Today is just one of those dates that is embedded within. It is not that it is used against you, it is that you embrace it with love and the memories- all of them from a life- that it beholds.
I think this day used to be hard as it marks the day Nate left, yet I do not dread it as I once had. Today is 6 years since he took his last breath, but it is 6 years that I still feel he watches over all of us. Some days I could still consider him to be his onery self.. and hear the echo of how I make much to much of this.. change your "o" to an "e".. or simply ..'do what makes you happy'
He was a character- and he is missed as well as remembered. His presence is still felt in times of need. I love the friends that share their stories... a picture shows up,..a song on the radio.. a memory of baseball or a random #17... and even a swirling of cotton in the wind.. He is in his own Field of Dreams being an angel.. playing more games than just baseball.
Today is not a sad day. It is a day to smile- to remember- and to be happy to be a part of his story.
" Allow your death to be the moment of your greatest glory, not an ornament of your greatest sorrow"
I do not think this day will ever pass without having some twitch in the pit of my stomach, yet I do like to view it with a smile over tears. I do still feel so blessed to have been his mom.
It is hard to believe 5 years. I do think I have seen more change this past year then all 5 combined. I took time to look back at some of Nate's words in these posts, they made me laugh...the Huckleberry Finn reference in one is still a crack up.. or the one he starts in Spanish after the memory loss...of course he enjoyed calling me old, making fun of his siblings and Dad too... but lately I truly feel his favorite quote from the Shack that he posted.
" There are times when you choose to believe something that would normally be considered absolutely irrational. It doesn't mean that it is actually irrational, but it surely is not rational. Perhaps that is suprarationality: reason beyond normal definitions of fact or data-based logic; something that only makes sense if you can see a bigger picture of reality. Maybe that is where faith sets in."
Life has become suprarational. It has taken me this long to realize that during deep pain, it is a life of humility, of risking to give in to the experience that allows us to heal into something entirely new. Feeling the feelings verses just thinking them through.
Today is a day to remember happy memories of Nate. Feel free to share any here- He still echoes in my head as well as my heart and many days I get to smile at what I know he would say, or what he would do. As well as the real stories that just come back in a flash with a giggle or an eye roll as he was still a teenager during most of this and an ornery one at that.
I am still very grateful for all the support over the years. It has been a 'jurney' and not only am I blessed to have been Nate's mom, I am blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people.
May 21st marked the 4 year mark of Nate's passing. I stil find it hard to believe time has passed at all for there are moments it still feels like yesterday. then there are moments when it feels like so much time has passed and I have been numb to it. There have been some exciting things happen that i am sure Nate is proud of.. Dave graduating college- Dan graduating High School-and Nicole making some life choices for herself. i know Nate watches over them. As he does a few others- there always seem to be little reminders of him that trinkle in and just let you know you are okay. His strength still shines through. I loved the snow on Mother's day.. that would be a trinkle.. snow just for me! Life is still flowing.. and we are going with the flow wherever that floats to! I still so appreciate all of you - all of the support- kindness and love - thank you.. I do hope you all keep in mind to do what makes you happy. There are still so many of his Nate-isms that come to mind. Thank you... Blessings ~Sal
I wanted to share some news and request for you to share.
the time has come to put Nate's story in a book. A friend, Kal Rucker reached out who is a sports writer and wanted to write on Nate. It has become our project as we share our perceptions.. kind of like from the inside out.
It is at the beginning stages as we sort through stories, organize thoughts and decipher direction. There are obvious people he will want to talk to and have questions for as well as this request if you have anything to share- how Nate maybe effected or inspired you. You can leave it here on caring bridge, or email, call or text either one of us.
I wanted to honor Nate today as we are at the three year mark.
It is three years today that he took his last breath. Somedays it feels like yesterday and other times it feels so long ago. The most touching thing is regardless of time, we still get told stories from people we hardly know how Nate touched their lives. Someone this weekend, once realized who we were, asked us to read his daughters blog.. and someone we know well shared how growing up with Nate impacted her son. My own mother still has stories to share from when Nate stayed with her.
So as this is the proverbial third year, please share a favorite Nate story. Stories are what help the healing, touch the heart and keep the love flowing. Nate no longer being here has moved all of us differently as grief is a personal experience and asks us to accept, forgive and change in ways we may or may not be ready for. Life for us all is just a constant story.
As far as our "now" story, it continues. We do feel like home in our new house, all the kids will be home this summer, and Mark is in the midst of planning the 5th annual Win The Battle tournament in July. Baseball is still a household word and Dan played at Nate Jurney Field this spring for Ralston Valley. Nicole is home from her second year at ASU and Dave finished his third year at CSU. I am sure Nate would be proud yet still have some comment to add to the story!
Thank you for checking in and thinking of Nate. I am still in awe of the support, love and prayers that was showered over us during those trying years and even now. how blessed we are!!
please do leave your favorite Nate story.
"Take no thought for what should be or what should not be, but seek ye first to know the good of God, which already is"
It is Nate's 23rd birthday today. We traveled home from Tucson today and did a party tonight with chocolate cake and tres leche cake. Two of his favorites.
We enjoyed seeing old friends and new friends as we toasted to Nate.
I no longer look at it as the years he is not here but more in the years that he has been here and what he has taught me. what a blessing to be his mom and have learned so much.
Happy Birthday Nate!! We love you!! Hope you all find a piece of chocolate cake, or cheesecake, or key lime pie or tres leche cake to enjoy and remember a favorite nate story... ( tres leche is like desert de rosa from carrabas..)
Thanks for checking in.... good night to all.. please feel loved!!
I wanted to update and share the new scoreboard at Ralston Valley. How cool!! I feel so blessed and appreciate all those that helped make that happen. Words cannot describe how it feels.
It also comes on a day when I am in where all of you have been on our journey. Its different to switch seats. My heart still aches and my tears still fall and I still want my wand to make it all better for everyone. But all I have is a little bit of hope that needs to be shared.
I went to meet friends tonight with a heavy heart. Woody Roseland, our recipient from last years Win the Battle tournament, who spoke at this years tournament, found out cancer returned. It is in his lungs. I have enjoyed meeting this young man and his incredible attitude. I laugh at his youtube videos and feel honored to call him friend. He is the definition of taking ordinary to the extra-ordinary. Google his name or go to 9news.com..http://www.9news.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=1820289673001 they did a story on him last night and have a link to his website. I want a wand.
I also have been following a young man in his freshman year of high school at Ralston Valley fighting the same cancer Nate had although different location. They are in a place no one should have to be and I hurt for them knowing how it feels. I want my wand for them.
As I have wand in hand I want it for our other friend who has surgery tomorrow to figure out what is going on.. after chemo the spots still light up.
My wand however is that of thought. The finding out of Nate's sign at the field touched my heart and driving back from meeting friends, was the most beautiful rainbow. A rainbow is God's reminder of love for us. That is my wand. The little things God shares in times we need to see them as big. To be the little bit of hope I can share and hopefully spread. Mother Theresa said it is small things done in great love that make the difference. I am sharing the sign in great love, sharing the rainbow in great love that perhaps just this small thing can add together great hope and make a difference. That is all my wand can do. Maybe we all need a wand.
As always, I appreciate you allowing me to ramble my thoughts. I truly never would be where I am without all of you and your kindness, support and love. As you gave us prayers, mine go out as well. I truly appreciate and value you all.
I wanted to update to honor Nate for the second anniversary of his passing..
It's actually hard to believe it's been 2 years when it still feels like yesterday. I did sorta take the week from Mother's day to May 21st to just 'be' the pain... from that deep understanding of God to be able to keep your faith regardless of what is going on around you.. your heart remains open to God..yet hard to do consistlently..there are times when you have to feel the pain- in essence be the pain knowing that God will take it from you when you are ready... I find days where I am still waiting for God to take it..
We didn't plan anything big.I found it sweet the baseball team did a camp out on the field and lit candles in a #17. I have also been touched by many texts, facebook messages, pictures and lyrics.. "The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen" Thank you for for remembering him! :)
As a family we decided to honor him quietly. Everyone being home, we decided to play cards and go to his favorite dinner place. First round of games proved Nate taught his siblings well and cheating was rampant..even Mark got caught.. causing some belly laughs!
Then we were taking dogs before dinner.. Mark came with me on his bike while the kids got ready.. yet Nate is still the oldest and in control. As I was running, TJ stopped and sniffed, I kept going until a heron flew above me while Mark Schultz "He's My son" bellowed on my ipod.. I stopped, looked for TJ as he had his paw up.. not able to put weight on it, we made it to water, called Mark, got him to the vet and it was a rattlesnake bite.. We missed dinner. Was at the vet til 9pm and ended up with take out. Totally feel Nate saying not to make a big deal of all this ..keep it simple... and a little scare for TJ but I know from the '08 surgery you can have crossing experiences so maybe TJ needed to have some Nate time..
Either way.. I am grounding him in heaven for being so ornery!! although I was told to send him to his room would be a baseball field where he can play catch with Lou Gehrig so .. what was my point? ;)
So we ended up with take out.. played more cards and made the best of it. As it feels like yesterday and I look back to feel more... I am reminded.. "life is lived forward but understood backward" Soren Kieregaard yet I think Nate would say to understand it while it's happening.. and I am working on his story with a blog.. www.natesjurney.wordpress.com and criticism is welcome! Its at the very beginning stages.
Again- thank you for being there. from the beginning to now, always and in all ways.. we so appreciate the sharing of a life with all of you.We all have the opportunity to do something to leave this place a little better than when we got here.. I believe Nate did that as did many of you who have touched me and made me better for it! Thank you, deeply.
I wanted to say Happy New Year! Today marks 20 months and its still not much different than any other month.. maybe time does not heal all wounds??
This will be my last update here. From now on my energy in writing is going to a book for Nate's story to be told. The message in his story is my New Years Message to you!!!!
I have been re-reading notes, articles and ideas. I came across a consistent theme. It fits a lot of what friends are going through right now. Including the young adults we know going to study abroad. How proud of you we are and envious of your experiences!! How awesome! And the friend who quit a great job to follow a dream as well as friends struggling with other lifes challenges. Life is perceptional.
So my constants will be in threes like fairy tales.. the three bears, three little pigs, three billy goats, etc.. I love fairy tales and always look for the happily ever after... :)
So the first is from one of my favorite parts of the Shack. I know Nate's favorite went in to last years "Nate-isms". Mine is chapter 14- Verbs and Other Freedoms.. in essence- God is a Verb.. it uses the words responsibility and expectancy. The word expectation is a killer. It is expectancy that you want. Responsibilty is really your abity to respond. To be the 'I am' and not get stuck in a noun 'role'. It is a chapter worth reading.
Second is a quote from an article off of the RV Express. It hit home to read this and applies to anything we face in life. Cancer or just lifes challenges or changes.. "Nate told everyone to play every game as if it were the last. Most people would decide to do everything in order to stay alive, however Nate did everything in order to live." Shay Hicks- It flows with what was being said in the Shack.. and how many of us are just staying alive?
Which goes to the third.. Better than a Hallelujah.. when you are living in order to live not just to stay alive then you are the better than a hallelujah.. still love that song-
Truly do hope you all decide to live over just being alive.
Today marks 19 months, it is before the Holidays and it is snowing. I felt I should share Nate's 'presence'.
I know I have shared before how connected I feel to hawks. I used to see them when Nate was sick and take comfort that all is as it should be. When he passed I would see them at the dog park, off the deck and even Mark found comfort in them. There was a hawk on the scoreboard the first time we went to see the Nate Jurney Field sign. When I would see two, I would think of Hope as well.
So the week of Thanksgiving started a retreat. I saw two hawks as I was running the dogs. I took it at as comfort and a hello from Nate and Hope. Yet as I saw them again the next day in the same trees, I began to think they had something to say. I quieted my mind and felt the whisper "don't lose heart".. I of course wanted a complete explanation but they flew off. When I saw them again in the same area my heart raced. I again quieted my mind to see what could be heard. "Be at peace".. it was a clam, quiet moment and I could feel the peace as again they flew off. It was a day or two before I could get back there. The snow had delayed our run to that part. Yet, sure enough as we made the way a hawk flew over head as if as a guide. I only saw one hawk this time, the smaller one that I sense as Hope, and I couldn't quite quiet my mind as well. It sounded like 'feel the love' and as I looked up and asked I heard ruffling feathers and the bigger hawk had been there, I just had not seen him, and he flew off.. I half giggled figuring I just got made fun of for not understanding.. as I giggle every time I see an almost half full mooon that Nate made fun of me for saying one night. I don't always make sense! :) I left not quite sure of what the message was. So I was anxious to get back. The next time I went I saw a hawk right at the beginning and it flew off, spreading its wings and gliding in the direction of where we meet. I picked up my pace. As I got close to where I always see them, a smaller bird hovered over the turn as if waiting for me with its wings spread and humming then turned and went straight to the trees. I followed but didn't see the hawks right away. I kept going and found them in a different tree. I quieted my mind yet kept asking.. what did you mean? was it feel the love? and as I questioned the hawk flew up, spread its wings and flew to the original tree. As I began to wonder the smaller hawk did the same thing. I got it. "spread the love".. as they spread their wings- spread the love! They stayed in the tree a bit longer.. I tried to listen.. another message came "know who you are". That one was a bit humbling and as I ran off, I kept my eye on the hawks who stayed.. it was an eerie but calming feeling. When I made it back up to the hill, I turned and could still see the outline of the two hawks.. I waited. It was as if they were saying goodbye. I didn't understand, I knew I would be back but truly felt their goodbye. I was shocked the next day when I went back. Over by the tree I met them at was workers, trucks and I can no longer run that way. Wow!
I have since relfected on all of that. Some felt like exactly what needed to be heard at that time. Some felt like I needed to transform in to my Christmas letter. Now- I think it is just to be shared. The simple messages- 'don't lose heart', 'be at peace', 'spread the love', and 'know who you are'. Yet profound- 'don't lose heart'- always knowing God is bigger 'be at peace'- regardless of what is going on around you, keep your self centered with God 'spread the love'- the ability to kindle the light in another 'know who you are'- to discard our lables, roles and expectations and just be..just be who you really are.
I thank you for listening, allowing me to share and I hope you find the same peace I did in feeling Nate's presence as well as taking the gifts in the messages. I somehow feel it is a different present for each of us. Merry Christmas!
Nate has been doing well. The doctors appointment went well yesterday and Nate was able to go to the movies tonight!! We will go in Friday for the 48 hr outpatient chemo. Then check in on Sunday for the arerial chemo. It will only be for 6 hours this time.
To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did. When God takes something from your grasp, he's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.
A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to it's old dimensions.-
Oliver Wendell Holmes
It started with Nate complaining of knee pain. He had broken his right ankle playing basebktball and the doc thought it was overcompensating from having a cast. After following docs orders on ice, Aleve, and P/T exercises we went to a knee doctor. Nate was diagnosed with bone cancer on April 25, 2006. He went through four rounds of IV and IA chemotherapy . He has had surgery on July 19,2006. He has finished four different rounds of IV chemo since then and is going through physical therapy. He is a fighter! He has been working hard on getting his strength back.
Nate has done great. He played ball this past spring(07)- and went to Costa Rica in the summer. The scans for Sept were not so great. They found cancer nodules on his lungs.He has been on the immunity booster treatment since then and will have yet another surgery Nov 28th to remove a cancerous nodule from his lung. He is attitude is great and we will just move forward to get this all done. They did add a chemo agent to his treatment. It is still experimental. We now have started the new year with a clot from his port. The port is out and he will do shots to help thin the blood and dissolve the clot. As of Feb 08 he decided to bypass any more experimental treatments. The nodules have stil been growing despite feeling like he has the flu every weekend. So he just wants to have fun for his senior year, play ball and graduate. Then he will look at surgery or other options.
Nate had the surgery on June 6th. He did not recover well. they did take out all the cancer and the last scans showed know cancer nodules in his lungs. But- he has not been fully himself. They cannot determine if it is permanent. It is mostly memory issues but the neurological testing showed slowness in processing as well. This May, they found the cancer had returned.
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