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, July 29, 2011

4 months

4 months have flashed by, and I could use a hug from heaven.
Missing your smile, laughter, and remembering your strength.
Sending you all my love today and always.

Our light shines through in your memory. Today, we hold our head up high and smile knowing your spirit lives on. You have planted a seed forever in our hearts. And God's Love shining more than ever, through friends and family. We send our love to the angels among us, thank you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Live, Love, Tigers

Adventure Day #3. It is hard to believe school starts August 15, we are making the best of our summer vacation. Each day full of a new adventure, so far... just spur of the moment. Like yesterday, we just got in the car and went to Crown Center. Nothing planned, just an open invitation to play. Cherishing the laughter and the spontaneity of each day. Maverick is even thinking about what to include if he is asked to write an essay on "My summer vacation". Good vibes, as he smiles and looks forward to each new adventure.

There is still a tiger inside me, and like the magnet on our fridge, "A new me has emerged. God is my all, I know no fear. Something good is happening and I accept it now."
It is hard to read and understand the words, "I accept it now". Everyone can interpret their own meaning. The pain is indescribable, but Mason's spirit holds me together. His strength a gift inside me. I miss Mason, more so each day, he guides me through each day, always on my mind. In all that he taught us, he wants us to move forward. He wants us to heal. And there are good things still to come. Because of Mason, we have changed our outlook on life. Our Faith could have been shattered, but instead it strengthened, through the eyes of Mason.

So we "Run like a Tiger" each day; finding a new way to define our stripes.
Thanks for stopping by...what are you going to do today?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Making soup...

Here's a picture from 2005, a memory of Mud soup... a memory to add to our tear drop soup...

So last night, Maverick and I discovered a book titled, Tear Soup. Now for some reason we never read this book, it arrived as a gift in April. It was shelved, somewhat like our feelings. Sounds silly, but at the time I could not get past the title. So last night, I read page by page and it perfectly described the grieving process. It was actually as if time stood still as we read the pages. Maverick did not say a word. We are still making our tear drop soup; in different ways of course. So thankful to have read the book as it helped us so much, and to me was read at the perfect time. I loved how it states, it is o.k. to share your soup with strangers. It immediately made me think of the blog.

We are headed to the library today; here are some other books recommended.

The Secret of the Dragonfly by Gayle Shaw Cramer
When a Dinosaur Dies by Laurie Krasny Brown
Another book, I even have read to Mason and Maverick was, Freddie the Leaf by Leo Buscalgia

to catch a fallen leaf...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Beautiful day...

Good Morning everyone. It's a brand new day. My mind constantly spinning. Sometimes my over thinking only causes more turmoil.

We carry on in the shadow of darkness, alive again with a ray of sunshine.

Ahh a breath of fresh air, renewed again after an afternoon of sunshine and tranquil waves. Floating along in sync with the waves. Not a care in the world. It was just what we needed today.

Our top ten reasons to head for the BEACH!!
1. It's fun
2. Who knows what kind of treasures you'll find
( a pair of binoculars)

3. Sand makes the skin youthful

4. Everyone gets along
5. Our daily dose of Vitamin D
6. It's peaceful
7. It beats t.v and video games
8. The smiles are priceless
9. No phone
10. Who cares what time it is..

Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Friday

I have a lot on my mind, but not much to say. Stay cool everyone and find a reason to smile.
Happy Friday!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Food comforts the soul..

Oh I could post yesterday's depressing post, but I won't. The dilemma of the heart; who wants details of the pain running havoc in our house.

Instead, I will ramble on about meaningless things, like Jack in the Box.
We stopped for our first time at this food chain in TX. Wow, I ordered the tacos, in honor of Mason. But I have to say they were the sorriest tacos this side of TX. We all laughed and laughed at these wannabe tacos. There is a picture below, I don't have one of my actual taco, so picture more grease, and one that must have sat under the heat lamp all day. It was pretty small. No shredded cheese, just a slice of American. And no meat that I can describe. What's even sadder; I was so hungry that I ate 2 of the unidentified tacos. So now we wait with small anticipation of the new Jack in the Box that is opening soon in Overland Park.

Mason would say, "That's NO TACO!!"

We are thrilled about Trader Joe's and the Bon Bon frozen yogurt that recently opened. And there really is no better way to end vacation than with 2 buck chuck, frozen yogurt and some Bo-ling's Crab Rangoon.

Let's talk school supplies. Wal-mart has school supplies on SALE. Shopping... is so therapeutic. It really helps clear the mind. As soon as the screaming baby left the store; my 30 minute therapy session began. Maybe I should have found a more quieter place to relive stress.
When I pass items I'd buy Mason, I smiled. Even an empty shelf where Chicken in the Biscuit crackers should be; I forced a smile. Memories fill my heart.

It's 5:21 a.m., and for those of you that have read the blog this is not my typical post. I am going way off the track here. I thought I'd share some laughter, but I apologize if my attitude keeps creeping in. It's hard returning from vacation, reality kind of slaps you in the face; and it stings. Now I am faced with the question, "Where do we go from here?" Because I still want to move mountains, and I can't get past the ant hills.

So we are having a heat wave, and I am not complaining. Just give me a beach and I'll shut up. Maybe I will stick my feet in Ally's sand box and have Maverick douse me with the hose. Our alarm clock can play ocean waves.

By the way,there is no way am I stopping at a business that allows two grown men to stand in costumes in 104 degree heat at 2 p.m. in the afternoon. Really? Insert laugh; they were having fun. Oh well, the world spins in crazy directions doesn't it? Maybe I am the crazy one.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Life is a Roller Coaster

Goliath-Six Flags Fiesta Texas


We are Home!! We had a fabulous vacation. Once again Maverick was on cloud nine at Six Flags. He begged me to try the awesome, daring roller coasters. Now, I wonder why I didn't jump at the opportunity? After Ally rode Journey of Atlantis at Sea World, she was content at staying on the ground. Apparently her 42" height did not matter; no dips, or speed for her.

We had the most wonderful stay at Homewood Suites in San Antonio, right on the Riverwalk. (see below) We send our thanks for our accommodations and are extremely grateful, beyond words.

The kindness throughout our trip never forgotten. My heart in tilt a whirls, because Mason should be here, he deserves to be the one smiling. Give Kids the World provided our tickets to Natural Bridge Caverns, Six Flags, and Schilitterbahn in Texas. It expires one year after issue. A year too short for Mason. Each place smiles and laughter consumed our day. Each new adventure, I vision Mason. You know that echo of laughter you hear at amusement parks? It reminds me of the laughter missing. Whether it was the splashes, tidal waves, or that roller coaster that goes upside down and all around.

My emotions like being a giant balloon; one day filled, but at any given moment deflated again. Here's to trying to stay a float and riding a roller coaster every chance you get!
Thank you for joining us on our trip and for continuing to live, love and laugh for Mason. I can't tell you how much it means to our heart to know 4,040 followers read our blog last month. So if you are reading thank you!!!

Team Make a Difference for Mason needs you! Have you signed up for the Head for the Cure 5K? See link on the side to join our team. Mason thanks you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Rock

We had a SPLASH at Sea World. Now that Maverick is 54" he can ride all the rides. Including the Great White roller coaster above. Can you spot his legs dangling? Mom was thrilled to be below taking pictures. Dad and Maverick rode 4 more times!! Ally's favorite part of the day was feeding the flamingos.

Eddie and I without saying a word both felt Mason's presence at the Shamu stadium, remembering our Florida Sea World trip. Later on in the day, Ally asked me to hold her rock. I put it in my pocket, no big deal. Later she explained, "Mom that rock is from Mason, he got it from God and gave it to me, on the back he wrote, Good-bye"
At the very last Shamu Rocks show, while the boys were catching one last ride; Ally and I waited to grab our seats. She whispered to me, "Mom, my heart is broken, it is in lots of pieces; I miss Mason" She actually cut her heart in half using her hand. With tears in both our eyes. I explained how much I miss Mason too, and that he is here; in our memories.
In rocks, in tigers, and in our heart, he surrounds us. She smiled. I smiled too; Ally will always remember Mason.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Life is Good

We made it to San Antonio! Before leaving the beautiful ocean; we buried 3 "I Wear Gray for Mason" bracelets. It was our way to share the treasure that Mason taught us about life. And in hopes others will treasure all life has to give. Sharing our message to Live, Laugh, Love everyday. We still spot Tigers everywhere we go, even the hotel lobby had a tiger striped feather. Here's to relaxation and fun as we are truly enjoying every minute. The kids are laughing munching on popcorn. Maverick engrossed in an episode of Mythbusters. Ally runs back and forth from the hotel window, watching all the lights below. There is a bridge that illuminates in ever color of the rainbow. It is a sight to see. As Eddie and I finish our evening sipping a glass of Bella Sera. It's going to be a beautiful evening.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Life is a Beach

We made it. And just as I thought a little tiger kept peeking around every bend.. Whether it be through memories or coincidences. We were first passed by a car; license plate read "Tyger". I tried to catch up, but the car was too fast ahead; just like someone else I know. Who would have thought we would load up with Tiger gas at Tiger Mart.

I wish I could send everyone a scoop of sunshine; we enjoyed our first night in Corpus Christi. There is a magic in the air with each passing breeze. Each wave has its own unique way to say hello. Such a calm and beautiful day. The ocean providing such wonder to our souls. Tomorrow another day at the beach, a day to be free. Here's to sand between our toes and that salty taste after a wave crashes over our heads.
(Salty water smile)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Words of Wisdom

So many moons ago, my son was complaining, I don't remember why or what, it could have been even a wish to be older. As a mom I always have an answer; be it wise or not. Can you hear the song Teach your Children in the background? Anyhow my quick witted response was, "Enjoy being a kid" Who knew those words would later haunt me. Because there's nothing more painfully than after Mason was diagnosed with brain cancer to hear him whisper, "Mom I understand what you mean about, "enjoy being a kid" Those 4 simple words still play havoc in my head. Mason, you were the one to teach me. I have realized no matter what your age, you can ENJOY being a kid. As we buckle our seat belts and make that first turn down interstate 35 this afternoon, the back seat will be empty. But we will smile thinking of you at every new adventure. We will enjoy being a kid, knowing you will be there; our guide. And i know everyone following Mason's blog knows the new meaning and well, ENJOY being a kid.

Bring on the heat Texas, we are ready to kick some sand in the air and soak in some sunshine!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy 4th of July

I admit, I did not listen to today's church sermon, but I got so much out of today's service as I watched the smoke swirl in the stage lights. The church has a smoke machine; just in case you were wondering. The first song, "Our God" (Mason's song) I pictured Mason's celebration tree standing on stage as the words flowed to my heart. Then the coffee kicked in and my mind started racing; thought after thought bouncing back and forth like a pinball. I captured bits and pieces on a scrap piece of paper as Eddie stared at me confused. It was hard for me to even understand all the random thoughts shooting back and forth. Stopping to realize; I have yet to be able to look up at the stars at night. Sound crazy? I know. But, my shining star is up there; it is too hard to admit; too hard to look up and face the fact; I miss my shining star next to me.

By the end of church, the band began the last song as words flashed in front of me; a funny thing happened; I could hear myself sing, louder than ever. I usually mouth the words; you know pretend to sing. There was a sigh of relief; something inside me bursting out.

Tomorrow we celebrate America's birthday. Maverick wanted to be reminded again what 4th of July represents. It represents so much more than a birthday. Freedom, Flags and those that have stood up and continue to stand up and Fight for us. Thank you to all the servicemen. Comfort and pride ring out in the stars and stripes everyday, not just in July. Thank you to all our servicemen from around the world. Thank you, today and always. Here's to YOU, and the Red, White and Blue.

Here's to singing loud in church and someday having strength to stare at the stars again. We miss your spark, Mason.

(Mason's flag in Afghanistan)

Mason and Maverick (2006)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Mimi

Bring on the weekend. The summer heat is bearing down on us. But, we are staying cool, filling up the water slide/pool; 3 days in a row. It was fun to watch Ally and Maverick chasing rainbows in the glistening sun as the water sprayed down. I felt Maverick's anguish as he tried to catch one, only to find it disappear. His smile fading, as quickly as his vision of Mason. It's been a roller coaster of a week. My mom had her toe removed and seems to have a lot of pain this time. I won't dwell on my mood swings and anger; as pain will always haunt us. (I debated on deleting that line, but I can't delete my feelings) As I think of Mason, Oreo nudges against me, purring loudly; she comforts us; reminding us you are still here.

Last night we celebrated Mimi's birthday at Harvesters, a local food bank. It really did justice to my mood, it felt great helping out. Mimi's party raised enough food for 156 meals. Now that is something to smile about. We watched an informative video at the end of the night. The statistics flashing;
Food distribution
35.8 million pounds in 2010
Number of clients served
As many as 66,000 different people every week
But of all the numbers, it only takes 1 to make a difference in the life of a hungry child.

Mason you opened our eyes to a brand new world and I am forever grateful.

Happy Birthday Mom. You are the greatest and I love you. You have always inspired me.

After vacation we will be preparing for the Head for the Cure 5K and running in Mason's honor. Mason, I will always be inspired as you finished the entire 3 miles. Sweat dripping down your face as you would run, and then walk; but never giving up. Please follow the link below if you would like to join Make a Difference for Mason Team. On the registration form select Team and then scroll down to select Make a Difference for Mason. We already have 25 runner/walkers and would love to see double, triple, or 4 times that. We will even have green Make a Difference T-shirts. If you'd like to join Mason's team click below. (You can even find a picture of Mason as a Keeping the Faith Award recipient in 2010) Want to be inspired? You can also read the memorials, Mason's is there too.

We are always thinking of ways we can help. Just simple things like a sending card to a child at the Ronald McDonald house. Spreading smiles as we remember Mason. Daily, I learn of more and more kids battling cancer, it hurts but it's reality. And I won't turn my back on you cancer. There is an army growing to defeat you!! Mason, this vacation; just 6 more days... when we gaze at the ocean waters, I'll think of you with each crashing wave. We will smile and cry as the waves whisper your name.
Here is an inspirational video of another child with DIPG, another angel.