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We took our first vacation without George. While it was very hard to not have him there; we felt his spirit, especially in the blazing orange Costa Rican sunsets. While we were there, we were saddened to hear that another boy we knew in Philadelphia, 7-year-old Weston, passed away following a heart and lung transplant he had 3 months ago. Please hold his family up in prayer. We continue to be reminded of how precious life is and how heart disease affects so many families; that is now 8 boys that we have known personally just in the last 14 months that have left us too soon. Thank you for the generous donations to Elizabeth's Jump Rope for Heart; she raised nearly $2,000 for the American Heart Association! If you missed out on that fundraiser, no worries...George's cousins are forming Team "Feel the Force" in memory of George in the Twin Cities Heart walk May 31. You are welcome to join the team and/or support them. Please see their webpage at:

http://twincitiesheartwalk.kintera.org/feeltheforce

Anyone who has lost a child knows that the pain never goes away; you just learn to live with it. We are so touched by all the thoughtful ways you continue to show your love. I even received a goodnight call from one of George's friends...how precious! George's class made Valentines for George and us. We laughed and cried when we read them. in closing, I have to share some with you (wish I had room for them all!). They reflect the innocence of George's age as well as how loved he is by his peers:

"Dear George's family, George was a life saver because he saved lives with jokes and smiles. I miss George."
"Dear George, You remind me of your heart warming friendship filled heart."
"Dear George, You were a great friend and still are a great friend. I'd love to play golf with you. It must have been hard for you to be so brave. You were like a person (wich you are) getting 100 shots in the same place! I wish I could be as brave as you. You were also so kind and selfless, joyful too. Thanks for being so wonderful."
"Dear George, I miss you. I wish I can make you alive again. I miss you."
"Dear George, You were funny. You laughed out loud. When people did a staring contest...you had the courage to win like an acrobat!"
"Dear George, You were a great friend to me. You love Star Wars. You were a Jedi. You were a Thinking Machine!"
"Dear George, I remember when you came back to school you looked so strong, I felt like you could lift an elephant."
"Dear George, you were a very good friend. You were so kind. When I think of you I think of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr because you were so nice."
"Dear George, When I think of you it's a bright sunny day, and I smile. You were funny and nice, I like that, it warms my heart like sitting by a fireplace."
 "Dear the Lagerstroms, I am so sorry George couldn't make it this Valentine's Day, In the beginning of the year it was a pleasure sharing in his last days."
 "Dear Lagerstroms, I am so sorry you lost a loved one. Have a great and happy Valentine's Day!"
"Dear Lagerstroms, I'm so sorry about George and I'm so sorry that you have to spend a loving holiday without a loved one."
"Dear Lagerstroms, I keep staring at my orange shirt and thinking about George. It's full of sparkles and reminds me of a sunny day. Be Happy! George was like the delicious Orange Angel Cake I had for dessert!"
"Dear George, You are so brave and yet kind. You are always calm and peacefull. You are the Great George. Friends Forever."
"Dear Lagerstroms, I'm thinking of you today with all my heart. I miss George's smile. I miss George's Laugh."

I think about George's last days often. It was like the end of a mystery when you go back to all the clues that lead up to the ending. There were so many special moments, right up to when we were all together at dinner that last night and George said "This was the best day I ever had!"