Tuesday, March 26, 2013

{March 26, 2013}

March 26, 2013

Good morning, handsome!

I trust you're busy as ever there in the spirit world.  

Cousin Amie shared an image she carries of you as a greeter at the gates...kind of like a Wal-Mart greeter, only infinitely cooler.  ;)  She said she sees you welcoming each new spirit that arrives by saying, "It's okay, don't be scared, you can sit by me!"  I love that image of you!!  

Do you remember us talking about Brielle?  Not cousin Brielle.  Brielle that also had cancer.  She relapsed again - this is her third time - she has had 2 bone marrow transplants in the past 2 years.  Her body isn't strong enough for another transplant and her cancer is aggressive.  Sound familiar?  I was talking to her mom the other day, and told her that I know when Brielle returns to Heavenly Father, you'll be there to greet her and show her around.  Be watching for her, okay?  I hope it's a good long time before you meet her, but when she gets there, you'll know what to do.

I've never met a kid that has so many friends as you - little friends, big friends, and every size of friend in between.  That's just one of the many things you are so good at - loving people and serving them in the way that they understood.

Sunday during the Sacrament, McKayslin was reading in the March Children's Friend.  She read the story Ric's New Book (the link will take you there if you want to read it for yourself - it's a great little story!).  She read it, leaned over and handed it to me, and said, "Read this!  This is sooooo Kenton!"  Then she did the same to Dad.  It's true.  That story is sooooo you!  

Last Saturday, McKayslin went to play with CK.  She came home and told us that when they were outside (it was a bit of a cloudy day), every once in a while, the sunshine would shine right down on them.  She said it made them smile!  McKayslin said, "I'd say, 'Aw, thanks, Bubs!' and CK would say, 'Thanks, Big Bro!' and then we'd try not to cry."  I love that you're still watching out for her and letting her know how much you love her!

Speaking of love, Project Elder Reynolds is nearly ready to be delivered.  A few friends have already been given their kits.  We just need to get organized and get the rest delivered.  Such an awesome project.  So excited!!  You have such a strong testimony and so much faith.  

Sitting here typing this, with tears running down my cheeks, I wonder why I bother with make-up on Tuesdays.  ;)  So many people have told us, "Just remember, each Tuesday puts you one week closer to seeing Kenton again!"  I know they mean well.  And they're right.  It doesn't make having you gone any easier.  Plus, I know that if we were just existing from Tuesday to Tuesday, counting off another 7 days closer, you'd be mad!

Pretty sure you've noticed the changes in our home.  Many of them started when you were diagnosed, and a few started when the leukemia returned in January.  We know you're pleased with the changes.  Daddy's learning to be more spontaneous (shocker, right?! LOL), I'm learning to plan things out better (sigh).  McKayslin, well, she was pretty awesome before, so she's just continuing being awesome.  :)  We're all a little more patient with each other.  

We read scriptures every night before bed.  It's the best part of our day.  We snuggle up there in the big bed and read (right now we're in Mosiah - looking forward to chapter 3 tonight and really excited for chapter 4 tomorrow night - that's the chapter I read in the waiting room one evening when Dad and I went to the temple...it carries such a sweet testimony of eternal life!!).  Then we say prayers, send you hugs and kisses, and it's bedtime.

"Your" bus just drove by.  6:41 am.  I try not to think of all the great things you'll miss out on here.  Sometimes I start to think that way, and then I remind myself of all the not so great things you'll miss out on here.  I miss you every day.  How grateful I am to know that you are okay, busily doing missionary work.  Families are FOREVER!  You're stuck with us, little buddy!!  :)

Guess I'd better go.  

Looking forward to some sunshine smiles during recess duty today...have a great week!  Keep working hard and being amazing!!

And just because I simply adore this photo of you, I'm going to share it with the world (or the 5 people that actually read this blog, whatevs, right?!).

Love you, handsome!

Love Forever,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

{March 20, 2013}

March 20, 2013

Dear Kenton,

It's raining this morning.  When I took Sparky out to go potty this morning, the rain had just started and the air was filled with that fresh clean rain smell.  I smiled as the smell triggered a memory for me - the trip we took for your 3rd birthday.

Do you remember that?  We went to Bear World on our way to West Yellowstone.  Then we stayed at that dumpy little hotel made of all cabins there in West?  We loved it though.  We spent each day doing something fun - Grizzly Discovery Center, Yellowstone National Park, The Playmill.  And every afternoon, true to form for West Yellowstone, a huge thunderstorm rolled in.  The first afternoon we had just checked into our little cabin and sat on the porch watching the rain roll in.  As the storm started to let up, the parking lot was filled with HUGE puddles.  It was a really warm day.  You took my hand and started for the parking lot.  We spent a good hour splashing in puddles.  Your giggle made Daddy and I laugh.  You LOVED being able to run and jump in all that water.  We had a great time. 

On the way to school this morning McKayslin and I listened to the song "For Good" from Wicked (remember how we listened to that about 121 times the summer of 2010?!).  The beginning line of the song, "I've heard it said...that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn..."

I've been thinking about all of the things you tried to teach us in your short 12 1/2 years.  Today I think the lesson you were trying to get me to remember with the rain trigger memory is to enjoy the little things - puddles, rainbows, giggles, the first snow...
We're doing our best to keep our promise to you that we'll still do fun things as a family - that our family traditions won't go away.  It's different without you.  Daddy and I aren't nearly as fun as you.  ;)  We're trying.  I promise.

When we read scriptures tonight, we read in Enos vs. 27: And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest.  And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father.

Daddy and I were talking after McKayslin went to bed.  You knew it was time for you to go home.  And everyone that was priveledged to know you, to love you, knows that you were greeted home just as Enos was.  Thanks for sharing 12 1/2 years with us.  You're such an incredible kid.

"It well may be,
that we will never meet again in this lifetime,
so let me say before we part,
So much of me is made from what I learned from you...
You'll be with me,
Like a handprint on my heart."

We miss you, son.  So very much.
Thanks for sending us sunshine smiles and memory triggers. :)

"Because I knew you...I have been changed FOR GOOD!"

Love you much, handsome!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

{March 19, 2013}

March 19, 2103

Dear Kenton,

8 weeks.  Sometimes it feels like you have been gone forever.  We miss you.  A lot.  We still cry nearly every day, but every once in a while, we go a whole day without tears (crying in the shower or the middle of the night doesn't count, right?!).  We talk about you often, lots of memories and remember whens.

People keep telling us how strong we are.  Or that we're amazing. That's probably because they only see us when we have our "game faces" on during the day.  Because we certainly don't feel very strong, and we certainly don't feel amazing.  We are just plugging along day after day trying to adapt, adjust, and heal.

I hate Tuesdays. 

7 weeks ago, on a Tuesday, we had your funeral and laid your mortal remains to rest. 

8 weeks ago, on a Tuesday, was the last time we heard your voice, held your hand, gave you hugs, and were together as an earthly family of 4. 

I know that families are forever.  This is the last family photo we have, taken that last Friday in the hospital - the week after they told us your leukemia and GVHD were untreatable - the day we spent all day playing our favorite games and watching our favorite movies...making forever memories.  We have a pretty great forever family.

I'm so grateful for that knowledge. 

But it doesn't make me hate Tuesdays any less. 
The other night we were watching videos of you and McKayslin - there is that awesome one of you guys being Pinky and Stripey last February.  It made us smile.  We watched the video of you and McKayslin reading "Me First!"  Love that book...haven't been able to read it since you left because it makes me cry. That's your all time favorite book.  I'm so glad you were able to share it with McKayslin before you died.  We watched the video of you singing to McKayslin and I via Skype.  Awesome!  Love your made up songs!!  :)

We have so many memories.  And, gratefully, so few regrets.  We're doing our best to honor our promise to keep up with our family traditions and to do fun things with McKayslin. 

I'd better go.  Time to get the Little Goose woken up and ready for school.  She misses you so much.  We all do.

Love you, handsome!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

{March 17, 2013}

March 17, 2013
Dear Kenton,
8 weeks ago today we brought you home from the hospital.  It was a beautiful welcome home.  Little did we know that 2 days later we'd be telling you good-bye as you stepped so bravely into the next stage of your life.
Sundays are hard.  Watching the deacons pass the sacrament always tugs at my heartstrings because I remember watching you do just that only two times.  You were so excited to become a deacon and receive the priesthood.  The sacrament songs are always the hardest for me to get through because the messages contained are so much more personal now.  We've learned a lot about the Atonement over the past 9 months...and especially over the past 2 months as we've grieved and felt so broken without you here.
Today's hymn was one of your favorites - There is a green hill far away.  It's the one hymn you learned to play before you got sick.  The one you loved to sing. 

There is a line there that has been running through my head all afternoon...and trust in His redeeming blood... When we remember to do that - to turn our pain, our hurt, our sadness over to our Savior, we are able to feel peace and healing.

Mosiah 3:17: And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.

Mosiah 4:6-8. 

Today during ward conference President Acevedo reminded us how important it is to search the scriptures, ponder the scriptures, and how the lessons we need are there if we look for them.  We were in Doctrine and Covenants 138.  I marked these three words: REFLECTING (vs. 2-4), PONDERED (vs. 11), and WONDERED (vs. 28).

And I marked verses 30-35 and 56-59.  Missionary work among the dead.  In my heart I carry a picture of you as a missionary.  I know you're doing amazing things - sharing the gospel as you always have by example and with unrestrained love and conviction. 
We miss you, son.  We're grateful for our 12 1/2 years with you.  We love you.
Forever, for always, and no matter what.