In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I remember him as the blonde, stocky father who seemed slightly out of place waiting in the preschool hallway among mostly SAHMs.   We would all chat while waiting for our two-year-olds to be released.  He had a nice smile and kind eyes.  He never said much, but when he did speak, it was in a deep British accent.  That was three years ago.

Today I ran into his wife at swimming lessons.  I hadn't seen her since last May when our children finished up their last week of preschool.  On several occasions throughout the preschool year, we had chatted a bit, but nothing of substance.  Her two children were in the same classes with my two oldest children, so we had something in common.  Her daughter is 6, her son is 4.

She came up to me and started a conversation;  "how's it going?" "whatcha been up to?" Standard stuff.  And then somewhere, as the conversation flowed, she mentioned that her husband had passed away in October.

 "He had brain cancer," she said, "the kind Edward Kennedy had." 

He had been given one year to live, and lived for five.  They discovered the cancer when she was pregnant with their daughter, their first child.  On their daughter's first day of Kindergarten, he was rushed to the ER in critical condition.  He died two months later. 

As I was standing there listening, my eyes swelled up with tears.  It was hard to imagine that strong sweet man lying on his deathbed.  I pictured his wife trying to pick up the pieces of her life, and continue to carry on; to continue on with things like swimming lessons, and cooking dinner, and keeping up the business that they started together...without him, all while coping with her own tremendous loss and sorrow.

I knew very little about her family until today.  And yet now I can't stop thinking about them.

Later during the swim lesson, her children came over and were talking to me.  Their hair was still dripping wet from their own lessons, and they were asking lots of questions.  They wanted to watch my boys swim and noticed that my son had just received a haircut.  They asked me, "What does their Daddy look like?"  and as I was answering, I noticed that these children both looked very much like their own Daddy; the same sweet smile, the same kind eyes.  It was hard for me to keep from imagining how lonely their house must feel, how empty it must be when they come home from swimming lessons, or wherever they spend their days.  It was painful to consider how much they must miss him.

While she was talking to me, I was struck by how positive she was, and not in a fake "putting on a good face" way.  It just seemed to me that she is typically and genuinely an upbeat, positive person.  She mentioned that she cries "sixty to eighty" times a day, but her overall demeanor seemed bright.  I felt thankful for that, for her sake.  I would probably lock myself in a dark room and never want to come out.

A random, unexpected conversation changed my day.  Just another reminder of how life can go from la-di-da to tragic in a moment.  A reminder of how important it is to value each day.  A reminder of how important is it is to find ways to be positive about life and not get caught up in the negative. A reminder to never take life's happy moments for granted, and to always strive to make more moments joyful.  Life is too short.


  1. Thank you SO much for sharing this.
    I'm going to go hug my hubby a few extra times before he goes to work...

  2. What an awful story, yet it makes me realize, once again, how lucky I am to have what I have. I think we all need a reality check like this now and again, to keep what's truly important in check. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Beautiful. It tugs the heart. We all need these kinds of reminders how blessed we are--because most of us are prone to whining and griping (I know I am!).


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