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, September 28, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday, Andrew!

Today is Andrew's 4th birthday! 

It is hard to believe it has been a year since the last one.   Last year Andrew and I spent the day in the clinic.  He received chemo.  I cried my eyes out.

This past Sunday we celebrated with a party. We rented a jump house and he invited his friends.  He was in charge of a portion of the guest list, and his energy could not be contained.  He raced through the house, from activity to activity, from friend to friend, and loved every minute of it.

As I consider the four years of his life, I realize that while I have cried, and been anxious, and ranted, and screamed, he has lived in joy and peace. Ignorance, as they say, has been his bliss. It has also been a huge blessing.

I often remind myself that I have six little eyes watching my every move.  They watch how I behave in difficult situations, express joy, cope with stress, handle disappointment, show love, and live my day-to-day life.  It is a huge responsibility, and I often wish I did a better job, for their sake.

However, over the last year and half, my eyes have watched Andrew live his life.  I have watched him struggle, and cope, and live each day to the fullest, despite difficult circumstances.  I have learned a lot from him.

Things like:

  • Never pass up a puddle.
  • Jump! Often. Jump! Everywhere!
  • Tackle hard.
  • Squeeze tightly.
  • Ask to be held when you need it.
  • Get down when you're ready.
  • Defend your brothers, even when you are the smallest one in the room.
  • When it hurts to dance, sway.  When it hurts to sing, mouth the words. But never stop moving to the music.
  • Remember your friends' favorite things, and their favorite colors.
  • Show concern for others, even when you are in pain yourself.
  • Climb trees, even when it scares your mother.
  • Push all the buttons, at least once.
  • Smile. At everyone.
  • Keep on running, even when you are in last place.
  • A loud roar will always get a reaction. 
  • Look past the smell and the sight of the homeless, and see the face of Jesus.
  • As often as you can, and whenever you get the chance, grab two supportive hands (or one that's extra strong), lift up your feet, and fly.

Happy Birthday Andrew.  I love you.


  1. Happy Birthday Andrew! You are such a special, handsome, fun, wonderful little man. I hope you find as much joy in your next 96 birthdays!!

  2. Happy Birthday, Andrew! I'm glad there is only celebration this year. You all deserve it.

  3. Happy Birthday, Andrew! Hope you never loose your love for life (or dancing):)

  4. Julie, with you we are rejoicing with Andrew's 4th birthday for all the blessings through the pains and now the thrill of a hopeful future. You have a marvelous family. God has indeed taken away the hurts and replaced His magnificent blessings. Hugs! Aunt Donna

  5. What amazing lessons he has given you! We love puddles at our house too. I hope he has a wonderful birthday!

  6. Happy Birthday Andrew.
    Next time we see a puddle we will jump in it and think of you.

  7. Happy Birthday Andrew!!
    Awesome post Julie.
    And that picture almost makes me cry!!
    You captured the sweetest moment!

  8. Happy Birthday Andrew! He's such a fighter. Hugs and kisses from the Harrisons.

  9. Happy birthday Andrew!! He's such an inspiration. Would love to meet him in person one day.

    -Eva L.

  10. You're making me cry. What a life he has led in only 4 years! That's something to celebrate, despite the downs and the unwanted experiences.

    As a momma, we always see where we don't do things as well as we [think we] should. It's hard. But we're still there supporting them and celebrating with them and loving them, and in the end, I think that's what they'll remember. I mean, other than "mommy's scary when she's mad". ;)

  11. I love this list Julie... That Andrew is a wise soul.

    Happy Birthday Andrew! May your year be full of fun and happiness...

  12. Happy Birthday to Andrew - one of the smartest kids on the block (he's growing up to be just like his Mommy!) :)

  13. Happy Birthday, Andrew! I love your life lessons. :)

  14. Oh sweetie,
    i'm bawling my eyes out over here....
    getting my whole keyboard wet....

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweet Andrew!

    Sending lots of love and hugs and kisses from Indiana

  15. Happy Birthday Andrew!! This particular birthday means so much to all of us :)

  16. Hello,
    I have a question about your blog. Please email me!

  17. Wow! such a lovely cute young man. The lessons you've learnt from him are so wonderful. You need not worry, God will always be there for him all through his lifetime and for you too.
    Happy Belated Birthday, Andrew!!!
    Wishing you God's special blessings, not only today but every other day of your life. Take care of mom...God loves you! You'll always be in my prayers.

  18. Just reading this. Hope Andrew is loving his fourness. Four is a wonderful age, and you're doing a wonderful job, Mom.

  19. I found your blog today! I have a little 4 yr old boy who shares a birthday with Andrew!
    Today, my husband and I had only him for an hour or so and man oh man did he hold on and let his feet fly~ I look forward to reading more of your blog! You and your family are an inspiration!


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