Jones Family

Jones Family
November 2009

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Happy 10th Birthday!

What a year...what 10 years! It's remarkable to me to think I have a son that's ten today. Brayden - I meant every word that I said in your card. You are such an amazing boy and your Momma still - and always will - think that you are the BEST of all the sons! We've had an amazing birthday week. Although limited to outdoor activities, we've still made time for practicing golf swings in the front yard, watching a birthday DVD at home of "The Blind Side" (so good) and having a mini celebration at home this morning. Brayden didn't waste any daylight on his big day! He watched the clock anxiously until the exact moment of his birth. He gave a big cheer in the car when he was 'officially' in the double-digits. Wow. Using these new digits, he began new calculations for the upcoming milestones in his life. 16...driving. Whoa...I just want to slow the clock just a bit and breathe in these moments.

This morning he had his celebratory birthday breakfast. After enjoying his new movie and special dinner last night, he enjoyed another movie while mom got ready. After sending him off to his room, he was able to come back out EXACTLY 10 minutes later. (thank goodness the tape held or he may not have given me one minute more!) We had some decorations and balloons ready for him with wrapped gifts and a special Golf Theme. He had a 3-D golf ball cake and after dad directed him in from his room blindfolded, his expression was awesome. He had a great time opening his gifts. Dad found a great deal on a golf bag and some clubs at a pawn shop about a month back while coming back from a road trip. Brayden has been BEGGING for them at least twice a week. It's been hard for Bryan to not slip up reminding Brayden he was cleaning them up to sell. So the sheer joy on Brayden's face to see that was for him was awesome! Dad got him his first golf glove and some practice balls of his own, and now he's ready for the day they can officially go on their first 18 together! (Mom is dreaming of uninterrupted scrapbooking time on those father-son golf outings!)

We had to wrap up the festivities and head out on the road. We're now in Little Rock and about to get some dinner. It's been wonderful just to take it all in today. After hearing Brayden beg almost 1 year ago to see the Capital building outside his room at Children's, we were so happy to fulfill that wish for him today. The flowers were SO beautiful planted all around the building! It was such a full-circle moment for me. I remember those nights looking out of his room at the lit-up Capital building and he was just begging to go see it. I promised him we WOULD go see it but he had to work hard on taking care of himself so he could get better. I remember the feeling of wishing we could just sneak out and go do that without hesitation. That feeling of being trapped and not knowing what the future would hold and screaming inside that it would happen...that he could really get to go someday. Not knowing when or how long away it would be...but still wishing and pleading for that day. It was a beautiful moment to take it all in and get some of those memories on film today.

We have more lists of wishes after he starts on steroids tomorrow night and his counts tick up. It will be a VERY full work week for Mom & Dad, hopefully a return to school for Brayden, and then an awesome Easter long weekend with getting to see family. We're going to make the most of each afternoon/evening this week for more things he wants to do for his birthday.

I'll post some pics soon of an incredible gift he received from sweet Ken & team at Crossmark on Friday. We went after work and Brayden's reaction was priceless! He was gifted with a shadow box set with an autographed football from Dallas Cowboys player Marcus Spears! I was so proud of him and how thankful he was and how amazed he was at such a gift. It meant so much to him. Thank you to Ken & the team for making this happen for him!!! He also was able to have lunch with sweet Korey, our Red Cross contact, as we worked on finalizing details for his second Blood Drive. More details to follow soon!! Thank you to sweet Korey for such a lovely lunch and some yummy sushi! Brayden was SO happy to finally get to go back and enjoy one of his favorites! Thanks also to Nini Annette for helping out so much on Brayden's Spring Break. Even though we were limited on what we could do, thank you for playing and helping and doing what you do best!

I better run. We've got a big day tomorrow. Please say a prayer that Brayden's spinal fluid will remain clear of any Leukemia blasts as he undergoes his sedation for chemo. He'll have 2 other chemo meds administered through his port. We want to ask questions about all the leg pain he's been having and are praying it isn't anything that will interfere with his progress or be permanent. He also has his 3-month Radiation follow-up visit, so we pray that is uneventful for him. It will be quite emotional returning. Looking back at pictures recently, I realized it was during that time there was no denying he was another pediatric cancer patient and that moment just took my breath away. We pray tomorrow is uneventful overall and we have safe travels home to continue the Birthday Week festivities.

I don't want to take a moment for granted today. It's a truly special day. When our lives were frozen in time last year, a birthday celebration seemed so far away and so uncertain. It's truly a celebration today and one that we hope and pray we never take for granted. We are SO proud of you, Brayden! Keep smiling, keep wishing and keep that sweet spirit!!


  1. Hey Birthday Boy!!

    Wow! The big #10 - that's a special one, and just 3 short years away from becoming a TEEN-AGER!! We are so excited that you have come so far in this year, and we pray your 10th year holds tremendous blessings for you! We can't wait to see you at ACA!!! You are in our prayers, and we all send our love!

    Mrs. Welshenbaugh for the W Clan