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.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Under a Rainbow

I don't think I could make this stuff up if I tried.

When I got up this morning, it was pouring down rain. The grey skies coupled with the cold air and the rain did nothing at all to help my already-sour mood.

I trudged through the lunch-making --if you can call stuffing a pizza Lunchable and a bag of baby carrots into a backpack 'lunch-making'-- and the getting-dressed and the diaper-changing. Then I wasted a little too much time on the computer and had to scoot more quickly than I'd have liked to get Abby to school on time. But we managed. And then I dragged myself to preschool to drop Isaac off for the morning.

And then, despite the driving rain, I drove to the cemetary. I don't really know why, since I usually go to water the flowers. But I was in auto-pilot. With sheets of rain streaming down my windshield and an equally impressive sheet of tears streaming down my face, I pulled up next to Logan's grave, and cut the engine. And I sat there, listening to the rain pounding on my roof and the sounds of Brady singing his ABCs in the way-back seat. I told God that I felt abandoned. I asked, for the thousandth time, why He hadn't saved my baby. I asked how He expected me to believe in anything after the horror that was watching my son die. I asked, point blank, why He didn't love me.

It didn't feel good, sitting there in the car parked next to my son's grave, living out a scene from a nightmare most people never even have to imagine.

After a minute, the sky directly ahead and up brightened a bit. The sun didn't break through, but for the first time this morning, I saw a ray of light so subtle that I questioned whether there truly was any light at all.

I started the car, but quickly cut the engine after a feeling came to me that simply said 'wait'. I can't say it was a voice. It was more of a feeling. And I don't know why I listened to it. I just did. I sat in the silence again for a moment, and then I felt something else: 'get out'. Grumbling, I opened the door, and stepped outside. I whirled around, muttering (aloud -- if you'd been there, you would've heard me) something along the lines of 'okay, so why am I wasting time getting out of the car? Just so I can get wetter than I already am? And then I stopped. And I mean dead-in-my-tracks stopped. Because right there in front of me, stretched all the way across the sky in an end-to-end perfect arc, was a rainbow.

Of course, I whirled back around and took its picture, because that's what I do.

I don't know what to make of it. But it brought me a small amount of peace in the moment. And it brought to mind lyrics from a song I've rehashed many times over the past 8 months, including earlier this morning:

Lord, make me a rainbow
I'll shine down on my mother
She'll know I'm safe with you
When she stands under my colors.

For non-country music fans, the lyrics are from The Band Perry's "If I Die Young". I hated that song for a long time, but now... well, now it speaks to me. Especially when I'm standing under those colors.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


I tried to go to church today.

I guess that sounds a little strange. After all, I either went or I didn't, right? Not exactly.

Feeling emboldened, I quietly slipped into my purple 'nice' dress and my dress boots this morning and then quietly slipped back downstairs to join the others. Part of me wanted it to be a non-event. I wanted to just get into the car and take the short drive like I had every single Sunday for many years before my world fell apart. Who cares that I hadn't been since before Logan passed away? It's not as if it should be a big deal to go to church.

But on the other hand, it was a very big deal. Huge, really. It felt like a step of faith. And I haven't taken many of those lately. So it felt like a good time.

But in hindsight, I don't think it was.

We arrived. I got out of the car. I remember wandering sort of blindly along. A few people noticed me and said hi. A lot of others... didn't. And that was okay. I didn't want to be a spectacle. But at the same time, I wanted to feel... important, I guess. Not that I'm any more important than anyone else. It's more that I'd hoped that people would think 'wow, she's here. After all of that shit she had to deal with, she's finally here.'

I guess that's a little vain. But if I weren't me, it's the way I'd look at someone who was me. If that makes any sense. Maybe it doesn't.

So I went in. A few more people said hi. And then the music started and I had to leave. I can't cope with music yet. I can't deal with the way it seeps into my core and throbs and moves through me like mercury. I'd planned to sit outside and sip my coffee for a few minutes, but it didn't turn out that way. No, I sat outside and cried for a long while. A very long while. Every time I'd start to collect myself, the tears would start all over again. And I didn't want to be seen sobbing. Not after everything. I didn't want to be that pathetic person who's life went to hell a few years ago and just can't seem to get past it. At least, not publicly. I can be her in private, but in public, I can't cry. I especially can't sob uncontrollably.

So I sat outside by myself in the cold, trying to figure out if I was still angry with God after all. And I don't think I am. I think I'm just profoundly sad. I know that people want to say Oh, I've had awful things happen to me and I know how it feels but, well, you don't. Not just because you haven't lost a child, but because you're not me.

I don't say any of this to alienate anyone else. Though I fully realize that it's precisely the kind of effect this kind of statement has on others. It's just a feeble attempt at putting myself out there (sans the sobbing hysterically in public part, of course).

So, yeah, church. It wasn't really what I'd hoped it would be. I'd hoped to feel like I was home again, but I didn't. If it's possible, I think I felt angrier and more alone and more sad than I've felt in a long while.

Of course, it's probably my fault. It must be, after all, because it's probably me who's changed, and not anyone else. I lost my child. And I have to live with the fallout. And being there reminded me of how much the past few years have changed me. Of how much innocence and faith and trust I've lost. And I was profoundly jealous of the people who walked by; the people I used to know whose lives haven't been transformed --ripped to bits and pieces, really-- by a maelstrom.

I have six more days to decide if I want to go back. Or if it's time for me to find a new place to meet God. One that isn't marred by painful memories.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I had a brief chat with the preschool director this morning. I was sitting on a bench, taking photos of the kiddos as they ran laps around the concrete path that encircles the playground equipment, when Kelly plopped down next to me. She asked about our trip and shared some thoughts on Logan. And I, in turn, shared a few thoughts of my own. Afterward, she smiled and said I should share my little tidbits here. So here goes.

I've not been into the whole faith-thing lately. It's hard to be denied the one thing you want more than anything. It's hard to watch your child die after you've begged and pleaded for his life. It's hard to keep believing after losing such an intense battle with evil. It's hard to cope with well-meaning people who try to help by repeating platitudes. It's all just, well, hard. So I guess there's little point in dwelling.

But every now and then, I can feel the sunlight on my face again. I feel like maybe I could have real, iron-clad faith again. Some day.

In addition to the omnipresent Corvettes last weekend, I had a few interesting moments that touched a nerve. The first came in New Smyrna Beach as Abby and I were checking into our oceanfront condo Saturday afternoon. As I stood filling out an information card, a blonde woman entered the office. She stepped up to the desk next to me, and gave her last name to the clerk. It was Logan. I did a triple take, and asked if she'd said Logan. She said yes, and asked if it was my name too. I said no, and pointed to the bake sale poster on the wall behind her as I explained that the poster child was my son.


But sometimes it takes multiple hints to get through to someone as stubborn as me. Just yesterday, as Abby and I were standing in the security line at the airport in Orlando, the woman behind us put her boarding pass on the desk in front of the official. The edge of her wallet concealed all but one important piece of information, her last name. Which happened to be... Logan.

Once again, I did a triple take.

I know that the name Logan is a relatively common surname, but to have direct interactions with two folks in such short succession seemed statistically unlikely at best. More like flat-out amazing.

And it got me thinking about God all over again, and about how Logan must surely be wherever Heaven is. I don't know if he can see me or hear me or if he even knows who I am anymore. But he must be there.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cookies and Corvettes

Tonight as I go to sleep, my heart is filled with sugar and spice and all things gooey and crumbly and chocolaty.

Today was the Team Logan Bake Sale. Abby and I flew all the way from home in Northern CA to Orlando yesterday, and then it was on to New Smyrna Beach this morning for the big event.

It's not a confession I want to make, but I had a bevy of concerns and fears about coming, and those qualms kept me from even making travel plans until 10 days ago. I mean, what if it didn't pan out well? What if no one showed up? What if there weren't enough cookies and cakes and candies to sell? What if I left feeling like Logan had been forgotten, or worse, like no one cared to get to know the amazing person he was?

But of course, all of my fears were just that: fears. And as the worm turned, none of them came to pass. Kathy and her team of local volunteers were completely on top of every single detail. (Or at least it sure seemed that way!) The people here are wonderfully friendly and, well, delightfully Southern: kind, patient, funny. Plenty of folks showed up to buy what we were sellin', and I was truly humbled to see arms overflowing with goods headed for the check-out line. These people know what it means to be generous. Not one of them --not a single one, save Abby and myself-- ever met Logan in person, yet somehow, they knew him. They got him and his plight, and they gave cheerfully to help others. And I'm grateful for that. For all of it.

I think Logan would've liked New Smyrna Beach. I think he would've adored the car show that's held each month. They close down Canal Street and park along the sides of the road. And people stroll along, checking out car after car after car. He would've loved checking out the makes and models and telling me which ones he wanted to have when he grew up. He would've liked shaking his groove thang to the music. He would've pointed out every flame job and every Corvette.

And he would've had quite the task at hand, because I've never seen as many Corvettes in a single day as I did today. They were everywhere. On the road from Orlando. In parking lots. At stop lights. Riding along the coast. At the car show. Blue, red, yellow, black, orange, white. So many that Abby and I eventually lost count. But I took photos. Lots and lots of photos. Not because I think he was those cars, but because I can hear his chirpy voice exclaiming Look! A Corvette! every time I see one.

And if he can't be here with us physically, there's nothing better than a good memory. After all, no other mechanism can provide a glimpse of an uncomplicated past when we were simply a mom and her sunny little boy playing a game of Name that Car.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Do You Bake? Does Your Mom Bake? Your Dog?

Okay, so I guess your dog probably doesn't bake.

I cannot believe I've yet to post about this until now, but here goes.

My friend Kathy, who lives all the way down in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, is hosting a very special event on October 13. She's named it the Team Logan Bake Sale, and is hoping to break the Guinness Record for largest bake sale ever. Created under the Cookies for Kids' Cancer umbrella, the proceeds from the sale will go to children's cancer research.

The effort means a lot to me, because the "Logan" in "Team Logan" is none other than my sweet boy.

If you're a local to that area and can help out in person, contact Kathy. If you're not local, that's ok: You can still bake something sweet (or savory!) and mail it to Kathy for the sale. We're getting down to the wire, and I know she still needs help, especially if you have a special talent with gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free and other specialty items. But really: ANY kind of treat would be appreciated. And ALL of the proceeds go toward helping kids like Logan who are still fighting their cancer battles.

Click here --> Team Logan Bake Sale site! to visit the official site. Click the Become a Volunteer Link at the top of that page to contact Kathy. Or, you can visit the fundraising page by clicking here.

Thanks so much for thinking about helping with this event. I can't really express fully how it feels to have something I can do to help. Even if I can no longer help Logan, it heartens me to think that efforts like this one could one day stamp out childhood cancer.