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!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Well, I think we made it...

I think we made it through the first year.  Some days were harder than others.  You'd think you would have cried all the tears necessary by now...but surprisingly, there are more.  

Everyone seemed to commemorate Jake's "Angel Day" in different ways.  Mike, Spencer and I went with our friend Leslie, to the Cure Search Walk up in Sugarhouse Park.  It was kinda hard.  The ROK (Remember Our Kids) club invited us to come.  See the white balloons in the background?  They gave each family that had lost a child to cancer a balloon to release in their memory.  When I first saw them, I thought it was a very boring color they picked.  After a moment of silence, we released the balloons.  Sweetly, they looked like little angels going up to heaven.  One balloon stopped just above us as if to say...don't worry, we are watching over you...then it flew off with the others.  I think I lost a bucket of tears that day...but its ok.

We ended our walk with an ice cream toast at Baskin Robbins, complements of Leslie.  Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream was the last thing Jake could eat.  His last week, he only ate Cinnabon cereal and MCC ice cream.

Zack and Caitlin were suppose to come with us, but they slept in and missed it.  Dave stayed home and loaded bullets.  John went to St. George and turned a weekend stay to a week.

At 4:30 p.m., Dave and I went to the cemetery and placed balloons and flowers.  Zack met us there.
One of my dear friends left the red potted plant there.  The guys were staking the balloons down.

There were notes to Jake written on each balloon.  Monday, I went back and planting a kiss on each one, released them into the heavens.  Interestingly, they formed a big circle way up high, then disappeared.

Sunday, my friend Rinda, gave me some "love" bread.  Our hearts are knit together with the sadness of each losing our sons in 2011 and they are buried just a few feet from each other.  Kenny's birthday is in September so we hold each other up this month.

Last night, I found a book that was made of all the cards and well wishes of friends and family.  One of our friends had found a way to print out the comments from facebook.  I read through them and was reminded of the love and tender mercies bestowed upon us during that difficult time.  Those were sweet memories!

Monday, one of our neighbors, the Bucks, sent us this beautiful basket with flowers...again reminding us of the love that others have for us.  Here it is with my Prayer Bear I got from Primary Children's Hospital one of the times Jake was there.

Today, October 4th, would be the anniversary of his funeral.  I went to my institute class, which just happens to be in the room that I saw Jake's face last.  I was there at precisely the same time as they closed the casket for the last time.  More tears, more closure.

Lord, help me remember my sorrow, so that when I see another experiencing the same challenging time, I will know how to succor them.
Help me to remember the love, so that I can share some with them.
Help me remember the service and kindness, so I can know how to give back.
Make my hands, your hands,
My heart, your heart,
My love, your love,
My tenderness, your tenderness.
Thank you for showing me that there is more to death than sadness.
Thanks for reminding me to stay close and not to wander too far off (just like we tell our young ones)
Thanks for holding my hand when I was afraid, and my heart when it was broken.
Thanks for showing me Joy again!

Chin up now!  Enduring to the end is hard new meaning to live and learn!  The beautiful weather helps! :)

Thanks to all of you who have honored Jake and my family by remembering him.  Thank you for your prayers and for the strength you lend us.  I don't know how, but I feel strengthened and lifted up by your thoughts and prayers.  Knowing we are not alone in our sorrows is very comforting.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dear Jake...

Dear Jake,
Here I sit at Neskowin Beach...making new memories.  The last time I was here was the time I got that phone call from Dr. Wright saying there was no hope of recovery for you.  The song, Be Still My Soul, kept playing in my head.  With curlers in my hair, I walked out on the beach and cried the hardest, deepest cry I could never imagine.  It was the first of August then.  Now its nearing the one year mark of you leaving us.

I do ok if I don't reflect back.  If I re-read the blog, those old sad feelings come back...and then the tears.  I know you hate it when I cry for you...but it's just the way it is.

This week, daddy and I made some new memories here.  Some healing memories.

Closure does not mean we forget you, Jake.  It just means memories of you are safe...full of love.

Thanks for watching over us, bud.  Please keep watch over your brothers, as they watched over you.

Let us all have peace as we continue our journey.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Hey Jake!  Did you know Jord was headed your way?  We sure didn't!

I love this picture of you two together!  If you can't be here with us, I'm glad you were there for Jordan when he arrived.  I'm sure you have met his grandma Thurston by many heading your way!  What's up with that?!!  More babies...less funerals!

There was a moment there when I thought it was too much...Yet with a few hugs and a ride up AF Canyon on the Can Am, ...perhaps some help from your side... I found the strength to keep going.

Seems like you have been gone such a long time.  I don't even have the luxury of wondering when you will be coming back.  Nevertheless, my love for you will keep us connected until I get to come where you are. 

Thanks for watching over us, Jake!  Hurry up with the Heaven Skype!  The waiting list is getting longer and longer down here!

Your favorite mom in the whole universe!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dear Jake...

Dear Jake,

I know it makes you sad when I'm thank you for helping me to feel joy again.  Did you see me ride the 4-wheeler to Kohlers the other day?  I thought you would get a kick out of that!  Rick W. called me over and tried to tell me I was doing something illegal, but I was able to convince him otherwise!  It was fun riding down Main Street on my bright yellow ATV!  I've got to find a trailer to fit it so I can go riding on the trails! 

It's different in our house now!  You and Zack are gone, John has a full time job, Mike is hardly here...mostly it's me and sudden!  Quite an adjustment for me! 

Hope you're learning lots of cool stuff!  It's just so weird not to be able to see you!  Tomorrow we will take a flower to your grave site.  I hate that you are in that group...but no more that Uncle James hates that Tom is with you, and Uncle Jack, Uncle Phil...etc., etc....  I know it's part of the life cycle...doesn't mean I have to like it.

I hope you feel joy where you are, Jake!  My wish is that if I were able to see you now, my mouth would be tired of smiling...just as it was the day Zack married Caitlin.  So happy to see Zack move on with his life and be happy.  That was one of my best days!  I hope whatever you are doing and experiencing now brings you joy!  I hope you feel loved and that you can give the love that fills you so abundantly. 

Remember, having a great life is all in the attitude you keep. 

Love and miss you, Jake!
Big mommy hug!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

What good is Hope?

Another Stake Conference come and gone.  Some inspiring words.  What I felt most inspired to do is to write this post.  President West talked about the woman who touched Christ's clothing and by her faith, she was healed of her blood issue.  So many stories of faith and healing.  Then there are the quotes in the bible that say...ask and it shall be given, knock and it shall be opened unto you. 

So why wasn't Jake healed?  What good was it to have hope that he would be ok or that the treatments would work?  If I had time to research I could list some quotes to tell you what the prophets and apostles have said.  You can do that if you want.  I asked God this question and this is what He told me. 

Trials are a package deal.  Hope helps you get through them, but you need to have hope for the right things. 

My hope for Jake, was that whatever was best for him would happen.  Being human, I was unqualified to know what that I had to trust that God knew what that was.  I love Jake so much that even if it meant I could no longer see him live his life...if the best thing for him was to go back to God, then that was what I hoped for.

Now Jake is on the other side of the veil helping to coordinate what is best for me...even if that means I have to stay here and endure many more trials, many more heart breaks and much more joy.  Yes, joy has shown her pretty little face again, in my life.  I really missed her!

It's been 7 months now, since Jake left.  I've cried some good tears.  It's the deepest sorrow I never imagined possible...but my heart is healing.  Not every thought of Jake brings a tear.  I feel that it hurts him to know how much I cry and how much my heart aches and he is doing everything he can to see me smile and hear my laugh again.

Perhaps I will never know why it was better for Jake to go, though I can't really say he left, because it seems he spends more time with me now than when he was alive and healthy.

Am I stronger now?  I sure hope so. 
Can I endure anything?  I hope I don't have to find out.
But whatever God needs me to endure, I know He will be there for me and I have learned that so many of you will be there for me...and I am strong enough to be there for you...because that is what we do.  We love each other and we lift hands that hang down.

I am not done loving or living or helping or assisting or we go on.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I'm wondering...

It's been 5 months now, since we laid Jake's body to rest in our newly acquired plot of land at the Lehi Cemetary.  I'm wondering when the ache in my heart will stop.  When can I think of my Jake without tears running down my face or out and out bawling.  He may be better off...but I'm not.

No regrets, but...I can't stop my heart from hurting. 
I feel peace.
I feel loved.
But...I also feel the deepest sorrow I never thought possible.  It's helped me understand how deeply I love my children...all of them, and how connected to them I am...and how grateful I am for the knowledge that I will be with them in the life hereafter.

A painfully deep lesson to learn...wrapped in love from God.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Excerpt from the Book of Jake year 2000

Jake and his "imaginary wife" Boo Fahrner
My talents:  being good at math, sports, swimming, computer and mowing the grass.

My appearance is handsome, usually wear sweats in winter and shorts in summer.  I have blond hair and blue eyes.  I am pretty short and skinny.

My girlfriends are Tera Street, Kara Lubbers and Sarah Hamatake.  My best Friend is Derick.  My first pet was a cat named Tigger.

My favorite neighbors are the Lubbers.  I liked to play with the remote control cars.

My life goals are:  doing building for 6 years, being a nurse for 18 years, to get married to a pretty girl, build a nice house, get a good job and have a good mission.

I want to have three kids.  I am going to have a pretty wife.  I'm going to take her to Golden Corral.  To impress her before we get married, I'm going to show her some really good jewels and buy her a really nice ring  I'm going to take her on lots of dates before we get married.  I'm going to buy her some really cool lamps.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dear Jake,

You're getting a new sister-in-law!  You'll love Caitlin!

I bet you saw Mike getting stuck last night in the mud!  I could just hear you laughing!  Just remember...I came and pulled you out last winter when you got stuck! 

John is "best friends" with Addie now...that's what she told me today.  John's a very patient guy.

So what's new with you?  Are you dating anyone or still learning the ropes up there?  ...or both!

Life is really changing around here! 

Love and miss you bud!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dear Jake...

Dear Jake,

Oh how I miss that face of yours!  We all loved the blankets you hugged for us and Sylvia did a great job with the monograms!  Sometimes, when I think I'm doing fine, then I look at a picture of you and the aching for your hugs and just to be in your presence, comes right back.  I know you found our talks annoying sometimes, but it's the part I cherish now.  All the teasing took the sting out of the seriousness of what you had to go through and that you were leaving us soon.

Yes, I have 4 other boys to love and cherish as I did you...but it's not the same.  No one can replace you, Jake!  Sometimes you were a pain in the butt...but so was I at your age.

I wish you could share with me what you're doing now.  Please keep being amazing.  I'm guessing that you saw Uncle Bob come your you get to see all my uncles...and some of yours.  I can't be sad that you are where you need to be, but not being part of your life makes me sad.  I think it always I try not to go there too much.

As I reflect on 2011, I'm trying to decide if it was a good year or a bad year.  Perhaps it was good and bad...Bad because you left, Good because of all the love we felt in the process and how much we have grown.  Ugh...bad because you left us!  My heart is still reeling from that one...yet I have never been more aware of how much God loves us...that part is also hard to forget!

So, Jake...2012 won't compare to 2011.  I'm hoping we won't have the heartache we had last year, but we won't have the amazing love and miracles we saw last year that part is going to have to last us a while.  I hope it's not as hard to find joy this year.  Some of my joy left with you, Jake...but I know there is more out there to find...and I hope it finds me!

Love you, bud!  Hope Christmas was awesome for you!