George Lagerstrom's Journal
Written Feb 7, 2014 2:50pmToday The Lego Movie opened, a day George "Lego-strom" as he called himself, couldn't wait for! If you go see it, laugh with George and maybe wear some orange. George dreamed of becoming a Lego Architect someday. Legos continued to be his favorite hobby despite the damage to his hands. He seemed to enjoy supervising and delegating to others who helped him with his Lego masterpieces.
February is heart awareness month. Blake School raised nearly $10,000 for the American Heart Association in memory of George during Jump Rope for Heart. Mr. C even let the kids who raised the most money dye his hair orange! Seriously, check out the picture! I'm sure George was looking on with a great big smile. We cannot thank the kids, parents and Blake faculty enough for this amazing effort.
Elizabeth is participating in Jump Rope for Heart in memory of her brother on Tuesday and has a webpage at: http://jumphoopsmwa.kintera.org/lizlag
I still find it hard to believe when I look at pictures of George in the months before his surgery. He looked so healthy...until he walked up the stairs and could not catch his breath or came out of the swimming pool with blue lips. He could no longer participate in many phy-ed and sports activities. His oxygen saturation would drop to 75%; they wouldn't let him dip to even low 90's in the hospital. Congenital Heart Disease is the most common birth defect in the world. Twice as many children die from CHD in the US than all forms of childhood cancer combined, yet funding for cancer is 5 times higher. Much progress has been made for CHD through research, detection and treatment; for the first time more than 50% of CHD survivors are adults.
Thank you for all the donations that have been made in George's memory toward heart and many other wonderful causes. We feel blessed to have so many people supporting us and keeping George's spirit alive in wonderful ways.
Written Dec 24, 2013 9:33amThis Christmas, as we celebrate the most beautiful gift from God, the promise of eternal life, it has all the more precious meaning to our family.When we returned home the day of George's funeral, a little hummingbird was circling around Ed in the front yard, something we had never seen in the 12 years we've lived here. I had heard of people seeing uncommon birds after a loved one dies, often cardinals. We saw a hummingbird again at the gravesite the next day. And, as I was making bacon that Monday morning, a hummingbird was looking in the window near where Jack was sitting; now I knew there had to be something to it. I smiled at the thought of George picking something small and cute that eats sweets all day, but went on to learn more interesting facts about hummingbirds. They are a symbol of life and joy. Because they can hover and take time drinking nectar they remind us life is to be savored. Since they are in constant motion, they demonstrate perseverance. And,the pattern of their wing motion symbolizes eternity and eternal life. Over the next couple weeks, several friends shared stories of hummingbird visits with me who were not aware of our experience. And then there was the breathtaking full rainbow that appeared over the lake the first time we returned to the cabin since George had passed. Rainbows are referenced many times in the Bible, first as a promise from God to Noah, and carry much spiritual meaning, especially the beauty that can appear in one's life even after the roughest of storms. Signs like these provide much hope for us; however, I am not going to pretend that losing George hasn't been terribly devastating. We continue to feel uplifted by your love, prayers, and thoughtfulness.
We love the orange balloons that continue to be mysteriously replenished in our front yard each week; thanks to all those involved.
United Healthcare Children's Foundation (http://www.uhccf.org) did a beautiful book dedication to George and sent copies of "Oliver and Hope's Amusing Adventure" to all the children's hospitals in the country and all the elementary schools in the state. It is a lovely story of two friends on an adventure, who discover that sometimes the journey is just as important as the destination, while showing the power of resiliency, which was so true of George's last year. They also assembled and shipped "Silly Sacks by George" to CHOP in time for the holidays. The backpacks are filled with fun items that George enjoyed during his hospital stay where he learned that laughter really is the best medicine. Thanks to everyone at UHCCF for these efforts.
Thanks also to Tony Scott at Youth Hockey Hub for the beautiful tribute article to George on Thanksgiving at:
http://www.youthhockeyhub.com/news_article/show/313111?referrer_id=967184 He clearly put a lot of thought and time into it and it didn't go unnoticed!
Youth hockey players in Edina are wearing orange heart-shaped "Feel the Force with George" helmet stickers this season. We'd like to thank the Edina Hockey Association and all those involved for supplying them. It touches our hearts every time we see one.
Please pray for all the families spending Christmas in the hospital or battling medical conditions, that they may heal quickly and get back to enjoying life to the fullest, especially two of our dearest friends. And, thank you for your prayers for all of us (and there are too many if you ask me!) spending our first Christmas without a loved one.
Have a blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year. I leave you with a beautiful poem that I have received from a couple of you that was written years ago by a dying boy to his mother:
My First Christmas in Heaven
I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below
With tiny lights like Heaven's stars reflecting the snow.
The sight is so spectacular- please wipe away the tear
For I'm spending Christmas with Jesus this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear
But the sound of music can't compare with the Christmas choir up here
I have no words to tell you the joys their voices bring
For it's beyond description to hear the angels sing
I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart
But I am not so far away, we really aren't apart.
So be happy for me dear ones you know I hold you dear
And be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I sent you each a special gift for my heavenly home above,
I sent you each a memory of my undying love.
After all love is a gift more precious than pure gold.
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.
Please love and keep each other as my Father said to do.
For I can't count the blessing of love he has for each of you.
So have a merry Christmas and wipe away that tear.
Remember I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
Written Oct 13, 2013 9:26pmGeorge's 8-week-old English Bulldog puppy came from the breeder last weekend. George named him "Chewie", formally "Jedi George's Chewbacca". We had been on the wait list for a Boxer but George changed his mind after he got knocked over a few times by energetic dogs and thought a bulldog was more his speed! Chewie is absolutely adorable, always happy, a little bit stubborn, smitten with food, and hilarious...he has George's spirit all the way. Chewie has been a great distraction for us and has helped make our house not feel so painfully quiet. And somehow it feels like a part of George is with us.
A big "thank you" to Andrea Kellar and all the girls from the Patty Berg league that golfed last Sunday in "100 Holes for Hope" in honor of George to benefit Children's Heart Foundation". The weather was not very nice but it didn't stop these young golfers from coming out to play for George's cause...amazing
It is unbelievable that we have gone six weeks without our sweet George. I came across this beautiful poem that I read often:
A Child Of Mine
I will lend you, for a little time,
A child of mine, He said.
For you to love the while he lives,
And mourn for when he's dead.
It may be six or seven years,
Or twenty-two or three.
But will you, till I call him back,
Take care of him for Me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you,
And should his stay be brief.
You'll have his lovely memories,
As solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught down there,
I want this child to learn.
I've looked the wide world over,
In search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,
I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love,
Nor think the labour vain.
Nor hate me when I come
To take him home again?
I fancied that I heard them say,
'Dear Lord, Thy will be done!'
For all the joys Thy child shall bring,
The risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness,
We'll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've known,
Forever grateful stay.
But should the angels call for him,
Much sooner than we've planned.
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand.
by Edgar Albert Guest
First Published in a newspaper circa 1930
Thank you again for all your love, prayers, and support. We could not do it without all of you.