Love of my Life

Love of my Life
Happy moments... Praise God. Difficult moments... seek God. Quiet painful moments... Trust God. Every moment... Thank God.

July 29, 2010

What I Learn From Lindsey

Sunday was a sleeping day for Lindsey. Other than mealtimes, she spent the entire day in bed. Maybe she was recovering from Saturday... We spent a couple of hours by the pool, then napped, went to dinner in P-hill at our favorite little mexi place, then Megan and Erin stopped by for a visit. While she was eating today, I read the following note that arrived in the mail ......

Dear Lindsey, I think about you a lot. I wrote this little note for you so you will know what a special woman you are.

What I Learn from Lindsey

I learn courage:
You started college at the same time as the other kids from your high school class. As they began to graduate, you still struggled. You kept at it though. You persevered. How hard that must have been for you. How courageous you are.

Sometimes I find myself wanting to give up. Then I think of you. There are things I want to do, but I think how hard it is. Then I think of you. And I can't give up. Because you are brave. You make me want to be better. You make me not afraid.

I learn joy:
When you made your bucket list with your grandpa, you put simple activities on your list. No solitary aggrandizing stunts. No "climbing Mount Everest", no "bungee jump down the Grand Canyon." You wanted those things that not only would make you happy, but would make those around you happy. How many bucket lists have on them seeing the people in your life being happy? Most bucket lists are for glory or selfishness; not yours. Yours is joy.

And the pleasure you find in eating ice cream! And you use all the toppings available. Isn't that what God wants for his children? Jesus said, "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." That is you, Lindsey. Abundance. Abundant joy in ice cream. Abundant joy in life.

I learned from you to pile on all the toppings. To rejoice greatly in the simple things. That true joy is sharing.

I learn faith:
You may get mad at God - that's OK. God understands and can take it. But you always come back to God. Your blog glorifies God. You take comfort in God's great love for you. No one who talks to you for even a few moments doubts that you have a strong love for your Lord and Savior. Because Jesus is your Lord and Savior. That is how you live.

I see how you praise God, how you seek God, how you trust God, how you thank God. I long for a faith like yours.

I learn love:
I love your giving spirit. How you are quick to hug. How you love your grandparents. You give love and love multiplies. I love how you and Greg wanted to be married, to experience a life together even with the great challenge you both knew was ahead for you. You Lindsey, make my heart swell with love for everyone. Sometimes my heart feels like a heart of stone. Sometimes I am downed by perceived insults and hurts. Then I remember you and my heart softens.

You are my hero.

Just a reminder, that if you want Lace-Up for Lindz t-shirts, I need your order by Wednesday, August 4th!

July 28, 2010 it exists today

If you knew Lindsey prior to the return of her tumor, you know that she was always on the go. Be it doing something for school, or for work, or for friends, she always had a task that needed accomplished and she was on top of it.

Life as it exists today is different. There's no more going and the doing consists of moving from room to room, working on puzzles, playing a game, relaxing in the pool, coloring, watching TV, listening to me read to her, visiting with friends, or sleeping. This weekend she felt like getting out so we've started using the wheelchair as her right side is getting weaker and walking is more of a challenge. The wheelchair has been great. I think her friends may be a little shocked to see her in a wheelchair... that's where we are now and we are absolutely making the best of it. Lindsey enjoyed wheeling around Summit Woods on Sunday. Of course she continues to enjoy a trip to Starbucks and an outting for ice cream. At Dicks Sporting Goods she picked out running shorts for Hannah and I to wear in the Head for the Cure race.

Regarding the 5k, you can sign-up or make a donation to team "Lace-up for Lindz" by visiting website. We currently have 71 people signed up!

If you can't race but would like to purchase a "Lace up for Lindz" tshirt for $15, please email me at, with your size, along with the design you'd like on the front. Option 1 is the high-top shoe; Option 2 - the tennis shoe. The other design shown in this post is the back of the shirt. Both shirts will be purple. . The t-shirts are available in adult sizes Small - 5XL. Youth sizes are also available. Proceeds from the shirts will go towards fund-raising efforts. (If you are signed up to race, the t-shirts are only $5.) When you email me, I'll provide the address you can send a check to (sorry.. I'm a little skittish about posting my address on the blog.) T-shirt orders need to be placed by August 4.

Also, please join me thanking our artists who contributed the artwork for the t-shirts. Chris MeaD designed the hightop shoe; McKenzie Marston designed the tennis shoe and the back of the t-shirt. MSM Promotions is donating the tshirts.
Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers!

July 23, 2010

Lasting impressions

The Lees Summit School district is full of teachers that make lasting impressions on students. Teachers who are effective at teaching the skills AND at the same time care about students. Over the past few weeks, Lindsey has received a card in the mail with a couple of puzzle pieces, from one these teachers. Lindsey has been putting the puzzle together, and the last two pieces arrived today. A photo of the puzzle is pictured, both the front, and the back. Check out the back... the quotes are so very true.

B. Green, you were there when the first tumor showed its ugly face 11 years ago. You continue to be there now. Lindsey loves you. You inspired her and demonstrated that yes a teacher can be both a teacher and a friend.
The steriods are giving Lindsey beautiful full cheeks, as you can see in the photo above. Tonight she felt up to heading out to dinner at 54th street and for a little Jamica Jam in downtown Lee's Summit. It must of been the manicure and pedicure that Shelley and Rene gave her today... just that little boost she needed to experience something other than the house.

July 15, 2010

Knowing Lindsey

The following story is an excert from an email received from one of the Head for the Cure participants. This person signed up, stated that she is proud to walk in honor of Lindsey, and proceeded to tell me how she knows Lindsey. While I've left the names out of the story, I sincerely hope the individual is okay with me sharing. This story made my day. It was the good that I found in the day and it made me very proud. I particularly enjoyed the smile I saw from
Lindsey when I shared the message with her.

I wanted to share with you how I know Lindsey. I first met Lindsey about three years ago when she was a camp counselor for my son at Camp Summit. The following year, she was his camp counselor again. I loved that Lindsey was there to look out for my son. He has ADHD, which can sometimes bring a few challenges. Lindsey was always so patient with him. At the end of the day, I looked forward to talking with her and getting an update on his behavior for the day. She was always so positive and even on those days when he may have been a little challenging, she was optimistic and never made it out to be so bad.

I have continued through the years to periodically see Lindsey at HyVee. She always remembered my son by name and greeted me with a smile and a "Hi, Mrs. XXX." I was very saddened in late February/early March to see the flyer posted at HyVee about the fundraiser being held for Lindsey.

I should also mention that I work at the University of Central Missouri and was pleasantly surprised about a year ago to see Lindsey one day on campus at a guest lecture about head injuries. We talked for a bit and she shared with me that she had overcame a brain tumor at age 13. She shared some of the struggles that she had in working towards a college degree, but stated her determination to make it through. I was thrilled and so proud to see Lindsey walk across the stage at our May Commencement to receive her college diploma. A few weeks later I saw Lindsey at Hyvee passing out sales ads to customers. I approached her and gave her a big hug. We talked for a few minutes.

I just want you to know how deeply Lindsey has touched my heart. When I think of Lindsey, I think of a beautiful young woman who is incredibly strong, who is kind and friendly, and who wears a bright smile. I wanted you to know how special Lindsey is to us and that we pray for her and for your family in this very difficult time. Again, I am proud to walk in honor of Lindsey on August 29 and look forward to meeting you both.

Regarding Lindsey... tonight Todd treated Lindsey to an outing to downtown Pleasant Hill to try out the new ice cream shop - Moore's Ice Cream. We loved the simplicity of the store which is reflective of the simplicity of the city. No frills. Just good ice cream, great people, friends laughing, a couple and their new baby enjoying a evening out. It appeared that it's a family run shop as Mom and Dad, and 3-4 siblings (all below the age of 10 I believe) all had matching "Moore" Ice Cream shirts on. The littlest one was sound asleep in the stroller. Todd with his Banana Shake, Lindsey with her Extreme Butterscotch... me sitting in between listening to the slurps. The evening was almost perfect. Perfect would be Bob and Hannah with us, and Lindsey in good health. While we continue to pray for healing, the presence of God's grace is felt daily. Through friends, through family, and the blessing of a simple night out with those that we love.

Thank you for your continued prayers, cards, and support. It does make a difference.

July 09, 2010

Before the Morning - One of Lindsey's Fav Songs

Before the Morning is a song by Josh Wilson. This is a song Lindsey enjoys listening to. The phrase on the back of the "Lace up for Lindz" shirt comes from this song - Fight the good fight."

To watch Josh Wilson's Youtube of this song, go to this link:

Here's a few of the song lyrics.

Do you wonder why you have to feel the things that hurt you

If there's a God who love s you, where is he now

Maybe there are things you can't see

and all those things are happening to bring a better ending

someday somehow you'll see, you'll see.

Would you dare, would you dare to believe

that you still have a reason to sing

cause the pain that you've been feeling

It can't compare to the joy that's coming

so hold on you gotta wait for the light

press on and just fight the good fight

Cause the pain that you've been feeling

it's just the dark before the morning

The weekend was good. We spent time with friends and family.

The definition of good is relative. For Todd, I'm sure he would say his weekend was good because he spent Saturday evening in Columbia, MO celebrating a friend's 21st birthday. For Hannah, she'd say it was good because she is learning to wakeboard and she stayed up on the board longer than before and she likes hanging out with the people who are teaching her. For Lindsey, I'm sure she would say none of this good. She would say a mistake has been made and she wants her life back.

We are making the best of a bad situation.

Lindsey didn't feel like getting out Friday evening, or Saturday for coffee, or Sunday for church. College friends from LSCC came over Saturday for a little pool party. Relatives from Denver came over for dinner on Sunday. We enjoyed turkey burgers, buffalo burgers, fresh beets from the LS Farmers Market, and topped off the evening with peach pie from the Amish. Charles, if you're reading this, you were right about the last piece of pie... Lindsey asked for it right after you left. :o)

While Lindsey is very quiet, she does enjoy visitors. Please let us know if you'd like to stop by.

July 08, 2010

At least we have Each other.

As a younger sister, I never once expected that one day I would be staying home to watch over my older sister when it has been the opposite for the last 19 years. I now watch my older sister, the one that used to pick me up from elementary school and take me shopping, as this horrific tumor continues to invade her brain and degrade her more and more each day. On a daily basis, she is in bed for the entirety of the day besides maybe an hour or two; she gets up to do what she has to and returns to resting. It is always hard for me to “correctly” answer people when they ask how she is doing, because if anyone in our family ever says “good,” we’re lying. Plain and simple.

But keep in mind our ideas of good days are very relative and change often. The tumor has not yet affected any of Lindsey’s internal organ systems (other than her brain, obviously), so she is still healthy for the most part internally. Her right side is continuing to weaken; her right lower leg is numb to feeling and the right side of her face is beginning to droop and lose function. The most obvious effect of the cancer now is her speech; the Lindsey that we could once never get to stop talking now barely talks at all. She won’t start a conversation or begin to speak by herself, but can usually answer questions, as long as we phrase them so she can answer with “yes” or “no” or just give her a couple of options that she can easily repeat back. When she is awake, she sits and watches movies or just sits and is simply there. We look at her and don’t see the Lindsey we knew before this tumor. I see my sister, trapped with a brain that can’t function correctly. I know she has things to say and ideas in her head; she just has no idea how to make her brain tell her how to say them. It’s extremely difficult watching this take over her. I wish this was a nightmare that I could wake up from.

As hard as it is for me to lose my sister, it is almost just as hard for me to watch my parents lose their first-born daughter. I’ve always heard there is no greater pain than losing a child, and I hate the fact that my parents are already facing that pain and will be for a very long time. I hate seeing my Mom cry night and night and knowing that I can do nothing to ease the pain. I hate seeing my Dad struggle to stay strong and struggle with his faith on a daily basis. There is one question we all have, that we know will never be answered: Why Lindsey?

I know the next month may be very difficult for me, as I move back to Texas on August 8th. I need to spend extra time with my sister and take advantage of the place she is in now, because she will only continue to worsen. I have no idea what the next semester will hold for me. I may be coming home often to see her and spend time with my family; and unfortunately, I may lose my sister. I’m very fearful for the phone call that will one day come and my Mom will tell me that the end is near and I need to come home. I’m fearful because I know that each time I see Lindsey, I will recognize her less and less as the girl I’ve always known. I’m thankful that I know my close friends at school and home will support me and do whatever it takes to help me through this. I’m thankful for an amazing extended family that will stay close to us through everything. I continue to tell myself, at least we still have each other. And I’m thankful to Grandma Jackson who calls just to tell me she loves me.

July 05, 2010

Head for the Cure 5k - August 29

Team - "Lace-Up for Lindz" is growing with approximately 35 participants so far. Even if you can't walk in the race, you can make a donation to the team. Visit the website (the website is a little challenging to navigate.. I've provided them feedback.. but if you work at it you'll figure it out.)

If you're walking/running in the race you'll have an opportunity to purchase Lace-Up for Lindz t-shirts for $5. If you can't participate, but would like a t-shirt, you can purchase for $15. Deadline for orders will be August 5, 2010. Included in this post is the "draft" shirts... there will be two options to pick from for the front. The back of the shirt will be the same.
You will also have the option of purchasing a bracelet. A bracelet which represents how we're feeling about this awful illness that has attacked Lindsey. One side says "hope", as we pray and hope that a cure will be found. The other side represents how we feel. (photo attached). Yes, it's crude. Cancer is crude. Bracelets can be purchased for $2. (fyi.. Gray is the color for Brain Cancer)

Once the t-shirts are finalized, I'll create order forms for interested parties to complete and send to me. The t-shirts will be purple!
Thank you to MSW Promo for donating the shirts! The $5 will cover the cost of the screen print. Also a big thanks to Chris MeaD and McKenzie Marston for the t-shirt designs!