Wednesday, July 29, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEPH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everyone join me in wising her a very happy birthday! Please!

A biological friend who views her as a hero.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

What's on Your Bucket List?

(Scott here.) On July 10, 2008, the greatest man I have ever known entered Heaven’s gate.

Stephanie asked prior to the anniversary of J’s passing, on this and other venues, for everyone’s memories and stories about Jason during his 33 years on this Earth. I was comforted and blessed by reading those recounts and seeing those pictures, and I can only imagine how much it comforted and blessed Steph. I abstained from offering my memories until this point, but my most lasting memory is more about his impact than any particular event or circumstance.

In 2004, Tim McGraw released a song named "Live like you were Dying." He refers to what for Jason was January 7, 2008. He talks of someone who gets news that "this might be the end." We all had unceasing faith and hope on January 7 and until July 10th, but as I read Internet site after site, I realized on that first day that "this might be the end." The ugly L-word is ugly for a reason.

McGraw’s song is powerful as he recounts all that his father did when he got the news that the end was near. In a powerful way, he recounts the "bucket list" of his father. (Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman made the "bucket list" term famous in the 2007 movie by the same title that was about what they wanted to do when faced with death. )

McGraw’s dad went skydiving, he went rocky mountain climbing, and he went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu. He loved deeper, and he spoke sweeter. He gave forgiveness that he’d been denying. All the while, he hoped that others would get the chance to LIVE LIKE THEY WERE DYING. But for the subject of the song, he had to find out he WAS dying to live like he was dying.

From the beginning of his illness, Jason was far too ill to go skydiving or to ride a bull, but I doubt he would have even if he physically could have. Instead, he spent the next 6 months fighting for his life, getting to know his Heavenly Father even better and loving his family every chance he got and in every way he possibly could. To me though, the last six months were almost inconsequential as it relates to his bucket list.

J’s lasting legacy and my most precious memory is that he lived every day from the day I met him living "like he was dying." I remember on July 12th, 2008 listening to Paul Koonce, Scott Hall, Dr. Ronnie Kent, Dr. Nagan Bellare and my amazing pop celebrate Jason’s life by pointing all those in attendance to live like Jason lived. Jason lived every day from the moment he gave his life to Christ like he was dying. He knew, like most of us claim to know, that every moment was precious. He lived fulfilling his "bucket list" for many years prior to learning that the end may be near.

He didn’t sky dive or ride a bull, but he loved my sister like she was the only woman on Earth. He adored his children, and his massive arms could calm even a colic baby – not only due to their size, but primarily because all three of his children could feel the unceasing love in his grasp. Every friend he ever had from every walk you could imagine looked up to him due to his convictions and the way he lived his life. He loved his friends in such an unconditional way that he had no enemies. These are but the surface. As you dig deeper into Jason Weathers’ life, you see even more how he lived every day like he was dying.

My desired bucket list is simple. I want to live like I am dying in the same way Jon Jason Weathers did every day of his life.

I miss you J. I will always love you sis. May God continue to bless those precious children. As Dr. Kent pointed out during J’s celebration service, Psalms 112 promises us that blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in His command. His children will be mighty in the land. Because of this, I know that great things await Anna Lea, Jon Brent and Ally. I rest assured in these words.

God bless Jon Jason Weathers during this anniversary month. I can’t wait to see him one day. (J, put in a good word for your brother and me. We need it.)


Saturday, July 11, 2009


Giants by Mike Madaris, Written 7/12/08, upon the coronation & homegoing of Jason Weathers.

Giants still walk the land occasionally.
I know this, because I knew one.
Physically strong and imposing
But that’s not the topic here,
For, he was not fearsome
Unless you lined up opposite him
On a football field
Or tried to throw him into a pool against his will.
Those aside, He got along with everybody.
Literally, everybody, as far as I knew.
Calm of demeanor, yet loved to laugh.
Quiet in personality, yet loved hard rock.
Intelligent, but not desiring to flaunt that.
Private, yet the son of a very public man
And later, married into another very public family.
In the midst of all, he was a giant.

The courtship. She was the only one.
They met when her Dad took a job at the giant’s church.
And his Dad’s. And his Granddad’s.
The realizing came quickly to most.
These two were a match.
They realized it too.
The courtship lasted until they finished college.
And he remained a giant.
Always loving, yet always honoring.
Serving. Cherishing. As it was intended to be.
Role models. Giants.
Who else marries a giant, but another giant after all?

10 years of marriage. A move to FL.
3 children deeply treasured.
One looks like her mother, yet like Dad in temperament.
One looks like his Dad, yet tempered like his mother.
And one too young to answer these questions
Though she surely looks like her Dad.
Each nurtured. Treasured. Celebrated.
Giants are like that about their offspring.

A servant’s heart.
Toward his lady. Toward his children.
Toward his friends. Toward his Lord.
Church service involved the out of the way
The behind the scenes
The un-glamorous
The invisible.
Sometimes giants stay in the background.
Perhaps that is why so few of us believe in them any more.

The servant heart spilled over into career choice.
Especially poignant to me this week
As I have been greatly served and blessed by multiple nurses
As a patient, I say the best in that field are wired as servants.
Others-centered. Paycheck almost incidental.
Towering over the rest of us.

The dreadful disease with the nasty prognosis
The treatment nearly as nasty
Uncertainty. Doubt. Fear.
In his case, for others more than self
Beloved wife and treasured children.
Parents. Parents-in-law. Brother. Brother-in-law.
Not wanting to burden others with the battle he fought so well.
The larger men among us worry about us like that.
7 months of desperate fighting.
Interspersed with time spent with family and with lesser mortals.
Like me. At Starbucks.
Still dreaming of an earthly future that would never be.
Then the end; rather, the beginning.
What, after all, is a last, horrendous week against 30+ years of a towering-above life?
Faith became sight.
Death & disease forever vanquished.
Healing. No more illness, no more treatment, no more pain.
“Well Done, good and faithful servant.”
The stuff of dreams. Thankfully, not of legends.

Hopes and dreams realized.
Sin not only defeated, but now utterly removed.
As has been sung, "I can only imagine." He need not imagine any more.
This makes me smile through tears.
Victory won. Decisively. Forever.
It is well…it is well with his soul.
In that land, there are only giants. Now one more.
And this land seems all the more empty.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Remembering Jason's Life

Two days in a row! I am not sure how that has happened, but here I am! Today I had a couple of hours of what I would consider down time. Anna and Jon Brent, along with Ross who has been staying with us for a few days, had gone to the Brent's to hang with this precious family for the day. What a treat for my crew and for me! Anyway, while Ally and I were spending some time together, I found myself totally consumed with the loss of Jason. I was remembering all that took place the last week of his life. I was focusing on all the dreams we had together that were never fulfilled. I was looking at how much Ally had changed since Jason saw her last and thinking how they both had missed out on each other. It was one of those moments where I was totally paralyzed with grief.

I decided at that particular moment I needed to focus not on his death and all the things that didn't take place rather I should focus on his life and all the wonderful things that did take place. I needed to focus on all the years where leukemia didn't mandate our conversations or our thoughts. Even the good memories can be tough to focus on, but MUCH easier than what we actually faced the week he died as well as the six months leading up to it.

So, tonight I need your help. I wrote a status on facebook asking for YOUR memories of Jason. I have so enjoyed all that so many have shared. Many on facebook and several more through email. I sat Anna Lea down tonight and read a few to her. It did my heart good to see her smile while hearing the things so many remembered about her daddy. Please take a moment and share a memory you might have of sweet Jason. You may comment on this blog, my personal email ( or facebook.

More to come from me in the next few days...of this I am certain! Our God is at work and I am a recipient of His goodness. He is faithful even in the darkest of times. I press on knowing He is working for my good!

This is the week

This is the week that I have been dreading for so long, yet at the same time I have wanted it to come and go quickly. Have I mentioned how tricky grief really can be? July 12th marks the one year anniversary of Jason's death. This time last year I had no idea that this would be the week that Jason's life would end. I knew he was very sick. I knew he was most weary of fighting this horrific disease, but I had no idea what would unfold on the afternoon of July 9th. (Respiratory failure due to chemo induced pneumonia which then caused Jason to go into cardiac arrest.) I spent over an hour reading Jason's caring bridge site tonight...specifically the entries written this week. To say that was difficult is a huge understatement. So incredibly painful to relive, but for some reason I felt the need to do it. I will be writing more than usual this week and I thank you for the opportunity to simply share my heart. Tonight I wanted to share an entry I wrote on July 6, 2008. I continue to be amazed at how God works even in my pain. To Him be the glory...

It's about 11:45 p.m. and I had no intention of updating tonight, but I am up with lots on my mind. Not sure if those who are reading this day to day realize this, but writing in this journal is therapy for me. Pretty cheap therapy, too. News flash... I am not a great writer, not even a good writer, but I write here b/c in some ways it helps me. So... it is almost midnight and I need therapy.

In less than 15 minutes it will have been exactly 6 months since we started this bend in the road. Six months and right now there is no end in sight. I think this is the hardest part of this journey is not knowing when this will come to an end. I shared with someone recently that if we just knew we had to endure this for ___ number of months, we could all press on a lot easier. Those of you following Mississippi news might have seen the well known attorney's son that was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison. I noticed that this individuals wife is pregnant. My heart broke for her at first, however, then in an instant I wanted to call her and tell her what my life has been like the last 6 months and then encourage her that she could get through these next 14 months b/c she knows exactly when her nightmare would end. Call me selfish, I guess. I know God chooses not to show us how our life will unfold and in some ways I am thankful, but in other ways I wish I knew.

My heart hurts so much for Jason. He feels so lousy and right now he has nothing to look forward to because as soon as he starts to feel better he'll have to go right back to FGH and do it all over again. Please right now pray for relief for Jason. He's tired and weary. He's lost that twinkle in his eye. He tries to smile, but it's an empty smile. I miss my husband. I miss just hanging out talking about things other than medicine, blood sugars, chemo, body temperature, etc. I miss that sweet smile and laugh of his. I miss the way he interacts with the kids. I miss the way he is normally SO hands on with them. I just miss the things that this horrible disease is suppressing right now. I know that those of you that have watched a love one fight through something like this know exactly what I am talking about. Please pray that Jason will begin to feel better and soon. I need him! The kids need him! God is teaching me so much about patience right now. Obviously, after "hearing" my heart tonight you know that I haven't mastered the WAIT word. We're all tired, Lord. Give us all the strength and the perseverance to get through the rest of this journey.

We need MORE of you, Jesus!

I am even more convinced that our Lord was not only preparing me for Jason's departure from this earth, but He was also preparing Jason. He was tired of all that he was having to experience. I am so thankful to our Lord for never giving us an ounce more of what we can handle. His promises are true day after day. I had no idea that the night I wrote these words that Jason's journey would come to an end 6 days later.

I miss Jason so much and wish so badly things could have turned out differently for all of us, but His word continues to bring me great comfort. Our Lord heard my hearts cry on this day last year. He knew we were all tired. He did give us the strength to press on and He still showed up BIG and continues to do so even today. I have so many thoughts this week. So many emotions. Thanks for allowing me to share them here. Thanking all of you in advance for praying our family through this week.