This is photo of Nick with my mom, Olivia, and Todd.

Todd, our 15-year old son, was only 8 when Nick was first diagnosed with a brain tumor. Through the years he has definitely had the biggest battle with the largest range of emotions-everything from fear to jealousy to anger to indifference to denial….

And many of these emotions have fluctuated back and forth throughout the past 7 years….

But I have never seen him cry or even seem sad.

So last Saturday when we realized that Nick was not going to be with us much longer, I was sitting on the floor beside Nick who was lying on our couch. Erich and Tim and my brother had already joined me. Mom was at Nick’s feet. I looked back to see if Evan was coming yet, and there stood Todd at the top of the ramp that leads to our “new room” looking down on everything. I said, “Todd, come say bye.”

As Todd neared Nick I could feel his fear. As he placed his hand on Nick’s shoulder and said, “bye,” he burst into tears and fell back on the chair behind him and cried and cried and cried and cried-loudly. My heart just broke for him.

See Todd and Nick were only 21 months apart, so in many ways they were treated like twins. They wore matching clothes when they were little. They shared the same friends. They played the same games. If Todd had someone over to stay all night, Nick was part of the pack….

And vice versa.

Over the past year and 1/2 Todd has branched out and created a new world for himself in high school with band, choir and new friends It has been hard to watch Todd form a new circle that didn’t include Nick, but at the same time, I am thankful that he has been able to do this.

Now that Nick is not with us in a physical sense, I know that Todd misses him greatly. He stays busy chatting online with friends and texting them, but I was in his room earlier today and noticed Nick’s program from his service is pinned right in the middle of his bulletin board.

Nick will always be with Todd.

They were such great buddies.

Please keep Todd in your prayers today. His Christmas concert is tomorrow night. I know it will be hard for all of us. Nick was with us last year for this event.

Trying to stay focused on the big picture in spite of the brokenness I feel so deeply inside,