June 30, 2009

Today was a difficult day. Surely the hardest to bear since Max passed away ten months ago. Which seems like only yesterday.

Stuff you never saw

Max's first day - June 30, 2001

Max's last day - August 31, 2008 12:04PM

Later same day during Nic's premature 3rd birthday party. Max came out for a few minutes while Nic was getting his birthday presents. Max kept his eyes closed as the light was too bright for him outside. And he kept his throw-up bin resting under his chin - his security blanket it became.

OK, on to better days. Fall 2005 was a time when we didn't post much about life as we were too busy living life to the Max! So thought I'd show you some pictures of Max from Fall 2005. Usually late Summer/Fall sucks around here. My mom passed away in 2002 in August. My

October 2005, 23rd St Del Mar: Secret: come to San Diego in October. It's nice at the beach during the evening. In June and July, it's freezing!
October 2005, Miramar: Max and a Blue Angel at special Make A Wish airshow.
October 2005: Max loved to fish with Papa, especially in the ocean or a lake!

October 2005: Max about to whack one.
Sept 14, 2005: Nic was lucky, he had four people caring for him 24/7.
September 2005: Right before Nic was born. This is a series of pictures that I so love where Max and Melissa are totally enjoying each other and the general scene at the "park by the beach" which is our 2nd home on the weekends when it's sunny. Max had such a beautiful head; when his hair came in curly and blond it was the only way it could have been more kissable than when his hair was short and soft.



Tuesday is Max's birthday. Max's Cub Scout troop will salute him with a multi-rocket launch, then hi-tail it out of there and head over to the picnic. Here are the specifics:

Tuesday, June 30, 2009
2:00 - Rocket Launch
**email or call Andy or I for location**
strictly on the QT, DoD, PDA, CIA, NTK, etc...
2:30ish - Picnic
Carmel Creek Park (map)
Bring your own food and drink, chairs, etc.
Huge playground, green space, and parking in lot.
We will be there immediately following the launch.
Shoot me an RSVP if you plan on joining us. I will have a birthday cake and want to make sure I have enough for everyone (but not so much that I have to take it home and eat it!).
We hope to see you there for this last day of remembering Max on his birthday this year.


Monday - Wii Night

Monday night we will continue our birthday celebration/remembrance of Max with Wii night at our house, 6:00-8:00pm.

We have two TV's and two Wii's so far (but only four controllers). If you're coming to play, bring along any Wii accessories you're comfortable sharing (and a TV if you're really adventurous!). For games we have mario kart, star wars, indiana jones, Wii sports, and ww2 flying aces.

We'll be set up in the garage. Bring lawn chairs. Email me if you have questions -- cureNB(at)gmail(dot)com. Hope to see you!


Nacho Nic

Every mother's nightmare; every father's dream: Their 3-yr-old son wearing a Lucha Libre mask.

Out of all the cr*p Nic had his pick of at the SD County Fair, this is what he saw upon entering the fair and he held fast throughout. So when we exited, he picked out his favorite design.

Without Nic to remind us that there is a life to live even though Max isn't here any longer, I sometimes wonder what I would do.


Max's Place

Max's permanent urn arrived today! More than 8 months in the making. We are so happy with it and with the artist Chris and Funeria who brokered the commission for us. More pictures soon as the detail is amazing, but this shot gives you a sense of the scale of his place. OK, yes, take a step back and realize that we're excited about an urn to hold the ashes of our 7-year-old son... but in relativeland which is where cancer parents live, this is a good day.


Max's Birthday Fun

Max's birthday is fast approaching... June 30.

From Austin Melgar's blog we saw that his family had planned a whole week of events to celebrate Austin for his birthday. We loved the idea, and decided to adapt their idea for Max's birthday, albeit abridged to four days of fun Max's style. Our plan is to do activities as a family that Max loved to do, and as Max would've liked, invite his friends and extended family to join us and Live Life to the Max!

We are nailing down the specifics on everything, but here is a loose look at our plans, so you can set aside time to join us if possible...

Saturday, June 27, 2009
Pizza Port
A family favorite for food and games.
135 N. Highway 101 - Solana Beach map

Sunday, June 28
One of Max's all time favorite spots. WWII warbirds, modern day fighter jets, and a huge ship. We'll see you onboard.
12:00 noon
Midway admission:
$17 adults
$13 seniors (62+) and students (with valid ID)
$10 retired military (with valid ID)
$9 youth (ages 6-17)
$0 (ages 5 and under)
Monday, June 29
(unknown location at this time)
Wii Night - woo-hoo!
Video games got Max through a lot of crappy days - and through a lot of just plain ol' good days! Little known fact: Hannah & Max knew the entire story line of the Star Wars trilogies before they ever saw a movie thanks to the Lego Star Wars game. Max's favorite character: "the Gen" aka General Grievious.
location TBD
Check back for location confirmation.

Tuesday, June 30
Max's Birthday
(check back for details on locations)
Cub Scouts & Rockets.
On this very special day Max's Den Buddies will launch seven rockets in memory of Max. We will follow-up this salute with a picnic (bring your own stuff) and birthday cake (provided).
Location of rocket launch & Picnic TBD

RSVP's are not neccessary, but appreciated - especially for Monday & Tuesday. I could also use a little help coordinating the Wii/video game night. We have one Wii and one Playstation, along with one TV we can take along. Can you provide a TV, game station, extra controllers, etc.? Get in touch with me.


Visit Alexa

**Link has been fixed**

Alexa's big sister, Abby, has been in contact with Andy & I for the past few weeks. They had made the trip to VT from Ohio and hoped to get Alexa on Dr. Sholler's trial, but found out that wouldn't be possible. Alexa's cancer had progressed too far. Dr. Sholler couldn't even recommend any treatment options.

Please take a moment to visit their website and give them your love. They need all they can get right now. Little Alexa writes some of her own updates. Please sign-up for Journal Updates so she knows you're there.

Thank you.


June 27 Train ride CANCELLED

If you purchased tickets for the June 27th train ride in Campo, it's been cancelled! I just found out - and not because they contacted me with the news. "Due to circumstances beyond our control, all Museum rail excursions on the railroad mainline have been temporally canceled." Bummer!

You can email them support@sdrm.org for ticket refunds.

Andy & I are just about ready to post our plans for Max's birthday week, so check back here frequently. We'd love to have you join us at one or all. (We are figuring out what to replace this train ride with!)



We did it. After tallying the online donations + at-event donations + some just-received-in-the-mail donations, Max's Ring of Fire raised just over $10,000 for neuroblastoma research!
Touch-A-Truck was a huge success in every facet.
Thank you. Everyone.

Now for the photos! I've obviously posted a few here, but you can see more from our new friends at SRD - Strategic Racing Design - who brought our their fully outfitted pre-runner to the mix, in representation of off-road trucks and wrote a very nice blog post about the event. We've also received many photos uploads on our Facebook page - become a fan!! For a big look at the event, check out our Flickr Album.
If you have any great photos you'd like to share with us from Touch-A-Truck, please email them to me at cureNB(at)gmail.com. I'd love to see them!

Special thank you's must go out to all the really nice people who took four+ hours out of their Sunday afternoon to sit around in a parking lot and let kids climb in, on and all over their vehicles to benefit a pediatric cancer that they may have never heard of before. I wish that Andy & I had had more time to spend talking to each and everyone of you, to thank you over and over again, for giving us your precious time and vehicles to benefit a cause so close to our hearts. I hope you had even a 1/4 as much fun as all the kids did. (And thanks for tolerating all the horn honking! It did bring the place to life, don't you think?)

Which reminds me that our San Diego Star Wars Society made a lot of kids happy, too! I loved seeing the Clone and Storm Troopers in the vehicles as much as seeing the kids in them!


Touch-A-Truck Success!

Nicky & Daddy in the back of the "small" dump truck.

I'm just making a short post about our fundraiser right now, because there's so much to say and I just don't have enough time to put all my thoughts in order this morning.

Most importantly, I want to thank my friend Leigh for doing a splendid job of organizing this event for us - especially since none of us had any idea where to begin and what to expect. In one month she put in about 2+ months of volunteer time spearheading a very successful fundraiser.

We haven't tallied all the dontions, but we believe we raised about $8,000 for neuroblastoma research! Not too shabby, I say. Max's Ring of Fire is very thankful to Leigh, everyone who volunteered to help, the wonderful people who brought their trucks to a parking lot on a Sunday, and to all the generous people who donated their money to a worthy cause.

Thank you. It was a great way to celebrate my birthday.

(We have 100's of photos that we will upload later today for your viewing pleasure!)