Saturday, January 30, 2010

Life at the Larsons

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Well, I know, It’s been a while since an update on here…
It’s not that I haven’t had a lot to say- I always have things to say… I guess it’s just getting myself to sit down and type it all out. January’s been a LONG month- we’ve had our hard days emotionally, but do our best to stay positive…this month has been full of lots and lots of SNOW! Scott’s been scooping and moving snow, but we’re running out of places to put it!
Here are a few pics-

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I am up to 8 snow days and counting that need to be made up at one point or another…my school just sent out a survey of what we’d like to do to make up the days- including SATURDAY SCHOOL- ummm not sure I’ll be voting for that one, but time will tell how many more days we miss, and how everyone votes. We still have February and March to get through- so who knows if we’ll have days added to that. It could make for a short summer vacation. Oh well…

Caden and I have really enjoyed our snow days together- We played games, did a LITTLE bit of cleaning-we got the Christmas tree down and put away at least- he built forts with lots and lots of “boobie traps”, we did a little baking, and He’s done a lot of talking about Coleman…I found him one of the days sitting on his bed and looking through scrap books. He asked if I wanted to come in and look with him. It amazes me the details he remembers and things he has no recollection of. He really misses his other half. We have so many wonderful memories of Coleman-One thing’s for sure- Cman will always be a part of our hearts- forever. Oh do we miss him. Words just cannot explain. There are some days where the numbness your brain puts you in to protect yourself starts to fade, and the pain rises again…it can be a song, a commercial, a smell, a picture, a food, a book, or it doesn’t have to be anything- its just because- that brings the hurt back full force. We know Coleman is safe in Heaven…we just miss him.

Here’s an old video of one of his favorite songs- God, I mean “Dod” must be a cowboy (tow-boe-wee) at heart…Our pastor came to Iowa City to visit and sang this to the boys before Coleman’s stem cell transplant. Coleman loved this song from that point on…oh how I miss his singing. It does make me smile when I watch this though…what a gift he was.

We’re disappointed we won’t be able to make it to this year’s Dance Marathon in Iowa City. We have something else that weekend that we can’t miss…but we’ll be there in spirit! THANK YOU so much to these college students and all they do to help families like ours. They recently sent us a stone in memory of Coleman…THANK YOU to all who participate in this wonderful event~ Coleman loved ALL of the “Dance May-wah-fonn” people! We wish we could be there with you all this year.
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Speaking of events- we have our 2nd annual Curesearch walk coming up May 1st. Last year Team Larson ended up raising over $20,000 when all was said and done, thanks to so many wonderful donators! AMAZING!!! I’m not sure we’ll be able to come anywhere close to that this year, but every single dollar gets us that much closer to a CURE- we’ve come to know too many kids who have been diagnosed, continue to fight, or went to Heaven way too early because of cancer…soooo, if you want to be a part of our team- (you don’t have to be there to actually be on our team roster) or if you’d be willing to make a donation, we’d sure appreciate ANY amount…here’s the link we hope you’ll check out…

Curesearch Walk- TEAM LARSON PAGE.

I’ll be posting more info as the walk gets closer. Caden is in charge of designing our team shirts this year. I thought maybe he’d like the responsibility of that- so we’ll see what he comes up with! 
We can’t THANK YOU enough for helping us out!!!

A couple of funny stories about Caden- (there are sooo many to choose from!)
One day when we got out of school early because of the heavy snow, I went to pick him up at daycare…They were outside playing on the snow mountain and taking turns sledding down a hill. He was having a blast! I went inside and got his bookbag and he followed me to the van. As he was getting ready to climb in his door, he YELLED out to his friends, “BYE YA PuSSSS-AYS!” I stood there for a minute- and thought I HAD to have heard him wrong, until he yelled it again- “I SAID- BYE YA PUUH-SAYS!” I said, “CADEN! GET IN THE VAN! GET IN THE VAN!!!” He said, “why?” I shut the door and told him, “you can NOT say that to people! It’s a NAUGHTY word!” He had no idea….yikes. Luckily, I don’t think anyone heard him. *whew*
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Another funny- well not for me…but what the heck- I’ll share it…. I fell on the icy steps one morning on my way to work and got a HUGE bruise on my backside to show for it. It was a nasty one…
Caden was looking at it, and so innocently said, “mom? Sometimes your butt looks like it gots bubble wrap on it.” WHAT?!?! ARRRGGG!!! I started laughing- Guess I’d better find a good work out tape with some exercises for my back side! Hahahaha Kids are so honest!

He’s a character- that’s for sure…and I thank God for him every day! He wants a Mohawk so badly, but I keep telling him no…I did let him have one for about an hour one night before I gave him a haircut- but you should have seen his attitude while he looked in the mirror- he really thought he was one tough dude. After the pics- I buzzed it off! I know, I know, mean mommy.
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He’s growing like a weed, and has changed so much since he started school. One thing that hasn’t changed is how big his heart is. He was very animate about helping the people of Haiti, and kept wanting to donate money out of his piggy bank every time a commercial came on about it.
The night after Christmas I found this under the tree, still in the box…
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I asked Caden about it the next morning. I thought maybe he had forgot it was there- but he said he thought Santa brought that one for Coleman. He was leaving it there and didn’t want to open it. *sigh*

I can see why he said that, it WAS something Coleman would have loved, and I don’t know WHAT Santa was thinking when he brought that one. I finally convinced Caden to open it, but he really hasn’t played with it much.

He got his first report card with all good marks except tying his shoe. He says he’s a FAILURE- and was the ONLY one in his class who couldn’t tie. I told him I didn’t believe he was the ONLY one, and he cried, “well- there was maybe five… or three, but anyways- I FAILED!!!” We’ll have to practice more I guess.

Oh- another thing he’s been in to lately…is Lily the Bear. My class has been following a bear in Ely, MN that has a live web cam in the den. The mother black bear, Lily had a baby bear last Friday. You can hear the bear nursing and everything. It’s pretty cool if you’d like to check it out…

So that’s a little of what’s been going on around here lately….I know, not too exciting…
Here’s a video I made for Caden on New Year’s Day. This song makes me tear up every time I hear it for some reason…I think I’m going to start a new tradition and make a New Year’s video each year. Here’s our first:

We continue to pray for all of the families missing their kids- and all the little warriors still battling.
Thanks for checking in on us- your messages mean a lot to us.

Until next time,
Blessings to you all,
Oh and on our snow days I was messing around with editing a few old pics…here are some I came up with. I’d like to turn some of these into post cards so I’ll have to do some checking on that…but thought I’d share here-
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And a quote I ran across I liked:
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us;
What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal."
~Albert Pike

Amen to that.

Monday, January 4, 2010

One Year...

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Thank you for the messages of support- with tomorrow (the 5th) being the 1st anniversary of Coleman winning his fight and going to Heaven, I know people are wondering how we’re doing. I look back at the pictures of this time last year and just remember what a painful place we were in at that point.
I think about that night we drove home from Hospice- numb-
After walking in the door to a house where time stood still = Christmas presents still unwrapped- toys all over the floor- morphine bottles- medicine galore scattering the counter…his shoes laying there- Coleman’s things all around me- I hit the floor…I sobbed from the deepest part of me, like I’d never sobbed before- all that came out was a choked squeak, “I want him back…I WANT HIM BACK!” I sobbed until I could no longer breathe. I laid there on the floor until I had no tears left- my tear cup was empty…I pulled myself into our chair and sat and watched the sun come up…wondering how it could be possible that time could go on, when our whole world just ended.
How could I be saying I wanted him back, when two hours before I was telling him it was okay to go…that he could stop fighting so hard, that we’d be okay- we promised him. But at that moment, feeling the emptiness, I changed my mind…What was I thinking??? HOW were we going to do this? How was Caden ever, EVER going to make it without Coleman? How were WE going to be okay?
I typed out a big long update- reliving those last days- but decided to save it for my personal journal…because I’ve always wanted THIS page- Coleman’s page- to be about HOPE…something HE taught us. NEVA DIV UP. As painful as those memories are, we try our best to focus on the good times- the funny times- the love we shared in our time together…and that love goes on.

This past year has taught us so much…we’ve been to the bottom of the canyon. We’ve spent the last year doing our best to walk the long winding road up. It hasn’t been easy- sometimes we slip back down, but along the way we’ve managed to smile here and there- something we learned from Coleman…to make the most of what you’re given- even if it is “a buncha BULLSH!T”. Scott and I told Coleman we would never give up…that we’d be okay, and we’re working on it…one day at a time, and sometimes moment by moment. Caden has shown us the way…being so brave and keeping us smiling. He tells me HE misses Coleman more than anyone, and I always agree with him. I let him have that- they were twins- best friends- and truly the only friend either one had for so long.
Caden doesn’t know it has been a year tomorrow- I figured why tell him? We can’t let balloons go- the temp is WAYYYY too cold…we can’t visit the cemetery…the entrances are blocked with snow banks….but we celebrate Coleman’s life every day in one way or another, so I’ve avoided telling Caden what tomorrow marks. I don’t know if that’s the right decision, but it’s the one we made. Caden HAS been a little “down” the past couple of days- so it makes me wonder if he senses it…or maybe I’m just reading too much into things. Who knows….they always did have a bond we could never understand, so I don’t know.
We’ve had to learn to deal with our pain…We WILL be okay, it’s just hard to express how VERY much we miss him…and I know people say THIS day- THIS week -will be hard, but truly I don’t think it will be any harder than the days we’ve managed to get through so far, and the days ahead where I know it will hit us again like a ton of bricks. It’s a road we’re still walking, and I’m not sure we’ll ever see the top, until we are reunited with him again, but onward we climb…sometimes sitting down for a rest, but always getting back up- and yes, with one set of footprints sometimes. I promised Caden God would take care of us- and at times it was almost like I was trying to convince myself as much as him, but we’ve held on to that, and He HAS carried us, and continues to. I ask myself "how in the heck did we ever make it a year? I didn't think it was possible, but Coleman knew, "with DOD ALL FINGS ARE POSS-A-BULL!" and he was right, only by the grace of God. The sun continues to come up- and we continue to live, carrying all those lessons our Coleman taught us along with us….and thanking God for our blessings- each and every one of them.
Speaking of blessings, again, I have to say thank you to everyone for your support. We will never be able to express how grateful we are. AND if you’d like to do an act of kindness in honor of Coleman- we’d love to hear about it… For us- it helps to know his spirit lives on, and that he’s remembered. I know tomorrow I’ll once again go through a drive through and pay for the person behind me, just to remember how much he loved doing it…okay- for those who live around here- if you see me driving tomorrow, don’t tailgate me, waiting for me to pull in somewhere! :)
I’m going to repost my entry from last year, and the video from Cman’s celebration of life. A life we continue to celebrate…every day- with HOPE in our hearts. Oh were we blessed to have had this little boy in our lives. I’ll update on our holidays next time…until then-

Blessings to you all,

Before I post last year’s entry, here’s a video made by one of our “angels” Maisey…THANK YOU SO MUCH! And yes, the heart of life IS good…

Today the world may have cried a river of tears for a little boy’s life that ended way too soon, but we believe Heaven is REJOYCING over Coleman’s job well done.

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Coleman was an amazing child of God and we were so honored to be chosen as his parents.

He left this world at 10:45 last night- he fought HARD until the very end, not wanting to give up, but finally letting go. He was a warrior and a hero our hearts will forever miss. We had the most glorious five years together- a gift we will never forget.

A quick story. :)

One day Coleman heard someone say they were mad at God. He didn’t say a word, but later came to me with this complete look of disbelief on his face and asked, “mommy? did you hear them say they were mad at DOD? WHY would they say that?” He couldn’t even fathom the thought. Then he raised his little eyebrows and said, “well, I hope they don’t say that in PUB-WIC (public)!” and walked away. He knew there were some things he could not change, but HIS faith never wavered.

Lots of people have mentioned their anger toward God …how can He let this happen when so many people have been praying for Coleman? Why didn’t he answer our prayers?

I just can’t be angry at Our God who sent Coleman to us in the first place. Coleman was a child of God, WE were chosen to be his parents- and how blessed we were. Maybe my feelings will change, but like Coleman, I can’t imagine being angry at God. Would we have loved to have had more time with Coleman? YES! I want him back right now, but I know that’s the selfish part of me talking. I know I will hurt more than I can ever imagine in missing him…and I know I will have MANY days of heartache and anger, but my anger is over the fact we live in a world where we can do so much, but still do not have a cure for this horrific disease. Children are paying the price for that. More on that will come-

I guess what I’m saying is I know for a fact, Coleman would NOT want us to be mad at God. He taught us so much in his time here. His lessons will go on for a very long time. He knew where he came from and he knew where he was going. My heart aches for more time, but I’m SO thankful for the time we got with him, and we know we WILL be with him again. God doesn’t always answer our prayers in the way we want him to…HIS ways are not ours, and that’s hard to accept, but true. It doesn’t mean I don’t question it- it’s hard to understand, but one day we WILL know.

Many people have asked how Caden is doing. Now that’s a long story, but we have assured him that we love him. He is dealing the best way he can- just like us.

I turned my desk Praying Parent calendar today, and thought I’d share what it said…
“We are dependent on God to enable us to raise our child properly, and He will see to it that our child’s life is blessed. One thing I have learned is that I should not try to force my own will on my child in prayer. I have found it is better to pray more along the lines of “Lord show me how to pray for this child. Help me to raise him Your way, and may Your will be done in his life.”
I believe God’s will was done through Coleman. I know it.

Here is one of my favorite pictures of Coleman-
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God bless you baby. We love you so much.
Coleman said long ago, "some day I won't need NO more meds or pokes, wight mommy?”
No more sweetie. You are free.

One more story to share…thanks again Nadine.
The Parable of the Twins-

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Once upon a time, twin boys were conceived in the same womb. Weeks passed and the twins developed. As their awareness grew, they laughed for joy, “isn’t it great that we were conceived? Isn’t it great to be alive?”
Together the twins explored their world. When they found their mother’s cord that gave them life, they sang for joy, “how great is our Mother’s love, that she shares her own life with us!”
As weeks stretched into months, the twins noticed how much each was changing. “what does it mean?” asked the one. “It means that our stay in this world is drawing to an end, said the other. “But I don’t want to go”, said the other, “but maybe there is life after birth.” But how can there be?” responded the other one. “We will shed our life cord, and how is life possible without it? Besides, we have seen evidence that others were here before us and none of them have returned to tell us that there is life after birth. No, this is the end.”
And so the one fell into deep despair, saying, “If conception ends in birth, what is the purpose of life in the womb? It is meaningless! Maybe there is no mother after all?” “But there has to be,” protested the other. “How else did we get here? How do we remain alive?”
How you ever seen our mother?” said one. “Maybe she lives only in our minds. Maybe we made her up because the idea made us feel good?”
And so the last days in the womb were filled with deep questioning and fear. Finally, the moment of birth arrived. When the twins had passed from their world, they opened their eyes and cried for joy. For what they saw exceeded their fondest dreams.

Author Unknown

Blessings to you all,
Nev-va Div up-
Team Larson

And my all time favorite Coleman video…because this was just so him…A story of LOVE...Coleman’s beloved Bunny Foo Foo- he lost him during an MRI following his stem cell transplant, and SOMEHOW bunny found his way back…(UTUBE threatened to pull this because of the song used, but somehow it stayed up!)