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, December 8, 2013


Isaac keeps asking me if it's winter yet. Though we're not anywhere near the depths of freeze that my midwestern and far northern friends will enjoy, it's been below freezing overnight. And for us that's a huge deal. I, of course, keep saying no, since technically, it's still fall.

But in a way, he's right because it's been winter for me for quite a long while.

As an aside before I get to the meat of my entry, there's really no way that this will be anything but cheesy and cliche, but hey, it's all the truth so Cheez Whiz aside, I hope it'll serve some sort of purpose for someone.

So, yes. Winter. I do indeed feel like I've been in a cold, icy place for quite a while. A few years, really, since August of 2010 when everything first started to fall apart. It's almost like my head has been free while my arms and legs have been encased in ice.

But here's the irony. Lately, I've felt the ice begin to melt just a wee bit. Yes, just as we're literally heading into winter, the coldest time of the year, the chill feels a little less intense. There are, of course, pains that come along with moving parts that haven't moved in a long while; the creaking of joints underused. I say the wrong things more often than I want to admit.

I miss my Logan every single day. There probably isn't an hour that goes by that doesn't feature him dancing through my thoughts. But the sadness feels a little less... crippling. I'm loving watching Abby as she becomes a young woman. I'm loving watching Isaac thrive in kindergarten. I'm loving watching Brady talk and walk and shake his booty just like his biggest brother used to do. That prolonged winter tried to take all of that away from me. But at some point, without realizing it, I told the winter that it couldn't do that anymore.

None of this is to say that I'm over it all, because I'm not. You don't get over losing your child, ever. At least not in this life. And there are moments that come along that make me feel like I've been stabbed. Really. I'll be completely fine, and then something completely random or otherwise insignificant will happen and bam, I completely lose my stuffing.

But for now, looking objectively at myself and putting the bad moments aside, I can say that it's all a little better. And I can't ask for more than that.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


I keep thinking I should write something here. But I'm never really sure what to say. Y'all know I'm big on being honest, but honesty can lead to alienation. And I neither need nor want more of that in my life.

The holiday season is hard for me. I haven't spent a lot of time discussing it with Adam, but I'm guessing it's hard for him, too. We've already had our second Halloween without Logan, and a second Thanksgiving looms. And then a second birthday for Brady and a second Christmas and a second birthday for me... and then bam, it'll be February again. It really never ends. The misery of this kind of loss never ends, at least not on this plane. I guess it gets better, if better is even the kind of word I can use... but it's always there. I don't get to live like most people. And that's hard. Beyond hard, really.

The whole BatKid thing yesterday really got to me. I may sound like a heartless person for saying this, but it ripped my heart into millions of pieces. I hid post after post after post on Facebook; every single one I saw. It's just not fair, I thought. It's not fair that they get to keep their little boy and he got to have a very public wish fulfilled. It's just NOT FAIR.

I wanted the entire world to know how awesome Logan was. I wanted the world to know about his sunny disposition and his fighting spirit. He deserved to be a bona fide celebrity of sorts. But it didn't happen. And no matter how many people insist otherwise, I'll always feel like I failed because that didn't happen. He didn't get his wish (which was to visit Cars Land). I was never able to get his name out there.

I know that kind of stuff shouldn't matter. And in the very long run, I know it won't. But I so want his legacy to live on.

And I really, really want there to be a Logan car in the last Cars movie!

But of course, I'm not holding my breath on that one.

Anyway, if I sound low, it's because I am. Like I said, the holidays are hard. I can't make anyone else understand how hard, because it's not the kind of thing you can just close your eyes and imagine. And even if you could, you probably wouldn't because you'd probably keep your eyes closed for five seconds, imagine for five seconds, feel one-hundredth of the horror, and then flip them open, thanking God that it's not your reality.

But it IS mine. I can't flip my eyes open and thank God it's not.

So if you know me in real life and I'm kind of cold or snarky or unpleasant in the weeks to come, I ask you to cut me some slack. Or don't; it's really up to you.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Another Day

I don't cry much these days.

It's not that I don't feel anything. On the contrary, I feel a lot. Probably more than I want to feel. But tears? They don't typically come.

I've been tired. No one tells you what dealing with what we dealt with will do to your body. I feel like I've been torn apart, bathed in acid, blow dried and set out in the sun. And then blasted with cold air. I guess that sounds extreme, but I'm so disconnected that some days, it's hard to make any sense of anything at all. Including my own thoughts.

I missed Logan a lot today. I'm not sure why. I miss him every single day. Every single hour. But today, for whatever reason, the wound felt very raw.

Maybe it was because Adam's cousin got married last night. And Logan wasn't there with us to celebrate and boogie with his brothers and sister at the reception. Or maybe it was because the Team Logan Bake Sale was last weekend and we're fresh off a family trip to attend.

Or maybe it's nothing more complicated than a mom missing her little lamb, wishing he were here with her.

I don't really know. And I guess it doesn't matter much: it is, after all, what it is.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Approaching Seven

Next Wednesday, the 31st, marks Logan's 7th birthday. Or what should have been his 7th birthday. I'm never quite sure of the semantics there. In my heart, he's definitely turning 7, so I should leave it at that.

July 31, 2006 is still the day that I gave birth to him. That day kick-started the lifelong process of realizing that despite my preconceived notions of myself, I'm actually a good mom to boys. It's still the day that my heart doubled in size for the second time. (The first time, of course, was when Abby was born in 2004. It doubled in size again when Isaac was born in 2008, and yet again when we had Brady in 2010.)

I don't know what we'll do to observe his special day. On my other kids' birthdays, we take official pictures. Obviously that's not an option, but I know we'll figure out something fitting that will honor his memory, and his spirit, which I know --in whatever way it's possible-- is still out there. Still with us.

Friday, June 28, 2013

In the Now

I feels like ages have passed since I've been here. That's not entirely true. Occasionally, I start to write an entry, lose inspiration, and stop. And then two more weeks pass and the process repeats itself. I think these days, if I'm going to write, it will take deliberate effort. So here I am. Being deliberate.

We're a few weeks into summer vacation. The last day of school was a sketchy one for me. Though I celebrated Abby's completion of third grade, it was gut-wrenching to walk by the first grade classrooms as we left campus. I couldn't look at the classroom door that should've been Logan's without intense, painful pangs. Or without the cry that my heart makes every time I allow it to ruminate over what should have been. The near-unbridled wail: God, it's NOT FAIR. I wondered who his friends would've been. Which subjects would've been his strongest. What he'd look like.

The 'what he'd look like' is often the most painful for me. What would he look like at almost seven years old?

And then that phrase blows my mind:

Logan should be almost seven years old. I can't imagine. I'm sure he'd be wonderful and beautiful and smart and kind. But not being able to see him is like a knife digging and twisting in my heart.

Otherwise, we're getting by. Adjusting. Figuring out how life is supposed to be now that things have gone how they shouldn't have gone. I miss him every single day. I fight the urge to smack people who say things like 'wow, you must be busy with three kids.' I have four. Logan will always be part of our family, even if his physical needs are no longer mine to meet. But I'll be honest: It's tiresome to repeatedly remind people that he exists and should be counted. I'll go as far as saying that although I realize no one means ill when they say it, it's a hurtful remark. A deeply hurtful remark, in fact.

So that's where I am, for better or worse.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

From Beyond

I just had an intense Logan wink. Not a God wink per se; I write about those every day and more often than not, I have to look to find them. No, this was something of an entirely different breed.

I was driving home from our Mother/Daughter dance class a little while ago. I'd just gone through the McDonalds drive through for a coffee (for me) and a McMuffin (for Abby) and was a few minutes from home. My mind wandered a bit, and despite the absolutely gorgeous day about to unfold itself, the prevailing emotion was sadness.

As I drove along, I wondered about my life. My surviving kids' lives. Adam's life. Our life together. I wondered: Is my life just ruined? And if it is, is that okay? Will I learn to live with it?. I thought it might make a compelling blog entry, if I were ever able to fully answer those hard questions.

And then as I turned at a stop light, Lee Brice's I Drive Your Truck came on the radio. I turned it up. A lot. (So loud, in fact, that I almost turned around to apologize to Abby.) If you read my other blog, you know I wrote about it a month or two ago; how I relate to the message and the heartbreak and the need for release that it expresses so well.

So I sang the words with my heart. And I cried, like I usually do when I hear that song.

And then I saw our friends and neighbors at a stop sign, driving in the opposite direction. I stuck my arm out the window to wave hi.

At the next stop sign, a golden retriever, leash firmly in mouth, trotted by. And I smiled.

Then I heard a weird revving and rumbling from my back seat, but didn't think much of it.

And then a strange sensation came over me. I can't really describe it. But along with it came a chipper message:

Hi Mommy!.

And then the song ended. And the feeling faded. But it was Logan.

Why do I know? Because of the song and its timing; how it came just when I was wondering if my life would ever mean anything again. Because the neighbors across the street? They lost their mom and grandma not long before Logan passed. She was a wonderful woman and when I think about Logan, she's often there with him. And the dog? When Logan was young and overflowing with happiness, we called him our golden retriever. And this golden retriever was free, no leash holding him back. Like the choking leash that is cancer no longer holds Logan back.

And that revving and rumbling from my back seat? It came from a toy Lightning McQueen that one of the little boys left on the seat. I have no idea how long it'd been there because it'd been silent until this morning. And if there's one worldly thing that defines my sunshine, it's Cars.

I don't really have any good closing words for this so I guess I'll just end... here.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


I've felt compelled lately to point out what feels like a glaring truth:

I love to talk about Logan.

I get the feeling from some folks that he's a taboo subject, never to be brought up. That couldn't possibly be further from the truth. He's one of my favorite subjects. I like to talk about who he was, what he loved, where he is now, what I think he'd be doing if he were still here... all of it.

It's painful when I say his name and other people go silent. I see their eyes dart around uncomfortably. Then they usually change the subject, or just leave it up to me to fill the airspace. He's not taboo. He's not this untouchable thing. He's my kid. He's alive in my heart. And knowing that other people remember him... well, that's like gold to me. I don't get the dance recitals or little league games or report cards or playdates. All I have are memories to keep him alive.

That was rambly, huh? I haven't felt as poetic as usual lately. I've felt decidedly more... blunt. I love pretty words, crafting sentences and manipulating the musical ebb and flow of the written word. But sometimes, things just need to be said --and understood-- with no other pretense.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Don't Blink

Sometimes I feel like I blink and I miss an entire month. But only sometimes. Because Heaven knows, there are other times that I feel like time is completely frozen. Like I'm trapped in a bizarre kind of, well, for lack of a better word, hell.

That's all a drawn out precursor for the obvious observation that I haven't written here in a while. It's not that I don't want to or that I don't have much to say; it's almost more that I have too much to say. And it's hard to boil it all down to a few pretty paragraphs fit for public consumption. So it's easier to not write at all. But ultimately, that doesn't feel right. Sooo, here I am.

How am I? I guess "okay" works, because most of the time, I am indeed "okay". Not really "good". Not "terrible" or "awful" or "miserable". Not "great" or "wonderful" or "marvelous", either. Nope. I made up my mind a number of years ago to always tell the truth when people ask how I am, and as odd as it seems, "okay" is honestly the best response I can come up with these days.

A lot of the initial searing pain of losing Logan is gone. Or maybe gone is the wrong word; it's more that it's morphed into something more manageable. Because I can assure you, your dog and your mom that the pain never goes away entirely; it just changes shape. Some days, the pain is like a tsunami, so big and forceful and blinding that all I can do is batten down the hatches and weather the waves. Those days are less common than they were before, but they still sneak up on me every now and then and smack me upside the head and take my breath away and batter me against the shoreline. Some days, the pain is like a flea. Annoying, but nothing that I can't get rid of with a flick of my finger. (Or a good flea collar.) Some days, I wake up feeling it. Some days, it lies dormant until the least convenient time, only to rear its head at the worst possible moment.

But such is life, as my dad used to say.

I'm here. I'm getting up in the mornings and making lunches and driving the mommy taxi and going through the motions. But I'm also dancing. And spending a lot of time looking up at the sky and noticing how the clouds gleam at sunset and feeling the wind on my face. I'm making a concerted effort to see God every single day. (If you're not aware, that blog is here.) I'm keenly aware that I'm not who I once was.

And I'm trying not to blink too often, because my other kids are growing and I'm getting older and life continues on. As it ought to do.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I've been staring at my computer screen for a long while now. I feel compelled to say something; I just can't figure out what. So scattered ramblings are on the menu.

Sometimes I can't believe that I'm a grown-up. I guess that sounds a little crazy given that I'm 35, but... I really can't. I can clearly remember being in high school and then in college. I remember having plans and hopes and dreams. I remember having perfect, wrinkle-free skin and knees that didn't snap, crackle and pop when I walked. I remember feeling like I knew everything.

And now... I'm 35. I've gotten married, bought two houses, driven multiple cars, given birth to four babies and said see you later to one. I've done a lot. But at the same time, I still feel like I'm fresh out of college. Unsure of what's next. Scared sometimes.

I guess the one big difference is that now, at 35, I'm painfully aware that I most certainly do not know everything. And I never will, at least not during this lifetime.

And I'm also aware that I can't derive a sense of self-worth from my successes and failures, though of course I do it anyway. I went to a college that placed a high value on success, defined on a narrow spectrum: gaining influence and earning money. Of course it was nice to be kind to others, but it wasn't a true priority for the real go-getters. No, the goal was to build the portfolio, network and generate cash.

Maybe that's cynical. After all, I loved college. It's where I met Adam. It's where I met a handful of lifelong friends. But it is, to a degree, the truth. And it's hard to not look at myself, as a product of that environment, and not feel like a failure. After all, I'm a writer who's never published a book. I have friends who are, by comparison, extremely successful. Me? I'm a mom. And I wasn't even mom-enough to save my own flesh and blood.

I guess that sounds pretty harsh, doesn't it? When I sit in the dark, sometimes I have dark thoughts. I suspect we all do; most of us just don't share them.

Anyway. Valentine's Day is about 20 minutes away. Last year, Adam and I spent our Valentine's Day looking at cemetery plots. It was surreal. That's the best word for it by leaps and bounds: surreal. I'm thankful that we've survived the first year.

But I miss him so.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Remembering to Breathe

In just a few short hours, it'll be February 11. The first anniversary of Logan's passage from this life to the next.

Lots of people have asked me what our plans are for commemorating the day. I still don't know for sure. We have bits and pieces to the puzzle, but the whole picture... it's not there yet. Adam and I are going to donate blood in the morning, and at some point during the day, we'll plant new flowers on Logan's grave to replace the ones that've fallen victim to our recent cold snap (and, based on some strategically located hoofprints, a deer or two).

But my primary goal is, very simply, to remember to breathe.

I worried, a year ago, that by the time tomorrow rolled around, I would've forgotten a lot of the nuances that made me love him so dearly; the things that made him my sunshine. I can say with great confidence that those fears were unfounded; I haven't forgotten much of anything. And when my memory feels like it may wane, I watch a video or two, and everything comes flooding back. That huge, beaming smile of his that Adam and I could never really understand, given our own serious collective demeanor. The moments of unbridled silliness. The freely given --and joyfully received-- unsolicited I Love Yous.

Yeah. I could try to be ambitious tomorrow. But I think I'll just remember to breathe.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Fifty-Two Weeks

Fifty-two weeks ago, my life was forever changed. In a way, it's a mercy that 2012 was a leap year, since it means we have an extra day to reflect --and prepare-- before the 11th arrives. THE date.

But today... it all happened 52 weeks ago today. A Saturday.

It's only late-morning, but my day has already been punctuated by fleeting flashbacks that shadowed my actions. Waking up tired... the drive to dance class... the quick trip through the McDonalds drive-thru on the way home... all of it.

Only now, of course, despite engaging in some of the same activities, things are... different. Instead of being at CHO, helplessly watching as Logan drifted off toward Heaven and the reward that awaited him there, I'm sitting in my family room. Writing. And the McDonalds bag isn't in the passenger side floor of my car, contents uneaten and getting colder by the second. No. They've been consumed and the trash stowed away in the bin. And in place of the rain-saturated clouds that loomed overhead 52 weeks ago are clear, beautifully blue skies. No tears in today's sky. No clouds to hold them in -- or let them fall.

I'm remembering just a fraction of how it felt to say good-bye... or maybe just see you later... I always have to remind myself that it was see you later and not good-bye... because I can't open the flood gates... yet. After all, there are still two more days. But the memories still come like little leaks in a dam. I could just jam my fingers into the holes, but there wouldn't be much of a point, would there?

And so the day continues.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Melody

As the big anniversary approaches, I find myself drawn to a song by Brad Paisley. It speaks to me, touches my core, in a way that I can't really explain.

When I get where I'm going,
On the far side of the sky,
The first thing I'm gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly...

I can imagine Logan smiling. Laughing. Flying. Blissfully removed from the pains that plagued him on earth. Free to be the amazing kid he was created to be.

But does he remember me? Does he miss me? Will he know me when we're together again?

I mull those questions a lot. Of course I do. I carried him under my heart for nine months and in my arms for 5 1/2 years. He'll be a part of my soul forever.

Though I can't really answer my own questions, I do believe this to be true...

But when I get where I'm goin,
And I see my maker's face,
I'll stand forever in the light,
Of his amazing Grace.

And that's what matters, isn't it? Above and beyond all the pain and suffering and disappointment and discouragement of this world.

He's there. Standing in the light. And some day, there will be a reunion. And a party, when I get where I'm going. And I live for that, but for now, I live here.

And the intermingling of the blessings that I can see here and the promise of what's to come has to be enough.

And most of the time, it is.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I know women typically like to keep their ages under wraps, but not me. I turn 35 years old tomorrow. I know some of you are scoffing incredulously and chuckling that I'm still a babe, but you have absolutely no idea how old I feel; how much the stress that I've been under has worn away at my body.

My birthday has the distinction of being not only the last 'holiday' before the one-year anniversary of Logan's passing, but it's also the 11-month marker. On top of that, it's the one that officially plunks me down into 'Advanced Maternal Age' territory. All painful flashes of reality.

Logan spent both my 33rd and 34th birthdays hospitalized, so I never had the chance to be with my entire family on my special day. Not once. That's an icy cold truth, and one that hadn't dawned on me until now: I will never once get to spend a birthday with my entire family.

Despite that, I'm hoping that somehow, in some way, God will allow me to 'hear' from Logan tomorrow. I have no idea how it would ever happen, but I long for it. I'd love to hear his chirpy voice or dance with him in my dreams. I'm just hoping for... something.