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Thursday, December 1, 2011

"The Heart Of Christmas"

The Heart Of Christmas

 The movie premiered in Peoria last night!  This story will touch your heart like no other.  Two years ago in our community a little boy who had been diagnosed with AML Leukemia 18 months earlier taught us what the true meaning of Christmas is all about.

Julie, Madeline and Austin ( Santa hat)  in the crowd from Daxs' movie The Heart Of Christmas

I think that Alan and I were initially drawn to Dax Locke and his story, because of our own journey with a child with cancer so many years ago.  Perhaps it was that our son was diagnosed on Christmas, perhaps it was that our boys were so close in age, perhaps it was that we had just observed October 16th Adams death day, maybe it was that our stories were so similar.  I really am not certain what it was that lit the spark within, but we both were compelled to follow the story thru to the end. Even though we knew that Dax was not going to make it, we had to follow his story.

I signed up for the Caringbridge journal updates from Julie, little Dax's mom's journal.  I listened to how a community on my birthday, Halloween, instead of Trick Or Treating, put up their Christmas lights so that this little boy could have one last Christmas.  Alan called me one day on the way home from work.  His voice was strong, but shaky.  "have you heard about Dax?" I said yes, I am following his story through his mom's journal, I replied.  Well I think we need to put up Christmas lights this year.  I nearly crashed my car.  Let me explain, Alan hates Christmas, it is like stabbing him in the heart, this holiday reminds him only of what he lost.  He was never a big fan before Adam's diagnosis, but after Adam's diagnosis and death the holiday began to eat away at him and he hated it, dreaded it like taking a beating.
So to hear that he wanted to put lights on the outside of our home for the first time in over 21 years, well to say "it made me cry" is quite frankly an under statement.

Dax Locke

So we did, we put up our Christmas lights on the outside of our house and we put up our Christmas tree, and we felt wonderful for doing so.  We talked about Dax, our grandson Adam who was 5 years old, also had heard about Dax at school.  He became very interested as well, in this little boy.  He also told us that Dax was so loved by everyone.  This was so true.  From Facebook, to the world news, Dax became an overnight sensation.  People from around the world were following his story and hoping he would indeed make it to see Christmas.

Dax did live to see Christmas in 2009, but he was very very sick, and he passed away on December 30, 2009!  He proved that these little children have strength beyond compare.  I was awake that night in the middle of the night, I am not sure why I was awake now, but my cell phone notification went off and it was an update from Julie on the journal.  She was letting us know that Dax was "gone"!  My heart exploded with emotion, I recalled so well that moment of my own with my Adam. It brought back all those memories from time gone, and it felt like it was that night in my own living room when Adam took his last breath.   I wanted so badly to run to her, and hold her, and tell her what I now know today.  That he was not gone at all, but that he lives within me, in my heart., and that Dax would too.  That he would never be gone from her or Austin's lives really.   I knew these words would not comfort her......not yet.  The pain was too raw.

Dax's Video

Alan and I went to the memorial service for Dax together.  It was so hard for both of us, especially Alan.  After it, we walked up to Julie and Austin and we hugged them.  And we told them  what we had been wanting to tell them that we had survived and that they would as well!  We wanted them to know, that the pain will always be there, but that you can move forward and you can find peace.  I told Julie about Adam and that Dax had helped to heal my husbands hardened heart!  She cried, I cried, we all cried.  It was emotional, it was one of the best moments I have had since Adam's death.  I felt so connected to Adam in that moment.

Adams grave October 2011

I have come to know Julie and Austin over the past two years, I have volunteered for Dax's foundation events and it has been wonderful watching how Julie has grown from this unimaginable pain.  Last night felt like the culmination of two years with his big screen debut!  The movie will be televised on Sunday, December 4, 2011 on GMC!  Please take a moment out of your busy lives to watch this movie with your families!

It will change your lives! It did ours!

"Cherish Every Moment"

Adam taught me many many things in the 10 months that he fought his battle.  But what I remember most is that life is short, and you must live it to your fullest.  He also taught me that family is what is most important and we are to cherish every moment with each other as we never know when something will change our lives forever, and that being happy is not a place of being but a state of mind, that we have to take control of it ourselves.  No one else will bring us happiness we must do that on our own.


vickyd said...

I'm sitting here at work with tears streaming down my face after reading your post. I will definately watch Dax's movie and share it with my family. I'm sure that Adam is looking down on you and Alan and is so proud of how you are helping others by sharing your experiences. (((HUGS)))

MandaPanda said...

Holding back tears in my office as well. I can't imagine the pain you and Dax's mom have been through and there are no words to describe how reading this has made me feel. I'm not sure that I get the channel this is on but if I do, I'm definitely tuning in.

Beth Ann said...

What a beautiful post Kristin. My heart feels so full right now, inspired by your love, compassion and charity. I pledge to pay that forward.


Ronnie said...

I second Vicky's comment. I don't think I could say it any better than she already has.

Love you, lady.

Beth said...

Sad and beautiful at the same time. Sad to lose children so young to such a horrible disease. Beautiful in the way their lives have touched so many and showed what really matters in life. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Banded Mommy (Angie) said...

What a beautiful post. I am actually sending this to my husband so that he can read it.
Your angel IS looking down on you. He is what keeps you going everyday and he is the one that reminds you how precious life is. We all have an angel that guides us, he is yours. He is the one that told you to meet Julie because he knew what you know would help her.
It is amazing how even after they are physically gone... they never actually are.
Love you!

Kristen said...

Kristin, this post made my heart smile. Thank you for sharing these stories. They are so personal and so touching and help us to live life to the fullest and to not take things for granted. What a precious movie. This is inspirational. Thank you!