Sunday, August 21, 2016


Happy Birthday Carter James!!!
Not only was it his 5th birthday, it was also his first day of school.  It was actually the 2nd day of school, but the poor little dude had pink eye and missed his first day.

Hard to believe he is five years old.  It really is a measure of how fast time has gone. He has really grown in the last 6 months. He is starting to lean up and lose his baby chubs. Don't get me wrong, though, he still LOVES being the baby.  He can play that card all day long.  

Another great cake production by Grandma Debbie!  She is getting very creative. 
Doritos for the back plates:) Awesome.

Lots of Star Wars toys for this birthday! 
Darth Vader in the house:)

  • FAVORITE FOOD - Waffles, Pizza, Cheeseburgers. Not a single veggie. Not one.
  • FAVORITE TOYS - Cars, Transformers. PlayStation, Legos, pretty much anything Jackson plays with.
  • WEIGHT - 48 pounds.
  • HEIGHT - 43.5"
  • SHOE SIZE - 12
  • SPORT - Soccer
  • BEST BUDDY - Cade Cherry

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Kinder, 2nd Grade, and 6th Grade here we come!
It's going to be a great year.  The kids were excited to get back to school!

 Carter - Kinder - Bannockburn Christian Academy
Age: 4/5 (turned 5 on his 2nd day of school)
 Kylie - 6th Grade - Regents
Age: 11
 Jackson - 2nd Grade - Regents
Age: 7
Jackson and Mrs. Walter

Saturday, August 13, 2016

I'll Fly Away

And in just four weeks after the diagnosis, my dad is gone. During those four weeks, each day was worse than the one before. He wanted to fight, he really did, but at some point the fatigue and pain became so overwhelming he had to choose comfort.  We all agreed it was the best choice. Through it, he had so many painful days, full of confusion and frustration.

But... he also had LOVE.  So much LOVE.  During the past month, he has never been alone. Either he was with my mom, my sister or me the entire time.  He wanted it that way.  It was no time to be alone. He wanted his family to be together, and we were.  We talked more than we have in a really long time, and more importantly, we laughed more than we had in a long time.

In the end, we all told him over and over how much we loved him and how proud we were of him.  I promised I would take care of his grandbabies and be the best mom I could be.  I would protect them and not take any chances.  He would always say, "I love you sugar. Don't take any chances." He was always so overprotective of his family, especially my mom and his girls.

On his last days, we played songs, and on one of his last days where he was awake, music was the one thing that would calm him down.  "I'll Fly Away" was always one of his favorites.  When we turned it on, his eyes opened up and he began to sing the words to the chorus.  What a glorious memory!  I'll never forget it.  We sang quite a few songs that day,,,songs about Heaven, about our walk with the Lord, and about the God's promises.

And now my hope lies in the true promise of Heaven. He has made his flight to be with our Heavenly Father.

Love you daddy,

Sunday, August 7, 2016

How to prepare...

I am sitting in The Christopher House with my dad. This house is a non-profit facility for Hospice patients. My how things have changed over the last few weeks.

My dad kept feeling that something wasn't right.  Every day it seemed like something new was bothering him. He landed in the Emergency Room a few times, sent home both times with no information, then back in the hospital, only to find out he had blood clots in his lungs. Not just blood clots... blood clots as a result of Lung Cancer.  Not just Lung Cancer, but Type 4 Metastatic that had spread to his liver. No cure. No surgery.

The next few days he actually seemed to rally a bit.  He got fluids, some pain meds, and actually started eating pretty well.  We're actually feeling optimistic.  His oncologist said he was a great candidate for chemo, and not the dreaded chemo that makes you crazy sick and lose your hair. He said he would do fine and have hardly any side effects.  It seemed like everything moved in slow motion though. Doctors, more doctors, chemo teach, and finally he gets the port for his chemo.  Port on Monday, start chemo the following Thursday.

Not so fast. Sunday after the placed my dad woke up extremely agitated and confused.  He was in so much pain in his side and back.  He was hot and cold.  He wanted to walk, but yet it hurt to walk. For 72 hours this goes on.  He doesn't sleep and he hardly eats.  He is weak, exhausted and confused.

We head back to the oncologist who then says he is is in no shape for chemo at this point. How in the world did we get here so fast? We tell him we are no longer able to care for him alone and we need help.  He has to decide... does he want to be comfortable and out of pain, or stay the course and see if he can rally enough to maybe get treatment.  He chooses comfort and rest and we agree.  It's not a choice to give up, but a choice to avoid as much suffering as possible.

Each day he slips away more and more from us.  I am anxious for him to be free of this pain and suffering, however, I know what that freedom means.  It means he is free from this body, the one who has is failing.  Free from my sight, but never free from my heart.

I am thankful for this time, even if I just sit and listen to him snoring.  Someday, all too soon, I will miss that snore.