In a world that felt complicated , out of of our control , and uncertain, one fact always remained glaringly true.
Love is healing.
No matter the diagnoses.
The size of the hurt.
Love will always be our greatest cure.
Our army of Love gave Mike an extra 4 years of life.
The love shared from his doctors and nurses gave him the extra time.
The love from our family .
And our friends.
Love is what has made our children strong and thriving through what I hope to be their greatest tragedy they have to live through.
Love is what is healing my heart a little more each day.
Your Love is what surrounded me
Over the weekend.
And kept me Swimming through the grief.
Your love is what is healing our entire family.
It is not something I take for granted.
It is not always easy to love when you have been hurt or when life
Loving doesn’t come easy when you feel life has been unfair.
When your situations seem complicated and out of control.
But I am learning that if I allow love to take over the grief, fear , sadness, and hurt.
If I surrender.
If I forgive.
If I allow love to have the last word.
The healing will always take place.
Not over night .
And maybe not in the way you envisioned it.
But it is there.
I have to be broken open to it.
I have to be patient.
I have to be empty.
And then I have to allow the light back in.
The love in.
I have to do that.
The love and grace is always there to catch us , if we are willing and open to accept it.
Thank you for loving me through an extremely raw weekend. Where the wound in my heart felt as intense and exposed as the first weeks of losing him.
It is hard to learn to do life without Mike by my side for each big and small celebration. Day to day and big milestones. It is hard not to have his worry free nature not calming the unease I feel each day. That was his job. And he did it so well.
Yet , your love is making healing possible.
I know Mike is grateful for the way you all have loved us through these tender days.
I know he is proud of the way you all pulled together to make
him the top fundraiser and Leukidators the winning team .
I never cease to be amazed by your generosity. So many lives will be touched by your gifts.
So many doctors , nurses and healthcare folks work tirelessly for the vulnerable population each day and when you have been the rare , been the small percentage.
You become ever grateful that there are people working for a cure in what feels like a hopeless fight.
Thank you for helping us support them too.
And I pray that one day the world will have less cancer.
Specifically less leukemia.
The weekend was full of both smiles and tears , as it should have been.
We miss him terribly , but know he is still so alive in each of us.
Especially , in the laughter and joy of the littlest ones.
The kid’s have been meeting with an amazing counselor each week.
This past week they each shared with her about Mikes upcoming birthday and the race .
She had them each color a birthday cake and make wishes .
I saw Jake’s colored ( blue and orange of course 👏😜😊) birthday cake on my desk that night , where they had met virtually earlier that day.
It had one wish -
To hug him.
This is grief.
My heart and head struggled with that for the next few days.
The kids wrote notes and put them in balloons Saturday morning.
Celia talked about her balloon and worked on a note all week long.
She asked me a million times last week- do you think he will get it ?
I really hope he gets it and sends one back to me.
Of course I do , I told her.
I will always believe in miracles. Although his note back might not be in the form you want it. I’m sure he will write you back.
This is grief.
As we were blowing up the balloons that morning and making notes .
Graham says out loud so sincerely-
I miss daddy.
This is grief.
As I hugged him and he saw me start to get upset.
He quickly said - well not THAt much.😜
We laughed at the comic relief in the honesty of the moment as he reminded me of Mike-
I’ll be a little sentimental but not too much to make everyone upset.
But the more I have thought about it , isn’t it true that we are sometimes afraid to express our thoughts of sadness because we don’t want to make others sad too.
I sometimes feel like the character Sadness from the kids movie Inside Out . Always just sneaking up in moments of Joy. Where Joy looks At her like what the heck are you doing making everyone else sad🤪.
I’m grateful for the moment shred with Graham . That he wasn’t afraid to express it , that he felt safely surrounded and loved.
I want them each to know it’s ok to be sad.
Ok to cry.
Ok to be mad.
Ok to feel all of it.
And to tell someone about it.
Because it is sad.
Wanting him here to hug us.
Wanting him to read her notes sent to heaven.
Missing him on his birthday.
It is all sad.
It is all real.
But I want them to know that’s not where the story ends.
That their sadness is not the end.
It will always be a part of their story.
But it doesn’t have to have the last word. That when it is shared, the joy truly does come back.
And the weekend proved that for them. That’s what the race is all
about to me.
Just shared love.
To be surrounded by people that love them. When they were sad.
That hug them .
Hug them tight.
Or From mike.
I told Jake these hugs he gets are all from Mike.
And sweet notes from each of you.
Each word of kindness.
Each t-shirt worn.
They feel like a note back from heaven.
That Mikes love is still here.
Like Graham , for me It feels better to miss someone in company than alone. You feel stronger.
I believe people are Gods gift to us . Gods grace. Life feels doable with others beside you. They hold you up when you can’t stand alone.
Thank you for missing Mike with us. Thank you for celebrating his incredible life with us. You are Gods grace filling our emptiness with love.
We are filling our hearts with Fight Like Mike love by helping us find purpose from our pain.
Filling it with hope for a future with more love and less hurt.
We are also filling our cracked open hearts with your love you share with us each and everyday.
It is healing us.
One moment at a time.
Dear Mike ,
Happy birthday 🎈
October 3rd 1983.
I wonder how many times I heard you say that over the past 4 years.
Every check in at appointments, every chemo administer , every procedure, every radiation , your BMT , every infusion, every hospital stay , every blood product , every prescription pick up , every nurse , every doctor , every bill paid.
“Please State your name and your birthday , Mr Thames .”
Michael Geoffrey Thames , 10-3-83.
It’s routine for them to ask each person coming in. But Every time you said it , I thought about your age. Every time I thought you were too young. Every time it made my heart hurt. That it was you.
33, 34, 35, 36.
I wanted you to keep getting older. Keep hitting birthdays.
With me beside you.
I found a wrist band in your closet and I was brought back to each appointment.
You never let it bother you.
You would smile.
Of course flirt with each nurse.
Or give your doctors a hard time.
I miss your jokes. Have I said that before ? But I do. So much.
The thousands of times you bravely and proudly stated your birthday , will always be in my heart as the incredible fight you put up to be here with us , for one more celebration.
You were brave.
You kept going.
Kept fighting through the through each and every trial you faced.
I will forever celebrate October third nineen eighty three as your day.
Celebrate your amazing fight.
Your Fightlikemike day.
I miss you.
That’s all really all I know to say.
And thank you.
Thank you for subtly letting us know you are still with us.
On Tuesday, Jake’s tenth birthday, I missed you more than ever.
I still remember you driving me to the hospital the night before he was born. I can still hear Darius Rucker’s song , Alright, playing on the radio.
“ I got all I need , and it’s alright by me ,
Maybe a simple life but that’s ok. “
When I lay down at night I thank the lord above , For giving me everything I could dream of “
But was reminded all day , through friends and family how present you really still are.
And I am grateful.
My mom brought Jakes favorites from McDonald’s for lunch.
And the toy in their kids meals was a stuffed animal ...
We felt it was a hug , a note, and an I miss you back from heaven.
I wish it was simple .
I wish you were here.
But I’m alright.
Or I am going to be.
We had everything we needed for many years together.
Of course I wish it had been longer.
But I’m learning that the kids and I still have everything we need.
You are making sure of that.
I just have to believe it.
Thank you for sending these notes from heaven,
reminding me of that each day.
Thank you for sending Dory in the McDonald’s happy meal. McDonald’s
was your thing to do with them and so it meant even more.
And when I lay my head down at night , I still thank the Lord above.
He gave me you.
The greatest love I will ever know.
and everything I need.
We keep swimming with your notes from heaven,