Friday, August 28, 2009

A Big Sissy Cries at Family Photo Day

I'm a big sissy. I cry a lot more these days. I'm still a big tough guy and will ride motorcycles, use duct tape instead of Band-Aids and will even let my wife iron my shirts while I'm wearing them, but still, I find myself more tender and aware of other people's pain these days. That's a good thing.

We had a family photo taken recently, generously arranged by HopeKids and donated by CT Ryan Studios.

HopeKids is an amazing and very generous organization that focuses on families with kids who are battling life-threatening illness. They host these ongoing events and create environments where families can have fun, be a family, and take a break from a disease.

At a recent HopeKids event, they arranged for family photos to be provided free of charge, knowing it is especially difficult for families with sick kids to find time or the emotional strength to go and arrange a photo session.

Several photographers donated their time and the families poured in to wait their turn and capture a little moment in life. I wish I could share with you some of the photos that were taken that day. You would see a few silly families, like ours, that were past the critical point of their treatment and were expecting great things ahead.

But most of the families you would see would be gathered around a wheelchair with a little life hanging on. Some families had a near-confident look in their eyes as they bravely posed with their terminally ill child.

I realized that for a few there that day, this would be their last family photo with their child on this side of eternity. And that is when I cried a little.

If you are someone's rich aunt or even if you just have been looking for a way to bring some comfort, laughter, or hope to someone's life, please consider a financial gift to HopeKids. I can guarantee you will make a difference in someone's life, but I can't promise you won't cry a little in the process.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Odd, Odd Names

You know you are on some pretty stringent medical protocol when you are laying in bed and your four year old calls from the other room reminding you that you didn't give him his nightly medicine.

After the guilt pangs of being an awful parent, I take him downstairs to grind his chemo pill and put it in some applesauce for him.

"Which one is it?", I call to my wife in the other room as I try to choose between four different bottles of medicines with his name on them.

Before she can answer, Von says from the barstool, "Mercaptopurine" and pronounces it with perfection of a medical student with something to prove.

I smirk to myself that he knows how to pronounce this drug name. And as I look through the other bottles, I see drug names that look foreign to my reading eye but that sound familiar as I hear my wife reference them with Von all the time. Odd names. Names starving for vowels and attention.

Doxcyclene. Methotrexate. Dexamethasone.

Names that confuse and leave spell checker suggestion-less.

I think it's funny. Von can't say the word 'lemonade' without messing it up. But he can rattle off 'mercaptopurine' like nobody's business.

Big boy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Marshmallows in the Beer Section

Want proof that stores need to put the marshmallows in the beer section and I.D. for buying them?

Pull out a bag of marshmallows in plain view for anyone to see. Fish some matches out of your pocket and say, "Hey, look at this? How did these get in here?"

Then watch what happens next.

First, the in-laws will probably show up unannounced with free food.

Then as the marshmallows are consumed, the laughs will begin and things will go downhill and out of control.

It won't stop there. Somebody will probably get some smore components stuck in their hair.

Meanwhile, the dog will be the only one maintaining his composure in the hopes of getting a nibble or two.

And before you know it, someone will probably get kissed!

Matches anyone?

Monday, August 10, 2009

And the Wish is...

Yes, I should have shared days ago about Von's wish.

We've just been so happy in our new home unpacking and marking our territory, who has time to blog?

The Make-a-Wish folks came out to our house and interviewed Von to see what his wish is. They are amazing people and they volunteer because they want to make a difference in young people's lives. Their hearts are in it and they are the kind of people that you just love from the first moment you meet them.

So Von's three wishes (because you're supposed to have three wishes just in case one doesn't work out)...drum roll please...

1) A trip to Africa

2) A hot tub with special lights

3) A motorcycle side car

Yes, I know, all of these sound like MY wishes, but I promise they are Von's and are un-coached.

I cant' help it if Von has seen photos of my trips to Africa and heard stories. It's not my fault we spent the last 8 months at Papa Rolf's house and got to utilize his hot tub for excellent family times. Don't blame me for the coffee table book that was sitting out and had photos of a vintage BMW sidecar.

It just amazes me that people spend their valuable time and resources to give kids like Von a reason to keep on fighting things like cancer. It's a tough job. They lose some of the kids they are trying to serve.

I tip my hat to Make-a-Wish! They are truly making a difference!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Today is the big day.

Von has been told for several months that he will have to make a wish for anything he wants that he thinks will help him fight the cancer bad guys in his body.

His answer has been everything from a HappyMeal to a wife to traveling in space.

I'll let you know tomorrow what he officially wished for behind closed doors in his interview with the Make-a-Wish people.

What would YOU wish for? (You can't say 'world peace').

Monday, August 3, 2009

Image management in our new house

We're buying a new house today. At 2:30 precisely.

Then we move in. At 3:00 precisely.

They say first impressions are everything. I think I'm going to speak with a sexy Dutch accent when my new neighbors come over to meet us. That way, when they see Moses humping something, the accent will offset it all and we're good in the neighborhood for the next few years.

Don't you wish you were our neighbors?