Welcome to the new, still under construction, home of what we hope will be a venue where we can continue to share, but more importantly we hope we will be able to provide resources, raise awareness, and do good somehow, some way to others! Forgive us (me), as I am still learning the ropes of all of this and please don’t hesitate to let me know any feedback.

It’s 2015.

New Year’s was hard. It is still hard.  I’ve never been one to make a huge deal out of New Year’s celebrations, but this year I did not want the new year to come. Not. one. single. bit. I completely recognize that this is all semantics, but leaving 2014, well leaving 2014 meant that I was leaving the last year that Kai was alive. I know, I know, he only lived 3 months of 2014. But, he lived! He was here… and in 2015… he’s not. And it makes it more and more… real. This is our life now. Maya will hopefully turn 2 in 2015….Kai was 2…..He will forever be 2.

I’ve reflected so much on how did we even get through these past 9 months and I was reading through the posts when setting up this site, I found the picture of Kai on that precious day we had with him home from the hospital and he said “I want to ride bikes”.  I remember that day, I remember seeing Kai, the spirit, the heart of Kai, trying to push his way from behind the scars, the meds, the surgery, the disease, and how his family, friends… his community helped him be a little boy again, even if it was just for a few minutes.

Community is a powerful thing. It’s life-changing.

God has provided one heck of a community to help us in this time and we cannot thank you enough. I apologize so so much… we had the best of intentions to be able to send cards, emails, phone calls to thank each and every one of you for what you have done for us – but we did not get to all of you, and there are also so many of you who have supported us that we may not even be aware of… so to all of you ……Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Thank you for your visits, phone calls, messages, texts, posts, comments, prayers, letters, cards and all of the different ways you let us know you were there.
  • Thank you for understanding, then and now, when we don’t know how to answer the question about how we’re doing or we are simply silent, cry, and/or are not able to engage. Your presence makes a difference.
  • Thank you for feeding us when the last thing we wanted to do after Kai passed away was eat or think about eating.
  • Thank you for staying by our side.
  • Thank you for asking us how we are doing.
  • Thank you for asking for us to walk with you in your grief.
  • Thank you for walking with us when it was time to let Kai go.  No parent is prepared to watch their child pass away before their eyes, and leaving after it happens, it is an impossible, unnatural feeling….you always need one more goodbye, to hold them one more time, to hold them for forever.….we needed you
  • Thank you for talking about Kai and sharing how you and your kids still remember him. These stories lift us up and we appreciate so much being able to talk about our son.
  • Thank you for donating to hospitals, foundations, and nonprofits (you all are so generous!), lighting luminaries, running, walking, praying, serving others, celebrating, and all of the many amazing ways you all have honored and celebrated his life by bringing life to others.
  • Thank you for participating in so many events, building community, and making connections (train rides, races, birthdays, fundraisers, and more).
  • Thank you for sharing your connections, research, and resources. While Kai never had treatment, we talked to those doctors and those conversations helped us realize the truth about Kai’s situation and helped make our decision clear.
  • Thank you for caring for us, lifting us up, and for helping carry the burden of this grief.

Kai’s story and the acts of support, kindness, and community that you all have shown have inspired others, and while you may not have thought you were changing the world, you were absolutely changing ours.

Our hearts have been absolutely broken through the loss of our son….but through your love and support of us, you have broken our hearts open….to love and serve more. This can’t be undone. And while I wish my son was still here more than anything, I don’t wish for my old heart… and I thank you for everything you’ve done. So if you think that you can’t do anything that will make a difference in someone’s life… think again. You’re pretty amazing.

Thank you for everything and for celebrating and remembering our buddy.




10 Comments on What Community Can Do

  1. Bless your dear hearts! This is a precious post and video. I pray for you every day and just trust God to hold you close on this difficult path. He is with you always. Much love and prayers, Cheryl

  2. Thank YOU for sharing your son and your journey with us, and for being a constant reminder that we have the choice, in the darkest times, to keep looking towards the light!

  3. That video <3 I just can't get enough of it – never will!! It's amazing to me, although I am not surprised, that you take the time to thank everyone. Seriously. You are the MOST selfless person ever. Please know that even though I don't always reach out and tell you, we are thinking about you, Kai, and praying for all of you!

    Love you and so honored to call you sister!

  4. I love that you started a blog. I don’t know if I told you or not, but I used to keep a public one. Eventually, I made it private. What that really meant is I quit posting and my mom is the only one that has access (she likes to look at old posts/pics). I loved the blog. Writing about the journey was cathartic for me. I am happy that you are continuing to write and pray it brings healing into your hearts.

    Your story is so painful. Never shy away from that reality in your writing. People need to see the truth so they can best pray for you and support you (and know that they aren’t alone if they are in a similar situation). You all have been so transparent in your faith. Never shy away from sharing it on here as well. Who knows how many lives will be touched for eternity through your honesty about life after the loss of your precious Kai and what your faith in Jesus Christ continues to do to hold you up in the toughest of times. God bless you both! Maybe 2015 will be the year we meet face to face. 🙂

    Much love,
    Stacie Smith

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