Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day.

When your child dies you not only grieve their everlasting loss and absence of their presence, but you also grieve the loss of the possibilities and all of the hopes and dreams you had for your child. You grieve the potential that will never be realized and the experiences they will never share. When your baby dies, a part of the future dies along with them.

It's now been 7 months without you. Over a half a year.  It's so hard to even comprehend that you've been gone that long. :( 

Yesterday on my way to work, I saw a little boy about Cashy’s age playing in his front yard.  He was spinning in circles and he had his arms stretched out wide like he was pretending to be an airplane. He looked so happy and full of life, and as soon as I passed by the house he zoomed off in the front door.  I instantly had tears rolling down my eyes, just from seeing this little boy being a boy, living like he should, playing, getting dirty, pretending that he could fly.  I wanted nothing more than that exact moment in time for you, for you to live like that boy does, to not have pain and worry.  To just be able to be you and carefree and fly around with your arms out wide, and have the only worry in the world to be your untied shoes on the wrong feet.  
Will I always think of you as a 4 year old boy? Or will my idea of you age as the years go by? Will I look at 14 year old boys 9 years from now and think about how you should look at 14? Or will you always be my 4 year old angel? I don't know, seems like I don't know anything anymore.

Is this how's it's going to be for me forever? That every time I see a little boy I think of you Cashy, and I think of the loss we all have had by your absence. No more dried play dough balls to pick up, no more Matchbox cars to accidentally step on and almost roll my ankle (unless Sissy pulls them out), no more stickers stuck to everything in the house, no more baggies full of change laying around (yes, you loved putting money into baggies and carrying it around), no more empty change jug because you would always steal out all the money and put it in your baggies, now it’s getting full and every time I see it in the laundry room fuller and fuller my heart aches and resonates pain.  I want it empty, in baggies, in your little hands. 
What's even more sad is the loss your brother Colty has.  He's lost a confidant, a best buddy, a lifelong best friend.  He misses you so much buddy.  Yesterday he told me that if he could make a wish for anything in this world, he would wish for you to come back to us.  My heart sunk when he said that, as I figured he was going to say something like he would want a new dirt bike or the latest cool new toy or something.  When he said that I just gave him a big hug and said, "Me too buddy, me too."  He has such a caring and kind heart.

Next Friday is your birthday buddy.  June 21st, the Summer Solstice baby.  You would be 5 years old.  It's crazy to even think I gave birth to you nearly 5 years ago, and almost 3 of those years you spent fighting cancer.  How unfair this life is.  I want to sit down and have a heart to heart talk with the big man, the guy who makes all these decisions on who lives and who doesn't live and ask him why you? Why my beautiful little Cashy, my special boy who fought so hard to live, who wanted nothing more than to be a normal boy and wear a backpack to school and pick out his own clothes, and put on his own shoes (you always would put them on the wrong feet, maybe it was more comfortable that way, I don't know, maybe I'll try it one day, lol).  

My sweet, sweet boy.  Oh how I can close my eyes and just imagine feeling your fuzzy head and bumpy scar next to my face.  I miss rubbing my fingers along your scar.  That scar defined you. It represents your courageous and bold battle you put forth. That scar was a true battle wound, proving that not only that you were the "boy of steel" but showing the world how strong and how much perseverance you had.  How you could overcome anything that was put in your way.  The work that Dr. Brockmeyer did under that scar left you blind for nearly two months.  Thankfully you regained your vision.  There are so many things to be thankful for when it comes to you Cashy.  You truly are my hero, like I've said so many times.  
Every child changes the lives of his or her parents, in birth, and death.  Children show us new ways to love, new things to find joy in, and new ways look to at the world. A part of each child's legacy is that the changes he or she brings to a family continue long after their death. The memories of joyful moments we've spent with you and the love we shared will live on and always be part of all of us.  Even though it hurts so bad to have you gone from us, I want nothing more than your story and legacy to live on forever.  That's why we need all the help we can get with the foundation.  It's not a one man show, we need honest, true people who care and want to make a difference to help us spread your story.  We can't do it alone and it's a lot of work.

Your daddy is always on the phone at least once a day with parents who have children fighting many different kinds of cancers and a lot of them are losing their battle and are nearing the end.  Others are just beginning and have long roads ahead of them.   Either way they need advice and they need to be put on the right path to make their own fighter comfortable and to help make their child's battle easier and safer.  

Your Daddy is doing such an amazing job with your foundation.  He has truly found his passion in life and is trying so hard to keep your story alive and he's trying to make a real difference.

Today is Father's Day.  If it’s anything like Mother's Day was for me, for him, well then it's going to be a hard day without having you here. You couldn't have asked for a better Daddy and I know he misses you so much.  We all love you Daddy. 

Today Daddy, Colty, uncle Domo and Billy went boating and Colty tried out his new wetsuit he had to have ( he's been asking for a wetsuit for over a year now, he saved up some money and Domo paid for the rest of it).  He was so excited.  

I read an article about a dad who lost his son to cancer.  He goes on about how there isn't a word for our loss as parents. A man loses a wife he is a widower, a woman loses a husband she is widow, and a child who loses their parents is an orphan.  What do we call parents whom have lost a child, their own flesh and blood? Well this man calls our group of parents, "high functioning bereaved parent."  I like that.  Except for the fact I don't feel high functioning, even though I CAN pull myself out of bed, I CAN make myself eat, I CAN get dresses and showered. Some people who lose a child can't and don't for a long time.  I didn't have that option.  I had to go back to work 3 weeks after you passed, and take care of a baby and an 8 year old as well.  I still don't know how I did that without being a complete mess.  

I guess I'm really good at hiding my pain and I've learned to shed tears alone, by myself.  I do the best that way, I keep my grief private. No one knows what to say when you break down crying in front of them.  It creates awkwardness; I don't like to do that, although it has happened. Especially if I see a video of you or a picture, sometimes the tears just flow.  All my close girl friends have moved away, some call once in awhile, a text here and there.  Everyone has their own lives to live.  No one wants to spend their precious time in my drowning sea of grief.  I don't blame them.  That's why when people ask how I am, I lie.  I say, "Not bad", or "I'm doing good." It's better than, "oh I’ve been better; I did just buried my son after watching him die a slow agonizing death."  The later answer is preferred.  

It's all just so unreal and utterly unimaginable. Unimaginable in a way that I still can't believe you died in Daddy’s arms and you’re now buried twelve feet in the ground in Salt Lake City.  Maybe I’m still in that phase of grief where life is just a giant fog. But I don't want to live that way.  I want to cherish every memory with you, I want to remember the good times, the laughter, your giggles, the 4 birthdays that we got to spend with you here, and your sweet voice telling me that I'm, "Cashy's momma."  

We got back from Salt Lake City on Tuesday night around 11:30 after staying in west Yellowstone Monday night.  We drove through Yellowstone and made the stop just in time to see Old Faithful blow. Colty sure thought that extra cool.  Sissy and I caught the flu bug and she started throwing up Monday on the drive and, Tuesday I stared throwing up.  Luckily it was only a 24 hour bug and we recovered.  Ugh, I hate vomiting. I'm sure you can second me on that one.  You were such a trooper when you threw up. I could always tell when you were gonna upchuck.  You would make this "o" face and a weird noise and seconds later it would be all over, but Daddy and I got pretty darn good at catching it in the bucket.  But once you puked in the bucket you wouldn't want to keep puking in it and you'd push it away, sometimes making a mess.  You were such a character. 

The documentary premiere in SLC went really well and the former Mayor of Salt Lake, Rocky Anderson attended the premiere.  He got up and did a big speech after the movie.  He was very impressed with the show and he shook my hand and told me we were doing such great things and that you were a true hero. 

We got to visit your grave everyday and I brought you a Lightening McQueen car that I got at Toys r Us.  I knew you'd like it!  We snuck into the cemetery at 10 that night to bring you it.  I even caught a picture with an orb hovering over your grave.  ;) There is now grass covering your grave, setting in the reality that the months are going by and everyday is another day we are without you. 

We were to finalize the wording and pictures that we are using for your tombstone.  They are charging us 3 thousand dollars just to engrave it, so it might be another 7 months before the tombstone even gets put up. :( I'm sorry buddy, this whole cancer thing had really put a toll on our finances and it’s like we can never catch a break and catch up.  One garnishment after another.   Maybe you should go and spook a few of those creditors for me! Lol.  

(See the orb hovering over Brooke)

Well I'm on my 3rd night of 6 twelve hour shifts in a row.  Then on Wednesday we leave for San Francisco again. This time with the kiddos, but we’re flying instead of driving like we did last year. At this point I'm not sure what's worse.  The 20 hour drive or 4 hours on two different planes with a busy one year old.  Lol. 

We will be renting a house for the week, and on Thursday we will be doing another premiere of the documentary with United Patients Group, John and Corinne have taken it upon themselves to set this viewing up and were all really excited to keep sharing your story even if it’s one person at a time, because that means It's one person who didn't know about your courageous battle and they now do, which also means they will most likely tell at least one more person about you, and that's what we want!  Thank you John and Corinne for your dedication and your hearts of gold! We love you guys!  

Friday we will be celebrating your birthday all day and will be donating Reggae Runners to some local children's hospitals in your honor.  Then in the evening were going to go down to the beach and light off a bunch of Japanese floating lanterns in your honor as well.  I bought 70 of them!!! I'm sure we won't use nearly that many but just in case!  :) I sure would love it if other people would light off lanterns and candles for you that night well and maybe takes pictures and share.  It hurts my heart to even think we will be celebrating without you this year as last year we were in San Fran and would never have thought even the slightest that you wouldn't be here this year to celebrate.  God I wish I would have thrown you the mother of all party's last year.  Bouncy houses, clowns, balloon animals, whatever you would have wanted I would have gotten it for you. You probably would have hated it though. Lol, you weren’t much for big commotion and chaos. God I miss you buddy. 

Often times I see this projection screen in my mind of what your normal cancer free life should look like; going potty on the big potty and wearing big boy undies, birthdays, riding a bike without training wheels, first day of school, first loose tooth, hunting elk with your Daddy and your big brother, soccer practices, swimming lessons, telling a bully off at school because he was picking on your sister, girlfriends, your first broken heart, prom, high school and college graduation, your wedding day, your first born child.  I picture what you would look like as a grown boy, a teenager, a grown man, a father.  There are so many things you've been robbed of because of cancer and it isn't fair. I'm so sorry we couldn't save you. 

Well that's it for the night.  My heart is swollen with grief for the loss of you my sweet boy.  I will never fully recover from this.  I don't think I would ever want to. I will live with the sting of losing you forever as it reminds me of all the good times we've shared.  I hope you’re safe, I hope you’re doing everything you ever wanted to up in heaven.  Oh and by the way, thank you so much for looking out for your uncle Joey when he rolled his truck 4 times and flew out the driver’s door on Thursday. You saved his life and I know it was you with him. So thank you.

Goodnight.  Sleep tight and watch over your brother and sissy for me. Love you to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond, forever and ever. One love.