Wednesday, January 28, 2009


This picture of Hadley was taken on December 14th, 2007. Who would have ever known that almost exactly a year later she would be gone. We were celebrating Christmas with Auntie Manda, Uncle Brian and Uncle Clay before we headed out to Idaho. Brandon was deployed and we were going to spend Christmas with his parents and siblings. It was our gazillionth holiday, but very first Christmas, without him. The kids did well. I did well. I was proud we survived this military family rite of passage. Hadley, as we all know now, wouldn't live to see another Christmas. She passed away just 15 days short. Brandon missed her last Christmas. It is probably a huge blessing we didn't know. I can't imagine how much it would have hurt him to leave. I still feel a lot of guilt over it. Not that it is my fault...but, he does his 'job' not only for our country but, for our family. It puts a roof over our head, food on the table and, most importantly at the time, health insurance cards in my wallet. His job allowed me to stay home through Hadley's entire cancer journey. I was able to be there for her ANY time she needed or wanted me. He sacrificed SO much to allow me this awesome privilege.

Thank you, Brandon, for taking care of us. Thank you for allowing me to spend so much time with our girl. I don't know how I'll ever make it up to you. I don't know that it's possible...but, I'll certainly try. I love you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Oregon Drivers

If you have a car registered in Oregon please help us out.

I've taken on the task of getting Childhood Cancer Awareness license plates in the state of Oregon. It's a little intimidating but, I believe I can accomplish this. The first step is getting at least a thousand signatures expressing interest in the specialty plates. The second step is raising $10,000 to cover the up front cost of the plates. This will be refunded (plus proceeds) to benefit Pediatric cancer research and support. So, I am asking for your help. If you have a car registered in Oregon please sign my petition (to the right).

If you'd be so kind as to post this on your blog etc I would be grateful.

Thank you so much...


Friday, January 23, 2009

Our Little Rascal...

Hadley lost her ability to walk back in September, shortly after being admitted to hospice care. So, for the last four and a half months of her life she got around in a wheelchair. One day we were all out on a little shopping trip. I'm pretty sure we were at Target but, neither Brandon or I can remember for sure. Anyhow we walk in the store, I'm pushing Hadley and Brandon is keeping an eye on the boys. An elderly woman drives a little motorized shopping cart in front of us, headed for customer service to return it. Hadley immediately and quite enthusiastically insists on using one of the motorized shopping carts. Now, Brandon and I (and pretty much everyone in her life) did our best to see that her every desire was met but, this is where we drew the line. When I told Hadley that they were not for children she gave me 'that' look. She knew she couldn't win that argument so she went straight to a hilarious attempt at manipulation. "Mom I NEED it, my legs are broooooooken. I NEED it..." Boy was she mad when we refused to let her loose on Target in a motorized scooter. *snort* And boy was she miffed that we found the request funny.

Oh how I miss that girl.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

7 years

My sweet boy was born seven years ago today. Happy birthday Keegan! This sweet little boy has endured so much and has just kept on thriving. He is smart, witty, respectful, kind, sensitive and loving. He has life experience that no seven year old should and, even at such a young age, has used it all to his advantage. He has big dreams and I have no doubt he will accomplish big things in his life. We are so proud of him.


We love you so much. You have been through a lot in just seven years. You have been content to hang out on the outskirts of your sister's spotlight. I know someday, when you are older, you will understand. I hope you never doubt how much we love you and how amazing we think you are. We pray every day that you continue to take the really tough parts of your life's journey and use them in productive ways. Never lose your sweet, sensitive heart. Never stop loving and caring for the people around you. Dream big...make those dreams a reality. Choose happiness. We love you sweet boy.

Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A visit...

I went grocery shopping today. I hit Trader Joes and they had flowers I just couldn't pass up. I bought their lucky ladybug bouquet and took them up to my girl. This is my first visit to the cemetery since we went there for Hadley's interment. I don't know why I thought it was a good idea to go by myself. I suppose it was productive to get a good healthy cry out...but,the 20 minutes in the car trying to pull it together so I could drive home was a bit much. The groundskeepers were all in the area cleaning up while I was there. I'm sure they've seen their fair share of mourning but, I'm sure that they were wondering what institution I escaped from.

As I stood there, staring at my daughter's niche in total disbelief, gun shots started booming...then I heard Taps playing. A hero was being laid to rest. Being in that cemetery is an overwhelming experience. Not only is my sweet baby girl there but, you can't help but feel humbled and grateful by all the heroes who sacrificed so much for our country.

I also wanted to add that the reason Brandon's name is on the niche marker is that he is her 'sponsor'. She is in Willamette National cemetery because he is active duty military. Each veteran/active duty member is entitled to burial and the burial of one 'dependent' in a national cemetery. So, in theory, he would be buried there with her...and he is the reason she is able to be buried there. So, there's the explanation for those that may have wondered.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, love and support. I truly don't know how we'd make it through without every person God has placed in our lives.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Slowly but surely my memories of Hadley are more like a sweet dream and less like a nightmare. For over a month now I have been 'haunted' by memories of her last 12 hours of life. They were hard. The hardest of my life. My sweet girl was struggling to breathe...apologized that she 'had to go' and eventually was unresponsive. Those memories have been hard for me to handle. I have begged to have them replaced with sweet memories of happier times. While this eases my heart in one way it also makes the grieving process harder (if that's even possible).

When you lose your child there is no way to make any sense of it. You just can't. Children aren't supposed to get sick and die. Especially not your own child. But, when your child is sick and suffering it makes as much sense as it possibly feel a sense of relief for them that they are not suffering anymore...then the memories of a healthier, happier child return and it no longer makes ANY sense at all. How could this have happened? These are the thoughts that run through my head from day to day.

Today I was remembering my favorite little chocoholic. In this picture she was 6 and in Kindergarten. She had snuck into the pantry and taken out the whole Costco sized bag of chocolate chips. Don't worry though, she has manners. She did get a plate out. This is exactly how I found her. When I asked her what was going on she told me she was "Havin' Snack Mom". I can still hear her voice, very matter of fact. She only broke out that endearing crooked little smile of hers when she realized how funny I thought this was. Of course then Hadley the ham made an appearance and she fake laughed for about 5 minutes straight.

I miss her so much. I will miss her every day of my life.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Shamrock Run


My friend,Michelle, just sparked an idea. =) (Uh oh). =)

Exactly two years ago on March 15th Hadley was swallowing her last chemo pills. On March 17th (mine and Brandon's wedding anniversary) we had a "no more chemo" party. Every year around St Patrick's day the Shamrock Run is held. I'm not sure if the beneficiary is the same every year or not but, this year it benefits the Doernbecher foundation. Doernbecher (for those of you who aren't local) is the Children's Hospital associated with Oregon Health Sciences University. This year the run is being held on Sunday, March 15th. You see where I'm going with this? =) hee hee.

Hadley was all about pushing herself to achieve what she wanted to accomplish. She honestly didn't know the meaning of the word "can't". There are a few options for the length of the run so most people will find something that fits (including a walking course). I'd like to challenge you to push yourself and join us! If you are a runner, awesome! If you aren't, you'll be in good company. =) This will be my first 5k. Scratch that, my first 'race' ever.

Check out the site and let me know if you'd be interested in joining team Hadley's Gift!

I'm going back to the site now to figure out how to register a team and the details of registering as a team. Drop me a line at: if you're interested in joining us.

Thanks everyone.


Shamrock Run Info:

Group Name: Hadley's Gift

Group Leader: Angela Fox

To receive the $4 discount for registering as a group of 4 or more participants age 13 or older, one person must be designated as the "Group Leader." That person should register first and list the "GROUP NAME" and "GROUP LEADER" when prompted.

Both the GROUP NAME and GROUP LEADER must be given to all members of the group so they can complete their registration by providing that information when prompted.

Register Here:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Keegan's Eyes...

I know...three posts in one day. I'm going blog crazy. *snort*

My sweet boy had an ophthalmology appointment today. I am SO happy to report that, with his glasses, his vision is improving and his eyes are 'working' more equally. YAY! This means no eye patch and puts our minds at ease even more that Keegan's eye problems are "just" eye problems. =) Furthermore, unless we see any new problems, he doesn't need to be seen again for a year.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for our sweet Keegan.

Our Korean Student.

With the illness and loss of our sweet Hadley I completely forgot to update you all on our Korean exchange student. He and his family decided that they'd really like him to be in a home with other teens. I can totally understand that. It seems like it would be helpful, socially, in a smooth transition to our culture. Having said that, we were honest (yet, brief) with the facts on where Hadley was in her life. As a mother I would not send my child (at any age) into a home that was about to or had just lost a child. I would not choose that for my kids regardless of wether I knew the family or not...especially if I didn't know them. I totally respect and appreciate their decision.

Maybe next year we'll be able to take on that adventure. =)

It's all in the delivery...

My friend Mollie posted this video and I found it worthy of sharing.

Live your life with love and respect for others. Share that love with those around you. It's THAT important.

That is all.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pink Sky

This is a pink sky I caught with my iPhone while in Idaho. Most of our trip was bittersweet. We were there to celebrate Christmas. We are more thankful than ever that our savior was born but, we are still so early in the grieving process. There is no good time to lose your child but, less than 2 weeks before Christmas seemed to be especially hard. Anyway, the trip was full of ups and downs. One night I headed out to the front porch for a few moments alone and this beautiful pink sky took my breath away.

My biggest reason for sharing is: www.Pink Sky My cousin Stevie had a brain tumor too. She died just over a year and a half ago. She was 19 and lived with her tumor for 5 years after diagnosis. She and Hadley's tumor journeys had so many parallels. Despite the big age difference, they were kindred spirits. Now they are both in heaven picking yellow tulips and caring for babies and cuddly little furry things.

After Stevie left her body behind Gina, her wonderful Mama, wrote and illustrated this book. It has been a source of comfort and hope for our entire family over the course of this past year.

The book begins:

Everyone is born and everyone dies.

It is a great mystery and a promise.

It is a story that is hard to remember and a story that has no endings, only beginnings.

I encourage you to order one for your family. In doing so you will also be helping put this book in the hands of families in situations similar to ours at no cost. All 'profit' from the book is used to give free books to those who need them.

Thank you for your love and support. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for loving our girl.
Keep an eye out for pink skies and remember our pinkalicious Hadley.