming. YOU were always the one who talked out your feelings…and talked, and talked, and talked. :) But Caden keeps so much in. He doesn’t want anyone to be sad. Please watch over your brother as he grows. I know you are with him…You are a part of him…I try to fill in by playing with him, but I know I can’t fill that bond you two had.
I miss you Coleman. I miss our foot snugglin’, your stories, your magic tricks, your singing…your non-stop talk…(it’s WAY too quiet here without you!) We miss everything about you. Everything reminds me of you…the big bright moon, all your shows you loved to watch, your favorite foods, your ‘bestest’ songs, your favorite books, your little sayings…there must be a million and one times a day I think of you- BUT I know we will be together again one day, So until then, just know that you are always, ALWAYS in my heart…and on my mind. You are still the first thing I think of when I open my eyes each morning, the last thing before I fall asleep, and every minute in between. I’ll do my best to make the most of things here until we see each other again… Even though I can’t give this letter to you in person, I will put it in your box, and send ALL my “tisses and hugs” up to you today and every day. I promise to Neva Div Up Cole-Man. Happy Heavenly Birthday my boy. I hope you have a BIG party with lots of GREEN decorations!
All my Love,