Monday, November 30, 2009

Below: This is the tree that was given to us by some friends (Thanks Henslee family) in memory of Will. We planted it before the freezing weather started. It's going to be a big, strong tree. Here is the picture of Aaron and Angel and of course, baby Kayli with Uncle Will's tree planting.

This is another adorable picture of the sweetest grandbaby EVER!
That smile keeps the world going 'round for us.

I know quite a few people are very worried about our family during the holidays. It isn't easy and I know the hard part isn't going to be behind us for quite a while, but we have each other (and I thank God for that every day) and we will get through the holidays. I am not saying that there aren't days, or nights, that are incredibly hard to handle, and that I just wish we could go away and hide. It is usually the little things that catch us off guard. There are many people that have lost a close, loved one like we have that are reading this and know what we are talking about. We are not alone in this walk, but not everyone can go through it the same way. Some take a different road. We just know, without a doubt, that God will get us through these bad times. We will make it.
I will admit (although I probably shouldn't) that there are nights that the pain is so strong that I don't think I can take my next breath, but the breath comes anyway. I know that other mothers that have lost their child feel the same way. But when I check back into the "real" world, there are many, many blessings that my family and I can remember and use to continue on. God does that for us every time. That is when our great "Healer" comes to us. He is amazing!! God reminds us of all the wonderful things in our life that have been given to us. The #1 "gift" is our sweet daughter, wonderful son-in-law, and the most SPECIAL, SPECIAL little baby.
The world just seems to be a different place without Will. I know if you are reading this, you probably feel the same way. But it's still a beautiful world with many sweet, caring people in it and happy things all around us. Many of our friends and family have asked me to keep the blog going with some of our feelings over the holidays that might help other people that have lost a loved one. I don't know if I can do that because my mind is just in survival mode right now, but maybe later sometime. We don't know what we will be doing for Christmas yet but I will let you all know when we know. I hope everyone gets their tree up soon.

We have such a loving family that still calls us every day and makes sure that we know we are loved. What a great feeling. We will surround us with this love during the holidays and the pain won't be so unbearable. I know that Will's most favored day in the whole year is Christmas so we have many, many great memories to hold on to. He loved the whole decorating, wrapping, shopping and visiting that we always did during this time. Now we will make new memories.
I will write more later, next week probably.

God bless and I hope everyone keeps Jesus in the season.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


There are so many things that we are thankful for, but the #1 blessing is our family. We love you all and thanks for caring so much.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday before Thanksgiving

We went shopping and found this fun hat.
The Cowboys just got off a scary win today.
Doesn't Kayli look like a little fan with the Santa Cowboys' hat?
This week has been hard thinking of things I need to write on the blog.
I know many of you still look on here because it's a habit. We will still blog sometimes especially over the holidays. We want to share the pictures and the wonderful season with all our family and friends.
We don't know what we are going to do for Christmas but we will get through Thanksgiving first. We have such an amazing family and that helps, as you all know. We will be going to Boise to have Thanksgiving with my dad and all the family that is in town. Angel and Aaron are going to be with Aaron's mom and family in Boise for the early afternoon and then they will come over for the late afternoon. So they get two dinners that day (and two desserts).
My two nieces, Billie and Christi (Sadie and Coby too) came over Saturday evening and spent the night. It was good to sit around and talk about Will. We laughed and cried till late in the evening.
Tom and I have so many things we are thankful for this season. I hope you all remember your blessings also.
Our God is awesome.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My last blog, I told you all how the love just keeps surrrounding us. Here is just an example of that. This young soon-to-be-a-great-nurse wrote us and she will never know how much she helped on a day that I wasn't doing too great. I wanted to share her words with all of you and maybe help you all on your day also. We have received many such cards and I will share some of them with you. Thank you and God bless you, Melissa.


Harbison Family:
My name is Melissa. I was the student nurse that did my care plan on Will. The Texan, fellow Cowboys fan, and the one that shared the pictures of the new Cowboys Stadium with Will? Well, I have had to do a few of those care plans but I left the hospital that night with a heavy heart. You ever meet people and immediately see their light and know they are special? I had that experience with Will and your amazing family. I also knew that Will was in his last days. As you know this is sort of a small area and I happen to live in Jerome so, information spreads and I heard of your blog. I turned that care plan in today, after I did a clinical day at Da Vita. I came home and read the blog in its entirety and cried. I knew I had to wait to read it until I was done with the assignment. I just wanted to let y'all know that I am sorry for your loss. I know that God is doing his amazing work through this. I appreciate Will allowing me to learn about his medical condition and journey. This time I didn't just learn, I grew. Not sure what this growth is for or about but I wanted to give your son and family the credit for being God's instrument.

With God's Love,
Melissa Starnes

Monday, November 16, 2009

I am so sorry that I haven't written on the blog for a while, but I need to just say that it isn't easy. I know many of you are wondering how the family is doing. Just a quick message to say that we are doing okay, just one day at a time. I will blog later, I promise. I just don't know when, I'm sure that you all understand. The love and compassion is still coming to us in droves. We thank you all and love you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One week already

Can't believe that it has been a week already since God called Will home.
Lots of changes as you all can imagine, but we are doing okay. Angel has been our rock, for sure. Where she got all that strength, I don't know. Maybe Will left it too her, because he didn't need it anymore. Who knows??

The Celebration of Will's life on Saturday was attended by close to 900 people.
A M A Z I N G!
I still want to get some more pictures up here but I will later this week.

I am going back to work next week if my mind starts working. I seem to be in a total shutdown right now. I forget a lot of things I am trying to do, so if I haven't called back or answered any questions, I apologize. My school is still the most awesome place to work. My boss told me to take as much time off as I need. Wonderful people there in Bliss. Tom has been battling a cold since the Celebration and has been mostly in bed. He's starting to feel better now.

This has been bothering me for a while now because of all of you that have been following Will's journey. I wanted to make sure that when you think of what Will had to go through after his transplant, that you're not thinking negatively about being an organ donor. That would be such a terrible thing. Even after all Will went through, I asked him if he would do it again, and he said yes, in a heartbeat. He said that was what kept him going was the hope that he would be able to return to his love--coaching. It was not meant to be --but organ donation is a wonderful, wonderful gift of life. There were two lung transplant friends at Will's celebration. I so wanted to have them stand up and let everyone see how well they are doing, but I didn't want to embarrass them. They are living life as they should. Now I will put my efforts into raising awareness about the need for organ donors and to finding a cure for CF. Then people like Will, Tanya, and Sarah wouldn't be needing transplants. RIGHT?!!

The Jerome High School (where Will was coaching) has started a scholarship fund and has raised some good money already, in remembrance of Will. They are planning a basketball tournament every year so they can keep this scholarship going. What a wonderful way to remember Will. He was all for getting kids educated, it was important to him, so this will be a good memorial to him.

Another great way to remember Will is to plant a tree in his name. We had some good friends give us a 15 ft. maple tree to plant on our property in honor of Will. What a great gift. Thanks Henslee clan--love you all lots. We planted it tonight.

Today wasn't the best of days. We went looking for headstones and had to take back all the material we had from the home dialysis place. We also had to pick up his death certificate (because you have to sign papers for that????). So some days are worse than others but I read this in a devotion:
God protects His own. He will not allow you to be tried beyond what you are able to take. And in the middle of it all, He tells you to entrust yourself to His care.
So we trust God to take care of us and when He is ready, the pain will lessen.

You don't know what you are capable of when you're resting in God's strength and not your own. We're going to get through this one way or another. It's not going to last forever and the whole family will get through it - because God is faithful.

If you haven't written your fun memory of Will, please do so. You can't imagine how much they are helping us. Tom, Aaron, Angel and I are enjoying them so much. Thank you for sharing those with us. If you want to just email them to me it's and that's okay to do also.

Thank you for your continued prayers for our family. We feel the love everyday surrounding us. That's also God's doing.
God Bless

Monday, November 9, 2009

It was a very, very special celebration. I think it was everything that Will would have wanted. The gym looked great (and I will post pictures of it later). The music and the speakers were unbelievable and the crowd was filled with love that we, as a family, could feel so strongly. It helped us get through the day. Will was loved by so many people. What more could anyone want?

My nieces, Billie and Christi, helped put a slide show presentation for everyone to see. Billie somehow (it's magic) made it small enough to fit on here. Thanks so much for doing that, Billie. So if you weren't able to attend the celebration and you want to see Will in his different stages of life--push play. Let me know if you enjoyed it.

Friday, November 6, 2009


The Celebration of Life will be at the Jerome High School Gym in Jerome Idaho, Saturday, Nov. 7th at 11:00 am

This will be a great time to remember a great guy
For those that can't make it, I hope to have a video of some of it. Maybe.
We are doing okay with all the love and support from everyone.
God Bless

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009

Very hard to write this and I don't know how to say it. So, just say it Harbison and get it over with.

Will passed away tonight at 6:45 pm. It was one of the most peaceful
experiences that I have ever seen. He was in a lot of pain and very tired. He decided that it was time. It's so easy to decide when the decision is done for you. Will was surrounded by friends and family, so many, that the room could barely hold everyone. We were laughing and joking and then Will wasn't there any more. It was a very peaceful death and we are so sorry that it had to happen, but rest assured, there wasn't any pain.

If any one had read this blog, you know that I believe God is good. His blessing was that most of the family was able to say goodbye and share funny stories with Will. He could hear, I believe, up to the end and he's up there laughing still. He died as he lived, on his terms, when he's good and ready. We were well taken care of by the beautiful people up on fourth floor. That's Will's old stomping ground and he felt right at home.

He was loved.

I will write more later, I am burned out.

I want to thank God for lending us Will even for a litle time.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday night

Today Will had a bunch of blood work done. He has still be in lots of pain but tonight they might have found an answer. He's on continuous drip. He seems to like it. The bad thing is that it makes his short term memory all messed up. He's having a hard time remembering why he's in the hospital so every time he wakes, he has to be told again that he's in and what's happening. Sometimes he forgets he even has had his transplant (I wish I had that good med). I have to show him his scars before he believes me. His leg is still very painful and the surgeon might have to come in the morning to take some more tissue out. He told us that that might happen.

Will will have to have another dialysis tomorrow morning because they couldn't take very much fluid off because his blood pressure wouldn't stay up. I think they only were able to take off 0.24 kilos and he needed to take off about 3. So maybe tomorrow it will be better.

They still won't let Kayli come up and visit Uncle Will. She's getting mad and Will just can't understand why they won't let her. We have to explain it to him several times. I think I can fit her into one of my book bags if she would just be quiet, but Kayli is a lot like her mom (and maybe her Grandma too) she just can't stay quiet for long. We will see.

Take care and have a great Tuesday. I will post again tomorrow night. Take care.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Here's one more Halloween picture. That should be the last one. But she was so funny because it just didn't make any sense why one would want to put silly clothes on and go visit people. Soon she will though====CANDY.
Will has not had a great weekend. His pain level has been very high. They keep trying different things and he should be on top of it soon.
The culture from his wound in his leg has came back and he doesn't have MRSA. YEA!!!
The bad thing was that the doctor then had to go in and clean out all the dead tissue. It was not pleasant at all. The wound is about the size of my palm but it went clear down to the tissue. They have to repack it three times a day for awhile. When the doctor comes back in the morning, he should tell us what will be happening in the next few days.
Will will have dialysis in the morning which should take care of that terrible stomach pain for a few hours. I really pray that they find a cause of the pain soon. It seems to be getting worse, but then it could be because it is combined with the leg wound pain.
So tonight we really want Will to get some good sleep. I will let you know how everything is tomorrow night. I want to tell you all that we appreciate all the good thoughts and prayers that you have been sending our way. And we know it is hard for some of you not to be able to come up and see Will, but he doesn't want people to see him like this so that is what we want to do. Soon he will want as much company as he could get.
God bless and please pray for Will's pain to get under control. Thank you so much.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Saturday night-Happy Halloween

Here are the best Halloween pictures.
Of course, the first one is the cutest little lady bug. She looks scared, doesn't she? At least she's warm. She had another outfit, a little lamb, that she wore too. So she had a change of wardrobe in the middle of her evening. What a girl.

Here's Candace as the perfect looking Alice in Wonderland.
How cute does she look?

And it wouldn't be complete without a little picture of my mom's dog, Tinker, with her costume. She makes a terrific witch.
I felt bad because I really wanted to be home this Halloween. It's been three years since we have.

The doctors finally got on top of Will's pain and he has been catching up on his sleep today. He even slept through the BSU game. But he asked to keep up on the pain killers. Oh, but he knows who won and he tried to stay up and watch the Yankees game but couldn't do that either. They won too. Maybe he should sleep through all his special teams and they would win,,,hmmmmm, something to think upon.

The surgeon, (a great guy) said that Will's wound on his leg is a little worse today so he put him on a third antibiotic. Maybe that will start clearing it up. When the final cultures come in tomorrow, he will decide whether he needs to do surgery Sunday or not. I will let you all know when we do. Please pray for Will to start clearing up the infection without the surgery. You all know that surgeries don't do well for Will. They are taking good care of Will up here and he is getting all your messages. Thanks for those.
I hope God pours out beautiful blessings on you all.