KC Zoo Tiger Donation

To help fulfill Mason's dream and help the Tigers:
KC Zoo Attn Laura Berger "In Memory of Mason Kempf" 6800 Zoo Dr Kansas City, MO 64132

For the beauty of Snow and Magic on Christmas :
Elves of Christmas Present PO Box 3535
Olathe, KS 66063

Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking ahead

2012- we are ready to Make a Difference!! 
 Every day of every month we are always thinking of ways to make a  difference.  Here are some events in 2012 we'd love to share with you.  It's easy to remember as the months spell M, A, S, O, N.
M- March (the end of March we'll plant a tree in memory of Mason-maybe 9?)
A- April (garage sale fundraiser TBA)  August  (August 26 Head for Cure 5K at Corporate Woods)  We would love to have you join the 2012 Make a Difference for Mason team; as a volunteer or participant.   We will let you know when registration is available.
S- September is Childhood Cancer Awareness-We are planning! ( Sept 15 Zoo Run-Fingers crossed its for the Tiger!!
O-  October 13- Jared Coones Memorial Pumpkin Run  http://www.pumpkinrunwalk.org/
N- November thru December Seasons of Wishes for Make-a-Wish®

These are just a few events we are looking forward to in 2012.  We will keep you updated at Make a Difference for Mason Facebook page.    We'd love to have you join us at any of these events.  We also hope to have T-shirts available again.  Thanks so much for your support.  
Nothing brings a bigger smile then green balloons in the above picture; or to hear friends  start their own fundraisers in memory of Mason.  One for St. Jude and another for the Tiger.
It means so much to see how Mason continues to impact other lives.  

Maverick is also excited about the new year, he is even thinking of new Wiscurzoos designs.  He is also looking forward to shoveling driveways, mowing lawns, etc.  And when spring arrives its  fishing, and playing baseball; who knows with his energy what he will think of next.   I am so very proud of him.  

Allyson is already talking about kindergarten next year and splashing at the pool this summer.  And she already thinks 15 is o.k to marry.  This does not scare me too much, she thinks I am 15.   

Today we are going to the Zoo; the first animal to visit starts with a T. 

To be honest, I have mixed emotions about New Year's Eve.  First of all Eddie and I never have gone out on New Year's.  We have always stayed at home and played board games, watched home videos and reminisced with the kids.  This year we will be home but it won't be the same. There is a sinking in our hearts that time will never heal. But we move ahead always remembering and sharing.
After typing the above list, my heart smiles knowing 2012 we continue to make a difference.  Our lives forever changed.    Live, Laugh, Love for Mason.  

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Thank you!!!  Our hearts are filled with thanks.  As 2012 approaches we want to send YOU a Special thanks!! We are beyond AMAZED at the support for the  Make-a-Wish ® fundraiser in memory of Mason.    It's hard to believe how far we've come since the start in August.  From Wiscurzoos, Christmas lights, Wishing well visits, and eating at Red Robin.    Thank you for brightening our holidays.    We move forward carrying HOPE and LOVE in 2012.   With only 3 more days to view the lights, our hearts are smiling as we approach our GOAL!   May the force be with you.  January 6;  we announce the total!   Thank  YOU!!!  Thank you for ALL the support in 2011 as we reflect, my heart is overwhelmed with emotions and thanks.  We have everlasting memories because of you.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I know what Maverick will be doing today!!  Thank you so much for the orders.  He has two tubs of Wiscurzoos ready for new homes.  Please email makx2@everestkc.net  if you are interested in purchasing a Wiscurzoo.  Donations for Make-a-Wish® foundation are due by January 6.  Maverick will be continuing making Wiscurzoos through 2012!  Maverick also accepts donations of material, or Poly-Fil stuffing which keeps Wiscurzoo costs low. 
Thank you.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!  We miss you Mason, we missed the extra laughter and your smiles today. Ally was surprised there was no snow today, you have melted our hearts forever.  We released a green balloon from the fire department today, I had a dream it flew straight to you.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sew in love with Wiscurzoos

Unbelievable!!   Those Wiscurzoos sure bring magic to our household.  Maverick had the sewing machine working double time yesterday.  He wanted so badly to break $2000; with only 9 more Wiscurzoos! He sold 11!!!  So proud of him, he is thinking of all sorts of ways to keep the spirit going.  Thank you everyone that has supported  our family this season.  From donated material and stuffing, to tiger stamps on Christmas cards from the wishing well to wiscurzoos; we love you!! Thanks to all of you and may all those Wiscurzoos spread love and happiness.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Reasons to Smile

Good Morning.  It's hard to sleep, there is unexplainable joy inside my heart.  It's been there awhile, as we concentrate on the good.  Yesterday, the Chiefs played an incredible game, however it could not compare to the game in our own neighborhood.   Eddie and the neighborhood kids played their own football game, even Ally chased the ball.   I raked a few leaves feeling so thankful for the laughter and cheers.  It was a beautiful weekend; we even went on a bike ride. Maverick still beams with the pride from Wiscurzoos, and he has no plans to stop.  Mimi and Papa arrived home from their 10 day vacation. We were so very happy to see them.  With a great big smile Ally said, "Papa you are so much fun." And at night it is so much fun to see all the visitors at the Wishing well and cars stopped enjoying the lights.  Eddie is working hard to add Away in the Manger, which Ally can sing so beautifully. There are so many reasons we are thankful. These are the reasons to smile as we spend time with family and friends.  We miss Mason, but he is right here with us.   As Maverick tries to beat his video game scores.  We smile and reminisce.  We carry on not in sadness this Christmas, but with love, and laughter just as he would have wanted.  The flashbacks and reminders are sometimes painful, but they keep his memory alive. I believe in Joy at Christmas and all year.  I believe, Mason is the reason there is extra joy in our hearts.  Our hearts have grown in each other and all those that surround, thanks again.  Merry Christmas to you, our family.

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's Friday!!

Happy Friday everyone.  Eddie added a new song to the Christmas lights for tonight.  Celine Dion's The Magic of Christmas will play every hour.  Maverick is still excited to be sewing Wiscurzoos.  He has collected $1898.00 for Make-a-Wish just in Wiscurzoo sales.  I'd say there is definitely some Christmas  magic in Wiscurzoos.  He plans to keep making them, who knows where they will travel next.
There are so many times our hearts stop and weep, but God has continued to lift us up this Christmas with the love of family and friends.  Thank you.  I also had to share this beautiful photo my cousin posted on Facebook this morning.  It made me smile.
 With only 9 more days til Christmas, Mason stays close by my side, first I found something new that is sure to add extra laughter to the rest of our season. Mason, I can hear you chuckle now.
Second I finally found the book I was looking for Mimi(shh, she doesn't read the blog)

The book Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles Cowman. It a daily devotional book. I could not believe the very first page I turned to was June 21.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wiscurzoo Sunday

Thank you for purchasing a Wiscurzoo.  For those that are interested you can send an email to makx2@everestkc.net for more information.  We are currently SOLD out!!!  Thank you Heartland for your generosity and support.   Have a WISCURZOO Day!!
WIS-Stands for Make a Wish
CUR- Cure for Cancer
ZOO- an important part of our journey we spent visiting the Zoo/ Mason's favorite animal was the Tiger.

We have reached a  milestone raising $1232 at Red Robin and $1132 with today's Wiscurzoos.  With wishing well, previous sales and on-line donations we are at  $3,279.00  We are beyond amazed. 
With an average WISH costing between $3000 to $5000, it just proves how together we can make a difference.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts as we continue fundraising for Make a Wish in memory of Mason. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thank you

Thank you everyone for dining at Red Robin and supporting Make-a-Wish in memory of Mason.  It was truly an inspiring evening.  Thank you for keeping Mason's memory and spirit alive in your heart.  We never forget.  We hope to continue to make a difference.  Words can not express our gratitude; your presence last night was a giant hug.  It was just what we needed this Christmas Season.  Thank you.  We will keep you updated as the fundraising efforts continue.  A big thanks to the Red Robin staff and stores for such a successful fun evening!  And thanks for stopping by and checking out the lights;  wishing well donations are collected nightly.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


First snowfall...excitement and sadness.   As I wrote Mason and heart, I licked the snow off my fingers.  Then I laughed, Mason always ate Snow and I would shake my head and say, gross.  But he still would eat snow by the mouth full.  Here's to the first snow and the first "taste" of winter.
2007-Eating SNOW!

The snow sure made Maverick happy this morning.  As Maverick has a music recorder concert this evening, I'd say someone up above will be proudly watching. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

This week...

What an exciting week ahead.  Just 2 more days until the Make-a-Wish  Red Robin night, Wednesday, December 7 from 5-8 p.m. at 5 KC locations (see previous post for all the details)
If you haven't stopped by the house this year, the lights are different this year.
There are 4 tigers in the display that Eddie crafted himself.
Thanks to a surprise gift, Eddie was able to set the lights to music this year.  The light show runs 20 minutes, with a 5 minute break after the show.  Maverick selected the song, Good Life and my favorite is Fly to Your Heart. We are hoping to have an added Star Wars theme soon.  And there are Christmas songs as well.  Be sure to stop by the wishing well, kids can drop a coin and wish upon a star.  All donations collected will be donated to Make-a-Wish in memory of Mason.For more information visit Lights, Stripes and Snow on Facebook.

Another exciting event is this Sunday, December 11, Heartland Church will be helping stuff 200 Wiscurzoos. Yes, 200; Maverick, dad, mom and Mimi helped prepare for this event.  Kids will have the opportunity to purchase after the stuffing event. We will keep you posted.

Last night, teary-eyed, I could barely read the last chapter of Milo Sticky notes and Brain Freeze.   I still can't believe out of all the books at Half Price Books;  it was such a random selection. It was the first and only book Maverick selected.  I swear it was if the book jumped in his hands.  Who would have known it would have been so therapeutic for the both of us; as I usually don't read out loud with him.   The pictures and flashbacks were all so real.  It was definitely a  Mason hug.  He is everywhere; guiding us along the way.
Thank you everyone for your unconditional love and support. Your support means so much.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

SIX more days

You can make your tummy happy on December 7 from 5-8 p.m. Red Robin is having a Make-a-Wish night in memory of Mason.  5 KC locations are participating!! Santa will make a surprise visit at the 95th and Metcalf location!  We are looking forward to a fun evening with friends and family!  I got my eyes set on the crispy chicken salad.  Hope to see you soon!  The best part, you don't need a flyer, so spread the word.  Thanks for your support!    The picture below is from Mason's wish trip; the smile and joy, the memories. Pictures Mason wanted on his computer screen saver.
Here are the Red Robin addresses:

7111 W 95th St Overland Park, KS (95th and Metcalf)
8657 W 135th St Overland Park, KS
20155 West 153rd Street Olathe, KS
1919 Star Dr. Liberty, MO
18810 East US Highway 40 Independence, MO 


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'll be right there...

Every Christmas, Mason surprised me with a simple character glass.  First it was Star Wars, then it was Smurfs.  On my birthday, my mom and I went to an antique mall.  A sign 75% off grabbed my attention as a simple glass stood out, the brown hair reminding me of Mason,with the words, "I'll be right there."  An E.T. glass, my Christmas gift from Mason arriving on my birthday.
Little things that bring up so many memories, even just watching the movie E.T. together.

Lots of coincidences these past few days; for instance, Maverick begged to find a new Big Nate book at Half Price Books, instead found Milo Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg. It looked like a fun book( it talks about Milo being in love and funny stuff on the back) so I asked to read it with him.  We had no idea Milo's mom had passed away from brain cancer.  It has been painful; yet good at the same time. Milo calls it the "Fog".  It is amazing how the book just speaks to us.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

make a wish...

The holiday season has officially began with the turning on our lights.  This year was more magical than ever.  Having Santa visit was the most magical and fun!  Every time Santa came for a visit before, snow would fall from the sky.  My guess, Mason had something to do with it too.  He was in all our hearts as we counted down from 9. After everyone had left, Ally dropped her coin in the wishing well.  She had no secret, "I wished that Mason could come back"  My heart froze.  That evening it snowed inside our hearts as the kids took turns flipping the snow globe.   

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

It's that time of year.  I can't believe I finished the Christmas newsletter.  Looking back at 2011 was hard, but so is facing the years ahead.  We continue to find strength through God, and our amazing family and friends.   Mason, we march in a different direction now.  We are guided by you.  We will get through the holidays with you.  You will always be with us.  This Thanksgiving we are thankful.  We are thankful.  Thank you family and friends. We concentrate on the blessings; as we live, laugh and love through each day.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm thankful for..

I'm thankful for a Home.
I'm thankful to have food to eat.
I'm thankful for a family.
I'm thankful for clothes to wear.
I'm thankful for water to drink.
I'm thankful to have a bed to sleep on.
I'm thankful for a room to have.
I'm thankful to have a planet to live on.
I'm thankful to have a friend to play with.
I'm thankful for the trees and the sky.

-Mason Kempf 2nd grade journal (November 2008)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wiscurzoo report

It's time for a Wiscurzoo report!! Maverick is still stitching. Heartland Church even caught the Wiscurzoo fever! Maverick is so excited to have a stuffing event with the youth group at church. This means even more Wiscurzoos can find a home. We even have baby Wiscurzoos on our tree. However these babies were tough to make, mom helped sew around the ears because they kept getting cut off. He won't be taking any more orders on these babies. His Make-a Wish tree is already up and standing, star ornaments are $1. Thank you for everyone that has participated. Maverick has already raised over $600 in memory of Mason. Other than Maverick selling star ornaments and Wiscurzoos; or next big event is December 7 at Red Robin. Check out the information at the top of the blog and please spread the word. We will keep you updated throughout the holiday season on Maverick's fundraising! Have a Wiscurzoo day!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


It's a rainy Tuesday and Maverick is finishing his homework while listening to his new favorite song. It's hard to believe it's November. We are thankful for this year's Christmas lighting, as Eddie is busy preparing. I am actually hoping for snow, snow and snow. I miss the magic in the air. For now, here is Maverick's new song, I know Mason would like it too. I was angry when I heard the song the first time. Angry and sad. Today the song makes me smile.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Beautiful things...

 God's love brings comfort and healing.
This song reminds me of the struggles we have faced but at the same time all the beautiful things that have come forth. The things I may have never noticed. I feel new today. Thank you God for the beauty and love you brought today. This is my song today. The rainbow at the end is just another smile to my day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


It's hard to believe that it is November.  We had a wonderful weekend.  Sunday was an extraordinary day!    The day was filled with love and blessings.   It was a beautiful day; Eddie and Maverick even started hanging Christmas lights. It may be weeks away but, the first snowflakes of the year will always have an extra meaning.   Happy November.  Bring on Lights, Stripes and Snow!

 (I typed this last night and just heard, we may have a few snowflakes in the air later tonight, hard to believe since it is 62 now.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

pretty princess purple pumpkin

Sunday was a relaxing day.  We carved pumpkins and Ally even painted hers.  She loves to find "P" words and then make the sound. Please may I paint my pumpkin purple?  Maverick worked on some Wiscurzoos and enjoyed the outdoors.  He wore the perfect shirt, "Much Love and Happiness shirt.  He was on cloud nine after a spin around the block on a Harley.  The smile on Maverick's face says it all. As Ally would say it was a P..P..Perfect Sunday!  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Always in our hearts...

Good days, bad days... So, it was a great week. Friday was like a toddler building with blocks; "Look how tall my tower is" then, "BOOM", down comes the tower.  Simple solution, build the tower again. So maybe that was a bad analogy?  Let's pretend the blocks melt away like the Wicked Witch of the West.

There is nothing I can say or do. I am ill-prepared when it comes to the direct attacks or the tumbling of the building blocks.   Maverick seems to take things out on me, and now his sister.   Mom's are suppose to be able to fix things and comfort.   But, there is a connection of a brother never to be replaced.   We cry together, we laugh together, we hurt together, all at different times and different ways.

Ally and I were alone driving to the grocery store, and Ally started talking to Mason.  I sighed and said,  I really miss Mason.  "Mom, he is right here"  I said, tell him I am thinking about him.  She whispered and then announced, "Mom he is thinking of both of us and picking flowers with us."  I immediately visioned a day in Memphis, a beautiful day by the Mississippi river looking for rocks and picking white clover flowers.   So thankful for these memories.

Late last night as I turned off the television; I glanced down at Mason's tiger,  to my surprise there sat Ally's lizard.  My heart skipped a beat; as I know, Ally placed it there, removing it from the glass cabinet. (She is not suppose to open)  I think they look great together. We all want to be closer to you, Mason. We all long for your hug and peace.
We miss you so much, 6 months, 7 months, the days go so fast.  We will always remember you.
Ally's right, "Mason is always in our hearts."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mashed potatoes and gravy

Mashed potatoes and Meatloaf.  Last night, Maverick peeled potatoes, as I sliced them in to the boiling water.  Comfort hugged us.  We had a normal night.  Maverick finished his homework; Ally and Maverick happily put a puzzle together; we picked up our van after a flat tire.  Everything fell into place.  Ally still has an imaginary Mason where ever she goes.  Even though this really irritates Maverick, he has learned to accept her pretend play.
Maverick is excited to make more Wiscurzoos, he even has an idea for wee wee Wiscurzoos. I am so proud of his creativity and confidence.
It was a good night; maybe it was the brown gravy on the mashed potatoes, maybe the Earth was tilted just right?  An extra ounce of happiness has settled in.  I wish everyone the same.  Here's a scoop of mashed potatoes and gravy for you; may it add a smile to your day!  (or a rumble to your tummy)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thank you

Thank you to everyone that stopped by to see the Wiscurzoos.  Maverick was so happy to see them go to such wonderful new places. What a great start for Make-a-Wish®!!  He even got some orders that will keep his hobby going into the next year!  This is just the start of his fund-raising goal. We have the Christmas lighting in November. Red Robin at 95th and Metcalf, South Overland Park, Olathe, Liberty and Independence will have a special night, Wednesday December 7 from 5-8 p.m.  10% of the proceeds will benefit Make-a-Wish® in Mason's memory. We are so  EXCITED!!!  Please spread the news and be sure to join us on this very special night!

We will keep you posted as this holiday season. Maverick's goal; to sponsor a local child's wish.  How much does a wish cost?  Last year Mason and Maverick raised over $3,000 to send a local child to Disney World.  The cost associated with coordinating a wish varies depending on the type of wish, but as of March 2010, the average cost of a wish was $7,205.   Ways to count down on costs, is by donating airline mileage.You can find more information on the link below.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wiscurzoos on Parade!

Sunshine has filled our house with the power of Wiscurzoos. Wiscurzoos have brought a smile as they hope to find new homes. They are ready to be loved, squeezed, and brighten your day!  Maverick has been busy stitching his last few creations. Hope to see everyone Thursday at Brookridge (open to the public) 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. to benefit Make a Wish® Seasons of Wishes in memory of Mason.  You can also purchase holiday cards designed by Ally to benefit Braden's Hope for Childhood Cancer.  Have a great day everyone!!  We love you Mason.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I can only imagine...

The rain hides the trickle of tears flowing down my cheek this morning.  As the song, "I Can Only Imagine",  by Mercy Me plays in the background.   We can only imagine.  Mason, the sound of crunching leaves stirred me from my dream last night. Your magic touch will always be present in every season.  Thank you for reminding me to keep my eyes open.  I can only imagine what size pumpkin you'd pick at the Pumpkin patch.  I looked for your shadow. I can only imagine. I wonder what you'd collect today? Your rocks, key chains, and tigers fill our home with memories.  I imagine your smile today, as the last few leaves fall from our tree. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Voices of Autumn

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you will not see the shadows." - Helen Keller.

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.
~Stanley Horowitz
Autumn is alive in the branches of our front tree; it is peaceful, joyous, an awaken to October.  As Mason once wrote in a school paper," Autumn is the leaves crunching".

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tin Man

Some days it's best not to say anything at all. 
Confusion has wrapped its arms around me; perplexed.  If all my worries could just vanish when I run down the street.  But I only collect more along the way. Life's obstacles seem to intensify lately. So I am having one of those days.  I was amazed tonight as I checked the blog to see more views and readers still following our journey. 
Today I visioned myself at Ronald McDonald house, instant flashbacks; a ton of bricks hit my heart.

Then there was this story on the radio; a duck with a broken leg landed in the front of a vet's office.  I could not stop crying, guilt rushed through me like no other. All I could think of is where was our miracle?  There must have been somewhere, some place, someone?  Anger sure gets in the way.  I even get wrapped up in a butterflies last flight knowing the bitter cold nights are close in sight. There is no correcting a malfunctioned heart.  Go ahead call me the Tin Man tonight.
It's been a quacky day!

For kicks, here is the story of the duck.  It really is a happy story. I have to smile knowing one of Mason's very first words was Duck.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

To every season

6 months.  Ally described the day, "The leaves are playing tag with each other." I smiled as the leaves were swirling in a circle. There's magic in every season, something special about each season reminding of us of you.  Today, the breeze gently whispered your name as leaves fell all around.  A yellow butterfly danced in the same wind. After thinking how remarkable it would be to see a green butterfly; the yellow butterfly really was more green.  Oh how our heart aches so much, how we long to see your smile, instead we reach out to  nature like we never have before; inspired by the beauty, feeling your presence in all that surrounds. 

Our aching heart always looking up towards the sky calling your name.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sending you a hug today and everyday

Yesterday, I spent the entire day cleaning the basement.  It is actually in order.  As I cleaned, my heart ached, a pile of pictures, a tub of Valentines, a toy inscribed with Mason's name.  Memories I never to be erased.  It is amazing the smallest things can trigger our emotions.  Even a simple bubble wand. Constant reminders, hugs to our hearts.  A ton of bricks fell on my heart and tears fell as Chris Tomlin's song," I Will Rise" played on the radio. 
 The morning before I dreamed of the most beautiful, colorful butterfly tree, it was like you were saying hello; a glimpse of heaven.

Last night, my parents treated us to dinner at Chili's for "St. Jude" day.  As we colored peppers, Ally spotted the St. Jude emblem, with excitement, she yelled, "Mason".   Her colorful pepper, she proudly and correctly wrote M, A, S, O, N above her pepper.  It was a perfect way to end our night.  It's been almost 6 months, half of a year, our hearts cry out more than ever.  We MISS you.  All we can do is reach for the sky and send you a hug.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Upcoming Events

It's Friday!!  We are looking forward to a fun weekend.  It is hard to believe last year at this time we were walking in the Overland Park parade.  I plan on visiting the craft/arts festival this year.  As I vision myself walking around, I remember Mason picking out a painted rock for Mimi with an inspiring message.  I'll have to ask to read the rock again, it was her Christmas gift. 
We are definitely staying busy, for now it is a good thing.  The piles of clutter I talked about well, I know it's so I always have something to do.  It's good to stay busy.
On September 26, we will be dining at Chili's. Chili's donates all 100% of their net profits to St. Jude on that day. You can help by dining at any Chili's nationwide.  We will wear our green Make a Difference shirts that day and color a pepper in memory of Mason.
We officially signed up for the Jared Coones Memorial 5K pumpkin run in Olathe on October 8. The race raises funds for research and organizations that support cancer patients and their families. Jared lost his battle with leukemia in 1998 and his mother also lost her life after a battle with breast cancer in 2006. Here is the link for more information. http://www.pumpkinrunwalk.org/ 
Mark your calendars for the Thursday, October 13 sale at Maverick's school.  I'll post more information soon. Maverick is thrilled to be raising money for Make a Wish®, the KC Zoo tiger fund and selling cards for Braden's Hope for Childhood Cancer.
Mason, someday I'll march in the parade again for you.  You are our inspiration and we will always remember your courage and bravery. For all those that think they are having a rough time or day, just remember live, laugh, love.  Enjoy today. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Open the door

"Today is the day".  I have said this over and over. Today is the day, I get organized, laundry will get caught up, the house will be clean, I'll play with Ally, I'll work on this and that, etc.   I am a stickler when it comes to thank-yous.  It is very important for me to send thank-yous and I am so behind that instead of writing one, I move on. Those thank-yous are in the back of my mind, and I am thinking of ones I needed to write months ago.  When I mention thank-yous, most tell me, "no problem, no need".  But that isn't like me. In my heart those thank-yous remain and I remember.

I am behind, I recently forgot to send a birthday card to one of my very best friends. This wasn't the first. What was I thinking? It's simple little things and I feel rotten.  There are no excuses.  "So today is the day", I replay in my head.  But the hours disappear.  There is a lost library book, forgotten birthday cards, a house of clutter, a book I need to read, etc. This is NOT me. 
I dreamed of an empty house last night, it was not our house, but it was so comforting.  Thinking about it makes me sad that an empty house brought comfort.  I guess it is a sign I need to spring clean some more.   I was told grief is to blame for all this mix-up, messed up, inability to prioritize, etc, etc..  Grief is not brief; it resides forever inside.  Fear, anxiety, emptiness, guilt, sadness, anger, loneliness, confusion, pain, despair, are friends of grief that attack without warning. I just wanted to share grief with you.  Grief brings all sorts of experiences and the clutter to the table. It can't be swept away or thrown away.   I am not trying to get rid of grief, our family carries it with us. And we are not alone.
Thank you for listening, it helps to share, to write, to know we are not alone.  There are days we carry on and grief keeps its distance, that's when guilt knocks on our door.  But we open the door.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Live, Laugh, Love, Tigers

It was an inspiring day at the KC Zoo, running 4 miles through the Zoo.  I wasn't sure I could finish but I had lots of inspiration along the way.  Even the tiger Coke machine seem to cheer me on. Wouldn't it be AWESOME if next year's race was run for the TIGERS?  This year was the Black-Footed Cat.  It's been a weekend of inspiration.  Maverick is making a difference too. There is even a tiger watching him as he sews.  He is creating lots of Wiscurzoos for an October 13 booth at his school. Not only will he have Wiscurzoos to benefit Make a Wish®, but we will have magnets and tiger ornaments to benefit the KC Zoo .  We love you Mason. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

A phone call

A heavy sigh on my heart, a numbness throughout.  A phone call today letting me know Kimberly had passed away in July.  Kimberly, I met on the most important day of my life.  Not only did I meet her for the first time, but she chose us. She is the reason we became mom and dad. She was Mason's birth mom. Words can not explain, unless you have adopted a child. She holds a special place in our hearts that is indescribable,  she is a true angel. We will always be thankful for her. I wrote letters and sent pictures throughout Mason's journey, never knowing she may be on her own journey of courage.
When Mason was eight years old he asked about his birth mom, all I could share is a Kodak picture and the story of his birth.  Sharing the moment we became mom and dad, the miraculous and best day of our life. I could barely hold him with my shaking knees and pounding heart. A connection like no other.  His first night we never left his sight as we watched his every twitch and move.  We drove straight home the next day; never a more prouder mom and dad.   Mason smiled, he always knew he was adopted; and how God made us family.  It didn't matter to him.   He felt the love.  Mason's only comment, "Why isn't she smiling in the photo?" I explained, she was saying good-bye. But, she chose us to take care of you."  Rest in peace Kimberly, you've always been an angel to us. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


What is a Wiscurzoo? They are invading our house!!  It all began with a drawing and then an idea and the Wiscurzoo was born. Maverick created his first 15 before school started this summer.  The reason, to honor Mason and a desire to help Make a Wish®, Cure for Cancer and the KC Zoo.   After finding out about an upcoming craft fair, Maverick has been busy cutting, sewing, and stuffing.  Mom and dad have been helping too. By the way, I do not sew, Mimi is the one that passed her sewing skills to Maverick. Ally shares her input too, she's the official Hug tester.  It started with various different designs, but for now 2 of the designs have been in production.  Ally's favorite is Maverick's very first one, no longer neglected after being stitched on the wrong side.  She named it Gummi Bear.  Every night before bed she snuggles it close and feels safe protected from monsters.   Maverick is selling each for $6, with $5 going directly to Make-A-Wish Foundation Seasons of Wishes® in memory of Mason.  Once again we will have a Season of Wish® tree and of course our Christmas lighting dedicated to Mason.  So many ideas and events in the upcoming months, so keep checking back.
Below is a sneak peek at some Wiscurzoos, they are soft, lovable and all for a cause. If you are feeling blue, got the flu, just don't know what to do.... Squeeze a Wiscurzoo!

Friday, September 9, 2011


Yesterday a shadow laid over my heart.  Milo our pug of 15 years was put to rest. All I could think about was Mason. For dog years, Milo lived a full and happy life. It was years ago when Bobby our cat was laid to rest; the vet reminded me, "Animals teach us how short life really is." 
I smile to think Mason and Milo reunited again. Mason always wanted a dog to play fetch; and many years ago Milo did just that. 

  Ally reported to any one that would listen, "Milo died today"  It's as natural as the sun rising. It was the news of the day.  "Milo is in heaven with Mason."

Normal day to day things are so far from normal. The little sprinkles sometimes catch me so off guard. For instance, Ally coughed all day. "I am not sick mom."  By lunch time I had a dose of Mucinex to help with her cough.  I was not prepared for the battle. Who would have known? It's so yummy and cherry flavored.  By night time, Ally's cough worsened, she screamed in fear at the mention of medicine.  Begging and fighting with tears, "NO MEDICINE!" She clamped her mouth tightly shut and spit out my forceful attempt.

Later, a light bulb flickered; why on Earth would Ally take medicine?  After all, she witnessed Mason take medicine everyday.  It didn't help him.  In fact he died.  Why take medicine if it makes you die?  What is Ally suppose to think? She learned words like chemo, tumor and brain cancer. And hey, medicine is scarier than plants eating zombies.  All summer long she had a fear of band-aids too.  Mason hated them, it only represented each poke after each blood draw.  And Mason would never let me remove the band-aids.  It was wrong to even try.  Damn cancer.   I am SO awake now.  Ally still coughing, "I am o.k. mom, there must be something in the air"

Sprinkle, sprinkle...I need a rainbow.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hyundai Hope

Some days...
On a positive note, it is nice to see companies like Hyundai doing something. My mouth dropped when I saw their commercial. Support means so much. Thank you Hyundai we could all use more hope. If you haven't seen the commercial check it out below.
Please say a prayer for 2 families as 2 more DIPG angels are in heaven tonight. Abbie and Jackson, precious little angels.

And please like Get Well Gabby on FB, she needs a lot of prayers right now.Link


Friday, September 2, 2011

Banana Moon

Before I was a mom; I would have never visioned the moon as a bright yellow banana. But tonight; it was so real, a giant banana floating in the sky.
I giggled inside as Ally read a bedtime story "Once upon a time there lived a Princess and after fishing, all her workers were eaten by an owl." " But, wait mom, it is not gross; the owl barfs the workers back out, and then they get the owl with an apple."
Or this afternoon as Ally gazed at the passing clouds; each cloud had a unique shape, an alligator, an umbrella, a tiny puppy dog head. But one cloud was the most beautiful one; it was a butterfly with purple wings and so many colors. It was so beautiful, yet I did not see it. But mom," look it's right there." I could not see; but I smiled because it really was there. Imagination is a gift. It is a shame that as we grow older we lose sight of so much wonder.


Sometimes I wish I could climb aboard the next passing cloud and drift away; if I could just see you one more day.

It's a quiet Friday. I actually just drove for an hour after dropping Ally at preschool. Ally loves school. I actually have written 2 other unpublished posts to be shared someday. It is good for me to write, I feel it is helpful; sometimes I get self-conscious. However, I have learned so much from allowing my heart to be an open door.
I keep having visions. Visions from St. Jude, visions of Mason. I miss his smile so much. My heart has a forever hole that continues to grow deeper. Pain comes and goes; sometimes it keeps its distance and then strikes harder with no warning. You wouldn't know it on the outside. Oreo always senses when the pain is strong, she nudges me and stares. If she could talk she would still say nothing.
I am proud of my family; we are spending more time together. Whether it's a bike ride or dinner time we are there for each other. I am so fortunate to have such an amazing and remarkable husband. He has always been supportive and thankful that I stay at home and raise our kids. I look back; now more than ever, and wouldn't change it for the world. I will always have those memories and time. My two boys at play. And oh how I miss my two boys at play. Memories and treasured love.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thank you TEAM!

WOW! What a weekend. Head for the Cure was so uplifting!! Thank you everyone for your support!! WHAT A TEAM!!!
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Eddie and I learned a lot about organizing a team and will be even better prepared for next year.
At the start of the race, I took a trip down memory lane; picturing last year's race with Mason by my side. This year I was determined to run at least a mile. As the race started, green balloons filled the air from our team. A tradition I hope to continue each year. Tears to my eyes as I could hardly believe Mason's song "I've Gotta Feeling" played when the walk started. It was a moment my mom will never forget as she was waiting for a sign to release her balloon. Mason was there with us all. My goal was to run the first mile, but I finished the entire 3 mile race, stopping a few times to catch my breath. It felt so GOOD to RUN!! I have not run 3 miles in at least 5 years or more. Mason was there by my side!! Thank you everyone for providing me strength today.
We already are anticipating next year's race!! We hope to see you all again next year. Thanks to those that ran, walked, cheered and volunteered. We could not have done it without you.
You are Team Make a Difference for MASON! We made a difference. We thank you again for being a part of this special day. I didn't get a chance to thank everyone individual, it meant the world to us you were there. It's an emotional morning viewing pictures from the race. For you Mason! These were just a few of the balloons released at the start. Some carried special tags, "this balloon was sent in Memory of Mason,Head for Cure 5K" Right before we got the helium for the balloons, a letter arrived addressed with a special tag from the March balloon release. A hug to our hearts and a must to tag the balloons for Race Day.