We lost our precious lil' love to AML Leukemia on March 8, 2010. As an incredibly strong family unit, we fought this horrid disease for 2 1/2 years........only for it to come back a fourth time to finally claim Hunter's life. Zen and I are truly devastated and the beautiful light that used to brighten our days and enhance our souls, no longer exists. Our hearts are truly and forever broken. We have a long journey ahead of us, but we are committed and devoted to surviving and living our life embracing Hunter's amazing spirit. With tremendous honor, we will carry on his legacy of love, his legacy of courage and his remarkable ambition to live strong, live fearlessly and live with passion.

You will remain forever in our hearts baby love. We carry you with us every moment of every hour of every day.



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Heroes in Heaven


Vikki Jensen and her son Jake.


When I think about life and when I think about love, I feel as if our family and the Jensen family have experienced them to their fullest degree. Indescribable fear, tremendous loss, deep seeded sadness, excruciating heartache, gut wrenching agony, and undeserving defeat, along with courageous victories, unconditional and exceptionally powerful love, sweet embraces, lasting moments, and an extreme intensity and appreciation for life and all that it has to offer. I strongly believe that for the last 2 1/2 years, we have genuinely cherished every single moment we've had with our children, down to the very last seconds, and we took NOTHING for granted.....ever.


Vikki and her husband Steve with their beautiful daughter, Tori.


I attended Luke Jensen's Memorial Celebration this week and photographed it for the family and here are some really wonderful highlights. Hunter and Luke had their Bone Marrow Transplants the same week at Doernbecher Children's Hospital and we, along with the Jensen's, lived there on the 10th floor for months to encourage and support Luke's and Hunter's healing process. Luke was diagnosed with his fatal relapse the weekend Hunter died.

Luke's story can be followed on his Caring Bridge website.

Luke's Celebration was an amazing ceremony that was attended by hundreds of people who were there to love and support and embrace the Jensen's until they were full of love....full to the rim.....and in some instances - overflowing.

Click the play button for slideshow.




Children truly are our best teachers. The lessons we continue to learn from them as adults is staggering. They live so freely, they live so innocently and they live with an open mind that is ready to absorb everything and anything that is put in their tiny little hands. Then they take it and run with it.........



It was very apparent at Luke's Celebration that his life, like Hunter's, has taught many lessons and has brought a tremendous amount of love and good into this world. They've opened up people's hearts, they've enriched people's souls and they've brought beauty to this world amongst so much pain. They never gave up.....and I don't think it ever crossed their mind that they should give up......or give in. They didn't know any better. They didn't know any different. They did what every single person in this world should do - fight to the bitter end and regardless of the circumstances.....you keep standing strong. And you stand with confidence, you stand with an unbeatable spirit and you stand with all of your armor on......ready to face the next challenge, whether it's warranted or not. Luke and Hunter NEVER felt sorry for themselves. They were dealt a pretty fierce hand......they had to truly battle a beast. A beast that many people would surrender to.....but they fought it - and they did it valiantly. Both of their lives deserved a better ending. But if you have to leave this earth and move on to the next journey, they did it with such determination and with an amazingly, applaudable fight. They've left a true mark on this world - and we should all live our lives with the same degree of strength and intensity and true splendor........embrace every moment as if it was sincerely.....your last.



Not only did Luke and Hunter stand strong and stand with all of these amazing attributes, but they continued to live embracing life for all of it's riches. They lived as many days as they could with smiles, laughter, courage and an undying amount of affection and gratitude. For me and Zen and Vikki and Steve, the parents of these beautiful heroes, you can't imagine how much a mere smile on their face fulfilled our whole day and consumed our sadness and just took it away. Our boys kept US strong. They kept us brave. They kept us full of hope. And they kept us together. We stood strong with them, even in the darkest of times.......because of them. And that's all a parent could ask of a child.



Heaven now has 2 more heroes. Heroes that will continue to teach, heroes that will continue to shine, even in the most difficult of times, and heroes that will continue to push people to their limits. When you don't think you can take one more step.......you can......when you don't think you can last another minute......you will, and when your heart doesn't think it can take much more.......it will, surprisingly, keep beating.


Hunter Zen 2006 - 2010 Luke Jensen 2000 - 2010

Rest in blissful peace Luke and Hunter......you two have stolen so many hearts and have unfortunately broken them into tiny little pieces in your departures. You've left us all here behind to mend and to heal and to carry your beautiful spirits with us throughout our days, which we will do with honor. Eventually, once some of the sadness subsides, we will all be able to think of you and your love and your brave souls and it will place the most unbelievable smiles on our faces. You will brighten up our days, you will light up our hearts and you will set a beautiful fire to our souls. You are such wonderful little spirits and you are so terribly, terribly missed. You will forever be held high in the sky as the bravest of champions..........absolute, true heroes.

52 comments:

  1. I've been following your blog for some time and although I am sure we will never meet in person, I wanted to let you know that I am one more person that Hunter's amazing little life has touched. I read your post that mind-numbing day that Hunter died and my heart broke for your loss. But if it's possible for his spirit to live on in people who he never met and never knew, then I am positive that I am one of thousands who carry a piece of Hunter in our hearts every day.

    My son is autistic. And there are days when the going is so hard and when I succumb to a moment of pity and wonder if we'll find the strength to keep going. Today, during one of those moments, I thought of your son and I realized how truly blessed we are. And I did hug my son a little tighter and a little longer. And I looked into his face and was so thankful that I have a chance to do that, still.

    Thank you for your story, for teaching us all a lesson, and for reminding us of what really matters.

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  2. Lenore, I am speechless. Amazing. Beautiful. Words can not express how grateful I am to have had you there. We have shared so much. I love you. Thank you for capturing this day in such a beautiful way.

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  3. Thanks for sharing these photos, Lenore.

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing all positive outlooks on such a devestating journey. Our family is on the same journey Ashley is our 18yr old diagnosed with AML july 8 2009. With aggressive chromosomes we are home trying to spend every last moment with eachother with no form of cure and no study round in site. Our hearts and prayers go out to all that have been effected by this relentless disease. BIG DEEP BREATH for ASHLEY KEALOHA AVEN and all cancer fighters out there.. caringbridge.org/visit/ashleykealohaaven

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  5. I am so sorry for you, Vikki's family and Ashley's family... Keeping all of you amazing people in my prayers. Vikki - your son was so beautiful.

    Life is just not fair sometimes. The world has so many disgusting people in it and they are perfectly healthy.. Makes you want to scream the F word really loudly.

    HUGS
    Kayla

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  6. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Vikki Jensen - I love you!!!! Thank you so much. Words are inadequate for how much I appreciate you photographing this day. I am in awe at how you captured this day. Thank you!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

    Janet Melton Byrum - My words were inadequate today when I tried to describe both of you today! You girls inspire me to be a better me!;)

    Steve D. Jensen - OK, Vikki -- you said it so much better than I did.

    RickandCourtney Fowler-Kelly - What a treasure...Luke, these pictures and your friendship ((()))

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  7. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Tanya Reed Graham - Vikki I am praying always for you and your family. Love you! Lanore I am sorry for your loss. Hunter's pictures are just so precious. Lenore you captured some very precious moments for all of us to see. Thank you for that and for being there for your friends when you are going through the same situation. God Bless you! I am praying for you too :)

    RickandCourtney Fowler-Kelly - Priceless Lenore-these photographs and your friendship.

    Traci Kellas-Moore - I just watched this--the pictures of your family are amazing--to see two families go through this is speechless--my heart aches for both but what an amazing celebration of life as well---the strength that you all have is amazing!

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  8. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Linda M O'Donnell - Powerful photos.

    Jillian Wellman - I AGREE!!! Great photos, Lenore!

    Teckla Anderson - Beautiful ...

    Audrey Scott - There are no words...such an amazing story your two families share...both your boys are bright lights in this world and continue to shine and change the hearts of many.

    Krissy Quam Keelan - beautiful photos Lenore! You did a terrific job capturing the moments of the day. I'm so sorry for your loss. Hunter looked like a precious little boy as well.

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  9. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Heidi St. John - Truly beautiful ♥

    Denise Pool Crawford - Such a beautiful tribute to Luke and a great capture of the beautiful moments in the service. This slide show is an incredible gift - thanks for sharing it. God is so honored in every single bit of this. I continue to pray for you. Much love to your family.

    Meredith McNair - Absolutely beautiful. Just beautiful.

    Rosemary Bustle Galanter - i agree, absolutely beautiful. i love that you can see God's peace on your faces, truly amazing.

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  10. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Lisa Skillestad Storaci - Pictures that say a 1000 words...the first one being priceless! Thinking if you often and praying for you always!

    Melody James Hamby - Beautiful...thanks so much for sharing!

    Leah Boyer - Such Precious pictures!

    Kim Wasson Tener - Beautiful, beautiful pictures...

    Paula Daniels - Those pictures are priceless, Beautiful!!!

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  11. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Marisa Crain - What an amazing tribute to both Hunter and Luke. This was written so beautifully and the pictures from the celebration were wonderful.

    Amanda Loughrey Smith - Beautiful tribute to both Hunter and Luke. Wonderful pictures of them both! I wish I could've been there for Luke's Celebration of Life, but I was there in spirit! I am so thankful to have heard of Luke's story. It drew both my boys and I closer to God. I think that this would not have happened if it weren't for Luke. He was here for a short time, but impacted so many people. I am thankful for him and his story!

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  12. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Heather Pace - Those pictures are amazing. She was able to capture so much emotion and the "spirit" of the service. What a gift to have those to cherish!

    Laura Klett - Just beautiful!

    Linda Frady Chan - So beautiful...thank you for your gift, Lenore.

    Kristi Pietz Rogers - Those pictures are great - thank you for sharing them!

    Jill Jensen Mills - Beautiful, beautiful pictures!!! So wonderful!!!

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  13. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Terry Robertson Ince - Your writings touch my heart so much, Lenore... Because of Hunter and Luke, my Sean and Jessica, my spirit is enriched when I think of the joy they brought to life and the grace they brought to death... All my love...

    Hadley Fried - :-( awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

    Jordan Rennaker - The pictures were absolutely beautiful! All of them! Vikki, you and your family continue to amaze me everyday with your strength and courage, i dont know how you do it! You guys are amazing. I hope to be at least half the woman you are someday! I look up to you SO much! Love you all!

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  14. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Shannon Smith Dow - lovely

    Melissa Olson - Breathtaking!!

    DeAnna Overton - This so beautiful!!!

    Michelle Spencer - Beautiful!

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  15. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Michael White - Thank you for your loving heart.. that cares for our broken hearts.. during the Celebration of Luke's life. What a wonderful gift you are to our family.

    The photos are incredible. You have captured the reality of God's love and heart for our family.

    I praying for God presence and peace to shower down upon you and Zen and comfort during this time. WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!

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  16. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Niccole Helm Wollam - Oh, yeah. I love "laughing Steve" pictures. Thank-you for sharing your gift, Lenore. You are a blessing.

    Rosemary Bustle Galanter - Hi Lenore, I was so glad to be able to meet again yesterday. The pics you have posted so far are so wonderful, what a precious gift for Steve and Vikki. I am so sorry for the journey you are having to walk, will continue to pray for God's peace for you and your husband.

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  17. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    RickandCourtney Fowler-Kelly - CORRECTION!!! SELFLESSNESS as described in Websters dictionary means 'Having, exhibiting, or motivated by no concern for oneself' It should also read Lenore Daviss name beside it! Heres an extraordinary women, who just buried her own 3yr old son, Hunter who passed w/ leukemia 2 months ago, yet somehow found the stren...gth to photograph her friend, Vikki Jensens, sons Lukes memorial yesterday...UNBELIEVABLE!!! Plz remember...

    .....when you tuck your lil ones in tonight, to keep her, Zen, and baby Ryder in your continued prayers as they begin the healing process mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. (((Davis & Jensen Familys))) Plz pass it on...

    Janelle Cole Parker - I read about this family shortly after he died. His story has stayed with me----but I sobbed for hours after reading about them. Hunter was a stunning child. So sad.

    Fran Carter - Seems so wrong, that GOD would give someone such a wonderful gift like a child. Then take them away so quickly and way too young. This just pulls at my heart, and I'm sad for your friends!

    Lenore Davis - wow......thank you, sincerely. I remembered how important Hunter's Memorial photographs were for me and I wanted Vikki to have the same sweet treasures. You guys are so kind. Sending lots of hugs and love to you...XoXo Lenore and Zen

    Janelle Cole Parker - Oh WOW I just put two and two together. Lenore I saw you yesterday taking pics. You stood out to me in the beauty and grace you showed in how you carried yourself. Ive never met you, but did read about your beautiful Hunter. Im with Courtney----you ARE an extraordinary woman. Big huge (((HUGS))))!!!

    Juli Palmer Olsen - Wasn't that incredible! I pray I could have done that, but doubtful. I'm always trying to make sense of things like this, but it isn't possible.

    ...............and then there were 2 Hero's.............

    I know you pull your posts daily, but I didn't get a chance to add Luke's "Hero" song to my favs, will you please send it to me? Ttyt ~hugs~

    Michelle Thompson - My ♥ aches for the grief these Mother's must be enduring!! I neary watched my sister, Kellee, die when Grayson was diagnosed!! I'm sorry, but I'm with Fran. They say a horrific loss like this can only make you stronger in your faith, but I just don't see how????? How does a Mother ever get over fighting for her child's life, or worst yet, the loss of a child, or you, the loss of your babies? It makes me mad more than anything. Just my 2¢, not that anyone asked, just so frusterating!!

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  18. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Jason Melinda Krupicka - incredible. amazing. beautiful.

    Tracy Janel Hobbs Traum - Xoxoxoxoxox

    Liz Morris - If that's not what a real friend is, then I don't know what is! Very sad, and inspiring all at the same time. ♥

    Abby Cooper Sanders - OmGosh what a blessing they must be to eachother!!!!! God Bless Lenore, Vikki, their Angel's & Family

    Stephanie Foust Guest - Pictures are the best memories for me. I can look at them with more love than sadness these days. It has been 2 years 8 months now. My heart goes out to both of these families. May they heal as God's love washes over them.

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  19. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Tammy Muffett Bottemiller - It was such a pleasure to get to meet you yesterday at Lukes memorial....I am sure that was difficult for you as well. That was so wonderful for you to take pictures for the family. I feel very honored to be part of this family and very blessed to have gotten to meet you! You are a precious person Lenore! Many, many blessings to you and Zen and Ryder!

    Jillian Wellman - great blog entry, Lenore. It was so neat to meet you yesterday and thanks for taking photos for Luke, they look amazing.

    Danielle Hinton - Lenore thanks for taking such beautiful photos. I to am anxious to see all of them from yesterday.

    Jessica Isaacs King - The joy in their faces as they praise the Lord while honoring Luke is breath-taking. Beautiful photograph.

    Cathy Donovan Holt - Your sooooo sweet Lenore ;)

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  20. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Kristine Hendershot - Lenore, you and Zen are such amazing people! In all your heartache and grief, you still share your heart and soul with a family that need it! XOXO

    Brandi Gilpatrick - Beautiful!!

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  21. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Guislaine Pickering - Beautiful pictures!
    I've been thinking about you and Luke and his family a lot lately. I'm glad you all had that time together.
    Lenore, your little hunter touched my heart too, I often think of you and your family as well even though I don't know you!

    Vikki Jensen - so beautiful! love it. I can't wait to see them all. thank you sooo much lenore. these are priceless pictures. love you!

    Suzanne Caruso - I was just overtaken to see how well she sang and her confidence. she has a beautiful voice and such presence.she was a joy to watch. you have beautiful children!

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  22. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Janet Melton Byrum - so amazing Lenore, thank you for sharing your soul! Your heart is beautiful;)

    Shawn Bonnett Bush - What amazing photos thank you for shareing them.

    Dodie Spencer-Yarger - Lenore, you did a wonderful job on the photos!!!

    Danielle Hinton - Oh wow this just floored me. Thank you for sharing these amazing photos, and your heartfelt words.

    Lucy Williamson - Wonderful, beautiful, heartfelt, happy, joyful, a blessing...touching...special..
    Thank you so much!!

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  23. lenore~ i'm a friend of vikki's, i met you on tuesday. you did an amazing job of capturing the spirit of the day. so sad in many ways, yet filled with hope. thanks so much for sharing. i'm so sorry for your loss of little hunter, i've followed much of your journey and my heart breaks for any parent that has to go through all you've had to endure. i will keep you and your family in my prayers.

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  24. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    Jen Lussier - Vikki, you are just amazing. The love and anguish on the faces in these pictures is heart wrenching. *sigh* Hope to see you Saturday

    Brenda Stuart - Wow, that was amazing, what a gift. You guys are
    incredible...can you ever hear that enough??? Although we're a few layers out, you have been so much a part of our prayers and thoughts..

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  25. This post leaves me breathless and without words. You captured the families and friends pain, love, happiness and sorrow so well. I felt like I was there and I felt a love for a little boy I have never met. I am speechless at the pain that families of children with Cancer face. I am happy you have each other to help each other though this horrible process...it's an amazing community build on the worst situation a parent can face. Your pictures, and you, and the Jensen family are amazing.

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  26. Hilde Burm - So warm and serene ...

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  27. Kathleen Bradshaw Johnson - Beautiful pictures capturing every emotion!

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  28. Janelle Cole Parker - Stunning pics. You really captured the beauty of the service. Wow. ♥

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  29. Holly Knight-Mueller - Beautiful

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  30. DeAnna Overton - These are beautiful!!

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  31. Randi Tucker - This is amazing Lenore, I hope the Jensens feel as blessed as I do to have such a strong person in their lives!! What a great friend you are to do this for them!!

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  32. Becky Cox Bray - Once again, I am at a loss. What beautiful photos. Hugs to Luke's family!

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  33. Wendy Parker - Amazing pics, Lenore.
    xoxox

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  34. Susie Smith Spencer - Beautiful photos - it gave me just a taste of being there.

    Kathy Porter - me too...

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  35. Iris Wellman - thank you for posting these---it was a wonderful tribute to a little boy who walked out what he believed

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  36. Linda Fowler - Wish I could have been there...beautiful ♥

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  37. Sue McDonald - every picture is so precious.. each tells a story, of love!

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  38. Kristi Pietz Rogers - Those pictures are beautiful!!

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  39. Brenda Stuart - Wow, that was amazing, what a gift. You guys are
    incredible...can you ever hear that enough??? Although we're a few layers out, you have been so much a part of our prayers and thoughts..

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  40. Odetta Lavios - Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures! I so wanted to be there! Blessings to all of you!

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  41. Cathy Donovan Holt - Lenore,
    Just beautiful. The photos tell the story of Luke and how much he was loved. How amazing for you to capture that.....GREAT job ;) Using your gifts is such a blessing they will always cherish. :)

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  42. Mari De Stael *hugs* I am still sad by your loss but I am glad to know he was well loved and touched other lives so well.

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  43. Carol Miller-Farland - The pictures really capture every feeling in the room. God Bless the Jensen's family, friends, family and God take care of Luke.

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  44. Jason Pomajevich - Great pictures.

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  45. Kay Kepper Harris - loved seeing the pictures, "next best thing to being there" I am sure it was such a lovely service. A special tribute to a very very special young man. hugs

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  46. Michael White - Thank you for your love to our family. WE LOVE YOU!!

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  47. Angela Lavenbarg-Gabel - such a great set of photos to remember this day!

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  48. Leah Boyer - Thinking and Praying for you Steve.
    Lenore...we are praying for you and your family too. Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures you took at Luke's service...they are just precious!

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  49. Lisa Kautzman - Hey Cousin, everyone said Luke's service was incredibly beautiful, and the pictures were so full of emotion, I almost felt like I was there. In your Caringbridge journal, you seem to answer the questions I wonder about when I think of you and Vikki. I appreciate your generosity with your thoughts and emotions. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Take care.

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  50. Kathryn Kitty Herlevic-Boatman - Lar, I just love all the pictures. Thanks for sharing

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  51. Praying for your families right now.

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  52. My heart absolutely breaks for both your family and for sweet Luke's family. He reminds me so much of my own sweet stepson... Sending my love to you and to those precious angels in Heaven!

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