Thursday, May 9, 2013

Landen's Ninth Birthday Today - May 10th

If you have read my Dedication to Landen - my precious great grandson, then you know the story.  If not, please go read it so you can appreciate my post today.
Landen passed away at the age of four years and three months of a horrible cancer called Neuroblastoma.  He was diagnosed in June of 2007 and was given 30 days to live.  He endured many chemos, radiation and a stem cell transplant and survived for 15 months - outliving all of the doctor's predictions.
If you've never seen a young child go thru this and I pray you never do, it is the most heart wrenching thing that I have ever gone thru.  We spent that 15 months in and out of the hospital - never leaving him for one minute by himself.
I did things that I never thought I would do - like climbing up and down the slide at the St. Francis Children's Hospital playground just to "do it again JuJu".

Once when Landen had chemo and he knew he was going to lose his hair again, he wanted to cut it.  So, we gave him a Mohawk and he laughed so hard.  He even tried to give Poppy a Mohawk.  John would have never let anyone put gel in his hair and play with it, but Landen did.

The next morning, he woke up and his hair was falling out, so he wanted the rest of it cut.  But, he had his Mohawk for an evening.
This precious boy loved to eat and really never lost his appetite.  He loved tacos and would occasionally want them for breakfast.  A fantastic crew at Taco Bueno found out our plight and told us anytime he wanted tacos for breakfast - just to call them and by the time we got there, they would have them ready for him.  This was back before they served breakfast like they do now.

He loved McDonald's cheeseburgers and fra-fries.  How many trips we made at various hours of the day and night to get him whatever he wanted.
He loved Spiderman, Superman and Batman.  I made him a cape and he wore it up and down the hospital corridors on our walks.  When he couldn't walk, he wore it in rides in the wagon.

The Doctors, nurses and staff at St. Francis were the most caring and precious people I have ever met.  They were there for everything he needed.  When he had to go to Oklahoma City for the stem cell transplant, his favorite nurse came on the day they gave him a party for his final day in the transplant ward.
This picture is on my nightstand and every night I tell him good nite and that I love him.

I thank the Lord for Laynee who has charmed us with her girly girl ways and we love her dearly.
If you have a little one, love them and hold them especially tight today. 

Landen would be nine years old today.  He's been gone from us for five years on August 31st.  He passed away on our 40th wedding anniversary so it is always a bittersweet day.
Till next time, Judy

Note:  Forgive the quality of the photos.  These were taken with my old regular camera and I had to retake them again to be able to post them.


  1. Thank you for this heartfelt post. Reading about your loss of such a precious little boy really puts life and its problems in perspective.
    What a blessing for Landen to be surrounded by family who loved him dearly during his short time on this earth.
    Mary Alice

  2. That's heartbreaking, and I'm so sorry that you and your family had to endure such sorrow and pain. Life can be so unfair, and often it's the innocent that can attest to that.

    It's horrible seeing anyone you love suffer, but it must be unbearable to have to witness a child going through this. Thankfully, he was surrounded by love and his spirit lives on.

  3. Oh Judy, what a sweet/sad story. Landen was all boy, loving the Super heros.. He was certainly a hero himself.
    I think Landen looked like his Grandma, "JuJu". He had your smile !
    It is so heart wrenching to lose someone that we love, but when they suffer before they pass on it is even worse..
    Bless your heart for being there for him. That is such a precious gift.
    Thinking about you !
    Charlotte in Va.

  4. A loving post and tribute to an angel that is still with you.

  5. I am so sorry for this loss. What a precious little guy. I know the hurt never goes away. This day, especially, must tug at your heart each year. Thank God for the sweet memories. May He give you grace and hope.

  6. I just want to give you a big hug right now. Praying the Lord grace will shower you and your precious family today and days like this one. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. Through his short little life I'm sure he touched many and his story will continue to bless others. ((hugs and prayers))

  7. Oh little Judy...what can I say? He is adorable. I can't imagine how hard it would be to lose a baby. We went through something like it with Emily. She started having seizures at 3 years old and they got worse and worse. They discovered a lesion in her brain so she went to M.D. Anderson in Houston and had brain surgery. She came home and was better and then started having seizures again. She had to go back to M. D. Anderson and have brain surgery again. They actually removed a large section of brain tissue. Today she is seizure free but lost use of one hand. A small price to pay. So for a few years, I went through the "Grandmother at the hospital all the time" thing. I am so sorry that your baby went on ahead. He is so cute. I believe you will see him again. They say God doesn't give you more than you can handle. He must think you are a real bad ass. Love you and wish I could give you a hug right now. Bev

  8. Happy birthday to Landen in Heaven up above, I am sure he is watching you with lots of love!!

    God bless your heart, My hubbies cousin went through this with her grandson, do not know the type of Cancer but remember so well their heartache!


  9. Judy, what a heartfelt post! Happy birthday to Landen an angel who is now watching over your family. May you hold those dear memories close to your heart.
    Xo Marissa

  10. Oh Judy, I am so sorry about your beautiful grandson. Know that he is up in heaven watching over you and that you will be together again.

  11. I read this post with tears in my eyes, Judy. Your beloved boy, who went through so much in his short life, is loved eternally. He is with you, my friend. And you are with him.


  12. This is so heartbreaking! But how wonderful you are able to enjoy the memories with this darling boy. As short a life as he had, no child was more adored and still is today. Happy birthday, Landen!! Blessings to you, Judy and your family. Mary

  13. Judy, such a sweet little boy. I am so very sorry for your loss.

  14. I don't know how you got through this, just the grace of God, but it is still so painful. I'm sending a big hug to you and your family. Mary

  15. Happy Birthday Landen! My tears are with you today Judy and Landen's family. I went through alot of heartache and illness with my son, Eric, who I lost when he was 24 years old. That was almost 4 years ago and the sadness is always there. Sweet Landen was so lucky to have loving family and care providers around him. He sounded like a real trooper and I know how hard it is that those sweet beings are no longer here on Earth with us. I KNOW we will be with them in Heaven when the time is right. God Bless you!

  16. Judy this is the most bittersweet post! Such love for such an amazing guy!
    I love that photo and his smile will always light up your life!


  17. Hi Judy,
    Praying for you. Thank you for the post, it means a lot.

  18. OH Judy...your sweet little Landen and your loving tribute to him are touching so many of us today...and teaching us to live fully. Thank you for sharing him with us...I know he is deeply missed. XO

  19. Sweet tribute to your little guy! So so sorry for your loss!

  20. Judy,
    Thank you for this heart felt post. What a beautiful angel Landen is. This really touched me. Thanks for reminding us how short our life can be and live it to the fullest.

  21. I've read your dedication to Landen before, but this post really made me cry! Cancer is horrible enough in an adult, but when it happens to a child, it makes it even worse. I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious great-grandson; he obviously touched the lives of many people in his short time here on earth. xoxo

  22. What a happy face he had. I'm sure you will always see that smile in your heart.

  23. Judy, I just read the very heartbreaking....

    He sounded like such an amazing young man, there must be a empty spot in your heart for him every day. The joy he brought to your family is obvious, and you have written a beautiful post about him.


  24. Oh, Judy... my heart is just breaking for you. What a precious little boy and so sweet and full of fun. I hate that he went through that nightmare that is cancer. So many people I love have, but never anyone this young. Yes, older children, but not this little. We lost my 19 year old cousin to cancer which he battled for three years, undergoing all sorts of horrible procedures and always smiling.

    Please know I am thinking of you and sending you BIG hugs.



  25. I know that loving Landen and losing him makes you who you are today. A loving and compassionate angel who spreads her wings and showers love down on those less fortunate.

  26. Ahhhh Judy. Thank you for sharing your sweet angel with us. You can see his sweetness shining through every picture. That is such a horrible, horrible disease. We had a young boy in Peterborough who lost his fight with that disease a few years ago. It was hard to watch him suffer and I didn't have a connection except through the community. I hope your granddaughter is helping to heal your broken heart. J



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