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Allen’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated about Allen's progress. Get started by reading the introduction to our website, My Story.

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Most of us in life may never experience what I would refer to as an "out of body" experience.  Perhaps a few spiritual leaders in history have achieved this via higher discipline of cognition and purpose.  Unfortunately, this experience can more likely result from near death, confusion, and fear.  In my efforts to understand the events of this past week, I realize that I have been faced with no less than 3 "out of body" experiences.  Monday I was struck by a seizure while driving only blocks from my house after a morning at work.  Without unnecessary detail this most certainly was the first such experience.  Soon after came an ambulance and hospital experience which included simple questions for which I had all the answers but was unable to verbalize.  As a result of this disconnection, confusion and subsequent frustration, I found myself for the second time in two days seemingly observing the situation from afar.  Not an experience I have begun to comprehend. 

Most recently my wife Andrea and I attended a meeting to discuss pathology results and treatment options.  This perhaps was the most surreal and upsetting experience for me for the very reason that my wife herself experienced the same sensation.  Together we seemed to be completely separated from ourselves, looking down and unable to comprehend the data.  I still cannot explain this, and maybe never will be able to.  The pathology report revealed Stage IV, Glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.  The prognosis we were given is perhaps what sent us out of body.  I can tell you it was not what we wanted to hear, but we were informed it is simply an estimation and not an accurate number.  We have a treatment plan and are looking at all clinical study alternatives as well.  We will remain positive and vigilant for the sake of Ethan and Brandon.  I will continue to give updates and insights as I can. 

Latest Journal Update

One Year - 3/6/2015 - by Andrea Parkes

Allen Thomas Parkes

Allen Thomas Parkes

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I don’t know what I expected when I woke up this morning. Was I suppose to wake up in tears, wake up with a “I made it to the one year mark!”, or even with a renewed sense of self and identity? Well none of these happened this morning when I awoke. I woke up knowing it had been exactly 1 year since I heard my beloved husband’s heart beat…since I felt him, touched him, kissed him. I woke up knowing the same was true for our boys. I woke up not knowing how to think or feel about a day every widow/widower so despises. Because of this I took a different approach to today.  I allowed my self to feel, to remember, to believe, to experience everything Allen. Not that I don’t any other day of the year. But the hustle and bustle of everyday life has a tendency to put this experience on the back-burner until the moment where it just hits you like a ton of bricks that something so special, so incredible is missing from your life and your childrens. Today I have allowed myself the freedom of not being busy with anything but “Allen” (and the boys of course). I allowed myself to reminisce about my life with Allen, our family’s life with Allen as a wonderful husband and phenomenal father.

So what did I find today? Has anything changed in a year? 
I found the pain and the tears are just as raw. That my heart still feels like it got robbed. That our boys’ hearts feel that way too. That I still imagine moments with Allen alive, by my side. That the boys and I still question why this happened. And that we are still picking up the pieces of life devastated by cancer.

But I also found the pain, at times, is a little more tolerable. That I don’t cry as often. That the boys and I are just as much warriors as Allen, who by far is our biggest hero. That love is infinite…it really doesn’t know space and time. That little by little we are creating new building blocks, from scratch. That I am not the same woman I was a year ago.  That I am someone different who is finding herself all over again, piece by piece...that the same holds true of our children. I found that I learned a whole hell of a lot more about myself from Allen, than I ever realized. And that life really is “too short”.

So here is our message to Allen: Tonight I asked Ethan and Brandon to pick some words to describe you, their daddy. These are the words I was told: awesome, fighter, lover, best, brave and special. Allen, you will always and forever be part of me. You will always and forever be part of the boys. I don’t believe there will be a day that you don’t come to mind and heart.  But I do believe there will be a day where the boys and I will be able to have the pain turn into happy, missing memories. Thank you for the beautiful moments, our beautiful boys, teaching me about life and who I am, leaving a very memorable legacy, and continuing to watch over us.  Until the day we meet again…we love you to the moon and back! 
5 people hearted this



Malte Farnaes
By Malte Farnaes — last edited
Andrea -- You are amazing.
Love always, the Farnaes Family
Susie Stinson
By Susie Stinson @ Avnet - Phoenix, AZ
You wanted to let you
know I am thinking of you
as you remember your loved one.

Praying God's peace and comfort for you.

"For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways."
Psalm 91:10-12

Prayers of comfort,
John Cliff
By Love, your dad
Andrea your note makes me proud to be your father. You teach the teacher. We all wrestle with the meaning of this life yet the truth is there is only one. What we do in our own way to make the world a better place and thereby elevate our soul. Some of us have more time than others to do this. And perhaps for some, like me, that time is needed. Allen however used his time so very well. He touched so many of us and left his mark of generosity, love, gratefulness, friendship, fatherhood, sense of humor, kindness, spontaneity, and goodness. These and other attributes are, after all, the final goal for all of us. I have read "There is a river of life, clear as crystal, flowing through the body of humanity, uniting all of us into one great being". Allen contributed greatly to that River of Life in such a positive manner. We are to rejoice. In physics we know nothing is created or destroyed, there is just change in form. Allen is still with all of us and forever will be with us no matter where our lives lead and will be with each of us when we move on. For this I am thankful having knowing him.
3 people hearted this
Ann Mears
By Ann and David and Benjamin
Awww babe... it took me a few tries to make through the whole post. You know we love you guys. Sometimes I still can't believe the whole thing happened, cancer and all that, let alone that Allen is no longer alive. But we are here for you.
1 person hearted this
Alan Wilson
By Alan & Sheila Wilson
What a wonderful tribute. Those boys can't lose with a mother like you and the spirit of their father. Take care
1 person hearted this
Claire Limandri
By Claire Bear
Andrea and boys, Thank you for sharing. i can't imagine and I hope I never have to. You are loved, respected and honored.
1 person hearted this
Debbie Abel
By Deb Abel
So beautiful, Andrea. Tears are streaming down my face with your words. The year of firsts is over now for many of us who have been on this similar journey with you. You are and have been one of THE most determined, strong and focused women I know. Your boys see that as much as they saw those traits in their dad. He will always be with all of you, in whatever form we transcend to.
1 person hearted this
Glee Hotchkin
By Glee Hotchkin
A beautiful reflection of your love for Allen and your boys. We miss him every day, too. Your boys are blessed to have had him as their father and you as their mother. May your memories bring you peace and comfort. We love you all.
1 person hearted this
Robin Wagner
By Robin Wagner
Bless your heart... I remember when our journey first began... 18 long months ago... I set in the dark, still in shock at my husbands diagnoses and stumbled upon your site... I posted a comment and your husband placed a ❤️ On that comment... It made me smile and gave me hope in some strange way, my husband has battled this beast with more strength than anyone ever could... He is on chemo this week, and you know all the rest. This is a battle that unless it happens to YOUR family you really don't understand it... People mean well, but they really don't KNOW what you and your children (we have a 10 yr old son) are going through... Thank you for sharing your story... Hugs and prayers to you and yours 💓 and many happy days ahead for you all!!
1 person hearted this
Melanie Kabo
By Melanie Kabo
Beautifully written. You are an amazing mother. You boys are blessed by both you and Allen.
1 person hearted this