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, May 27, 2011

Tiger Pumpkin pie

Who would have thought a trip to the library could ignite so many memories? As I glanced around the children's section; book after book started to talk to me. It was the titles that called out Mason's name. The first book titled "Where the Buffalo roam" I felt a warm summer breeze and remembered the field of buffaloes in Memphis.

Then the next book "The First Snowfall with a snowman on the front and another book "Snow music" with a picture of a snow globe. The next book I laughed, a tiger was holding a Pumpkin. And after flipping through the book there stands a tiger holding a PUMPKIN PIE!! Mason had a special message that always included pumpkin pie. It was definitely a hello. A chill went down my spine from the next book" Tiger Flowers". Look at the cover; who would have ever thought?

With the next book my heart just smiled it was simply titled, "I'll always love you"
I remained focused after we are in the public library; Ally started reading an ABC book out loud. I moved to another section of books. Only to find another title jumping out for my attention. "Look over here"

As we were walking out the door another book cried out; "Always my brother".
I could hardly concentrate as I was scanning the books; I do have to wonder was this all a coincidence or was Mason really saying hello? I know there only book titles, but it seemed like the books were jumping out to me. I was just looking for books to read to Ally.
Tonight we saw Kung Fu Panda 2. I remember the commercials. It made Mason smile. As we left the theater, Eddie whispered," Mason would have loved that movie". There was an empty seat next to me; I was thinking of the same thing.

When you miss someone SO MUCH the whole world turns into a MEMORY.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

School is out for Summer

Mason loved school. I will spare details of emptying a back pack of Mason's school supplies, his last papers from last October. Starting today school is out for Summer. Which reminds me of the first day of summer. Mason's birthday. We always made a BIG splash for his birthday. This year you CAN show the KC Zoo what he meant to you. (See the invite on the left side.) I'm in a whirlwind because we don't want to ask for another dime or time, because you have done so much. But we do want to keep Mason's spirit alive; his dream alive. We want to impact others. Mason's birthday won't be easy, but knowing he still is making a difference; adds a smile to our hearts. Please join us in honoring Mason's 10th birthday, by sending a birthday card to the Zoo. Just think if everyone sent just $1, or just a note explaining how Mason's impacted your life. Every part of Mason's journey was magical; we want to share that magic. He will always be our hero. But Mason's greatest gift was influencing others to Make a DIFFERENCE. Let's share that "Love and Laughter "with the Zoo, for the tigers that represent courage and strength. That's what it is all about; spreading kindness, knowing the inspiration is alive in us all. Free the tiger in you. Instead of singing Happy Birthday on June 21, "ROAR' and MAKE A BIG SPLASH!!
And I am so thankful we are taking advice from a friend, to concentrate on summer memories with Maverick and Ally. Get ready to make a SPLASH Maverick and Ally; school's out for summer!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Our LAST Valentine..

January 21, 2010

May 23, 2011

It's been 124 days since Mason received the first Valentine's Day card. Today I think it's safe to say, we received the last one from Hallmark in Australia. We will always cherish the Love from around the world. Thanks for the smiles to our heart. I would also like to extend a huge thank you for following Mason's blog we are still here sharing the love, and hoping to inspire others along the way.

Now we count the days until the last day of school. Just 3 days. I woke up with "the last day" circling in my mind. I have not figured out why; maybe, it is a message or remnants of an unfinished dream. My mind lately filled with an array of emotions. I have tigers in my head ready to pounce.

Our hearts and prayers go out to Joplin, Mo. I couldn't even bare to watch the videos of the tornado. No words. Just another reason to hug your loved ones a little closer and be thankful each day.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Heart of a Tiger

Hello everyone! We met with the KC Zoo to present the check from our garage sale. What next? We are not stopping there. Every penny matters. We have a start, a start with love and determination on our side. It is a part of Mason's journey.The love from family and friends and you. We also have time on our side as the Zoo Master plan is in the works. It is possible the tiger exhibit will not be complete until 2020. So we continue day by day. Making a difference with every little step. Each one of us has our own tiger stripes. We already know Love can move mountains. I can feel Mason pushing us along the way. It feels right. I know Mason could accomplish so much more. We see his smile from heaven. We can make a difference for the Zoo, a place for all to live, laugh and love,that's more than we can ask. Mason, we will do our best; as you have left tiger prints all over our hearts. You've also given me powerful strength and confidence by the whispering wind. We love you. You will always be our hero.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Warning: I rambled on and on, but thanks for reading, sometimes it's hard to say actually what I want to say, my heart feels joy and pain as we continue on... in loving memory of Mason.

Not even realizing the previous blogs were titled, Laughter, and Love, today is all about Living. Fresh on my mind this morning is Giving. Which reminded me of the post Live to Give. Wow. I have to title today's blog , LIVE.

I have been constantly thinking of all the organizations we have helped and would love to help, St. Jude Research Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Head for the Cure, The Cure Starts Now, Make-a-Wish, Elves of Christmas Present, The KC Zoo, Habitat for Humanity, Harvesters, Save the Rainforest, Recycle, schools, churches, the list goes on. Live. So thankful for all these organizations and our family and friends that also have a giving heart. You have helped in ways we will never forget.

I guess as much as I would like to change the world I know we can't do it all. Also, I know in my heart, it is a way to keep Mason close. It's what my heart cries out. It feels good hearing Mason's story has touched so many people. It's doesn't have to end. I know how much Mason could have influenced the world. I can still hear his voice. It's not FAIR that he is not here. But, he is here, always in our heart. Here we are, we are listening Mason. Look what he taught us in just nine years, it does not have to end. I will always feel his presence. We all can Make a Difference. We all have our reasons to get up each day or not to.
Find a way to add love and laughter in your life, it's what living is all about. I can't explain; it comes from within. With a heart full of love and laughter, giving and living come natural.

Live, Laugh, Love has a new meaning in our lives. We can't do it all, We DO what we can, with those 3 words as our guide. Thanks for continuing to read, I hope you feel a part of Mason's journey as you Live each day. Maybe that little voice from Ally, Why did God put us here?" isn't so hard to answer. Look inside your heart, the answer is there.

Monday, May 16, 2011


What an awesome weekend. I feel the need to share last night's dream. I actually dreamed about a tiny treasure chest and inside the word "Love" My mind also kept repeating, "No matter how big or small; love is the greatest gift of all" I have analyzed over and over; it is rare I remember my dreams. But yesterday, Love truly consumed my day. It's what made the weekend so awesome. My treasure is LOVE. It's what keeps me going. It's the smile on my kids face, the pride I feel at their accomplishments and new discoveries. Maverick's garden above and Ally pedaling her new bike so naturally. Love has been there through my deepest pain. Love was also the key in Mason's journey. It's no wonder why I dreamed about love. Why was the treasure chest so small? Maybe it doesn't matter how much you have; as long as you have LOVE. Or is it we all just need a little more love? Here's hoping your treasure chest is full of Love. It's amazing what a little love can do. Good things happen to good people and bad things happen to good people, bad things even happen to bad people. And the world continues to spin in the same direction. Just imagine if we all had a little more love in our heart, less anger at the little things; and peace at the end of each day.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Good Morning! Last year we were at the YMCA splashing in the pool!

Yesterday Ally and I stopped at a few garage sales and saw tiger after tiger. Ally would say, "Mason didn't have one like that." If only we could send you a care package. In the backseat, cell phone to her ear, Ally said "Hi Mason, I miss you, I got a surprise, a bike at a garage sale, goodbye"
I can picture you next to her as she pedals down the driveway.

We all feel the riot inside us, a thousand warriors continue to throw flame throwers running circles in our head. When the pain got the best of me, you gave me a sign, "LAUGHTER"; read a license plate in big bold letters. It brought a smile to my face, because when the going gets tough you were always there with a laugh. It was a sign; I needed to remember.

“Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.”

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Yesterday was unbearable. I felt trapped in a stage where nothing will ever get better. How can we move forward when pain keeps pulling us in the wrong direction? I can't even look at the word "grieve". I won't even describe my heart as I drove to pick up the death certificate. I know it's just a piece of paper, it's amazing how a piece of paper can cut your heart in two. A piece of PAPER, I will never gaze my eyes upon. It seems like yesterday we were signing papers that Mason would be ours forever, excitement in the air, a new changed me, I was a MOM!!

And here I continue to pour out my heart...I know it may seem strange to some. You know sharing our personal feelings and such. But it's those moments throughout this journey we experienced the love and compassion from complete strangers. We found a new meaning to life leaving our hearts wide open. We all live, we all poop and we all die. And we are not alone, unfortunately childhood cancer effects other families too. Others have to experience the same indescribable pain.

As I've said before; tomorrow starts a new day. Old memories swirl in my head and I am reminded of an old quote, "What are you going to paint today?" Today starts a fresh new canvas. It's your day! Pain will always be here, but it doesn't stop us from standing up and making a difference. Someone reminded me, "We are still a family", a family that has to keep living, loving and laughing. (and even pooping)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day...it cut straight to the heart as I could recall Mason was the first to call me "Mom" and how last Mother's Day I woke to three kids cuddled together. Realization hit hard, as tears streamed down my cheeks. Before Ally and Maverick were awake a road trip was in the works. We all had a fabulous adventure at the Omaha Zoo. What an amazing Zoo!! Ally spotted her favorite flamingos, Maverick penguins, and of course we all enjoyed the tigers. It was there where Ally whispered softly, "I wish Mason could see the tigers." They have 10 tigers!! It was a day full of smiles and memories.

When we arrived home the large ice tea full of caffeine kept the mind a rolling...so we registered for the Head for the Cure 5K. We can't wait to participate in this year's race, August 28th. We would love for you to join us in memory of Mason. Click the link below and select Team 5K; team "Make a Difference for Mason" Head for the Cure focuses on finding a Cure for Brain Cancer. It made my Mother's Day complete as I vision a sea of green walking and running in memory of Mason.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thank you

A quick update this Saturday morning. Our garage sale was a success, we don't even have enough to open today. Thanks to YOU!! And yes, Santa even stopped by, can you believe it?
We continue to be touched by random acts of kindness. We sold one item, and later on the customer stopped by handed us 4 times the amount; she resold the item and gave us the profit. Our hearts stopped; it brought us back to all the random acts of kindness throughout Mason's journey. It was no doubt a magical moment; another Mason moment. It just shows how much everyone can make a difference.

We are ready to relax and watch Maverick play baseball later today. Thanks to everyone who stopped by, donated and helped the first annual KC Zoo garage sale in memory of Mason. We couldn't have done without you. We will present the "surprise"check on May 20 to the Zoo. We still are selling magnets for $4 too. Have a great weekend everyone.
I keep looking for signs of Mason. On Thursday, when we picked up Mason's portrait from Joann's the biggest, brightest rainbow graced the sky. It melted our hearts.
This morning I woke up queasy though, I still imagine that Mason will run through the door and yell, "I am back. "

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Awesome memories at the Zoo

My mind keeps crying out, "Write!" Escape through words"
Tomorrow, we are excited for the garage sale. It helps us all. Maverick and Ally want to be a part of the sale too, it fills our heart with joy. Thank you for the donations as all proceeds will benefit Mason's favorite animal. Why the tigers? Why the KC Zoo? Why? It's not only Mason's love for tigers, there are many reasons the Zoo cries out Mason. In Memphis, the Zoo was our escape from St. Jude, from needle pokes, chemo, and being miles away from home. And guess which animal we always had to visit? The tigers. Laughter and good times would always follow at the Zoo. We laughed and splashed at Teton Trek, a fountain that would shoot water out just like "Old Faithful". (That's Maverick above racing through like a rocket, he has no fear) It was there where Mason shared his dream of living in a log cabin someday. It was also the home of the grizzly bear exhibit where Mason read the name, "Diane and Fred Smith" It was their generous donation to the zoo that helped with the exhibit.
Have you been to the zoo lately? Eddie and I on our last visit sat and people watched. It was joyous to see all the smiles, laughter and families having fun together. Other families were making memories just like we were. What a perfect way to always remember Mason at the Zoo. A place where we found love, laughter and special memories.
Thanks everyone for your support. Now you can see why we are WILD about the ZOO. We want to make a difference "Zoo".

We are still trying to balance everything. My heart is like a raging fire that keeps getting doused with water. You can hear the sizzle as the fire dies out, but somehow it ignites again. Here we are.

Maverick's garden has sprung to life, peas, beans, onions, strawberries, tomatoes and carrots. He enjoys watching the progress. And when his baseball team didn't do so well, there was disappoint. But I am so proud that even after practice he spent the entire night swinging the bat over and over wanting to improve. He continues to take guitar lessons and is excited summer is fast approaching. He is excited to help sell Tiger punch and items to help the Zoo.

Ally continues to remind us Mason is always with us. She dreams that Mason will fly down take off his fairy wings and stay with us. I can vision Mason's face when she said "fairy wings".
Ally coughing expressed, " I am going to be sick forever." I assume she associates sickness with dying. I reply, "Ally you will get better, Mason had Cancer" She replied, "I know God is the only one that could heal him, he is walking now." But, "I miss him."

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Wild About the Zoo

1st Annual Benefit Garage Sale for KC Zoo Tigers in Memory of Mason

All sales to benefit Mason's Tiger friends at the KC Zoo

7700 W 96 Ter

Overland Park, Kansas

Thursday May 5 & Friday May 6
7:30 to 4:30

Saturday May 7

7:30 to 1:00

Stop by to check out all the amazing treasures from Alligators to Zebras!!

Tubs of porcelain dolls, toys, books, games, stuffed animals, household items, televisions, dresser and more!!

We have a garage and living room full and more donations on the way.

This sale is ROARING with merchandise!!

Numerous families have donated items

Tiger memorabilia on SALE!!

Thanks for your support in making Mason’s dream come true for the Future KC Zoo Tiger Exhibit