Friday, May 9, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday - Mother's Day Edition

Today's FFF theme is "Mother's Day." (I'll fill you in below on what I've been doing in just a few) O=-) It was hard to decide in which order to start sharing these pictures. Did I start with my favorites? (Those that have Brent, Zach and Gabe in them) Or those that have my own Mom? Well, I decided to start out honoring my Mom first. She probably deserves a medal for raising my sister and me. (Although, I'm quite sure I caused MORE trouble.. LOL!) I also want to give an honorable mention to my sister, Kerry since for almost a year she was our stand in "mom" for Zach & Gabe while Brent was in treatment. Yes, she and her husband selflessly took our boys in and kept them when our world began to fall apart. (St. Jude housing rules will only allow 4 to a housing unit - there were FIVE us in all) We decided rather than trying to alternate which of the other two boys would be with us, we'd just leave them together and visit when we could. Their little lives were in shambles too... why separate ONE of them from the rest of us? Anyway.. they moved in with my sister's family and they brought them to see us every week that we didn't get to come home.

So here's a picture of my Mom, my sister (Kerry) and me.

The next is a FOUR generation shot with my Mom, my Grandma, Zach and Gabe, and me.

Now, to share some of our boys and me. This is one of my FAVORITES! Yes, I know my hair is blowing all over my head, it's special to me because it's one of the last "formal" pictures that was made with all of our boys together. My cousin Stephanie offered to come and do a photo shoot at our home just before Brent entered treatment again. (We'd JUST learned that he'd relapsed)

Our sweet Brent & me..

This one is a little older... It was one of the last "formal" pics that was made of our boys & me JUST BEFORE we learned Brent had cancer in 04.

Another with Brent... (EVERYTHING seems to fall under "pre-cancer, during, or after." It's CRAZY like that...... This is DEFINITELY a "pre" photo.

One with Zach... (Also a LOONNNNGGGG time ago.. LOL!)

One with Gabe... it's about a MILLION years old.. HA!!!!!!!

I'll end with one of my all time FAVORITES. It was also taken by my cousin Stephanie. If you've been to Brent's caringbridge site then you've already seen it... A "kissy moment" with Brent (Okay.. I'm a dork, I forgot it's also on my blog. HA!!)

Okay, so I said I'd fill you in. Well, I'll have to do it quickly because I'm about to keep Allie Grace for the day. (WOOHOO!!!!!!) I'm just a little excited. LOL!

I don't know if I mentioned it here, of if it was on Brent's site but I've been dreading Mother's Day just a bit. Please don't think I'm ungrateful for what I have. I'm SO THANKFUL for all THREE of our boys - ESPECIALLY for the time we all had with Brent. It's just a little hard to think of celebrating being a mom without the FIRSTborn here with us. With that said, I've been trying REALLY hard to keep busy. Hopefully, I'll share some pictures of what we've been doing around here soon. All is "well" here on the home front... just missing Brent a little more these days.

Now, I'd like to end with one of my most memorable "Mother's Day" memories EVER. It was May of 05 and Brent was nearing the end of his treatment. (Although we didn't know it at the time... we wouldn't know it at all until we heard "No Evidence of Disease.") Well, we were living in the Target House (St. Jude Housing sponsored by Target) and I was SO SAD to think of celebrating my first Mother's Day EVER without having all of our boys TOGETHER. Link was driving us around Memphis (we were killing time). It just so happened (I'm pretty SURE that GOD was pulling the strings) that we were just heading back to our "place" when I got a call from my sister. She SAID she was just checking in... however, when we got out of the truck and looked around we saw them. They'd driven up with our boys to spend the day with us. It turned out that we weren't separated at all!

Yes, I'm SO VERY THANKFUL for my loving family, friends and these PRECIOUS gifts of LIFE that GOD has given us! Brent, Zach & Gabe changed our lives FOREVER in the most POSITIVE ways!!! Thank You, JESUS, for BLESSING me with such precious gifts - I LOVE them MORE than life itself.

HAPPY Mother's Day, my FRIENDS!!!

For more posts on this "FFF" visit Sarah at Kiss The Frog 4 Me.

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crispy said...

What precious pictures. I do hope that Mother's Day is a blessing for you. I am sure it will be hard too, but praying that you have some special times and moments.

I wanted to pass on a blog that I found that I thought would bless you.

It is a heart breaking story of a Christian family that recently went through a hard time of losing a child. It made me think of you with one of her recent posts.

Melanie said...

Hi, Tonya. I LOVE these pictures! As I started scrolling thru I would think "Oh, this picture with her mother and sister is the best!" and then the next picture I would think "No, this is great, too!" As I scrolled thru I finally gave up and decided they are all my favorites and you have one TERRIFIC looking family!

What a special sister God has given you! It must have been so comforting to know how well taken care of and loved Zach and Gabe were as they spent time with her while you were in Memphis with Brent. And, from stories you have told on your blog since then, I can tell she is still such a blessing to you today. God most definitely knew what he was doing when he gave us sisters, didn't he? (I have two very special sisters myself!)

I pray you have a blessed Mother's Day... that you feel God's love surrounding you and comforting you, that you feel the love I know Brent had for you and still does today as he watches over you from heaven, and that you have a blessed day in the presence of Zach, Gabe and Link.

Sending much love and prayers your way today!

A Stone Gatherer said...

I love the pictures! I have to tell you I'm here crying! I wish I could just give you a hug! As a mom my heart just hurts for you! So here you go ((BIG hug))!

Sarah said...

Tonya... I can't imagine how painful Mothers Day must be without being able to celebrate with ALL of your children. Your pictures with your amazing sons are all just beautiful... they have such a peace in their eyes when they are with you.

I hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend celebrating the life that made you a mother... big hugs, my friend!

LOVE the picture of you, your mom and your sister... beautiful women in the family!

Kim said...

What sweet...sweet. picture Tonya. You SO bless my heart each time I stop by!!

Know that I've been praying for you, and will continue to do so!!

Just crawl into Jesus' lap...and let his LOVE...wash over you.

Happy Mother's Day...sweet friend.


Susan said...

OK Tonya, we're even...

I made you cry, now you made ME cry.

This was just the most beautiful post ever. I hope your mom and sister get to see this Tonya.

I loved ALL the pictures, especially the ones of you and the boys!

I remember when you did those pictures outside, they were just breath-taking. I'm so blessed you were able to do this! God was good.

I'd like to wish your mom and Kerry a very Happy Mother's Day too.

Kerry was such a blessing to you, and I know she loved Brent and your boys like her own. She is one very special woman. She's beautiful, just like YOU!

I'm so blessed to know you and be your friend.

Hope you have fun today spoiling little Allie Grace, poor baby, she is going to be "kissed to pieces" today!!

Love you my precious friend♥

e-Mom said...

I loved every last one of these, Tonya! What a precious family, from top to bottom. Lovely to see all the Moms together too. What a blessing to have such a strong, supportive family.

Have a very special Mother's Day.


Dena said...

I will be thinking of you - I have tears in my eyes (which NEVER happens) your boys are gorgeous and their love for you spills out of them

Jenelle said...

Such beautiful pictures! You and your boys are all gorgeous. I love the kissing picture too--I loved it when I saw it on your header the first time I stopped by. What a wonderful Mother's Day memory you have! What a sister! :)

I can't imagine your suffering--all I can offer is my prayers.

Sheryl said...

Wow, what a beautiful post and a beautiful family. Thanks for sharing with all of us. The love and light of Jesus shines through you in an amazing way!

You've reminded me today to focus on what I have and not on what's been lost.

Happy Mother's Day,

Kristen said...

I love the are such a great mom!
I've had you on my mind this week, only trying to imagine how difficult this weekend will be for you!
Know you're in my prayers!
Happy Mother's Day to you!

Faithful Froggers said...

Hi Tonya!

Welcome back - I missed you this week!

I tried to post a comment earlier - but blogger was being so slow and I don't think it ever went through. But I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the pictures today! You are such a beautiful Mom - on the inside and out. And Zach definitely looks like you - he has your eyes! :)

I will be praying for you this weekend. May God's love bring you peace - above all understanding. It is so bittersweet trying to celebrate Mother's Day without one of our children with us.

Happy Mother's Day, my friend! May God comfort you greatly.

Reba said...

Beautiful pictures, beautiful post. And I also sit here and cry. Your family is precious and one of the things I have always admired about you is that you truly cherish your role as a mother in all circumstances. You have taught me SO much about who I am and who I want to be through your posts. Thank you for sharing...may Mother's Day be a special day of love and laughter even in the absence of your sweet son.

Faith Hope Love Mama said...

These pictures are precious!
Love the one with you and your grandma and mom. You and your sis look a lot alike. Hoping that your Mother's Day is filled with peace, joy and lots of love!

Nen said...

i love these pictures! your boys definitely have your beautiful eyes!!

Shari said...

I've enjoyed looking at all the family pictures. I'm so sorry that Mother's Day is hard for you. I can't imagine the amount of mixed up feeling that you must have.

Thanks for praying for my sister. She's made it two more weeks and is holding that baby in.

Young Creations said...

Happy Mother's Day Tonya. Hug up those boys closely. I too have a wonderful sister. We are blessed. I hope you have a loving and fun day.

Jennifer said...

Sweet post & adorable pictures.

Amy S. said...

Hi Tonya...I enjoyed all the pictures!...I must say you look like your sister.At first I could not tell you who was who! I hope you had a nice Monday!

Love and Hugs..