1/1/09

The Story of "Sunday Baker"



I've thought about writing this for awhile, but always think to myself...who are you kidding? Are you THAT important that people need to read your life story? I certainly don't think that I am. However, I've received several emails over the last few months asking me about things in my life that I may have shared bits and pieces about here, and thought that this would be a great way to answer those questions. I actually had a hard time writing this, as it brought up so many memories that I guess I've been suppressing without realizing it. I worried that it may be too sad and personal and raw for this site. ...:

I grew up in a tiny town in Northern Wisconsin,
which is only 20 miles North of where we live today. Like many families, our lives were very disfunctional. Don't get me wrong, we had some wonderful times too! I was always a quiet, play-it-safe child that avoided conflict as much as possible. My world was often full of it, so I rode my bike around our tiny little town day and night, pretending to be Punky Brewster or any fortunate young girl that wasn't me. I rode away from the disfunction and spent my time imagining and dreaming. I was and still am such a dreamer... thinking that anything can happen if you wish hard enough!

When I was 18, I had my first son, Colin. I was not in a stable or happy relationship, but thinking back to it now, I'm not sure at that point in my life I knew there was such a thing. I kind of just let life flow for awhile, taking me to wherever it wanted, without ever trying to make it different or better. It was not a good place to be. However, after Colin was born, it was as if a switch was turned in my being, and I began to want better for myself and for him. I knew that I couldn't be happy unless I did something to change my life for the better.Something more was out there...the dreamer in me knew that for sure.

Fate indeed took the reigns when I met the extremely handsome, charismatic (and yes, much older) man who is now my husband of 11 years, Rich. I vividly remember the very first times our eyes met, because what felt like an electric shock literally went right through my body! As hokey as that sounds, it's true, and I'd never ever felt that before. I was so drawn to everything about him. I still am. That dreamer in me was feeling some validation...my life began the turn towards a better, brighter future.

I remember how awkward he was with Colin at first. Colin was just a toddler, and a naughty one at that! Rich had no experience with kids, but he tried so hard. As if I wasn't attracted to him enough by now, this really put me over the edge. There was no doubt in my mind that this man would become my husband. Later on he would become the most wonderful father any woman could hope for.

Along came my brown-eyed boy, Samuel. My miniature Rich. He couldn't have been more different than Colin. Colin....blond hair, blue eyes, daring and vivacious, full of creative imagination and mischief! Sam...dark hair, brown eyes, quiet and reserved, willing to take the back seat, more interested in facts than fantasy. My night and day boys...my reason for being.

We had a wonderfully chaotic life with our two little guys. I stayed at home with them, and Rich worked hard to support his family. My days were full of toys, catching boys peeing behind the bushes, big-wheels, and lots of love. We didn't have a lot, living on one income, but we had that time together every single day. I never regretted it for a second, and later in our lives would come to appreciate that as a precious gift, and a very important choice that was definitely the right one.

Fast forward to the summer before Colin started first grade. It was the year of the tent worms...literally like a horror movie! Everywhere you looked outside, on the trees, on the ground, on the bushes there were tent worms. Hoards and hoards of them eating everything that was green and living. If you stopped and listened, there were so many of them that you could actually hear them chewing.

One hot summer day, Sam stepped on one of the worms, and the insides of the worm came shooting out. Colin saw this and instantly vomited. I remember how all 3 of us actually laughed at that because Colin was my boy who loved scary and gross things. We were all surprised that he had that reaction. Later that week I took the boys to a shoe store for some new school shoes. While in the store, Colin commented how the "leather" smell was bothering him. When we walked out of the store, he again vomited. After that, every couple of weeks or so, he would vomit after he ate breakfast. Like the horror-movie worthy tent worms from that summer, feeding and growing in numbers, a horrible disease was growing inside my son's body.

First grade started, and the vomiting increased. After lunch at school, out on the playground... two doctor's visits told us it was a nervous stomach that kids this age often get. One even said it was most likely a problem with his "sphincter" muscle. I kid you not. We should try antacids and tums. They did nothing. I was so frustrated as a parent, ready to pull out my hair. What the hell was going on? I remember being on the phone with my step-mom. I said to her, "Why can't the doctors give him something to stop the vomiting? It's not like it's a damn brain tumor!"....Oh, the horrible irony.

One morning we couldn't wake him up. He tried to open his eyes, but he could not. We lifted him to his feet, but he could not stand. We rushed to the E.R. "It could be diabetes". "He has a high fever". "He may have an infection". "This is a very sick little boy". "He has hydrocephalus". "We need to get him to a bigger hospital now". "There is a large tumor on his brain stem". "He will need surgery to remove the tumor". "The tumor is malignant".......

Every single thing going on in our lives came to a screeching HALT.

The world stood still. Nothing mattered but this. Anything and everything that seemed relevant in life no longer even existed in our brains. Our family, and all it was known as, instantly changed forever. All that consumed our thoughts was "cancer, you will not take our son from us". And we did everything in our power to make that statement come true.

But more than that, Colin did. He fought so hard. He had to give up everything in his life that was part of being a little boy. For years. He fought and endured things I didn't even know a body could. He endured and endured and endured. Our little family existed in a realm that was so bizarre, so painful, so insane. Yet we laughed and we loved and we hoped. Laughter, Love, Hope..blessings and gifts that made all the difference.

I don't say these things to make you feel sorry. I don't EVER want pity or attention because of my son's illness. I say these things because it was our reality, and this is our story. It's why we are who we are.

After the years of fighting, countless treatments and surgeries, it was time for Colin to rest. He couldn't fight anymore and we couldn't make him. We had to let him go. My heart knew it. I couldn't even begin to imagine a life without him, couldn't even begin to put my mind around that. We had no choice, and begging and pleading to God didn't work. If there was ever a time to have faith, this was it. Without it, we would crumble and give up. There would not be the Hope that keeps us going that we will see him again. .

After he was gone, our family of 3 was a mess. All that was left was the 3 of us in deep mourning pain. We had to learn to become a family of 3. We didn't know how to live without doctor's appointments, hospital stays, and cancer being at the center of it all. Truth is we didn't want to...
doing those things meant Colin was with us.

Sam was a lost little boy. Most of his life had been his brother fighting cancer, and his parents concentrating on that most of the time. To this day, when I think of the things he has seen and experienced, I feel such a deep pain for him. Rich and I....so close, but so far away from each other too. Marriage is the last thing on your mind when your child is ill. Who were we after all of this?

We slowly started to rebuild our lives, and really still are. We haven't rebuilt our family "without" Colin. He is still at the center of everything. We have emerged from that dark cloud of sadness, but never fully. I've heard many, many times, "You are so strong! I wish I was as strong as you!"

I'm not really strong. Honestly, I'm just an expert at numbing everything. One of the ways I've learned to cope is by keeping busy. Immediately after Colin died, instead of laying in my bed for days, I started to clean. I cleaned and cleaned and couldn't stop. I did anything to stay busy. Go. Go. Go. Numb. Numb. Numb.

I've always loved to cook and bake. Nothing is more satisfying to me than to be a mother and a wife, and to take care of my home and family. I've found an outlet for my pain in these things, which has led me here, to create Sunday Baker. What an odd way to deal with grief and pain. Still, baking is therapy to me. I've tried the therapist route, believe me, and it didn't even begin to come close to helping me heal as creating in the kitchen does!

My story doesn't have a sad ending though. Colin still remains with us, and someday we will see him again. We find great happiness in many things, and have a very deep connection to each other, because we know that no one else in this world had the privilege of living life with Colin as we did. That bonds us together deeper than anything else I can imagine.

I wanted to share all of this with you, to the new visitors and my friends, because I want you to know where the heart of this site lies. If you want to read Colin's full story, we chronicled it at his Caringbridge site:
Colin's Journey .(click on journal entries) If you ever have any questions, I'm more than happy to answer them.

As the new year has arrived (May yours be blessed), I'm looking forward to many new and fun things here at Sunday Baker, and I hope that you will come along to share them with me!! I have a great feeling that 2009 will be an awesome year!
New games, a new look, giveaways, crafts, discussions, fun finds, and more recipes!

140 comments:

snbjork said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story! Isn't it interesting that when you have a big trial in your life, people always think you're so "strong." But, the reality is that there really isn't any other option. You either lay in bed and never get up or you get on with your life no matter how difficult it may be!

Even though I, of course, am not glad that you lost your sweet little boy, I am grateful that you chose this site as an outlet of your grief. I love your blog, I love your recipes, and I love your personality! Thank you for the time you put into it!

Happy Holidays!

philben5 said...

As I wipe my eyes, I wish I could give you a hug! What an inspirational New Years Story and how brave of you our dear Sunday Baker. May your 2009 be blessed and may you continue to honor your Colin in such a beautiful way..
Gods Blessings
Roxanne

Kelly said...

It is hard to respond to your post, but it is even harder not to - nearly impossible. You have figured out a truly remarkable thing in writing your way through grief, through life.

Through research, I have learned that science proves writing to be healing, but only through publishing is it truly healing and Sunday Baker is that publishing. This research has revealed pain in the process which is important to healing. Colin will be proud you have found such a giving tool to deal and heal.

Through living, and eight children (one by birth, seven through marriage to my true love), I am learning that life is not always the product of New Year's resolutions, that dreams come true, but sometimes in odd and unexpected ways, and that I learn more from my children than I ever did in all those years of college.

Your story will bring strength to so many of us. Thank you for being brave enough to share. You are brave.

As a fellow stress baker, I tip my toque to you.

~Kelly

unDeniably Domestic

Only The Good Stuff said...

God bless you and your family.

Thank you for sharing your story, I admire you and your family. I love your blog, and even more so now.

Happy New Year.

Miss Anne said...

Thank you for sharing that piece of your life with me/us. You are an amazing woman... i knew that when i first read your blog.. just by the person you were...not because of what you've gone through necessarily, but how you chose to handle it, and the positivity that you spread into the world.

I am blessed to know you.

Your sons are beautiful boys.

Happy 2009 to all of you!

Becca Watson said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm not sure what to say, or if there is really anything I can say.. I am glad I found your blog, its even more special now. ♥Hugs♥

Sonya said...

Thank you for shareing your story. I love how you talk about your sons and how you decribe everything. When I first read your blog I loved it right away. You're the kind of neighbor I wish I had..popping over to see what you are up to and chatting about everyday life and everything in between.
I've learned that life doesnt always have a happy ending and sometimes it hurts so bad you can barely stand it. I've also learned to take those special moments that come along..like when you talk about dreams you have of Colin. I think it's beautiful that you get those moments with him. I hope for more of those for you...and like everyone else, Im glad I found your blog.

Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

Although I knew most of your story, reading it here today not only brings a tear to my eye, but increases my admiration for you even more. And I didn't think that was possible.

You are the sweetest person ever and I wish you nothing but happiness and love for the rest of your life.

xoxo

Aimée said...

Thank you for sharing your touching story, I'm sure it wasn't easy.
May God bless you and your family of three in 2009.

Erica said...

You are AMAZING! Thank you for having the courage to share this story with us. I know you said you don't want us to be sorry, but you seem like such an incredible person and I am very sorry that you had to go through this. I am glad this blog has helped you heal. Keep up the great work!

My New 30 said...

I cannot imagine {{{hugs}}} and even though I am pretty new to your blog, I can certainly tell that you are a sweetheart - yet what we here down south call, a steel magnolia.

Thanks for sharing your story - it was very touching and ya know, I find that it's often therapeutic to release those feelings every once in awhile.

I am so sorry for your loss. God bless you and keep you strong.

Mimi said...

What you shared with us was a very, very brave thing to do. You opened yourself to a lot of people that you do not know. I, too, have been told that I am "strong" or a "tough cookie". I don't believe it's strength. I believe those of us who are strong during a time of crisis gather our reserve from our love, our soul, our knowing that we must put aside the tears, for the moment, and lead the way for others to follow.

When a mother loses a child, she also loses a piece of her heart, I know that all too well. My caring thoughts are with you and your little family and may Our Lord richly bless you in the coming year.

Corgidogmama~ said...

Tanya,
The story of Colin's Journey, your youth history, your heartbreak, your rebuilding was expressed beautifully.
What a gift you gave us all in your sharing of your family story.

Looking forward to what the New Year brings to you, and your blogging.
Happier days dear girl....

Emily said...

I love your blog and I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the courage it took to write that post. I'm so sorry you have experienced such heartwrenching grief, I can't even imagine. You are darling as is your family. Best wishes for the New year!
Emily

restyled home said...

As a faraway friend, I am so proud of you and happy I have come to know you in the little way that I can. You are a special person and a wonderful mum and wife. Your boys are as lucky to have you as their mum as you are to be their mother.

Thank you for sharing this with those of us who have come to care about you and your sweet family. Many blessings and much peace is my wish for you.

Linda
xoxo

Amber said...

Happy New Year! I am new to your blog, but was oh so touched by your story! I am so sorry that you lost your dear Colin, but so relieved to know that you have Faith in God and that you know you WILL see him again! Im sure that one day, if you havent already, you will see the reason for Colin's being. You will see that he fulfilled his purpose here and that he was done here. Sometimes its hard to understand WHY God takes them so young, but one day, we will understand. I hope that this New Year brings new peace and understanding to you and yours (((hugs)))--Amber

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing your Story, I too had wondered what had happened to your Son. I'm sure this was very hard for you.

Happy New Year,
Melissa
A.K.A. MadisonReeceDesigns.etsy

Deb said...

Well, I have to say, that is the most amazing and beautiful posting I have read. I happened on your blog the other day and have enjoyed your posts, but today, today was something else. My prayers are with your family each day. I hope you have a wonderful 2009!

Debbie said...

Thank you Tanya for sharing "You". You're such a special woman with beauty inside out. I know your sweet Colin is with you and without doubt he's your #1 fan!

I'm blessed to know you and I wish you and your beautiful a very Happy New Year!

Blessings - Debbie

Aunt Mattie said...

Tanya you are an amazing woman.What you said was just beautiful.You are so good with words.You are a wonderful mom.I am so glad you sharred your story with everyone.I'm looking forward to more of your wonderful blog.Love you.

KraftyKerilou said...

Bless you , Tanya. I have seen so many examples of how the Lord puts people in the right places YEARS in advance of when they are needed for each other. The Lord gave you such a gift in Colin, and for you to cherish and respect that gift, and to know that you will see him again, warms my heart. You and your blog are a blessing to me, and I am a better person for knowing you! Happy New Year! Here is to getting to know each other even better, and blogging 2009 away together!!
God Bless You and Your Family
xo
Keri

Carmen said...

Thank you for sharing your story. You are an inspiration.

Theresa said...

I'm sure that writing all that was difficult for you but hopefully it also helped. Thanks for taking the time to "bore" us with your great blog.

Hollie said...

thank you for sharing your story.
you are an inspiration to many.


may you have a blessed new year!

Katrina said...

Thank you for sharing. May the Lord continue to bless you through your faith. He will. And you're right, you'll see Colin again!
LOVE your blog, Tanya. It is always uplifting, has great "favorite things" (keep doing that! ;) and LOVE the recipe sharing. I also love seeing and hearing about yours sons, as my four are just a bit younger, I even have a Sam!
Have a great year!

Pfeiffer Photos said...

So glad to know that Colin is well now, and wearing his crown in Heaven with Jesus. Because he endured and because HE endured...that is why you can, too.

Wishing a very Happy New Year '09 to you, Rich and Sam!!

Mary / Mariah said...

I feel your pain , we went through a loss a year ago last Nov. David my cousin's son was 15 . He also fought a hard battle . His mother is going through so much now . She writes on a carbridge site they had for his friends and family to leave messages for him .
His school had a candle light walk in his memorie one very cold evening a few days after he passed on to our Lord's loving hands .
I wish more people would have an out let like you do . You have blessed so many people and I love your recipes . It's really good that you let him help you with the cooking and now your other son is helping . That's really good , he needs you more now then ever .
God Bless you and thanks for shareing your heart warming storie .
Mary

Brandi @ Talmadge Designs said...

My throat is so tight after reading about your loss. God has interesting/unimaginable ways of deciding how lives will turn like a very curvy road. I'm glad you shared such a personal portion of your life. For me it brings new meaning to your blog all together. You're an inspiration to me and I'm sure to many others as well. Hoping and praying for continued healing and comfort from my heart and my home to yours.

Very Sincerely Yours,
Brandi Talmadge

Sarah said...

I have always wondered a bit about your life, but didn't want to ask any personal questions that might upset you. Thanks for sharing your story. :)

DESIGN BY CATHLEEN said...

Dearest Tanya,

What a beautiful way to share your son's life, you are an inspiration to me, and a reminder to slow down and enjoy the special moments we share with our loved ones. None of us can know how long we will have here on this earth, Yet it is comforting to know It isn't the only life we have, we will have everlasting life. Amen!!!

I'm new to this thing called blogging, and never expected to share my personal life in anyway! Nor, did I think I would be experiencing the friendships I have made via blogging. I have gain so much more than I could have ever imagined.

Thank you for sharing Colin's precious time here on earth, he is a special little soul....

xoxo,
Cathleen

Jedi Sue said...

You are a very special person and I'm so glad that I stumbled onto your blog.

When you were first going through all this and posting updates on the peaboard, I remember thinking "this is a special family".

Your goodness comes through in everything you write, and it has for as long as I've "known" you.

I tell all my friends that baking is my form of therapy. It's nice to know that others "get" that.

May God continue to bless you in 2009!!

Carole said...

Wow, thanks for sharing that. Don't know what else to say - I think you said it all. A sad but beautiful story.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Your words really touched me. I came across your blog through Today's Creative Blog. I'm a novice foodie, and the title of your blog intrigued me. However, I was not expecting to find your story first thing, but am so glad I did. A good friend of mine passed away almost 1 year ago from a malignant brain tumor. Your strength in such sorrow amazes me. Your family will be in my prayers.

Lori said...

Bless your heart. I know it was difficult, but thank you for sharing your story with everyone. It has touched so many hearts. You are a special person who was given the gift of being Colin & Sam's mother. Wishing you many blessings in the new year!

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

Tanya, thank you for sharing your story with us. I am sure that it brings up so many feelings of sadness and heartache. But, what really stands out to me is that Colin's story is also FULL of faith and hope and love. I am so glad that you have those precious memories of the time you did have with him. Your story is a beautiful one. And although the ending seems sad...it's really not. It is only the beginning. What a blessing it is to know that you will be with him again. After my little Noah died, I clung to that knowledge with all of my might. It truly is such a comfort to know that our families will be made whole someday. Thank you again for being so brave by telling your story. I feel so privileged that you would share a piece of your heart with us. I loved your blog before, but now it is even more special.

Blessings to you and your beautiful family!

~Amanda

blueladybug said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story. I've always enjoyed reading your blog and often wondered about the story about your dear Colin. You are an inspiration to me! Take Care!

LenaLoo said...

Thank you for sharing your story, it makes us feel so much closer to you! Hugs and hope for a great 2009 for you and your family, we never forget the ones we love...

The Blonde Duck said...

What a moving story. You're a very strong woman.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Although I knew pieces of the story, it was nice to read it in it's entirety.

Here's hoping that 2009 brings you even closer as a family and coninutes to keep Colin in the forefront of your memory.

Hallie

Tanya said...

I'm really truly touched by your reactions to my story...I was wondering if it was too heavy.

One thing that's more important to me than anything is that Colin's memory stay alive. I believe that you all know him a bit better now and will think of him when you stop in here. That brings me comfort!

Thank you also to those of you who are sharing your own stories. I love my blog friends :)

GirlyFruFru said...

Thank you so much for sharing the story of your beautiful child and his journey. .

Culinarywannabe said...

Your faith is amazing and inspiring. Truly you have more strength and courage than you know. Thank-you for sharing your story with us and for putting the important things in life in perspective for a new year. All the best to you and your family.

Penny said...

Tanya,
I read this post yesterday and it tugged at my heart all day.
I to am an "expert at numbing"
So well put.
Sympathy = NO
Empathy = understanding - yes
I am so Thankful for finding your blog.
You truly are a special person ~

Mama C. said...

Tanya, I feel so incredibly blessed to have come to know you over this past year. Thank you so much for sharing your Colin with us.

<3

linda said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story.. You are an inspiration, and I am so grateful that I have gotten to know you.. May you have a fantastic 2009

Austen's Mama said...

This post was so beyond amazing, thank you so much for sharing - I know it must have been difficult for you. *hugs hugs hugs* Happy New Year, girl... I hope this year brings you love, blessings and much laughter. You inspire me!

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad you shared your story. I've wondered over the past few months as I've gotten addicted to your site.
I am grateful that your faith is getting you & your family through and that we all know you'll see your sweet Colin again.

****HUGS****

...love Maegan said...

wow. the biggest sigh ever! That's a lot to deal with ...I don't think I would be able to be that strong ...or even that numb, as you call it :) I'm speechless. I hope 2009 brings you and your family only the joys in life ...for you already know that opposite.

tidymom said...

Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for sharing your blog with all of us!.....like most everyone who read your post, I wish I could just reach out and give you a hug. I love your blog and thank you for doing what you do.

God Bless you and your family!

~Tidymom

Robin L Greenslade said...

Tanya,

You say you are not strong, but you are stong "enough" to be a mother who has faced the pain of watching her beloved child suffer and then not be able to fight any longer. That takes strength.

You say you are not strong, but you are strong "enough" to know that you would rather avoid confrontation and despair by being "busy." That takes strength.

You say you are not strong, but you had the courage to go on after the passing of your first born child, and to continue to make a life of love and happiness for your family. That takes strength.

From the moment I wandered onto your blog I have been wrapped by the sense of love, family and the passion of a woman devoted to helping her family and friends enjoy the moments in life that count the most: those moments we share with our family and enrich our hearts.

Thank you for sharing your life with us. Thank you for allowing us into your life and for allowing us to be the outlet you needed.

You are strong. Tender - hearted and caring, but strong and focused.

I admire you.

Hugs! Meg (Punchy) said...

Oh my goodness, I came over here from Cathleen's blog because I thought you were beautiful and wanted to see "who" you were. I am truly, truly touched...you are an amazing person! Thanks for sharing your story even with it's sadness. God Bless you!

Raelynn said...

WOW, I commend you on being able to share your life, with us, stranger's who will most likely never meet. Although so incredibly heart-breaking, it's so real, and show's that nothing is ever a "fairy tale".

Thank You, I will continue to read, and enjoy every part of your blog!

La Pixie said...

thank you for sharing your story with us. I had wondered, but I didnt want to seem nosy, so I didnt ask about your son.

although I havent faced what you did, I also like to bake as an outlet. mostly for stress or to ease worries.

Heather said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us. You're an amazing woman.

Elizabeth said...

thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for taking the time to open up to us. ((hugs))

Kerry McKibbins said...

Thank you for sharing your story.
My mother was diagnosed with a stage 4 brain tumor right before Thanksgiving. One day she was fine, the next day she couldn't move her left side. It's amazing how quickly your life changes. We're in the "treatment" stage right now, lots of doctor's visits.
Thank you for being truly inspirational.
Thank you.

one of nettie's girls said...

I put off reading this entry because I knew it would be about Colin's struggle. I have read the whole story on the site you mentioned. It is a beautiful, haunting, terrible, scary, warm and timeless story. Never be afraid to share it with people. You never know who will find help and healing from your words. God bless you with a magnificent year!

Kara said...

Thanks so much for sharing Colin's inspirational story with us, I'm sure it was a struggle to write.

I have always loved your blog, but now I love it even more. You are an amazing person, thanks for sharing with us!!

Sweet Caroline said...

I just recently found your blog. Thanks for sharing your story - very inspirational!

FlipFlop Mom said...

Happy New Year my friend!!

Patsyk said...

Thank you for sharing your story. It must have taken quite a lot out of you to put it all into words. It's a touching story, but it's so clear how much love your family has and that your sweet son is still a big part of your family.

Donna said...

Wow. I don't know what to say except that my family and I have been there before too. The oldest of my two daughters was diagnosed with an inoperable liver tumor when she was five. Your life changes in an instant and things will never be the same.

God bless you.

southern queen bee said...

It is not a story, but "What a LIFE". Sometimes it helps to share your life lessons with others. Alot of people feel alone in their grief and talking about Colins life, helps others realize you made it through and they can to.
Just today a girl at work talked about her father that passed this year at the age of 41. I let her know it is not easy and she had to grieve her own way. Each person has their own journey. May you and your family have peace and happiness in 2009. This is my first visit to your blog and hope to visit again....MISSY

Sue said...

You are very much an inspiration. Your story shows what a strong individual you are...you are a very special person...

Lisa said...

You and your family are such inspirations. Thanks for sharing your story about Colin, your angel. Have a happy new year!

Paige said...

I have visited your blog several times, but have never commented before.

What courage to share you story with all of us in blog world. I have enjoyed visiting your blog. I love the recipes you share and plan to try many of them in the New Year!

My prayer for you and your family is that God will continue to bless you in 2009 and he will continue to give you comfort in your times of grief.

Best wishes,
Paige

Cyndi said...

Bah, you always say you're not strong, but those of us who were around (even from afar) at the end of Colin's life know different. You handled his death with a grace that only comes from knowing that you will see him again and that he will be smiling with his whole face. I will never forget the story about you telling Colin he could have a pass to say anything he wanted and his cussing the cancer out, and how you laughed so hard together. I was awestruck by your wisdom in that moment. You're such a popular chick now (well deserved :)) and I don't keep in touch like I should, but I love you still!

Aileigh said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for you. I look forward to getting to know you and your delicious receipes in 2009!

Hugs!

Erika said...

Wow! I've never visited before... I just clicked over to say thanks for the comment, but now I'm saying thanks for sharing your life with us! It takes a tremendous amount of faith to get through a loss such as yours. God bless you!

Karen said...

Here from SITS, because you commented before me...I just finished reading your story. You told it beautifully and honestly. I'm so sorry about Colin. (((Hugs))) Your food looks delish; I'll have to stop back by sometime when Evie is older and I have time to cook :)

Tooj said...

I stopped by a SITS blogger and you had commented on there, so I clicked on you to read your blog. I'm not certain if that was a good idea, but your story humbles all of us who think we have some terrible trial in our lives. I will not pity because you asked for us not to, but I am crying because the loss of a child from a mother is difficult to fathom. I'm happy that you were able to find something like baking to bring you release, I only wish I were "strong" enough to attempt baking. :) Have a wonderful weekend.

Zesty Cook said...

WOW Tanya. Thanks so much for sharing that. I am speechless. Very brave of you to share the story... all the best in 2009

zesty

kingsqueen said...

Thank you for sharing yourself and your beloved son with us. I can't imagine how hard it must have been to write this, because it brings me to tears to read it. You seem like a really great mom, and a very sweet person in general.

I am at a loss for the right words, but I'm glad that you do have that faith in you. I think that is where your "strength" comes from.

May 2009 bring you and your family many blessings.

AJ said...

I was thinking of you while I was up north in Wisconsin this week:) I will always admire you for being the person that you are. Even though you don't feel strong, you are amazing! As a mom, I can only imagine how hard times have been for you. You are an amazing woman, wife and mother:) I'm glad I "met" you and Colin♥ I'll always keep a little bit of your story with me.

Chere said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story..it is one of great courage. I found your blog via kevinandamanda's recipes, and I'm so glad I did!

Happy New Year,
Chere O.

VintageChicChick said...

What a trying experience. I am glad you shared it. I really can't imagine going through the cancer fight with my child... how difficult.

Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us! I can not even imagine what you have been through!

Hugs to you and your family!

Linda said...

I have taken a little hiatus over the holidays as we were away. Tonight I read your story as I am back to blogging.

The tenderness of what you related touched me as it has others who read your words. Your tribute to your journey was giving us your story.

What you share and how you share of yourself is giving you the reason to get yourself going. I so enjoy reading your thoughts and perky personality that you put into each post.

You have given us a gift too. YOU!
I am so glad to have found your blog and I hope to enjoy it for a long, long time.

Happy New Year...peace and joy.

Melanie said...

I have been following your blog for quite awhile, but had no idea that you had lost a child. God bless you for sharing your story with us. You are an inspiration to us all. God bless you and your family.

Sarah: Der Wenigste Blog der Welt said...

By the time I was 10 years old, I was an orphan. I've realized as I've dealt with the death of my parents over the years that when you go through something hard you can choose to either become better in spite of it or become worse because of it.

I'm so glad that you shared your story as a reminder that we all can perservere when hardships come. It will not always be easy, but, like you said, we will be with the ones we love again. Now Colin gets to be a guardian angel to your family! :)

HelenesDreams.etsy.com said...

What an incredibly touching story. Your childhood reminds me of mine in a lot of ways. I honestly can't imagine the loss of a child..you are my hero for enduring such pain and anguish. Keeping Colin alive remains in your heart, your thoughts, your words written. Continue to have dreams. Wishing you peace and healing, love and happiness, and joy!

Amy said...

Wow!! What an amazing journey you and your family have come through. I can't imagine what it would be like to go through that with one of my little ones (although, I did lose my father to a brain tumor when I was young, but I don't remember much about what he went through). I am glad that you have your loving husband, a strong little boy, this blog and the wonderful memories of your oldest boy to lean on in your times of grief. Thanks for sharing your story here with us.

Happy New Year to you and may it be filled with good health, happiness and lots of wonderful memories for you and your loved ones.

{{{{{HUGS}}}}}
Amy

Susan said...

Tanya-Thank you for opening your heart and letting us in. I too am wiping my eyes and wishing I could give you a hug! I feel blessed to have you touch my life. I admire the woman you are and pray God blesses you and your family always.
Thank you for all you share with us always. Love Susan

MomToTwo said...

Tanya,
No words can express the sorrow that I feel for you when I read this, or the hope that I feel for your future. Your outlook and strength have blessed me and all who have been lucky enough to know you. You are beautiful inside and out, and you are truly one of the most wonderful people that I have ever known.
Michelle

Bunny said...

Tanya, you are my hero, I have tears in my eyes just thinking about everything you and your family have been through. You are a certain joy and I'm thankul that you have this blog that we can all come to and share together.

Sarah @ ThriftyDecorChick said...

I have always said we experience grief so that we and others will realize what blessings we have -- I HATE it for you, but your boy has done that for me. Yet again, I sit here and thank God for our son, for our health, for everything. Losses make us never forget to be thankful. Thank you for sharing this with us. (P.S. -- My husband is much older as well, we met about the same age you did and I felt the same way -- electricity.)

Lisa said...

Thank you for sharing your story. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story!! As a mother I'm am so sorry you had to go through this! But hold on to the hope that one day you will see him again and he will be perfect!! When times get tough remember the Lord is there to for you to lean on, He is our great comforter!! Your Collin is in His Glory and forever healed!!!

Thank you also for sharing great recipes!! I have been inspired to do more cooking! I made your chicken lasgana and garlic bread and it was a huge hit!!! I can't wait to try more and look forward to you adding more new things!

Rambling Girl said...

Thanks for sharing your story...so glad you are here and your story will touch many hearts as well help some whom have lost a child also. I don't know how it is but I could imagine it is a tough thing to cope with. Again thanks for sharing about Colin...I always feel those little ones who leave this earth early than they should are my little angels watching over all the other children in this world.

Maria said...

Thanks for sharing! I admire you and your family. You are so amazing!!

Mrs. McB said...

Thank you so much for sharing!

Nama said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful story. We are all strong in our own different ways when life is rough, and I think your idea of being strong is wonderful...creating.

I'll think of Collin now every time I read your blog...and I mean that in a good way. :) Thanks, again, for sharing a part of your life with all of us, and God bless.

Nama said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful story. We are all strong in our own different ways when life is rough, and I think your idea of being strong is wonderful...creating.

I'll think of Collin now every time I read your blog...and I mean that in a good way. :) Thanks, again, for sharing a part of your life with all of us, and God bless.

jceko77 said...

God bless you and your family. The tears were free-flowing as I read your story.
I also love to bake; it is a pasiion of mine. My thrill each year is which birthday cake i will bake for each of my three daughters. My fave was a Little mermaid Under the sea cake I did for my daughter Anastacia when she turned 4
jceko77@yahoo.com

Donna in VA said...

Gosh, I don't know what to say. I simply can not imagine the pain of losing a child. It's the worst thing in the world to have happen. Bless your heart.

Eric Barclay said...

I'm so sorry for your loss-- thank you for sharing Colin's story. Hope 2009 is filled with much joy for you and your family.

Doodles said...

You are an amazing young lady and that is because of Colin..........he is with you and makes you and the rest of your family strong.

New to your blog but will definitely return.......thanks!!!

Doodles said...

You are an amazing young lady and that is because of Colin..........he is with you and makes you and the rest of your family strong.

New to your blog but will definitely return.......thanks!!!

Michele said...

I was just going about my business, returning visits to the SITSas after my big, bloggy day yesterday....And now, I am sitting here crying and addicted to another blog!

Ah, that was a compliment. :->

Trez said...

I am a pediatric PA and your story was very inspirational despte all you have been through. I can honestly say that that I have had some patients that have touched my life more deeply than I could ever touch theirs and despite all the ups an downs of seeing kids go through things a little one should never have to go through-I can't imagine doing anything different. I just hope I make some small impact on the children I take care of even if it is to just bring a moment of peace and comfort to their parents in trying times.

Amanda said...

I've been reading your blog on and off for a while. I had no idea. I just happened to notice the link on the side that led me here. As soon as I saw the photo of you and Colin I knew I would be in tears by the end. I was wrong, i was in tears way before the end. Last school year a girl from my son's 3rd grade class got sick in school, throwing up blood and a massive headache. She battled for a year or so and went to God a few months ago. Her mom also journals on Caring Bridge.

My heart goes out to you. i have always thought myself so lucky, 4 healthy kids, never any colic or other issues as babies, and not even morning sickness. I can't imagine how hard that could have been and still is for you.

I bet Colin is in the kitchen with you every time you bake. I can see it in your photos :)

HUGS

adrienne said...

I am so happy to have come across your blog while "blog-surfing". Your heart really pours out through your words. I am new to this "blog world" and have found that there is something out there for everyone. Thank you for sharing and reaching out to us all.

Tiffany said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story. I know about the numbing thing and losing a child. My prayers are with your family as you continue on your journey.

I found your blog through the SITS featured blogs.

The Me/ The Wife/ The Mom said...

I'm overwhelmed by your story and loss. I am most certainly inspired by your faith and tenacity.

May God continue to watch over your family and bless you.

I'm visiting from SITS today - you have a great blog!

bodaat said...

Hi,
I came over from SITS and was wondering through your site and read this post with a large ball in my throat. Thank you for sharing that story. I can't even imagine what it must be to lose a child. I just wanted to tell you thank you for sharing and that tonight your family, especially Colin, is on my mind.
Love,
Kavita

Kim said...

I came upon your blog thru the blog at Mommy's kitchen. I read the story of Sunday Baker and then clicked on Colin's page. The lump in my throat grew bigger when I saw Colin's birthdate. He was born on the same day as my daughter. She will be 14 in a couple of days and so will Colin. I just want to say thank you for your blog and your story, and Happy Birthday Colin.

Audra said...

I am so glad that I took the time to click on the link to your story. Thank you so much for sharing it. I greatly admire your strength, courage, and faith.

SUGAMAMA'S CAFE' said...

I've been looking at your "My Story," button for sometime now.. I knew whenI clicked on it that I would cry.. So I selfishly avoided it. Saving my own heart the sadness I knew was behind the button... You are amazing and beautiful.. I spent most of the night up and thinking of you and your family, your son....Telling your story to my children, my husband....
Thank you for all you do here on your blog~
~M~

The Peterson family said...

thank-you for taking the time to write such a heartfelt post. I wish I could just jump thru the computer and give you a hug now. i loved reading your blog before, but even more now! love and blessings to you.

Lynn said...

Tanya, thanks for your story...I needed it especially today. I just got word last night that my Dad, who has terminal cancer, is once again in the hospital and fighting for his life and he has had 77 years on this earth. So many more than your sweet boy.

It was all put in perspective for me after reading about your families struggles and pain with your dear Colin ! Thank you for buoying me up during this difficult time for our family. LOL

Becca said...

Thank you for posting your story, although I'm only 17 I feel almost exactly like you. I can relate with you so much and I'm so happy you wrote this. Baking really takes all the bad things in life out of me too and I'm glad to see it's the same for someone else. Keep cooking and baking. I'm a total dreamer too we have to be to escape sometimes.
god bless
becca

*Noelle* said...

oh my! my heart goes out to you as a fellow mom:) thank you for sharing your story with us and your wonderful blog! i can't even begin to imagine how you feel... i am teary eyed over here!

Oz Girl said...

As a mom, I can't even being to imagine losing one's child. I only have one son, and we are incredibly close, even though he is now 27 and married. He still lives in Ohio (I moved to KS last year) and I miss him terribly! I've always told my son, any hardships in life shape us, and they usually just make us stronger.

Your blog is simply wonderful, and I will have to follow along with you!

Julie said...

I just found your site today and was intrigued to read the "story" behind it. i'm glad i did, thank you for sharing your heart ache becuase I think it's helped mine heal a little. I recently had a miscarriage and am having a hard time and you've helped me remember that I need to be there for my kids and enjoy being home with them and stop wallowing and just keep moving go go go as you said. I threw myself into creating for awhile and hit a road block this last weekend when I was reminded that I'm not prego but I've been busy this week and it's been helping. so thank you for sharing with us something that is so personal, you have probably helped more people than you know!!

Trace and Sarah said...

What an amazing outlook you have, your story should be an inspiration to us all for overcoming the events that bring loss and unbearable sadness to our lives.

As a new mother, I cannot imagine what you have been through, but if tragic circumstances in my life arise, I pray I can handle them as you have.

I look foreward to continuing to follow your blog.

Alwayzbakin said...

Thank you so much for sharing. What a wonderful mother and wife you are. Baking is like my stress-relief and haven, too. I have not been through anything you have, but I can understand how it helps you. God bless you and your family.

customjewelrybysolange said...

WOW! Your story was so touching, it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing this personal story with all of us! I really admire you and am so glad I found your blog. I am now following it and cant wait to hear more about Sunday Baker! God Bless you and your family!

Casa Mia * My House * said...

Thank you for sharing. You are an amazing person, mother, wife. You're very inspiring. Hugs

capturedtime said...

I just went and read the caring bridge site of your experience. Nothing like a good cry on a Friday morning. :) Collin died on my birthday so I will think of him now and hope for healing to your family's hearts. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us to cherish each day.

LCM said...

I can understand some of what you wrote. My daughter was 4 when she was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma. We were looking at some extreme chemo and the start of a Pacific Northwest winter. My baby girl and I spent a lot of time cooking to keep her entertained during those long months indoors. I can only imagine what you have been going through, dark thoughts often crept out of what we would be like as a family of three instead of four. I am grateful you have an outlet and I hope that your healing process continues.

Geisslein said...

I´ve found your blog by a fluke today and feel sooo sad for you and your story! I can feel with you (my parents died long time ago...so I know what it means to loose someone you love...).But don´t stop belivin: I´am shure, you will see him again! Someday...somewhere! Sunny greetings and a big hug from germany, geisslein

Carolzonie said...

I'm new to blogging (now that i'm unemployed i have some time) and after setting up my blog account, for some reason i found yours. I actually was looking up recipes for pumpkin mini bites or something like that. I have spent a lot of time on a website called "webhealing.com" when I lost my son 9 1/2 years ago in a bike accident, so your loss and your words strike me very deeply. I agree about the numbness...in my life, i turned to quilting as a way to stay busy and have something to show as a tribute to my grief. Now, my life has changed, and I have reunited with my former high school boyfriend, who has a 13 year old son who i'm helping to raise (his mother died last year from a prescription drug accidental overdose) and I feel more alive than I've felt in a long time. Cooking for him is my way of showing affection and caring, and he's an old fashioned guy who "loves a woman in the kitchen" i refer to him as my cave man, a match made in heaven! We have to find a way to make the days we have count...it's not just surviving, it's Living. (((understanding hugs))) Carolzonie p.s. I'm loving your site, can't wait to try some of your recipes!

Seoul-mama said...

I stumbled upon your blog today and sat and cried as I read your story. Ironically, today I had coffee with a friend and we were discussing the loss of each of our parents, too young, too soon and not very long ago. Alot of what you wrote resonates with me. I cannot know what it is to lose a child but I can relate to the grief in general. How brave you are to write about it in such an honest way and I wanted you to know that even today your precious son is touching a life- one who you do not even know. I know your faith sustains you and how joyful it will be one day to embrace him again..
I love your blog! Keep doing what you do! Would love for you to hop over and visit me sometime..my blog is fairly new but it chronicles our pending adoption, family life, and faith. Hugs to you and many of God's blessings..
Amy
'Seoul-mama'
heartswithseoul.blogspot.com

Mary Anna said...

I have made your sweet roll recipe several times and I love the recipe. I have baked various yeast doughs for years and this recipe makes about the best yeast dough I have ever made.
You have a lot of other recipes that look great and that I'll be trying out, too.
I really enjoyed reading your story and found it touching and inspirational. About six months ago my nine-year-old son was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which, thank goodness, after many tests the doctors have decided is probably benign and not causing any problems ... but they are still watching it carefully (lots of MRIs). It was comforting to read your story and to see that one can actually get through what seems like the end of the world and continue to enjoy life ... although I am sure the sadness never leaves you. Thank you for sharing your experience and good for you to be doing such a great job with your family and with the blog.

Brittany @ OurOneTree said...

I came across your blog today and I can't tell you how inspiration this story was for me. I know how much a blog can breathe life into a person, and allow you the creative avenue to express yourself. I can't even begin to describe how much your story touched me. I have suffered the loss of cancer in my family as well with my grandfather. It was hard enough for me, but I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child. I applaud you for having the courage to face each new day and live your life. May God Bless you in all your endeavors.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your story. I wish you and your family peace. Thanks again. You have truly honored Colin with continuing on, loving each other and not letting your family (marriage) being another casualty of cancer.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog through the hip hostess today. No words can comfort or replace, I know that. All I can say to you is your story touches me and God Bless you and your family for all that you go through and for touching other people lives!
Thanks for sharing, I've become a follower!! :-)

Collections from my Heart said...

I stumbled upon your blog through the hip hostess today. No words can comfort or replace, I know that. All I can say to you is your story touches me and God Bless you and your family for all that you go through and for touching other people lives!
Thanks for sharing, I've become a follower!! :-)

Jean said...

I came upon your blog tonight after clicking from one thing to another. Thanks for sharing your amazing story. I'm sorry your sweet boy isn't here with you now but rejoice in knowing that you'll see him again.

Baking is my therapy too. I understand how healing it is. I look forward to reading your blog.

KATHY said...

I found you through a google image search for pumpkin oragami. I am doing a project for my youngest son's class at school and who knew I would find something so deep. I am the mother of 2 boys 10 and 7, we live in Phoenix, Arizona. My husband is from Wisconsin of all places and we visit family there every summer. I remember the summer of the "Worms" vaguely. My mother in law spoke of her garden being destroyed, but it was much worse up north. The strenght you have is amazing and the reason is because you have taken it apon yourself to figure out how to fix you. That is why it is so great to hear. You are with you 24/7, not a theapist or a counselor. My sister in law lost a son at 2 1/2 and recently had another son go through a bone marrow transplant. He had been sick his whole life and was finally diagnosed with IPEX syndrome. He is finally getting better but after loosing one child it has been a rollercoaster for his mom.
Thanks for making your story available to the world. You are important and you have a gift to share. Self reliance and healing from within. Like everything else in our world today people want everything done for them or to take a pill to make it ok, but the power lies within. You story shares that. Thanks again, ok I am done talking now.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so sorry about all that you have had to go through. I know Colin is watching over you. Lots of hugs, loves and kisses.

Tammy

Shaana said...

Wow. Your story touched me very deeply. I am so sorry for the loss of your son, I truly believe that losing a child must be the most difficult pain in life. Thank you for sharing you story so that those of us who are traveling along the road of parenthood will stop and take the time to hug or babies a little tighter, a little longer. So that we will stop worrying about the material things in life and just live each moment, grateful for what we have, for the blessings God has given us. Human nature makes it hard to appreciate those in our lives at times and to live each day as if it were our last, but stories like yours are a huge reminder...and I thank you for inpiring me to be a better, more appreciative, more loving, more patient mother. God bless you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing; I came here via Sunday Baker Chewy Oatmeal cookies.
I've lost many members of my family, and it began when I was very young. I can't imagine dealing with losing a child. My heart goes out to you.
But I just want to say: Don't forget about your other son, he needs you too.

Julie Avery said...

Thanks for sharing. :)

Carolyn said...

I just stumbled upon your blog today - I am so happy I did xo

Beth McCurdy said...

I came across your blog on Pinterest and so glad that I did. Your story is so moving.

Tara's Treasures said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I am sure it was hard to do, but it may have well helped a lot of people, see there is light on the other side..God bless you and your family. Love you recipes..Thanks for everything.

Cassandra said...

I stumbled on your blog today through pinterest... i'm working very hard to feed my family healthy foods... and when i read your story i couldn't help but comment on it... My 3 year old son has Hydrocephalus. Its something we live with every single day. And he is the reason for our life changes... I want to fuel his body that is fighting against him...
Thank you.

Janine LaTulippe said...

You have such a powerful story! Although you say that you aren't strong or brave, I would disagree. It is extremely scary to lay your heart out to everyone and you have to be a special kind of person. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a child and I hope that I will never experience it, but I know I can come here if I did. Thanks for being a resource for foodies and mommies who love their families! I wish you the best in the healing process and hope that many more people read this and are encouraged or comforted.

The Webbs said...

this is so beautiful. your son seems like an amazing person, and what a blessing that he is with our Heavenly
Father living there just waiting for us. He was just a bit too perfect to live on this earth during these hard times in modern day.
Are you LDS? You like you might be so I thought I'd ask, hope your family is doing wonderfully.