This is Tony when he was about 5. He is a perfect blend of his parents, Neal and Sherri, who were our best friends when we lived in Alaska, and who remain, to this day, the kind of friends you would do anything for. We spent countless hours together eating, talking, playing games, worshiping, etc.
Our kids have played together since they were babies, and have continued to remain in each others' lives via Facebook. They are more like cousins than just childhood friends.
Though we have been gone from Alaska for many years, we have still managed to get together 13 long weekends since we left . . . the last time being in January last year when we went to be with them when Tony had surgery on a brain tumor.
We always pick right up from where we left off as though we have never been apart.
We still have a copy of their will in our safe which names us as guardians for Tony and his sister should something unspeakable happen to their family.
And something unspeakable is happening, and my heart is breaking. Surgeries and treatments for Tony, even from M.D. Anderson, have not been successful. While Tony should have spent the last 18 months finishing college, (he is nearly 22 now) he has spent it fighting this astrocytoma. And his body is not winning.
Tony is now in his bedroom at home in Alaska with his precious mom and dad. He is in more pain than his medication can relieve. He has lost feeling in some of his body. His brain can no longer make the connection between his thoughts and his words. He has stopped eating. His breathing has become shallow and labored. He is aware that he is dying. He is ready, but he is worried about his parents. As am I.
I am still praying for a miracle.