Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Happy, Happy Birthday

Today, the 28th of January, is Angel's Birthday. She came up this weekend with her almost husband, Aaron, and we had a celebration down here. It was fun but she had a crazy weekend with the wedding stuff so I'm sure she is taking her real birthday Monday, to rest and recuperate. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANGEL. WE LOVE YOU
Later, I will put more pictures of this weekend.

Monday, January 28, 2008

newspaper article

Will's story was put in the Times News back home on Sunday. It was a very touching story. He loves his job. I tried to link it so this post won't be so long but it wouldn't work. Here is the story as it ran yesterday. It touched us all, specially Will. Thanks for the love, girls

Playing for stricken coach, Jerome girls poised for storybook ending
Jordan Burnham and Molly Reid digested the newly-broken news and looked at each other, neither wanting to allow the tears welling in their eyes to spill over and make the situation any more difficult than it was already.

During the impromptu offseason lunch meeting with then-Jerome High head girls basketball coach Will Harbison, the two seniors-to-be were rocked by the revelation that Harbison's cystic fibrosis - a disease he was diagnosed with just one month after birth - had advanced to the point that he needed to go to Salt Lake City where he still awaits the lung transplant that will hopefully save his life.

It was a tough decision from a tough coach who refused to let others see how far he had exhausted himself.

"If you looked at him and didn't know he was sick, you wouldn't be able to tell. He never lets it show on his face, ever," said Reid. "We were really sad, but at the same time we were glad that he was getting it done so he can get better."

Said Burnham: "He wasn't just our coach, he's one of our best friends."

Harbison's relationship is tight with each and every one of the Jerome players, but there's something even tighter involving the two seniors, both of whom made their varsity debuts as freshmen during Harbison's inaugural season at the helm.

Last summer, he told each of the remaining players individually of his departure, but wanted his two leaders to be the first to know that he was leaving. The announcement was a sobering reminder about the reality of life outside of basketball, even if it shouldn't have come as a total surprise.

Late into last season, an internal suspicion mounted that this year would be different for Jerome's girls basketball team. But it wasn't until an offseason precipitated by a Great Basin Conference West tournament loss to Minico that Harbison confirmed to his players that this was the end, at least for the time being.

"We kind of had an idea that we weren't sure if Will would have the strength to go one more year, and his health started to deteriorate a little," said Brent Clark, who helped out the last couple of years and assumed what he calls the interim head coaching role for this season - or as long as it takes Harbison to recover, if he wants to resume coaching after the transplant. "It really hit home when he told the kids. He has a special bond with the girls, and really wanted to finish it out with (the seniors)."

The transition was an easy one on the court, but everywhere the Tigers look there are reminders of a beloved coach who can't be with them because of more important matters.

"It's strange that (during) pregame, he's not there," said Reid. "During the game, it's not like we've gotten a new coach, it's just like we've lost someone physically. But even though he's not here physically, he's still a big part of this team."

Not entirely due to Harbison, but admittedly in part because of his situation, almost every Jerome home game is broadcast over the Internet, allowing Harbison and other fans to view the game online. When the team is on the road, Harbison tries to listen on the radio, even listening on his cell phone to a radio someone on the other end has set a phone receiver next to. Whatever it takes to hear the Tigers live.

"It's like he can't wait a couple of days for the game film," Burnham said with a small laugh, referencing Harbison's enthusiasm for the team as well as the fact that Clark sends him copies of game tape to break it down, keeping him in the coaching circle. He is, after all, officially listed as an assistant coach this year.

The team dedicated its season to Harbison at the beginning of the year, and he's never far from their thoughts, on-court or off.

"I think about him most when things get hard, especially on the court," said sophomore guard Aubree Callen, a revelation on the team this season. "I think about what he's going through, and how what I'm doing is so little (in comparison) that I just try to push right through it."

The Tigers have been pushing right through almost anything and anyone in their way this season. They currently enjoy an 18-1 record as well as the No. 2 ranking in the Class 4A media poll, and this week clinched the outright Great Basin Conference West regular-season title.

It's a level of success that doesn't surprise anyone around the program, but it's certainly one that's plenty cathartic for coaches, players and Harbison.

Harbison, Clark maintains, is someone who continues to thrive in no small part because of this team and this sport, both of which have helped him to fight as long as he has against a potentially lethal disease.

"Basketball is one of the things that have really kept Will going," said Clark. "He's overcome so many odds already, but basketball keeps him going."

In the same way that the team keeps Harbison going, he keeps the girls focused on the prize and brightens their day in his own fashion.

Though his present condition means he can't talk all the time, the girls regularly receive text messages or e-mails from Harbison, sometimes asking questions about basketball or other times just wishing them well and seeing how things are going. In turn, that assuages the girls' concerns as to how Harbison is feeling.

"It's an everyday thing, that I wonder how he's doing," said Burnham. "When you get a message from him, it really brightens your day."

Jerome's players actually got to see Harbison once this season. It was on a bonding trip over Thanksgiving, when the team tripped to Utah for a special visit.

"Just to see the smile on his face was great," said Reid. "All the girls were really excited when we found out about the trip."

There's no mistaking that the player-coach relationship between the team and Harbison isn't just an on-court thing. Just as they've grown attached to him and are willing him to succeed in his fight, he's given them tools to be productive people both on and off the hardwood.

"The biggest thing he's helped me with is my attitude. He always has such a positive attitude and I didn't have a good attitude last year," said Callen. "I was always really negative on the court, and he turned that around 100 percent. That has helped me not only on the court, but off it as well."

Jerome's basketball success this season doesn't completely revolve around Harbison, but he's indisputably their biggest fan and most emotional rallying point at the same time. For the girls in white, black and orange, there's really only one fitting end to boost the spirits of their stricken coach, and that's to finish off an emotional season with a state championship.

"(The bar of expectations) doesn't stop," said Callen. "Not one person on this team doubts what we can do."

Said Burnham: "We really want to show (Harbison) what we can do. It was very upsetting to lose (in the district tournament) last year the way we did."

That doesn't mean the girls are getting ahead of themselves, however.

"We don't really talk about (how good the team is), but in a couple of weeks your record doesn't matter. You have to be ready to win (at the district tournament) and be playing your best basketball, which I think we're doing," said Clark. "… These girls haven't been to the state tournament. But they know this has been a special season, and it's in the back of their minds to do this for Will - and for themselves."

David Bashore may be reached at 1-800-658-3883, ext. 230, or david.bashore@lee.net.
Story published at magicvalley.com on Sunday, January 27, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

Good Lunch, good times

I just wanted to share with all of you who have been helping us pray for our friend, Sarah. She is the one, just six weeks ago, that had a double lung transplant. We had a long chat and lunch yesterday. It was amazing (do I use that word too often when I talk of her???)! I just want to sit and stare at her, sometimes I catch myself doing that. Sarah is doing better than anyone could hope and I was trying to get a picture of her on this blog but she hasn't sent me one. She laughs so much, she talks so much, and she smiles so much and all without getting tired or needing oxygen. What a great miracle God has given her, and she tells everyone that very thing. She knows it is God's doing and sings His praises. Her mother is a very special woman also with her faith guiding her all the way.
Will and Sarah visited and Sarah shared much of her experience with us so we know what to expect when the "big" call comes. It's been four months now but we know it could be many more months yet. God's perfect timing.

I just wanted to share this passage with you all. It's James 1:12
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him."

Will is persevering and he gets his strength from your prayers, so keep it up. I know this has been a little "preachy" tonight but after being with Sarah and her mom, I know I need to be singing His praises more for what He has done for Will. I can see the miracle in Sarah.
It is really amazing (oh, there is that word again :)

Tomorrow Angel comes down and we get to go crazy doing all the wedding stuff. It will be a whirlwind weekend and I will love every minute of it. I don't think Will or Tom will say the same thing. Don't forget any comments you have. We love to read them.

God bless and goodnight

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Big News

It's been a great time down in Salt Lake City lately. Will has been home from the hospital for a few days and is feeling better. AND THE BEST NEWS---As many of you know, my daughter and her fiancee decided to move up their wedding date. They were planning a late summer date and now they don't want to wait. They have decided to get married in five weeks. They also decided to get married in Salt Lake City so Will can be able to attend. So now we are planning a wedding and it is going to be fantastic!!!!! Our minister from our home church is going to come all the way up here (or down here???) and perform the wedding, and most of our families will be able to attend. We also know what a hardship this traveling in the middle of the winter is like so we are also planning a small reception for the bride and groom when we get back home (to our real home). Tom, Will and myself are very happy with their decision as I hope all of you are too. Aaron and Angel are very happy together. Love is great, isn't it? I will try to get some pictures of them this weekend when they come up to get some of the stuff done-like find a dress, etc...
God gave us love in our hearts to share and you all have been sharing with our family so much-We thank God for all of you.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

He's Free!!!

We took Will home from the hospital about noon today. He wanted to catch those big NFL games on his own big screen TV. The funny thing was that he dropped down on his own bed and didn't wake up until a few hours later. So he missed the first game but he is going to watch the next one.
He had great care in the hospital and now he's up and running for a while. I will put pictures up when he stays awake longer than ten minutes.

Say prayers for all those wonderful people that work in the hospitals.
They are special angels that have really blessed our life.
Thank you all for your prayers for Will's healing, again.
God has sure blessed us with wonderful family and friends.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Will is feeling a little stronger now. He should be going home (of course, not to our "real" home) the first of next week. We have another young lady who just got listed for her lungs today. She is just a few doors down from Will's room. She and Will talk on the computer lots. For those of you that are praying hearts, please pray for her. Her name is Tanya and she is 21 yrs. old. If I can, I will get a picture of her on here. So things are moving along nicely. Our God is an awesome God!
Don't forget to comment on our blogs. Will likes to read them and so do I. It keeps us in contact with the outside world.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cowboys aren't helping

Well Will was waiting all week for this BIG game between the Cowboys and that other team and I won't mention their name. We arranged for a big screen TV in the lounge. I brought chips, dip, crackers, cheese and pizza. His cousin and girlfriend came down and Angel and Aaron were still here. Sounds good, doesn't it? We did our part, what happened to Dallas? Oh well, next year, right? So these pictures are before the end of the game (nobody wants to see a picture of Will and his cousin Danny after the game.) I am just hoping that this doesn't set Will back. I don't think the Drs. would understand. Angel and Aaron decided to stay around until half time. Then they had to go back home. Here's the pictures of us all enjoying the game.

fun times

Great weekend up at the hospital. Angel and Aaron came down to visit. It was the best visit we have had with them. Will is getting a little stronger so we went down to the cafeteria and taught Aaron how to play a dice game. He proceeded to beat all of us. We had some stranger take a picture for us. Thought you all might like to see how well Will is looking.
God is looking out for all of us.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

little update

Just to let everyone know Willie is on course with his stay here at the hospital. He hasn't started on the uphill yet but he hasn't gotten any worse. He usually takes about 4-5 days to see any improvement. He is very tired and is sleeping a lot, but we expect to see improvement any day now. He's looking forward to two things this weekend. His girls are playing a big game with Minico on Friday and he will be listening to that, and the Cowboys are playing on Sunday-a big playoff game. So he knows he has to get better to handle all that.
That's it for know.
God Bless all of you and keep the prayers going. God is listening.
Love to all

Sunday, January 6, 2008

That time again

Will needed a "tune-up" so we took him into the hospital Sunday. He doesn't have a fever so we think that he can be kept on the waiting list. That' s good news. Will doesn't look like he's too bad off does he? The nurse in the picture is one of his favorites, Jennalynn, she paid me to say that. Anyway, thought I would let everyone know that for at least two weeks, this is where he'll be. Maybe we needed to come in so "they" would remember that he is out here waiting so patiently. I will keep everyone updated and all of you can keep your prayers coming in, or going up, I guess. He does look at the comments so if any of you want to post comments, just click on the link and if you don't have a google account, set one up. It's easy with your email account and a password. That's all you need. Then you just need to sign in with that. So leave him a message if you want. I will keep you informed on his condition. Love to all and God bless.


That's it, just Happy New Year to all our friends and family.
Nothing much else is happening, but I know in my heart this is going to be one fantastic year.
Keep on praying for Will.
Love to all