This is Jake's Story...

Jake is a 20-year-old twin who has been diagnosed with stage 4 Rhabdomyosarcoma, a very rare form of cancer. Going through a vigorous daily radiation treatment and weekly Chemo treatments make him extremely tired, weak and sometimes nauseous.

Jake is otherwise a normal teenage kid. He likes playing computer games, paintball, swimming and golfing. He loves hanging out with his four brothers, 4 wheeling, camping, and ruining his mom's laundry baskets while making home videos. He hopes to someday become a computer programmer.

This blog was started to keep his family and friends updated on his status.

Addendum: Jake became cured of cancer, free of pain and everything this world brings on September 29, 2010. He continues his journey in Heaven. He is doing awesome! Hope you're doing the same!

His family thanks you for your generosity in donations, love and service. God has shown us many tender mercies!
Thanks for being one of them!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Holladay Christmas

A week or so before Jake passed, I asked him if he would like to get each family member a Christmas gift.  Not the usual game they would play for a while, then get tired of...but something special.  He said yes.  I stopped at Kohls and picked up some blankets, then with Grandma Sweet in tow, I took the blankets into Jake and told him who each one was for and he thought of them and hugged each one.

Grandma wanted one too.  I hadn't bought any extras, but had a spare smaller one in my closet.  She wanted it, so I handed the blanket to Jake and told him it was for grandma.  He started to hug it, but remembering he called her "the kissing grandma", he gave the blanket kisses.  I turned to my mom and said, "Awe...he gave you kisses!"  Of course, she started bawling and ran out of the room.  I told Jake I wanted kisses for my blanket too, so I returned my blanket to his arms and he gave me kisses and long hugs.

I gave the blankets to my friend, Sylvia, and she embroiderd Jake's name on a piece of one of his favorite t-shirts and the person's name it was for underneath.  She waited until the 23rd to finish it...which coincidentally, was the anniversary of the day we received our special Christmas gifts last year.

After we had opened all the gifts under the tree...I heard Jake say..."What about my gifts?!"  I had everyone come back to the tree and I explained Jake's gift to them.  We had given a "Holladay Hug" blanket to a dear family friend right after our family trip.  Sylvia thought that Zack's girlfriend, Caitlin needed to have a Holladay Hug blanket also (the pink one Zack's holding).  We all hugged it before we gave it to Caitlin.

Right after Jake died, I hugged him and held him because I could finally do it without causing him so much pain.  I could still feel the warmth on the back of his was almost hot to the touch.  As I wore his blanket to me around my neck...I felt my neck become so was almost hot to touch.  I could hear Jake say..."It may not feel like my hugs, but it's the best I can do from here!"

Today, I felt the best gift...I can feel my heart healing...wrapped in Peace and Love and it's safe.  The sadness is finding its way out and the Peace is finding its way in.

Addendum:  The boys love their blankets!  It's so sweet to see them wrapped up in them in their beds.  Guys don't want to talk much about their sad feelings.  It's their way of saying, "I miss you Jake!"

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My First Christmas In Heaven

My First Christmas In Heaven
I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below
With tiny lights, like Heaven's stars, reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tears
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear
But the sounds of music can't compare with the Christmas Choir up here.
I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description, to hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart.
But I am not so far away, we really aren't apart.
So be happy for me, dear ones, you know I hold you dear.
And be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I sent you each a memory of my undying love.
After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold.
It was always more important in the stories Jesus told.
Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do,
For I can't count the blessings or love he has for each of you.
So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear.Remember,
I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Until we meet again..

This stone brings some closure for me...but I can't help think how different this Christmas will be.  Sometimes pondering this thought makes me cry...but I try not to let it last for more than 5 minutes.

Here is the wreath and hook that someone put up.  It made the difference for me...between feeling sadness and feeling love.  There is a sign that says PEACE, some bells, a poinsetta and a little angel.  So sweet.  There were some blue lights on a battery-operated strand...but when I stopped to replace the batteries, someone had taken it.  I hope it was the person that left it and not a grave robber!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sacred Places...

We often regard the places that Christ has visited as Sacred Places.
---The Holy Land
---The Sacred Grove
---Temples...and my heart

Christ has been in my heart.
He warms it.
He holds it.
He mends it.
He strengthens it.
He lives in it.

My heart is a sacred place!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Spirit of Christmas!

Dave and I went to visit Jake's grave site today to check to see if the stone was on yet. To our surprise, someone had left a beautiful wreath on a hook, a little angel, a sign that said "Peace" and some jingles hanging also on the post.

Instead of sadness...I felt love.

The Spirit of Christmas!
Who knew that would be the stitches to hold together a broken...but grateful heart!

Thank you!