July 17, 2009

Celebrating and Remembering


I’m so excited to have my 100th follower today! Her name is Erin Bassett. She’s got a great blog, creativitE, where she shares all sorts of cool cards & scrapbook pages she’s created, along with some beautiful things using ProvoCraft’s Yudu Screenprinter. Check out her silver chandelier tank top! Join me & follow Erin on Twitter!

I’m not stopping at 100! If you’re looking for some creative inspiration or just enjoy JulieChats, please sign up to be a follower! And THANK YOU to all my current followers! ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and it’s Friday! And Friday’s around here wouldn’t be complete without a stop by Ann’s blog, Ann Again and Again for her Virtual Girls’ Night Out. Join me at the party & meet lot’s of other cool bloggers in this great big blog hop! Fridays wouldn’t be complete without it!

Now, for the remembering…today is the 6th anniversary of the death of a close friend. In 2003, at the age of 34, Dave’s life long best friend, Brent, died of complications following a bone marrow transplant. (The photo is Delaney & Brent on his 34th Birthday.) We had all been so hopeful that the transplant would cure Brent’s Non-Hodkins Lymphoma that his death came as a complete shock. All throughout his 3 year battle against cancer, Brent was the most positive person I had ever known. He was strong and sure that he would beat it in the end. He laughed and made us laugh while he shaved his head, receding hairline & all, hoping that maybe he’d have a full head of hair when it grew back after the chemo. He laughed more when he sent me for Taco Bell during a chemo treatment. Being a guy who didn’t eat much fast food, he figured, “what could it hurt now?” He laughed that the nurses said he was the only chemo patient they had who GAINED weight!

Personally, I think that was because I made him what we called the chemo cake after his treatments, and I’m pretty sure he ate the whole thing! Makes me want to make one today, in Brent’s memory. It’s really called an Earthquake Cake, German Chocolate type “frosting” on the bottom of a chocolate cake filled with big chunks of cream cheesey goodness! I’ll find the recipe & post it soon!

Now, looking back, I think that Brent laughed with us about his cancer because he was comfortable enough with us to laugh about it, but also because he knew that’s what we needed. It had been a tough couple of years for us with many deaths in among our family and friends. Dave’s dad had passed away less than a year before Brent’s diagnosis. And Brent’s dad passed away not too long into his treatment. We all needed to find things to laugh about or we might never stop crying. It wasn’t until Brent’s funeral that a friend of ours (an unmarried guy, like Brent) said in his eulogy something Brent had told him just after he was diagnosed. Brent told him that he was glad that he was the one among all our friends who had cancer. He was thankful that all these guys, who counted him among their very best friends, would not have to worry about leaving their kids without dads or their wives without husbands. Of course this made me cry more, even though I didn’t think that was possible. I’m so thankful that Brent had so many wonderful friends who he could share all the complicated thoughts that someone with cancer must have during all the stages of their illness.

I cry a lot, thinking back about all of this…about how only the pictures remind Delaney of her Godfather, who passed away when she was 2 1/2…about how she learned about death at such a young age…about how Dave must miss his best friend, the best man at our wedding, Delaney’s Godfather, Jake’s namesake. And how Brent would have loved Jakob Brent, in all his screaming, dancing, Terry Bradshaw look-alike glory.

Brent definitely would have had a big laugh at his little guy! I know he’s looking down on us smiling! And right now, he’s telling me, “Hey Jules, go throw away that pile of Kleenexes & get out there and enjoy the great Oregon summer day with those beautiful kids!” …or something like that! ๐Ÿ™‚

Please check out my fundraising page on the Lukemia & Lymphoma Society webpage. The LLS was one of Brent’s favorite charities. He got us involved doing the Light the Night Walk when Delaney was only 18 months old. It’s a great event, everyone walking in cities all over the country with red glowing balloons. The cancer survivors carry white glowing balloons, which bob up & down among a sea of red balloons, surrounding them with all the people who love & support them. Donate to the charity on my page or sign up for the Light the Night Walk in your area & do some fundraising of your own!

I know this post has been a pretty sad one, but I hope helping someone with cancer will make you feel much better & hopeful today! You might find some of this post on my page, along with a photo of Brent. Enjoy your weekend & take a moment to think about how someone with cancer has touched your life!

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Comments

  1. I’m already a follower, or I’d follow you again. Thanks for the lovely comment on my blog. (((hugs)))

  2. Now you’ve got 101!

    Stopping by for VGNO! Hope you have a great weekend!

    Be sure to stop by both:

    http://lolasdiner.blogspot.com
    http://firecrotchrocket.blogspot.com

  3. That is a sad occasion to remember – but it is important to share these stories as someone else may see and prompt them into action.

    Congrats on getting to 100. I’m almost there – I’ve 95! LOL.

  4. Happy VGNO! Just found your blog, and I’ll be following! My uncle died two weeks ago, after a hard battle against cancer, and yesterday an aunt of mine died from a tumor in her brain. Sad things happen all around us, but we have hope in seeing our loved ones in heaven. God bless, hugs, Brenda

  5. Hi Julie.
    What a wonderful post!

    Have a great VGNO!!
    http://iamharriet.blogspot.com/2009/07/its-time-to-dream-on-vgno.html

  6. I have been enjoying your blog for some time but I would definitely refer others to you.

    Cancer has taken many family members from me. I have tried for years to give what I can to help support cancer organizations. I pray that they will some day find a cure and this horrible disease will no longer take a life.

    I want to tell you that I am a Spirit Jumper. It’s an organization that sends cards and gifts to those suffering from cancer and other debilitating diseases, with the basic idea of “Brightening their Days”. For many, their lives are short, so we strive to make them better. If you’d like to visit: http://www.spiritjump.org

    Happy VGNO

  7. Your friend sounds like he was a great guy and greatly missed.

    Ann asked what our weirdest dream was- I think mine was one with my uncle & brother in it (they are both deceased). It was SO real it was weird. They let me know they were ok!

    Happy VGNO!

  8. i’m doing relay for life this year in remembrance of my grandmother. it’s amazing and sad how wide spread cancer has become L( i hope you have a good weekend.

  9. I’m sorry to hear of your friend’s loss. But, I’m excited for you to have reached the big 100!!! Yay!

    Happy VGNO!

  10. Like Opus said, I’m already a follower, or I’d follow you again! ๐Ÿ™‚

    So sorry about the loss of your friend…he sounds like he was an amazing guy. ((HUGZ!))

    Happy VGNO! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Follower #103!!!!

    That was a lovely post you wrote about your husband’s best friend. What a great way to remember a great life.

  12. Awww! Bless your heart! Happy VGNO ๐Ÿ™‚ I will follow you too ๐Ÿ™‚ and I went to your 100th followers pagea and commented on her post and I am following her on twitter to now ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Just treasure the memories you have as no one else ever could…and when you look back cry tears of joy that you knew him!

  14. Thanks for the mention in your post! So happy to be following you. ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. It’s sad to when one so young dies of cancer.

    I’m number 105! Thanks for following me, now I just need one more for 50!

  16. Grabbing your button, Julie. I don’t know how I missed that. Thanks so much for putting mine up.

  17. Julie,

    I had to come back and let you know that you are the winner of the Lone Wolf Media Cowgirl Art mug from “Relax and Enjoy….”
    Yay! Congratulations!
    Please e-mail your information to me and I will get it sent out:

    ubrewme@yahoo.com

  18. Thanks so much Gena! I’m so excited to win! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. yeah for 100th follower! I remember when I hit 100-its great!

  20. Hi! I came from MBC Followers club…
    I’m a lil late for your 100th follower…lol I love scrapbooking too! Well I haven’t done any work for a long time…
    Visit me @ http://rollinmama.blogspot.com/
    Thx!

  21. It’s wonderful to see someone who has suffered a loss choose to celebrate a life in a positive way. I can tell you loved your friend very much. And I can tell he loved all of you, too.

  22. I have given you a blog award, come on by the cafe to pick it up ๐Ÿ™‚
    T.

  23. congrats on the 100th follower…very exciting!

    have a lovely weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ happy vgno!!

  24. im a new follower from 100 club… love your blog natalee http://totmama.blogspot.com/