Death of a Superhero

A Family's Story about Courage, Bravery and the Defining Moments of LOVE

Our sweet, lil' baby love lost his battle to AML Leukemia on March 8, 2010. We fought long, hard and very aggressively for 2.5 years, only to have his cancer come back for the fourth time to finally take his life. He was only 3 years old.

This entire blog is about Hunter's amazing journey. It's about his life and his love......his determination and his courage.......his absolutely, brilliant personality, and the affect he's had on people all over the world.

He's left an unimaginable footprint on this earth and has changed the lives of thousands of individuals. People who didn't realize how precious life was, now live it with extreme gratefulness. People who took every minute they get to spend with their children for granted, now savor every last second. And people who weren't quite sure what love is all about, now love deeper, love stronger and love with every ounce of their soul.

People all around the world have shared their love, their well wishes, their prayers and their inspiration, and we could have NEVER achieved as much as we did without them. We are humbled by their generosity & their true friendships & are forever grateful for every last person that has come into our lives through our experience with Hunter. He was our precious baby love who we loved and cherished with all our hearts and we are forever crushed and terribly, broken-hearted.

Dance in the clouds baby cakes. Mom & dad are watching proudly & you will remain so very close to our hearts for all of eternity.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

One Year...and still stumbling....



Wow baby love. I can't believe it's been a year. I can't believe I have been without my sweet baby love for a whole year...........365 days. Three Hundred and sixty-five days too long. To think that I have the rest of my life to go, frightens me. I truly and honestly don't know how I am going to do it. Missing your love and your smiles makes me feel so incomplete. So incredibly "out of sorts". There is such a huge part of my being that has just transformed into something unrecognizable. I'm still so sad.....still so heartbroken......still so absolutely crushed that are you not here with us.

Your dad and I have been thinking about you like crazy. We watched video after video after video of you last night, and you continued to put on one stellar performance after another. You are SUCH an amazing lil' boy. I feel like I say it in every post, but I just can't say enough how very proud of you we are......your kindness, your laughter, your gregarious lil' personality - oh my......just so wonderful to watch. Such a sweetie.......really.

I just popped in a disc that was labeled "Hunter"......within seconds, images of you started loading up one by one. I'm bombarded with so many thoughts and feelings and emotions all at once.....everything just seems so unbelievable.

My first thought was "my goodness...you were just a baby". Just a baby when all this started. So tiny and so cool. Handling everything with such calmness. Took the punches as they came with such ease, while your dad and I felt each blow with an intensity that would leave us breathless for days.


Here you are waving about to go in for your very first Cat Scan.



This was after your knee biopsy. You handled that like a champ. However, you weren't so fond of the cast after awhile. Dad finally cut it off when no one was looking and you were sure happy about that!




Seeing these photos and looking back at our journey, having you in our life was so incredibly joyful. What you brought to our family was an energy that was so powerful. So pure and so full of courage.....so full of confidence.









This picture below made me smile....you are only about 15 months here........so serious. tee hee. Man did you ever love your DVD player. I think we ended up going through about 10 of those over 2 years. A few went overboard off the hospital bed, a few malfunctioned and a few just plain got burnt out. We must have watched "Cars" a million times......seriously. Lightning McQueen rules.








I am thinking about now how very grateful I am that we got to hang out every single day. We spent so much time together and it was always such a treat - good times and bad. You were such a magnificent play partner. I could always tell when you were starting to feel better and were ready to start having a good time.......you were pretty easy to read at that point and ALWAYS came up with creative outlets.










And always such a good snuggler.






I'm also coming across pics of your first mohawk. What a cutie. You sure knew how to rock that hairstyle. You were the cutest kid on the floor.




And loved when pics of you on the slides came up. Those were your favorite. Hated swings.....loooooooooved slides!


This was you in Australia. You played for hours. Such a beautiful sight.




Then I came across this pic. Made me chuckle. We always took advantage of laughter. You were always such a willing participant. Love you so much for that. Joy was brought to every occasion possible.




You just thought you were so funny calling the nurse here.......




And of course a great giggle video. Here you are cracking up about to get a Spinal Tap........just so FULL of giggles.....non-stop.




This video just makes me smile and smile and smile. You can see so much of your personality here.....



Also found this video.......swept your dad and I away with laughter and tears. Wow did you know how to grove. Soooooo much fun to watch! Any kind of beat just took you away to another place. You felt music down to your wee lil'l bones. So soulful.

Hunter Zen....unlike any other.




Life is cruel,
life is kind,
It's stolen my happiness,
and left me behind.

Constant effort to look up,
away from the floor,
in search of my smile,
to find it once more.

It's buried within,
amongst wreckage and tears,
Not knowing if it will come out,
after facing my fears.

It's definitely not the same,
nor will it ever be,
for he's left a tremendous footprint,
on my soul, that remains in me.

Eventually.......he'll ignite a flame,
that will shine oh so bright,
and I'll treasure his life and love,
through me, I will shine his light.
(Hunter's Mom)


Your are brighter than ever baby love. Thank you for being the phenomenal child that you are. Love you so much.......
XoXo Mom and Dad



64 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the courage to share your painful journey so publicly. I hope you take some solace in knowing that by sharing, you inspire those of us who are running to raise money for research and a cure, so that someday, some mom and dad won't have to go through what you've been through. I am so sorry for your loss; your son Hunter was indeed a Superhero. He will inspire me from far away. Bless you.

The Empress said...

I think of you often, and I think of the day you will hold your baby boy in your arms again.

I am so sorry for your incredible loss...I can't tell you enough how sorry.

Anonymous said...

Michael White - Our heart breaks with you.. We love you and are praying for you in this really hard time. Thanks for sharing your life with our family.. you are truly a gift.

Anonymous said...

Lou Ornelas Me too... I hope you find as much comfort in your writing, as I find in reading it. My heart is so with you now! Cherishing Hunter -- the coolest funk soul brother...ever!

Anonymous said...

Amity Candee prayerfully keeping you all in my heart............

Anonymous said...

Valerie Gogol - Thank you for sharing Hunter with all of us... he is missed but lives on in your posts and pictures and in our hearts.
Sending you all peace and love ♥

Anonymous said...

Mara Posa Tripi - My hear aches for your ache......Hunter...always in our hearts♥

Anonymous said...

Suzanne Novak - Always sending the best positive energy your way...all my love to you and your family Lenore!

Anonymous said...

Eva Wright Mania - your in my thoughts today sending lots of love xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Doris Jean Eppolito - Poring my coffee out this morning I remembered the day, and my heart and a few tears our pouring out to you today.

Anonymous said...

Hilde Burm - Hunter lives on in you, Zen and his cool brother Ryder, he will always be present in mine and many hearts here on earth ...
"Though lovers be lost love shall not;
and death shall have no dominion.''Dylan Thomas (1914-1953),

Anonymous said...

Tami Sullivan - Remembering today and always....xoxo

Anonymous said...

Jessica Owens - Thank you for sharing your life and his life. I hold you in my heart and send you love.

Anonymous said...

Tera Torres - Angel Hunter - you are our honored teammate and inspiration and always in our thoughts and hearts!

Anonymous said...

Christina Rodis Burleigh - Sending much love your way!

Anonymous said...

Deborah Heap - sending you lots of love xxx

Anonymous said...

Brande Jackson ♥

Anonymous said...

Colleen Dooley - Sending my thoughts and prayers, along with extra smiles for the family!

Anonymous said...

Amanda Briggs - Lenore, you are so brave and so very strong. My heart goes out to you and Zen and I love looking at posts about both of your little guys.

Anonymous said...

Tam Driscoll - Thinking of you all with this incredibly tough anniversary.

Anonymous said...

Vikki Jensen
woke up with hunter on my mind. your blog was beautiful. loved the videos!!! man he could move! love that little man! crying with you today and sending you soo much love!

Anonymous said...

Amy Radford - lots of love and prayers for a peaceful day for you today Lenore!

Anonymous said...

Meghan Duncan - Praying for a day full of memories that bring love,peace and joy! Have fun with the wonderful toy drop today. What a wonderful way to honor Hunter and his happy spirit.

Anonymous said...

Linda Fernandes Bryce
saying prayers up to Jesus for comfort....and gratitude that He has kept you strong together.....even in the worst of moments!! lots of hugs and smooches! xo

Anonymous said...

Matt Nolan
much love to you and the whole family.

Anonymous said...

Tami Sullivan
Can't sleep.....you guys have been on my mind all day....much love to all four of you. I pray for peace in your hearts.

Anonymous said...

Priscilla Tallman
Praying and thinking of you today. I hope you got all your goodies out to Doernbachers and that it helped bring some sunshine and lots of Hunter's giggles to those kiddos.

Anonymous said...

Suzanne Novak
Biggest hugest most loving hug to you my friend. Love You, Zen, Hunter and Ryder so very much. Strength is awe inspiring. Thanks you Lenore. xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Cathy Donovan Holt
Hugs to you today....I asked several to send stregth prayers to you all.....hope they worked! Love you all...xxooxox

Anonymous said...

Elmira Zainabudinova
we are thinking of you today... sending you , Zen and Ryder a lot of love and hugs!

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Gendron
Sending love and remembering thousands of giggles, XOX

Anonymous said...

Angela Rhodes-Colosimo
Thinking of you and your family....I know this must be a difficult day for all of you.

Anonymous said...

Cindy Young
Sending lots and lots of love and hugs your way today ♥ ♥ ♥

Anonymous said...

Deborah Heap
Sending lots of love your way Lenore, it must be a very hard day for you xxx

Anonymous said...

Codi Kodama Lloyd
Sending you lots of hugs and kisses your way today. XOXO

Anonymous said...

Laura Gifis Starks
just thinking about you and your beautiful family .. i cant believe how life travels so fast .... you are in our hearts and we are sending big hugs for all life celebrated and keeping thoughts and memories alive ... peace - love - happiness xoxo

Anonymous said...

Jody Ferlaak
Such a bittersweet day... to know you loved him and held him in your arms and now carry those memories in your heart. Sending you love and prayers this day and often. May Hunter's legacy shine in you and out to others always. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Amy Green Zimmerman
Thinking of and praying for you today! I have been meaing to send this to you for quite some time, & thought today might be the perfect day to do so!!! Sending much love!!! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Samantha Tino
Sending you love and prayers. You are amazing! Did you get an email from Toys r Us this week by chance?

Anonymous said...

Corrin Crone Phillips
Lenore,

Enjoy every laugh, and every smile. Hunter is certainly beeming down on you today. I love you and will be hinking of you four all day!

Anonymous said...

Emily Perry-Tresser
Loving you so much, Hunter.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mD2lQp1sQTY

Anonymous said...

Valerie Gogol's

Profile Pictures -
For Hunter- You're one cool little guy ♥

Anonymous said...

Leahanna Reid
Missing you today little man...

Anonymous said...

Kaydensmom Stokes
Hey Hunter, I never met you but I read your story several times and is still in awe of you and your strength and courage! I know that you touched so many lives while here on earth I can only imagine what you're doing in heaven. You know they say the true measure of a person is not how they are looked at while they are living but the impression they leave when they're gone? Well we're still down here talking about you a year later so you must have been some kind of amazing! Continue on rejoicing in paradise baby boy, you deserve it! ♥

Anonymous said...

Ezekiel Edward Goodwin
Keeping you with me today and every day, Iron Hunter. You continue to be an amazing force in my life, and the lives of many others. Love.

Anonymous said...

Kristine Hendershot
Thinking of you today & all of your giggly ways! I'm sure you'll be dancing & giggling in heaven today while you watch your parents hand out bunches & bunches of toys in your honor! Hugs & Kisses Little Man! Smooches! Kristine

Anonymous said...

Tami Sullivan
Thinking of you today Lil man! I know you're dancin it up in heaven.....you rock Hunter!
Xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Kat Martin Willcox's -

Hunter remembered -
It's been 1 year since Hunter slipped away. One year! We remember him today and everyday. He affects my parenting, he inspires us still and we still feel him with us. He is remembered!

Anonymous said...

Kat Martin Willcox
You did so much in such a short time. SO MUCH!! Even while you are not with us, you are at work. You have really touched my heart. Thank you for being you!!!

Anonymous said...

Deborah Heap
Been thinking about you today Hunter, sending love to your mummy, daddy and little bro Ryder xxx

Anonymous said...

Kristen Davis
We love deeper, hug tighter, smooch more often, laugh louder, and wiggle wiggle wiggle whenever there's a beat because of you... You have changed the lives of so many people, and your amazing life and soul will continue to change the world forever. Love you Hunter xoxo

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Gendron
I love you, miss you and think about you every day. Your short life will forever remain a long lesson of strength and sweet giggles. XOX Aunt J

Anonymous said...

Trish Dumana Ying
Last year, my husband and I, along with some really really cool friends decided to honor a boy named Hunter who lost his battle to AML Leukemia by running a 10K. Most of us have never ran past a mile before that. A year later, we have again decided to pick up the fight and this time running a Half Marathon and vowing to out-do last years collected funds. Team Hunter is back and better than ever! But we need one more team member to join us. The race is on May 1st so there is plenty of time to still train for this. Pls let me know if you're interested in joining or donating some money for the Pediatric Cancer Research.

Anonymous said...

Merry Lyn Green
thinking of you today.....

Anonymous said...

Karrie Danhof Hendrick
Peace. Strength. Love.

Anonymous said...

Leahanna Reid
Thoughts and prayers to keep you strong...

Anonymous said...

Mara Posa Tripi
Lenore...Thinking of you....today, Zen and your family...with a heavy heart....with so much love.....lighting a candle for our lil angel,Hunter♥ XXXXX

Anonymous said...

Terrilyn Delnick
Thinking of you today....I have no words that suffice....sending you, your family & Hunter all my love~~~~XOXO

Anonymous said...

Kristine Hendershot
Thinking & praying for you & Zen today! I can't imagine the pain & sorrow you two have been through this year, intermixed with the absolute JOY of Ryder. Love you two! XOXO Kristine

Anonymous said...

Stefani Sucic
Tomorrow we all celebrate an amazing angel ... and we hug and cherish his mom and dad and baby brother. You spread your love and kindness every day and I know I speak for all those who have been touched by Hunter, and your amazing grace, thank you for your unselfish love.

Anonymous said...

RickandCourtney Fowler-Kelly - I couldnt have said it any better, XOXO and prayers of comfort to each and everyone :)

Anonymous said...

Perry's on Fremont Restaurant - Since 1984
Our hearts go out to Lenore,Zen Todd, and baby Ryder and we join in their praise for the staff at Doernbecher Hospital,and applaud the Thawley family for their helping hands and words to others experiencing these very tough times

One year ago today, Angel Hunter lost his battle to AML leukemia, but his parents ferociously continue to fight in his honor. www.healinghunter.com

Anonymous said...

Molly Rask Reed - Followed their story through Matt Nolan. So sad. Never seen a family with more strength.

Anonymous said...

A true hero...honored teammate... inspiration.... thinking of you today Hunter and love for your family! GO TEAM!

www.healinghunter.com