Monday, October 03, 2011

Memorial Service Info

Aaron's service will be held this Saturday the 8th at the Springfield High School Theater on 7th St off of Centennial blvd. at 1:30pm. The service is open to the public.

There is also a fundraiser planned for October 24th at all Papa's Pizza restaurants, Coburg Rd, Main St. and  W. 11th. You will need a flyer. All fliers will be accepted at any Papa's.

Get a flyer here!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Joy Perspective or As Purple As You'd Like It

I am currently sitting in our living room looking across the way at photos from our wedding, signs made for me by my mother. One says Choose joy, the other it's a wonderful life (one of my favorite movies). It's a very different view from the one I had last night. As I laid on the floor in our bathroom waiting for paramedics to show up and help me get off the ground. I've fallen a few times lately. It's not the first time I've fallen, just the first time I can't get up. I guess it's happened several times over the last few weeks. It used to be that no matter what my weight was, I could still lift myself up off the ground. But I've lost so much strength in the last few months and I've moved so little, sometimes now I fear falling out of bed or just falling.

I don't know whether I'm writing this so Kristin will have less questions to answer or out of some need to keep you up to tabs on my life as we come to this sure but abrupt halt. This is certainly not how I pictured the end of my life. And I know there are a few of you who would still like to argue with me that God can still provide healing. But really there's no argument there. We believe, in fact I know, that God can heal. I've seen him do it in my life. I've seen him to it on other lives. It just doesn't seem to be the rout he's taking this time. A week or so ago, I had fluid removed from my abdomen in the hope that is would give me more time. That led to another of my falling spells. And by falling spells I don't mean the cool Harry Potter kind that repair glasses and such, though I don't think I've ever seen Harry Potter repair glasses by falling. What I mean is facing the ground and watching its eminent arrival at my face. But even now, as I face each day with a choice for joy or to revel in my despare sharing it with each individual as  they find themselves in closer proximity than they would care to be...kind of like a non wise cracking incredible hulk. I mean let's face it the Incredible hulk without Spidermans puns is just The Punisher minus a Rx for Xanex.

My wife jsut pointed out that essentially I'm not as funny as I used to be, but I'm on a lot of drugs so we'll let that one slide. And besides she's probably right. In the long run, what I'd like you all to know is that with a week or so left to go in this life, I'm choosing joy more and more each day and understanding it less and less each day. I wish that sentence made more sense. I hope you've seen that and will continue to see that. I don't know how many people are still reading this. I haven't had time to check the stats recently. This week please pray hard for my Kristin, for my in-laws and for my parents. Pray that God will ease them into this. Pray that Kristin and I can do a little less crying and a little more embracing.

I guess that's it. I wish I had something more profound to say, but I don't tink there's anything more profound to say but I love you and that I hope this has touched you somehow,( in a good way, not the show the judge where the bad man touched you way).

On one other note, while we appreciate your support, please check in via email or phone making sure it's ok before you come over. This is a very straining time for both of us, and making sure we're ready and emotionally available will make this easier on everyone involved.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's amazing how much we don't need... Amazing.

     Once again I've had a few (more than several really) people ask me, "How can I help?" I cannot express enough how appreciative I am to all those who want to help... let alone those who actually have helped. I've been incredibly hesitant to be too specific because I don't want anyone to feel like I'm demanding things. There's also the weird fact that I expect to be dead any day now. That makes it a little weird to say, "I need this," or, "that," when I don't know if I'll even get to see items, let alone use them.
     Clothing: Because we kept expecting me to pass away any day coming up, I've refused (over and over again) to buy clothing items that I've actually needed... aside from the really cool super-hero shirt on sale for 80% off. (I'm just going to include some links here to give you and idea. Don't be shocked at how expensive clothes can be for fat... er... um... gastrically challenged gentlemen.
  • Underwear: I've let my underwear go to the point that some would assume I was a single man. Here are links to two different stores and they type of underwear I usually wear. I tend to wear "boxer-briefs" as they're the most comfortable for me. (Examples from and I wear a size 5x, as embarrassing as that is to admit.)
  • Socks: We work very hard to continuously "recycle" my socks and keep things "fresh". But there's only so much we can do. (Examples from where I wear white, 2x and from where I, again, wear white.)
  • Shorts: I tend to wear shorts because, at my weight, I tend to stay very, very, warm. Now my hospice provider has put me on a continuous pump of a drug called Dilaudid (The link there goes to an oral or rectal version of the drug. For some reason it's important to me that you know I'm not taking the "rectal". I'm actually receiving the drug by infusion into a port that goes directly into my heart.) in order to deal with my pain. When I go out I need to be able to wear a belt so I can carry the heavy pump on my waist. Currently I only have two pairs of denim shorts with belt loops. (Examples from where I wear a 66 "big" and where I, also, wear at 66 "big".)
     Those are clothing items I actually need right now that I've waited a little too long to keep up with.

Everything else that I "need"... I can live without. Does that make sense? It's just a matter of, again, trying not to fulfill "orders" that I'll never be able to use. I guess it feels harder to explain than it is.

     We can always use your prayers. Kristin and I purchased tickets, months ago, for a Josh Groban concert in Portland, Oregon this Friday. I'm no longer able to attend but she'll be able to go with our friend Stephanie Jackson and I'm sure they'll have a great time. But I'd appreciate your prayers for their safety and that God will fill them with joy for this trip, as He has recently with our life in general.
     Of all the herbal/natural/homeo cancer therapies I've been... er... confronted? by - I've finally found one I'm willing to try. Preliminary, and I'm sure not very thorough, research shows that these drops have the potential to actually shrink the tumors currently in my system. It's not covered by insurance and is also not cheap. But I just feel it's important for me to try. I don't know why. So your prayers that God will show us a way to cover the cost are very important to me.
     Also, also, wik: Also, don't forget to celebrate with me, today's two year anniversary of the day the oncologists guestimated I would die. These days it feels more like, "C'mon Jamison! Die or get off the urn." I guess you could pray, along with us, about that too. That God will lead us or show us His decision.
Tattooed expiration date on the back of my neck "BEST ON OR BEFORE 08/24.2009"
by Yakuza Greg at Cry Baby Ink in Valley River Center

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm Bad At Math But I'll Try To Sum Up

     I cried today. In fact, today I cried more than I have in the last few weeks. There were multiple reasons. But they all pretty much rolled up into one.
     It's only in the last few weeks, maybe months, that I've realized how well Kristin's artistic talents and my meager design skills really fit together. There's the possibility that we just didn't pay enough attention to what each other had to give in order to allow an artistic "team-up" to bloom, or it may simply never have been a part of the plan. Now as she just begins to discover skills which I believe she's been naive too for so many years, and I begin to fight back against my fear of creation via the brush or other traditional utensil, there dawns opportunity between us that neither of us had ever considered. Now, at the end, is where it can all begin.
     Kristin's natural handling of glass in the fusing process, of using multiple layers and colors to bring out images that only her subconscious could truly render as art, knocks my socks off harder than Charlie Brown's on the pitcher's mound the opening day of baseball season.

     I've always recognized that she and I made quite the team. That, together, we could face almost any force or opposition let loose against us and prevail. She's just done so well at keeping her talent, apart from music, as hidden as the loosely lidded cup of coffee a deacon sneaks into the "No Food or Drink" sanctuary of church each Sunday morning. (Not my church mind you. As far as I know there are no deacons sneaking anything in to our church. We don't have deacons. We have Elders.) She's more than my "soul-mate". She's my mate. And every time I see my "mate" walking away God puts these words on my heart, "Aye-aye skipper!"

     Next week was supposed to be, let's say, "was planned to be," our last big date. Shortly after I went off of chemo-therapy for the last time we scrimped together money and purchased tickets for the Josh Groban tickets to his August show in Portland, Oregon. But my new pain killer regimen, which is essentially Dilaudid on a constant pump into a port that's shoved into my heart, won't allow much for travel, heat, crowds... essentially anything I couldn't do very well before now feels like a life and death situation.
     So, instead of enjoying one last incredibly romantic date together, I've spent a good deal of time trying to call in favors that no one owes to me in order to get Kristin (and the lovely Stephanie, who happens to be filling my seat) some kind of pre-show, mid-show, post-show or even via-satellite "meet-and-greet" so I can surprise my beautiful wife with one last romantic surprise. It's incredibly doubtful that this will happen. But, just on the off chance, if anyone out there has any contacts I've not yet explored... explore them. I'm completely willing to owe you a favor. Granted... it will be for a very, incredibly, short time. But I will owe it to you none the less and do my best to make good on it.

     This coming week I'll begin writing letters. I'll be writing a few letters which I plan to have mailed out after my death. People will receive these epistles for any one of many reasons from, "I had one thing left to say," to, "I've told you this a thousand times before but needed to say it one last time." Essentially, there will be very little rhyme or reason that one shall get or not get one of these "post-epistles" from me. I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me if you do not receive such a message from beyond. The only reason I mention them at all is I'm sure one person will say, innocently, something to another about a letter they receive and thus will begin the thought process of, "Why didn't I get a letter? Didn't I mean enough to him?" In some cases the answer is a resounding, "Yes." No. No. No. In fact these will be sent/written more for a whim than a why. (Wow. That's some good writing. If only I'd found such talent earlier in life and used it rather than wasting time on improvisational comedy and poorly written romantic songs to girls who, for the most part, either did not appreciate or did not know about them... or me.

     Also, some of you who've been keeping up may have noticed that I'm starting to lose my eye-site. The beginning of which comes with a lazy eye. Thought, I don't like calling it a "lazy eye". I prefer to think of the eye as just under-incentivized and I've been told that with my body fighting off all the other stuff, it's just too busy to work on the eye.
     The biggest tragedy in this whole eye debacle is that I have, until very recently, used my xBox 360 as a means for taking my mind off of the pain. Now that my eye has disenfranchised and seems to be working for an independent contractor I am unable to play most of the games I have, previously, enjoyed. It's hard to fight Hitler and Hydra when there are two Captain America's on the screen.
     Anyhow... That leaves my xBox up for sale. The Unit, 4Gig Hard Drive, Two Controllers, Two Rechargeable Batteries, Plug & Brick and HDMI Cable... Every thing two people need to play a basic game of Halo or Captain America even. I'm asking $175 because that's what I know I can get for it and it's a huge sacrifice for me, even though I can't use it any longer, to give it up.


     Please keep us in your prayers. Donate when/if you can. We're struggling to make it through... just like most of you are. Kristin could use your prayers more than I. After all, she has to put up with me and all my whining. All you have to hear is the, "Choose joy!" part of it all. You know?

     Love you all. Keep the faith. Remember that the place you're standing in is a whole lot better than it could be and hug somebody you love. In fact, hug somebody you don't like. It can't do you any harm and it's sure to confuse the heck out of them. Right?

And now, for those of you unfamiliar (or not familiar enough) with Josh Groban's work, here's the official video for Higher Window:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pray for Kristin, my Parents, my Dog and Charlie Sheen

     Yesterday I set myself about a new task. At least it was a new exercise, to me, with the goal of achieving results that used to come much easier for me. I decided, shortly after drinking my "horrible green stuff", that "Today I will find a reason for joy every hour. No matter what's going on. No matter how I feel. Every hour I will stop and find a reason to reJOYce!" To be honest, something I always endeavor to do at this point in my life, I'm not sure it did much good. At least it didn't do much good yesterday. Today is also a struggle, he said in a very Data like manner. I expect, if God chooses to keep me here another day, that tomorrow will be the same.
     I rotate between waiting to die and thinking about what I can do tomorrow. There are other notches in there, just like the "big wheel" on The Price is Right. You spin that wheel and, on the first spin, everybody hopes for the same thing. We all want that dollar! But every once in a while, he said as he began the process of abandoning his own metaphor, something else fills that dollar spot. I get this weir feeling that God wants me to go out and talk to a few people about my experience. To share where's He's brought me and how I've arrived there. I'm overwhelmed by God's plan for my life. I guess I need some prayer. So this is going to be yet another prayer request list. Just an opportunity for me to let you know what Kristin and I feel like we need and for you to look at ways you might be able to help make them happen.
     Direction: I know that God's plan for my life is the right plan. That whatever He wants from me is the best possible outcome of what He's given to me. Right now I'm not really sure if God wants me to continue or find the nearest exit. Either way, I'll need preparation to do it. What does God have planned? What is His ultimate purpose? Only He knows. Please pray with me that I will/can hear His leading and follow it on whatever path is laid out for me.
     Puppy Exercise: My health, such as it is, is currently completely without repair. As of late, Kristin has been dealing with some health issues of her own. Not just the anxiety and depression we've talked about, but some female medical issues which she is currently being treated for. The two combined mean that our little girl, Belle, is not getting the exercise or physical outlet she needs. The backyard and neighbor dogs just aren't making the grade. While we have no money to hire someone... Belle needs a friend who we can trust to take her to the dog park or just for a walk. Someone who's willing to take her along, handful that she can be, making sure to fill and carry her little puppy suitcases along the way.
     Finances: While we're still receiving "food stamps" and have some help with cooking what we purchase, they did recently cut our food stamps back by almost a hundred dollars. Plus, as I get closer to the end there's less and less we can do together other than catch the occasional movie with dinner. Those things, along with gas money to get us to medical appointments, church and back would really give lift to our spirits occasionally.
     I'll try for a blog with much more heart-felt beauty, poetry and joy in a couple of days. This is just where my heart is today. While I have an urge to go out and talk to people, I have no energy and no strength to really follow-through. Pray for Kristin and I as we face the future God has planned, holding hands and breathing deep the breath of God. In a couple days I'll check back in and we'll see what's changed. Maybe God will have directed us one way or another. Or maybe He will just have said, "Wait."