A Letter from Daddy

Blake and DadI, Blake's Daddy, would like to share with you my memories of our precious 23-month-old son. He was born on Sunday 04/04/04 at 11:58 PM. From that day forward, we knew Blake was a choice spirit. The love that filled the room when he was born was so strong and unforgettable. I remember the first few nights when we brought him home from the hospital. Kelle, his Mommy, and I awoke only a few times during the night to check on him because he was so quiet. Blake was so easy going, when he awoke from sleeping he would just lay in his crib talking and entertaining himself.

Almost every night Blake loved being chased by Daddy, he would giggle all the way down the hall. Then he loved to crawl into Mommy's arms where she sang his favorite Primary songs. When we prayed at night before bedtime, Blake would fold his tiny arms and close his eyes until the prayer started. Then he would open his eyes, play around and quickly return to the prayer position when the prayer was done.

Grandmas, grandpas, uncles and aunts always expressed that Blake was a good boy and how they loved having him in their homes. I know that Blakey was thankful to all his family babysitters, just as Kelle and I are very thankful.

I feel blessed that a couple mornings a week I would get to wake up with Blake and have breakfast with him and watch Disney cartoons with him. His favorite cartoons were Little Einsteins, Wiggles, Doodle Bops, and his DVD's of Barney. Blake loved to be outside. He loved going to the park and just running free. He even loved being in our tiny backyard, where he could spend hours if we let him. He loved picking up his bouncy ball and throwing it at our rabbit, Colby.

This past summer Blake and I went swimming almost every day. Blake started swimming when he was 5 weeks old and loved it ever since. At SWIMkids, our family business, we have award ceremonies for students who graduate from one level to another. In October, Blake passed his first swim level and received a beautiful rosette ribbon in front of his classmates and friends.

December 10th 2005 Blake became sick with his first fever. It seemed like Blake was sick with a fever every week for the entire month of December. Finally, on Christmas morning at 6 a.m., we took Blake to the ER for a miserable 6 hours. We came home with his antibiotics at 1 p.m., only to return to the ER that night because Blake was throwing up blood. We were transferred to Banner Desert Hospital Oncology where more tests were taken. By 2 p.m. on December 26th Blake was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. What a long day that was! Blake was released to go home after five days in the hospital. The next week he spiked another fever and was back in the hospital.

While in the hospital Blake continued to catch many viruses, bacterial infections and finally pneumonia, he was fed through tubes, had a porta-catheter surgically inserted into his chest, several chest tubes surgically inserted into his lungs, a tracheotomy, 4 different surgeries, I.V.'s all over his body, chemotherapy and spinal taps weekly, he was given blood transfusions, platelets, a nodule was removed from his vocal cords and 3 different intubations all in the a period of two and one half very long months.

Blake only came home for 1 day on February 5th 2006. This was the first and last time he got to sleep in his big-boy bed. I was grateful to sleep with him on what would be his last night at home. It was a privilege. Once again Blake went back into the hospital the next day with a fever where he would end up in I.C.U. unit two more times.

His last time in I.C.U. was the end of Blake's earthly journey. Every day we begged the Lord for a miracle on Blake's behalf. But the Lord had a different mission for our son. The night before Blake's passing I told my precious little redhead, Blakey that I would take care of his Mommy, whom he loved more than anything.

On March 8th 2006, under the advice from his physicians, we had Blake removed from the advanced life support machine. We were able sit by his bed and cuddle our sweet son for the first time in weeks. At 10:45, I gave Blake a blessing to leave this world in peace. We were alone with our precious young son as he took his last few breaths of mortal life in his mother's arms. In silence and in peace we held him tight and caressed his little hands and feet. We knew that Blakey was at peace and finally out of pain. We knew that letting him return to his Heavenly Father was the greatest blessing we could have given him. We learned in those precious moments that letting go is sometimes the greatest form of love. Though we may have to wait awhile, we know that we will hold our son again and that we will be together forever, someday.

Love,

Daddy