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.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Rough Day

Just not sure how to quite begin this posting. I feel as if I've already said, expressed, written, and cried out all the possible things that we've felt over the last 6 months. I feel as if I can only say "We miss our lil' man", "we are so, so sad", and "we are totally devastated over our tragic loss", so many times. I am starting to feel like a broken record.

It's been almost 6 months that we've held Hunter's loving lil' body in our arms and listened to his sweet, innocent and cheerful voice. It's been almost 6 months that our lives were forever turned upside down and our hearts were forever broken into a million different pieces. It's been almost 6 months that we've been without our lil' love, without his smile and without his touch. The pain is still there and it's running just as deep, if not deeper.

I still cry myself to sleep some nights.......and there are times that I still cry when I wake. The images and memories of Hunter that cross my mind just completely wreck me. He was my lil' warrior. He was my precious lil' love that stole my heart and made me care about nothing else in the whole entire world - except for him and his safety.

I know that it's going to get better. According to all the moms and dads out there that have reached out to us and have graciously shared their experiences..........they say it gets better and that the pain is not as horrible as what we are experiencing right here and now. That the shock and disbelief do eventually fade.

Well, I am still in shock. I am still in disbelief. And I am still in a great deal of pain. So far.....it hasn't gotten any easier.

We pulled up one of Hunter's videos last week to pass it along to a dear friend of ours, and at first it was like I didn't want to go there. I didn't want to have to go sift through his life to find the one we were looking for.........there are too many. I had been putting it off and putting it off and then finally I said to Zen, "I need to find the video of Hunter on the beach in Australia for Wendy". He kindly went to his computer and pulled up what he had archived on his drive and as soon as the Hunter videos started to load with photos.........he immediately looked it over and closed it. "It's not here", he said, must be on the back-up drive upstairs. So I simply said, "I'll go look for it up there and will not torture you any longer. If I'm not down in a few minutes or if you don't hear anything from me....please come up and check on me".

Sure enough......after about 10 minutes of silence, he shouted upstairs, "are you ok"? I couldn't even answer. I was upstairs at the desktop........in a deep trance.........sobbing. As soon as Hunter's beautiful lil' face popped up and all the videos started showing his smile and his fun energy and all of our happy and sad times.......I got stuck. It was like I was dying and our life was flashing right before my eyes. All the pain came rushing back, all the memories immediately surfaced, and once again......my heart was crushed. I felt as if I was going to vomit it hurt so bad.

Zen rushed upstairs and held me tight and then looked over my shoulder as I continued to try to find the one particular video we were looking for........we were both destroyed. Destroyed for the day. We couldn't recover. It was like we were in a time warp and I personally felt as if I was walking around like a zombie all day long.

At around 7pm, we went and sat outside to watch the sunset and the flood of tears came rushing back. Zen took one look at me and knew what I was thinking about and joined me in my extremely heartbreaking thoughts. We sat out there and remembered Hunter and talked about him and his life and how we wished his life would have been different. We talked about all the pain he went through and how he always went through it with a smile. He made the absolute best out of every moment and we wished so desperately that he had MORE wonderful moments. We wished that he would have had MORE time to play and feel good.......more times when his body wasn't under attack from either the cancer or the chemo. I wanted him to have a life full of so many more happy experiences......where his body wasn't aching or too weak to move. I wanted him to be back in our arms, sitting on the back deck, watching the sunset with us.........like we've done before.

It's just so final. It's just so painful. It's just so cruel. We feel as if we'll be punished for the rest of our lives. I know that there are lots of really wonderful things that have come out of Hunter's life and his fight and all that we went through. We have found beauty beyond belief........beauty in life, beauty in people, beauty in ourselves. But the bottom line is that he's not here. He's not here to hang out with Ryder and be the amazing big brother that we knew he would be. He's not here to show him how to be strong and how to be courageous........even in the most difficult circumstances. He's not here to play with him and show him how cool Lightning McQueen is and introduce him to the rest of the gang. He's not here.............

And sure - we'll take him as an angel. But angels don't sit down at the dinner table with us, angels don't come with us to the park and slide down the slides.........angels don't ask for juice or come and grab your hand to walk you somewhere....or wipe your tears....the way Hunter would. We just have to assume he's "around" or "present" and sometimes - that's just not good enough. In fact, most times it's not. But unfortunately..........that's all we've got.

So we'll continue to live our days, missing Hunter, loving Hunter and remembering him and his amazing life. We will show Ryder just how cool he was and let him know that Hunter knew Ryder was on his way to join our family. When I was just 4 months pregnant with Ryder, Hunter would gently pat on my belly and say, "mom........baby". He knew he was going to be an older brother and he'd rub it so nicely and smile. Such a sweetheart. So kind. So loving. Always so gentle. Such a wonderful lil' guy.

Hunter cracking up as he spits out his medicine that we would have to mix with chocolate pudding to get him to take it. It wasn't long before he caught on to our tricks!

Sitting so patiently getting his cool mohawk when his hair started falling out.

His broviac port in his chest that we would have to bandage up for tub time.

He looooooooved getting smooches from dad...........always.

The best day of our lives. Hunter had an amazing day and we thought we were on on way to him fully recovering from his bone marrow transplant. We found out 2 days later that his cancer had returned for the fourth and final time. Now that Hunter is gone.........we are starting to realize how good we had it. Hospital or not, cancer or not, he was with us and we were "getting through it", doing whatever it took to stay together.

Man do we miss those piggy back rides.

Love you sugar pie. Not a moment goes by that you are not nestled in our hearts. Safe and warm and forever protected.


  1. Thinking of you....

  2. There is not a day that goes by, that I don't think about how amazing you all are. Peace be with you. ~Alex

  3. <3 Tears of loves for you all. <3

  4. I love you so much! I feel somewhat responsible for your tears as you were searching for me. I know that pain and mourning has no time stamp and I am here for you always to cry with, share with and just be whenever. Love you Lenore!

  5. I was thinking about you guys alot yesterday....no wonder God placed yuo on my heart.... Loving you soooo much xoxoxoxoxoox


  6. Nothing to say other than I am sending all of my love to you, Zen and Ryder..


  7. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I am certain that Ryder has the most amazing guardian angel anyone could ask for, but I wish it was different too.

  8. My heart breaks for you... I just wish I could reach out and make it all better somehow, but I know I cannot. Sending my love.

  9. Sending love, prayers and healing thoughts to you and Zen.

    You are so eloquent. I wish I had more eloquent words in response, but all I could think as I read this is, "so. fucking. unfair. so. fucking. cruel."

    Know that you are held in the thoughts, hearts and prayers of many. Know that you are handling your grief in the most perfect way you can. Know that there is no time table, no expectation that you will 'get over it'. Know that you are allowed to grieve your beautiful son and you are allowed to rejoice the birth of his little brother.



  10. Sierra Montgomery - Loves ♥

  11. Amity Candee ‎~~~praying for you today........

  12. Andrea Rivas Schmitt - Weird, i've been thinking about you all day. Siena is 7 mos old and wanted to remind you how fast it goes by. Sending you and Ryder, Hunter and Zen All our love.

  13. Brande Jackson ♥

  14. April Esposito - Sending you peace, love, and strength...

  15. Lyndon Way - Great tribute - Beautiful pictures. Hang in there...

  16. Cheryl Lynne Armenia - I'm so sorry that you are feeling this pain, I cried as I read your blog...you write so eloquently about such an intensely painful experience...I pray that peace will surround you and your family especially during the most difficult moments...

  17. Emily Perry-Tresser - Don't ever feel like you are a "broken record". We are all here for you, and your journey is so special to us. The good, the bad, and the ugly of it. 6 months is not a long time, not that it gets any easier.
    Frankie is on a 9 day trip with her dad, and, at day 3 I feel I can't function without her. It made me think of you guys. I just can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. Please, don't ever stop being a broken record. Get it out..share with us. Because we all love you very very much. And you are deep in our hearts. So is Hunter

  18. Janet Melton Byrum - A love like Hunters will never fad away! It's only been 6 months but probably seems like a lifetime already! 5 years have passed for us and it still feels like yesterday;( tears are less often because we have learned how to change what we are thinking,at a moments notice,but the pain never goes away!
    You are also in a hormonal mess,that will not help at all! When we hit the year mark
    I couldnt see or hear Stephanie's face or voice at all anymore its too much, then I felt guilty that I put everything away!
    It has helped for her face not to be the first thing I see when I open my eyes, but it will never remove the thoughts from my mind! Maybe meditation theroy can help? with natural herbs?
    I send you my love,I hurt for your suffering and I have hope that one day you will find yourself breathing again without the pain and guilt! xxoo kiss'es for baby Ryder, try to focus on giving him the best possible mommy ever.... He will hold you when you need him:)

  19. Michelle Saber - Hunters Spirit wll live forever. Amazing photos! I still have the black/white card you sent Matt and I and think about him everyday.

  20. Annie Whinery - Lenore, my heart is so broken for all of you. I cannot even begin to imagine what you must go through on a daily basis. Praying for you daily. And missing Hunter, though I never met him, I can feel his absence.

  21. Suzanne M. Cross Davis - awww sweetie, i wish you lived around the corner or down the street, up the street, next door, with us, next to lulu, you are so far away!!!!!
    i think of you so, so much and wish there was some way i could take
    away all your pain. I just keep asking every day that it gets a little
    easier, even just a touch......i feel so helpless because there really isn't much I CAN DO....I LOVE YOU.

  22. Thank you for sharing this. With tears rolling down my face, I am so moved. So sorry. So inspired. So empathetic. So sad. God bless you Lenore, Zen, Hunter and Ryder... and anyone who has ever lost a cherished loved one. Life makes no sense, And yet we live on...

  23. I know exactly what you mean about looking at the videos and photos...I want to look but I don't want to look, because the pain is just so great when I do, but I worry I will somehow forget, or that it is betraying Lydia if I don't look. It sounds crazy, but your mind does crazy things when you are a grieving parent. Thinking about you all! I know it is tough. It is not so much that it gets easier; you just somehow learn to live with the pain. Life will always be bittersweet; it will never be like it was before...kind of pure, joyous, without that bittersweet after-taste that now seems to accompany every positive, wonderful experience, but somehow you do go on. Hang in there.

    Monica Miyashita, Mama to ^Liddy^

  24. Raina O'Hare - amazing how 6 months can be so long and so short at the same time. I am so so sorry for the bad days and the sadness... you have all the right in the world to keep on letting it out.

  25. Donna Alzona - I think of you everyday and wish I could take a little of your pain away. So many people love and care for you.

  26. Kathleen McAuley - Wow! I think of the little guy often. He was sent here for a very brief time, but touched so many people he didn't even know. I don't think you know the impact your story has had on so many people. He is remembered, he is present, and he's probably giving you a little hug right now.

  27. Corrin Crone Phillips - You are so couragous, loving, open and strong Lenore; I admire you. Thank you for sharing your journey, pain, hope and light with all of us. It is your transparancy and love that makes each one of us feel connected and united. Life is enriched by these qualities. Shine on my beautiful friend. Thank you! You are so loved!