Monday, September 3, 2012


I know. I know. I know. It's the last night of summer and my baby, my Gideon, is starting Kindergarden TOMORROW. I should be bawling my eyes out due to the fact that my tiny boy is being unleashed into this world known as growing up and attending ALL DAY school. I should be gazing at him in his bed while tears fall silently as I say again and again, "Where has the time gone?" But, here I am with tears of concentrated thankfulness. I remember when Gideon's heartbeat was slowing waaaay down, when the chemo was doing horrendous things to his brain, when I clutched his three-year-old hand and begged God to fill him with more-more-more light of life. I remember in that moment wanting to see him survive one more day. One more week. Just more time on this planet, is all I wanted. Now, here he is: a big boy Kindergardener, and I am guzzling down a soul-float. (This is like a root beer float, only my heart and soul is just breathing in the air around me and it is giving me the same jolt of happiness as the ice cream snack.)

He is doing so well, everyone. He recently had the EXACT same reaction to his chemo as waaaay back when during the "Clear poop" incident, but it was strange how I was all, "Oh, yeah. I remember this" about the situation. You blog readers since the beginning remember it too, I am sure. I'll spare the details this time. His numbers are doing well, he is still struggling with his internal issues due to the longtime chemo usage, but we are battling back with Prevacid. He is also currently obsessed with Chinese food during steroid time. You should see this boy with a set of chopsticks at three in the's baffling the dexterity he has while managing rice granules at such an hour.

Brody is just growing in incredible ways, too. He smiles more. He understands how he can contribute and help those around him. He is just too fun, and his dry-witty sense of humor makes me guffaw sometimes. Really, I never knew a first grader better at the side-long-adult-look of sarcasm. He is still more grown-up than I am.

My classroom is smack-dab in the middle of my boys, and I can't tell you how wonderful that truly is going to be. Life this year is sure to be amazing, I know it. Gideon says he thinks Mr. Wheaton made a perfect choice in choosing his teacher since she "loves to cuddle" just like him! Move over, Mattawan...You've got a lover headed your way. Hopefully he'll take breaks in hugging to do math, learn to read, you know...that stuff.

Now I am looking up to God and saying, "You knew all along where I would be...where my boys would be, and we are all headed to where we are supposed to be." I feel that. I feel this release of wow at all of the life changes that have occurred for us, and how this spot we are in at this instant is where we are meant to be. I'm going to run with it. Or just breathe it like it's ice cream. Yeah, ice cream sounds better than running.

Gideon is now obsessed over the idea of "healing people" and being a doctor. I see it. His nature/science smarts are there, and if all of this poking and prodding he has had to endure brings him to that profession, that would be a blessing to those patients. Empathy? Yes. He would have it. His imagination and the way he is naturally outside of the box will help him find a cure for cancer. I know it.

Speaking of a cure, September is CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS month. Mattawan is hosting the kickball tournament again to raise money for CureSearch, and I am out on the prowl looking for a sponsor(s) for the event. I'll keep you posted.

With all that I am grateful for, I heard a song tonight that just set me off into my tears. A family has been heavy on my heart, a kid-cancer family. I adore them and they are faced with choices no parent should be forced to make. It makes my insides roll. It makes me feel like all of it is NOT fair and that MORE needs to be done. "I'll Stand By You" by The Pretenders came on and I puddled to the floor. I am thankful for these friendships, for these families who get it. I want more people on the outskirts to step in and become active in the fight. I want all of Mattawan, Kalamazoo, Michigan, the nation to rally around this family and so many like them this month and beyond to become advocates so that there are more options for these little ones.

Decorate your car with gold ribbons. Your Facebook page. Volunteer your time for the kickball tournament. Donate something to the Silent Auction. Donate to the cause. Seriously, if you feel moved to do something, here is my invitation to move: email me. I promise to offer a cornucopia of ways you can make a difference this month, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.


  1. CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS! HOOOOO-RAAAAAH! I am right there with you. I will donate my time to the kickball tournament! I will email you.

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed this post, Amanda. THANK YOU! My heart overflows with love for you and your boys. Overflows. XX Jenelle

  3. Your uncle and cousin won't let me put gold ribbons on the car... but you and this cause are in my heart and my thoughts. I wish I could do more - I wish I could fund a research project, or donate a wing on a hospital, or do BIG things, but I will settle for what I can do now. I will post on my facebook and LiveJournal to remind everyone that it is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

    We love & miss you all!!!
    ~~Aunt Nancy~~