Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter...and an anniversary!

It's been just over a year now since Jacob was diagnosed with cancer.  So much has happened, so much in our lives has changed and there's so much of the story that has not yet been written.  ...and there's so much to be thankful for.  I hope to be able to fill in the spaces from the weeks and months when I didn't have time to write so the story of his journey will be complete.  But that will have to happen gradually and it will come in chunks of time when I can go back and relive those memories so they can be recorded for him.  There's so much that he doesn't even remember. I had thought that at 13 and 14 years old, he would remember everything, but there are times that he has no memory of whatsoever so I am determined to write about everything he went through.

The infamous day of April 8th has come and gone with it's anniversary of the worst day of our lives.  As the days approached closer to the 8th, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel that day.  I had been dreading it all year.  How would I feel on the anniversary of his cancer diagnosis? Would all those emotions come rushing back to me? Would I crumble and relive that day all over again?  Or, would I be able to celebrate with him as I wanted to and just be so overcome with gratitude that here it is a year later and he's still with us, a survivor!  This year, April 8th was Easter Sunday.  On Friday, the sixth is when I really felt the memories of his diagnosis because it was a Friday last year when we went to the hospital with all those unexplainable symptoms and after a full day of testing and discussions with doctors that we were told he had Leukemia and our world came crashing down around us.  On this friday, one year later, I realized this was the Friday before Easter...Good friday.  And then, the reality of the significance and the reminder of everything embraced me.   I never felt more love for my Savior than I have this year.  For going to the cross and giving His life for us only to show us that He still lives and we can also live forever.  It is this knowledge that carried me through the last year.  Knowing that He had Jacob's life in His loving hands and that he was right beside him every day while Jacob endured the toughest trial of his life.  There were times that I felt him so close, I thought I could almost touch Him.  I know that's not possible, but felt that way. His presence was so incredibly real and He comforted me, He blessed Jacob and He strengthened him.  Our Savior not only loves us, but he has felt every pain and endured even greater suffering than we are capable of enduring in our lives.  He knows.  He understands.  And, He was there with Jacob and carried him through this, lifted him and gave him back to us to keep.  I am so overwhelmed with gratitude every day that our Jacob got to stay.

This Easter Sunday was probably the most significant Easter I have ever had, and yet we honored the day in very simple ways.  No Easter bunnies, no egg hunting, no candy...we just went to church together as a family and spent the day together.  Almost normal, except Jacob wasn't able to go to church yet.  He's not allowed in church or school until he has his own immune system back.  So we went to church without him again. But, after church, Noelle and Ryan came over to visit and we had a dinner together.  After dinner we went over to the High School field and hit a few golf balls and played frisbee.  It was wonderful! Just a simple game of frisbee on the grass but it meant so much to me and to all of us.  For brief moments, we could just be silly and laugh and smile ...and forget.   That's how we celebrated his anniversary of cancer diagnosis.  We just had a regular day on a Sunday, we remembered our Savior and all that He did and we celebrated by just living the life that He gave us.  I can't think of a better way to spend that day...cancer free.

When the sun went down and we went home, we loaded the pictures and sat around the computer laughing until our cheeks and stomachs were sore.  I'm sure I haven't laughed so hard all year.  We made up stories for  a bunch of the shots and laughed our hearts out zooming in on everyone's facial expressions.  Check out these pictures from our day and be sure to double click each one to get a close up.

Go long!

Noelle caught that frisbee by ringing it around both hands! 

And then Ryan caught it one handed. 

Looks like Joey gave him a big shove...and Ryan took off flying! 

Somehow I can't help but wonder if Joshua was going for the catch or just doing a cheer for the great catch Caleb made.  ..."gimme a C!"

Uhhh, not sure what to say about this Noelle.  I think we missed your talent, You and Joey belong in the ballet. 

Noelle was taking this fun game a little playing around here.  

And, we think Jacob was trying to prove that Sasquatch really does exist by making an appearance behind our game.  Ya, and who would have guessed Big Foot could play frisbee? 

 Caleb and Joshua high jump for the catch!  Almost looks like Joshua's got a shot at it!
 Caleb won.

Noelle using her bum to shove Joey out of the way....haha.
 Are you two practicing those ballet moves again?
 Josh is joining in the dance now with some air-boxing moves and Caleb just can't seem to figure out if this is frisbee or dance, make up your minds guys!
 Good catch, Joey.  ...Jacob, your arms aren't quite long enough...gotta take a few steps.

 We laughed so hard at this shot.  We decided that a bomb went off in the lower left side of the frame and Joey & Joshua are being blasted backwards while Noelle & Jericho scream, broootherssss!!!!  And Dad just stands by in shock.  ...can you see it?  Zoom in on Joshua's face and you'll see what we're talking about. hahaha

 We were all stunned when Ryan got ahold of a bunch of imaginary balloons and began to drift up into the sky! Noelle is stunned as her husband flies away as Josh and Caleb hurried into position to catch him in case the baloons popped and he'd come falling down.
 I'm open!! Toss it to me guys!  ...over here!