About Us

Our family of 6 (dad Adam, mom Sherry, big sister Abby and little brothers Isaac and Brady -- who was born on December 14, 2010) joined the ranks of pediatric cancer fighters when our 4-year old son Logan was diagnosed with a dangerous and highly malignant form of brain cancer in mid-August 2010. Logan's cancer journey began abruptly on Sunday, August 15, when his right eye suddenly turned inward during dinner. Twenty-four hours later, we were checking into Children's Hospital Oakland and finding out that life sometimes takes you places you'd never, ever imagine yourself going.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Always my baby you'll be

June 26, 2016. Brady is 5 years, 6 months, and 12 days old, which means that he has officially lived longer than his biggest brother, whose earthly hours numbered 5 years, 6 months, and 11 days. In a way, from here on out, Logan will be my forever baby.

I've had my eye on this date for quite some time. Although we never discussed it, I know Adam had it in mind too; how could he not? How could you not be aware of the date that your youngest child is suddenly older than one of your older children?

And as it turns out, so did Abby. She brought it up to me yesterday as we meandered around the fair. "Mom... do you know... do you know what tomorrow is? What it means?" I just looked at her and nodded and she nodded back and kicked at the dirt with the toe of her sneaker. We didn't say much, but she knew, and she knew that I knew. And we were together in that moment of comfortably awkward silence, remembering who he was and still is and wishing with everything in us that he could still be here.

We're still getting by, as my dad used to say when I was a kid. I try to do more than go through the motions and for the most part, I think we're faring okay. It's hard to come to the realization that you're no longer the person you were and that there's a big part of you that will be jaded and broken and injured until all is made right in Heaven. But I'm still working to find joy in hidden places and to be a better person. And for now, at this point in my life, that has to be good enough.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


I know it's been ages, but I'm still here. Still breathing. Still driving the mom-taxi and writing and missing my boy. And though life may continue to change and evolve, that third item will remain constant.

Abby started middle school in the fall. It's stunning to realize that she's on the verge of becoming a teenager. I worry about her; I listen carefully when she talks about new kids at school and then stealthily stalk their parents' Facebook pages to be sure they're nice girls. I'd be embarrassed to admit that, but I'm sure I'm not the only one. Middle school is hard, after all.

We had a conversation the other day, she and I. I asked if she'd told any of her new friends about Logan and she shrugged.

I'm not sure. I don't really remember.

I paused. Then I asked if she talked about family, and if she mentioned having two brothers or three.

Three, she said. Always three.

Then I paused and revisited my original question. Did they know? Had she told them that he'd passed away?

She shifted uncomfortably. I don't know. I don't remember.

I paused again, trying to choose my words with care. I wasn't entirely sure what she'd say, but I had an inkling and I cringed internally when I asked: Why didn't she want them to know when he was such an important person?

She sighed. Because I don't want them to just be my friend because they feel sorry for me.

It broke my heart to hear her say it. I figured that would be the explanation, but it still stung to her the words as they escaped her lips. She deserves better than that. So much better. She deserves to be able to speak freely about her best friend, just like her friends can speak freely about the special people in their lives. But at 11, she knows she can't. She sees where that kind of honesty can lead, and she doesn't want to venture down that road.

It's one of the heartbreaking lessons with which I've had to wrestle during Logan's saga and its aftermath: people are fickle and weird and unpredictable. Some long-time friends abandoned me when I needed them. Others came alongside me and held me up when I could no longer stand on my own. Some have gone on to become great friends and confidantes. Others have completely vanished from my life; it was as if the ambulance pulled away and they were gone, in search of another to chase.

I'm sorry. I know this is harsh and some won't like my words, but if you take anything away from this entry take this: be careful with others' hearts. If you're not ready to be a genuine friend, keep your distance. If you are, then dive on in, but realize that the ocean floor is lined with jagged rocks and that the waves can be fierce and overwhelming. But if you navigate the storms, you'll wind up seeing some pretty amazing things in the end.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


I keep starting and stopping and re-starting this entry because no matter what I write, it doesn't work.

Logan's ninth birthday is tomorrow.

For most parents, birthdays are happy occasions filled with cake and ice cream and the birthday song and giggles and pictures and fun. November 3 and June 15 and December 14 are all like that for me.

But July 31st is different. It's a day of remembrance. It's a day to look back on and really internalize the profound impact he had on all of our lives.

It's a day for the cracks in my heart to re-break and ooze.

It's a feeling you don't get unless you've been where I am. It's a lonely place. It's a deeply painful place.

But we'll do what we did in 2012 and 2013 and 2014, and celebrate him as best we can. We'll make the day about him and what he liked. And we'll get through it, together. And if we're extra specially blessed, we'll feel him hanging around, in whatever way it's possible.

Happy almost-birthday, my Sunshine. I so wish you were here.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Endings and Beginnings

Logan's best friend finished elementary school today.

In the hallows of my mind, I can still hear them laughing together; they were, after all, a mere 20 months apart. Although 20-month old Abby wasn't immediately taken with her tiny baby brother back in the summer of 2006, it didn't take her to long to start asking to "hoooooooold baby Yogan." And I was more than happy to comply. I'd always hoped my children would be great friends, and the never-ending "morning" sickness I endured while shepherding both of them into this world in quick succession seemed to handily transform that simple hope into reality. They played together. They danced together. They told silly stories and splashed in the rain and collected rocks and dug in the sand beside the ocean. And they laughed, sweetly and with so much heart that it filled mine with a joy I never knew existed.

And then the brokenness that pierces the planned sweetness of God's creation intervened, and everything changed.

I'm sure that Abby still hears her best friend's laugh sometimes. At least, I hope she does. There's the cliche that says that those we love never truly leave us, and I think there's a degree of truth in that. I see shades of him in her. I see it in the way she smiles when she doesn't know anyone is watching and in the moments when she allow her inner goofball to bubble to the surface.

And today, I know he was so, so proud of her. I know that if he could've been there in human form, he would've clapped and whooped and hollered when her name was called and she walked across the stage. And he would've been the very first person she'd have hugged after the ceremony was complete. He loved her so, so much, and she loved him right back with the same intensity.

Abby really is my hero is some ways. I get upset sometimes because I feel like there are people out there who have no conception of what a true survivor she really is. Her best friend in this entire world died when she was just seven years old. Seven. She came into the room right before he slipped away and tearfully told him good-bye. At seven. People tell me I'm strong, but to have that kind of fortitude as a child is mind-boggling. She has a unique perspective on life that many adults would be challenged to fully understand, and I am so proud of the young lady she's become.

And I'm sure Logan is proud, too.

I just spent an hour scouring my hard drive for the perfect picture to sum up their relationship before finally coming to the conclusion that no such image actually exists. So I'm settling on the one right there to the left, because in the end, it's really all about love. Nothing more, nothing less. I am so thankful that Logan was here and that he poured such pure love into her life. And I'm thankful that some day, we'll all be together once again.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother's Day

Part of me --the part I shove down deep so I can keep functioning in this world-- hates Mother's Day. There. I said it. Part of me hates Mother's Day.

There are so many ways to criticize that statement, I know. I'm sure you thought of one just now. You might've blurted out but it's such a blessing to be able to have babies. So many women can't. And you would be right. Perhaps you felt a compulsion to remind me that I'm fortunate to have produced not just one but four babies. Not everyone is so fortunate. And you'd be right about that, too. You may've wanted to tell me that I'm just so lucky that I have three healthy kids here with me. Also true.

But nothing takes away the sting of not having my Sunshine here. Like the shepherd, my heart still looks for him and laments his absence.

Most days, I can keep going because I have to. I have places to go. Tasks to accomplish. Most days, I can smile and tell you --with great genuineness in my heart-- that I keep going because I need to keep living for everyone else. It's not as if me being sad will help anyone, after all.

But not on Mother's Day, the 24 hours devoted to motherhood. I can't hide from my pain on Mother's Day. Despite my best efforts, it comes bubbling to the surface to remind me of what I've lost. There are no hugs, no kisses, no handmade cards, no affectionate notes from Logan. If I close my eyes and block out the sounds of the world, I can still hear him. Feel him. Smell him. But it's not the same. It'll never be the same.

It just hurts. There's no poetic way to say it.

Truth be told, all I want to do on Mother's Day is hide away at home. I just want to be away from other people, alone with my compact little family. Because for me, it's not just a day of celebration: it's a day of remembering. And grieving an amazing thing that I once had.

I don't think I'm alone in feeling that way.

It's not that it can't or won't be a good day. It's just a different kind of day for me. A day when I want space that I probably won't be given to reflect on something I wish to the good Lord I didn't have to think about at all. Of course, it's just a day. And then it'll be over.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

156 weeks

It's raining today.

It was raining 156 weeks ago, too.

There's something about this particular Saturday that needs to be rainy and gloomy and overcast.

I'm betting most people can't name their least favorite Saturday of the entire year, but I can. It's today.

It's a reminder that the date is drawing near; that in short time, the flashbacks that I work hard to push to the back of my mind most days will force their way out and wash over me, throwing me to the ground over and over again like the fiercest waves the ocean can muster.

It's hard. I can't sugar coat it. I'm dreading Wednesday. But I know that Thursday will follow, and the sun will come out again, and the waves will abate.

This time of year just sucks. There's no way to sugar coat it because there's not enough sugar in the world to sweeten this particular brand of bitter.

But I'm thankful that this isn't our final destination and that one day, we'll all be truly whole. Until then, this particular Saturday will come and go, and my heart will re-break and mend a bit each time it does.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


It's been a while. Sometimes I swear I do little more than blink and bam, another three or four months pass and I'm left thinking wait... what?!.

But at any rate, I'm still here, still going through the motions. Still getting older and hopefully a little wiser with each day that passes. Still having good days and then bad days and then more good days. I think that's just how my life will play out now; I think I'll have a spate of those really good days when I can feel the sunshine on my face and really embrace the good things --the worthwhile things-- in life. But I know I'll have other days when I just want to hide; when the emotion will surface regardless of whether or not I want it to. And I know sometimes it will get the best of me and I'll wind up embarrassed over objecting to some well-meaning person's words. But that's all okay. I don't think I'd be fully human if I "got over it," because that's not a fully human thing to do. You don't get over it. You learn to live with it. And you learn to extend grace to those around you who simply don't get it. And I'm working on mastering all of that. It's a deeply painful and challenging process.

If nothing else, I think I'm trying. That's kind of vague, I suppose, but my thinking is muddled these days. I mean that I'm moving forward. 2014 saw me trying (and liking, as much as it shocked me) skinny jeans. It saw me taking more interest is my health and dropping a few extra pounds that I didn't need. It saw me conducting a slew of interviews with celebs, some better known than others, but all interesting in their own distinctive ways. It saw me running a full-fledged 5K from start to finish, carried only by the miraculous strength of God. It saw me accepting an invitation to become a deacon at our church. It saw me dressing up like a neon rainbow on crack to dance an '80s themed routine in front of a theater full of people. It saw me continuing to parent Abby, Isaac, and Brady while continuing to keep Logan alive in their minds and hearts. It saw me trying to figure out how marriage works after you've lost a child (because it truly isn't the same). It saw me beginning to realize that growing and changing isn't the mark of disloyalty to someone special who's moved on; rather it's a sign that you're looking forward to seeing him again, whenever it is that Someday arrives. It's a sign of life taking root and beginning to flourish once again.

It also saw me unearthing other issues from my past; other hurts that I'd successfully buried for so long that I audibly gasped when I finally opened that chest, pulled them out, and looked them in the eye. But those things... they don't own me. And before I bury them for good, I'm going to make peace with them, even if it's hard.

So that's where I am. Still here. Still learning every single day. Still trying to be humble and kind and patient, and often failing. But I'm trying. And sometimes, that's all I can ask of myself.