It's almost surreal to remember that Thanksgiving Day. Friends from church brought our Thanksgiving Dinner in stages..............
Nick watched the Titans play one last game, and he was well enough to bet Erich $2.50 that his team would win..................
And they did!
Nick had a rough episode right after the game ended that afternoon, and he never woke back up. He went home two days later on the 29th of November surrounded by all of his brothers, one of his best friends, his sister, Tim, and me, and nearly 30 people from our community.
The room was full of love as we cried and said our "see you soon's"
Nick began humming right before he passed away and the room felt so full of energy that I truly believe it was packed with angels and that Nick was singing as he left with Jesus.
I'm thankful for that memory as we enter this Thanksgiving week.
We miss Nick so much, but we wouldn't trade our pain for a life that never had him as our son.
We began Nick's foundation within hours of our temporary good-bye, and our first donation came in an envelope at church. In it was $2 folded up into a very small square wrapped around 2 quarter............ a total of $2.50. At first I thought it was from a child who was a friend of Nick's, and then I remembered Erich's bet on Thanksgiving Day. I knew right that minute that Erich was "paying up."
Thank you for sharing life with us as we strive to help others who are hurting.
Within the next two weeks, five beautiful swings with arbors will be added to the KCU campus. Please take a walk sometime and enjoy a few minutes in one of the swings if you are ever in the Grayson area!!
I will take pictures after the swings have been placed in their special locations.
Memory boxes are mailed out so often that we are in need of more supplies. We will be ordering 50 more copies of each book contained in the memory boxes in the next few months. Windchimes will be ordered as well. We are thankful for the donations that we receive. They allow us to continue the ministry of reaching families who are brokenhearted.
I am always happy to come and speak at women's events and share about the work of the foundation, so please let me know if you are ever interested or in need of a speaker. I consider it an honor to continue Nick's legacy and share the love of God at the same time.
Chosen for a painful road yet trying to embrace it with passion and purpose, Tammy
Nick's foundation, though not involved in a huge activity at the moment, continues to reach out and comfort the grieving.
This aspect of the foundation seems to have moved to the forefront over the past few months, sending many memory boxes across the US and occasionally allowing us to order a thumb-print necklace for parents in our area who lose a child.
Big events seem more difficult for me to muster the energy for these days. It is almost as if I am frozen in my mind when I begin to think of all that an event would entail. We are planning "A Night to Remember" as our next big event............the date has not been set.
Thank you for every prayer for the work of the foundation.
2010 has started out a little slow in energy as far as the foundation goes, but I believe that God has called us to "be still" and "refocus" a bit as we venture into the future.
Tim and I have entered a new chapter in our grief.
Reality sinks in a little more each day and honestly, we have found ourselves drawing nearer and nearer to God and having more moments of simply being quiet.
Last year, I worked on Nick's foundation night and day. I think that for me it was a way of coping with the loss of Nick and all that went with him............24/7 care giving, so many different medicines, never sleeping very deeply, etc. This year I am tired. I find myself falling asleep earlier and sleeping more soundly. I am thankful for that part of life right now, but the pain of losing Nick has intensified as winter has begun changing into spring so I stay in the Word and God's promises for my daily strength.
I am writing today to let you know that even though not many things have been shared about the foundation lately, we do continue to mail out memory boxes when families lost children and deliver baskets when kids are sick. We are still trying to raise the needed funds for the orphanage in India so that they can build their new facility. I speak at ladies' events any time I am asked, because I feel that God has placed in my heart the desire to encourage women in their walk with the Lord.
I just wanted you all to know that we are still here. Reaching out with the love of God to hurting families.
I will update soon with all of the things the foundation accomplished last year.
I will also share our dreams for 2010.
Thank you for every prayer, for every act of kindness, for every act of love.
Our family would not be where we are today without all of you who share in this ministry with us. As I type this, Nick's wind chime outside has begun to chime so loudly out of nowhere. I just know he is so happy to be a legacy. And even happier to be safely waiting in a Glorious Home!!!!
We miss him so much our hearts just ache and yet the peace God has given truly does transcend human understanding.
At the age of 7, Nick was diagnosed with a Grade III ependymoma brain tumor. After successful surgery, 6 weeks of daily radiation, and mild chemo, Nick enjoyed four years of normal life. He went to school, played football and basketball, and was an active part of our church youth group. At the age of 11, Nick had a recurrence which resulted in another surgery, 6 more weeks of radiation, and five months of aggressive chemo. Unfortunately, the cancer was relentless. Nick endured four more recurrences in the next two and a half years with brief periods of "normal, happy" life in between surgeries. We tried special diets, herbal treatments, and many other alternative medicines along the way, but in August of 2008, Nick's cancer returned with a vengence spreading throughout his body and eventually taking him home to His Heavenly Father. Not once in the 6 and 1/2 year battle did Nick question his illness or complain of the unfairness he was enduring. Not once did Nick become angry. His peace throughout the battle is a living testimony to the power of God. We pray that his foundation will in some small way return the peace and hope which Nick gave us to the world around us.