Tuesday, January 27, 2015

for Jason

There will be a memorial service/celebration of Jason's life some time this summer... 
when we can all gather and make merry with the full exuberance that Jason would have expected.

In the mean time, in lieu of flowers we would rather direct all gifts to the

Jason Hightower Memorial Fund
Meeker Education Foundation
PO Box 255
Meeker, CO 81641

Thank you for all the kind and uplifting comments, emails, texts, notes, cards, thoughts and prayers.
It continues to sustain and amaze us all.

Monday, January 26, 2015


Jason Edward Hightower
8/10/70 - 1/25/15

My love, my heart and soul, my partner and my best friend...
Thank you for a wonderful journey.
photo taken March 24th, 2014 in Moab, UT

Monday, January 12, 2015

fickle fortune

Since Thanksgiving, Jason's decline has been definite.
He is fully bed bound now, as all his physical strength is depleted. The tumor(s) affect his neurological functions so that his equilibrium is totally off and movement makes him nauseated. His speech is sometimes garbled or slurred, and he often says very strange, random things. He is in and out of sleep all day and does not communicate much anymore. He has not eaten in weeks.

However, there are still glimpses of Jason peeking through a cancer addled body - the squeeze of his hand, a grin, even a funny or relevant comment. I live for those glimpses, knowing that he is not gone.

So while there is great sadness in helplessly watching his strength and sparkle fade away... I am heeding Jason's last great lesson to me: choose to be happy

And this is what I find:

We are the lucky ones.

While that may sound strange considering I am losing my love to brain cancer... I beg you to consider what good fortune we have had.

We are lucky to have had time.
I think about all that we have done since last March - we have traveled and laughed and celebrated and reconnected - and I am grateful that Jason did not die suddenly, or unexpectedly.

We are lucky that he did not choose to leave us.
 I'm sure it must be emotionally devastating for people to lose a spouse because they choose to leave - and it saddens me to know that it happens more often than cancer. When Jason dies, we will all know that he loved us, always.

We are lucky to have family.
We could not have waded through the emotions and logistics of surgery, treatment and care without the help and support of our family - immediate and extended. I am eternally grateful for them being here physically or emotionally to see us through this journey.

We are lucky to have friends.
Many of our friends are like family - and I am equally grateful for their support. They have kept our house full of joy and laughter and stories, and they have kept our children full of love and reassurance.

We are lucky to have community.
From Hospice, to Home Health - it is not about the services it is about the people that provide them. Everyone we know (and many we don't!) are so eager to help and support our family it has been uplifting and encouraging.

and most of all... I believe that Hamp & Sam are lucky in that:
  • they will grow up having seen a glimpse of what it means to deeply and selflessly love another
  • they have had invaluable time spent with family - especially grandparents
  • they will grow up knowing that life is precious
  • they will have a personal understanding of dedication, commitment, and family
  • they will inherit their father's mantra that life is good and we must choose an attitude of joy and gratitude

So here's to Good Fortune - may it find it's way to your hearts and homes in 2015.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


We love living in Colorado.
Here are a few reasons why:

sibling ski day!

Monday, December 29, 2014

A very merry Christmas

We have been celebrating well.
Family and friends have been in and out of the house...
Jason's brother came the weekend before Christmas for a most excellent visit.
Jason's parents (Yaya & Papa!) drove out the week before that and will stay through the holidays and then some!
And my parents (Mojo & Dado!) have been here since early December and I'm not convinced I am going to let them leave, either!
Then my brother and his crew showed up just in time for Santa to visit and bring all the boys exactly what they ask for...

I guess these boys must have all been very nice this year, because not only did Santa bring them what they wanted, but it took the better part of Christmas Day to open all the fabulous gifts under the tree!
sweet cousins!

Of course, we're all a little sad that the festivities are over... 
but we're still together and enjoying the snow and the new toys and plenty of good food.

So now we look forward to ringing in a new year with lots of love and laughter and hope.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Cards

I spent some quiet time this morning - boys at a friend's house, Jason sleeping, grandparents all nestled in their cabin, me with a cup of coffee! - opening a stack of Christmas Cards.

Let it be known that the Christmas Card exchange is by far my favorite tradition all year... better than the 4th of July parade or trick-or-treating or Valentine's candy (all of which also make me sentimental... ). There's something about the spirit of the cards; the time people put in to taking family photos, finding just the right card, writing just the right message and stamping and addressing the card - you know that someone is thinking of you at least for those few seconds it takes to write out your name on the envelope!

So I relish in the opening of every envelope. And today, in the peace of a few quiet moments I opened several and just cried. The collection of cards and all of their meaning and thoughtfulness overwhelmed me and I cried. To read JOY and BLESSINGS and MERRY and PEACE over and over again is encouraging and reassuring. To read the sweet personal notes that some write in their cards is touching and heart warming. And the very best part? Well, in our 'temporary' living arrangement I have hesitated to get too invested, hoping to be back in our home before too long. So there is nothing on the walls to make us feel like we belong here. However, I did have a stroke of genius and decided to display all the Christmas cards we receive this year on the wall... and the effect is beautiful. I feel the presence of all our friends and their love all around me. I gaze upon all the beautiful, smiling faces - my friends and their beautiful families or their excellent adventures and I feel great JOY and BLESSINGS and HAPPINESS and PEACE.

Friday, December 19, 2014

the x-bow

Sam is still our gymnastics star!

He has been improving his skills in a Wednesday night class out of town... which isn't bad when the carpool includes these wonderful kids:
the Meeker crew
It was 'parent observation night' this week so I dutifully sat and watched in amazement at the discipline and rigor of a full hour long of instruction! I managed to catch a minute or so of floor exercises, a little beam and some vault... but he does much more in class and it's all impressive (well... to me!). There's no telling if he will continue to be passionate about this sport - and whether he ends up an Olympic gymnast or just that cool kid that can do a standing back flip at parties one day... as long as he is happy we will continue to support him!

Sam was quite proud of his fall semester.
He was excited to show off for his family - so much so that in referring to the special night as his gymnastics expo, he made sure to write it himself on the calendar... (thus the title of this post!)