Rusty’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge website in honor of the Russ Man. We've created it to keep family and friends updated about his fight against metastatic Pineoblastoma brain cancer. We are undone by your love, prayers, and support. Keep storming heaven with us! We believe in signs and wonders. We believe in supernatural healings. God is good and he is crazy in love with Rusty...and so are we...and so are you. Thank you! --Adam, Mimi, Rylee Jean, and Rusty

Latest Journal Update

Grief has stolen all my strength

My kiddos are story junkies. Every single day I get asked at least once for a story. The story of the day they were born. The story of all of their birthdays. The story of what they have dressed up as each Halloween. The story of their first words. The story of when they asked Jesus into their hearts. The story of when I would spy on them playing. The story of all of our vacations. Many times they would tell the entire story in their request to hear that story. “Mama tell the story of the one time I was being borned and the nurses wouldn’t let you eat anything and you were so so hungry and Dada was too, so he called and ordered a large pepperoni pizza to be delivered to the hospital and he was sneaking out of the room to eat it. And you didn’t know. Tell us that one.” One day in early February, when Rusty was just strong enough to leave our bed and come out to the living room for short stints of time, he and I were playing the game of Life on the rug in the living room when Rusty asked me to tell him the story of when he was born.

It was May 2. The weather was gorgeous which was a plus since I couldn’t wear any shoes but flip flops because my feet were swollen. I had an appointment with my doctor. I dropped Rylee off with Andrea to play with Ty and Elyana. It was all the regular doctor stuff. Except my blood pressure was too high. The doctor had me lie on my side and try and relax for a good 15 minutes. No changes. She felt it would be best for me to go ahead and be admitted since I was already having contractions and they could keep an eye on that blood pressure. I tried calling Daddy but he didn’t answer his cell or his work phone. I talked to Ms. Shelley and told her that Daddy needed to come home because you were ready to be born. We called Grandma and Bama and they both were on their way. Rylee stayed with the Butson’s. Things were progressing then it was like you stopped to take a really long nap (that’s when Daddy ordered Pizza Hut). Around midnight you woke up and decided you were ready for me to hold you. You were born on May 3, 2007 at 1:21 am. You were 21 inches long and weighed 8 pounds 10.6 ounces. It was love at first sight. For both of us. The nurse was handing you to me when you grabbed her watch. She gasped in surprise. Daddy and I laughed. You had such a grip she had to pry each of your fingers back one by one. Her face was flushed and she was smiling when she put you in my arms saying, “He is incredibly strong. I have never had a baby do that before. I cannot believe his strength.”

Oh Rusty. You were incredibly strong. And I would like to think I was too.
But grief has stolen all my strength. It’s unbearable. The hurt. It is unreal. I am broken. I know I will learn to fake it until I make it with this new normal. But I can’t yet.

We went to Florida Monday after Rusty’s service. It’s where he had wanted to go. To Universal to see the new Harry Potter Diagon Alley. We stayed at the same resort we had the year before. And the battled raged on. Part of me desires to be every where I have a memory with my Rusty. To be close to him. To keep his memories alive and vivid. While the other part of me physically cannot. The bleeding of my heart is too excruciating. Adam and I started joking when we were quietly crying at every memory that people would simply think we were overcome with joy and happiness. As we cried on the airplane, “those two must be really happy to be on vacation.” As we cried entering Disney’s Magic Kingdom, “those two must really LOVE Disney.” As we cried walking down Diagon Alley sipping our butter beer, “those two must be really BIG Harry Potter fans.” As we cried eating crab cakes at Big Fin’s, “that must be the best damn crab cake ever made.” As we cried watching siblings play at the resort pool, “those two must really be sad to be leaving today.” Brutal yet beautiful.

I have cried enough tears to fill an ocean. And yet they keep coming. Majority of them are for Rusty. But many of them are for you. Your love moves me to tears. It is that powerful. To everyone who came to honor Rusty and love on our family, thank you. You will never know how much your presence meant to us. We love you and continue to need you and your support. Thank you for loving us so well.
40 people hearted this



Rusty Burch
By Rusty Burch
God bless you guys. Praying for all y'all, that there would be light in the darkness.
Rosanna Ackley
By Rosanna
my prayers for you and the family continue!!
Tina Oliver
By Tina Oliver
Watch for the rainbows; God gave them to Noah and there was a new day, new world, new normal. He gives them to us to remind us of that bright smile that is looking down and continues to fill our heart with love and trust and hope and yes, joy. Hugs :~)
Martha Manges
By Martha Manges
How could I not love your family. although I have never met Rusty or his family you Mimi have made it all real to us. When I heard the news I cried for all of you and what you have been thru. thank you for sharing.
Stefanie London
By Stefanie London
Mimi, thank you for sharing your story, your grief, Rusty and Rylee. I understand your pain---we lost our 19 year old daughter to leukemia a bit over a year ago. The intense pain remains--but that's ok because great grief results from great love. Rusty has eternal life---that means he's still alive---just in a different place. But he's with you and your family--helping you and guiding you and always loving you. I read somewhere that children who die are really old souls. I know when Meredith was little we used to say she was 4 going on 40. I sense that about Rusty too---some of the things he said showed such wisdom---and his courage was immense. He has many things to teach us all. His life was and IS a blessing to many. I believe Rusty is playing baseball with Jesus and other children and maybe even some baseball stars who are in heaven now. He was with you on your trip to Florida---I suspect you felt him with you. Just know that your grief is a reflection of your enormous love for Rusty. Losing a child I think is probably the worst loss there is--but we will see our son and daughter again. I hope Meredith meets Rusty in heaven. She's a huge baseball fan! much much love and prayers for you
lana smith
I'm not sure how I got on your website - perhaps through a friend. I am sure it was not by accident I have shared this wonderful and heartbreaking journey with you. Your words break my heart as I cannot imagine such a loss. I'm sure you have question that God alone has answers to. Please accept my deepest sympathy and know that many prayers are being said for you and your family.
Donna Criner
By Your NICK family
Rusty will continue to make an impact on this world. His faith and strength has taught so many so much and will continue to do so. We continue to pray for God's peace in your heart as you struggle to find that new normal. Whatever we can do to help you continue to honor and give purpose to his fight, we will do.
Love & Prayers,
Rosemary Kirby
By Rosemary Kirby
Praying for you. I suspect the depth of your love for Rusty is reflected in your grief...
dawn flasch
By Dawn Flasch
Thank you for sharing your emotions with us, for letting us all know the amazing love your family has for each other and God, for telling us the stories of your life with precious Rusty. We continue to pray that you feel God's peace and rest in the knowledge that Rusty is alive and made perfect with Christ.
Cammie Delph
By Cammie Delph
We love you, even though it's been a dozen years since we've seen you and shared life with you. We talk about you, we we talk about Rusty, as if we knew him. I wished we had! I have had 3 friends lose children this past year, but this has hit hardest. You cry your tears and don't apologize for it. You do whatever you need to do to make it out of bed everyday, or just open your eyes and roll over in bed. It's been a long, tumultuous journey and if you need to rest in your mourning for a little while, it's ok. And if you want to throw plates at brick walls or drink until the sun comes up, or say the F word a zillion times, I would do it with you. We love you and we are praying for you.