I immediately fell in love with Chase. He was only a year and a half old and he had the blondest, curliest hair I had ever seen. He was adorable. I considered him my son and enjoyed every minute with him. Soon he was calling my parents grandma and grandpa, and he called my grandparents, Papa and Nana. He was part of our family. We were very grateful and fortunate that his parents shared him with us.
After Parker was born, I decided to move and attend college in Cedar Rapids. Chase’s parents still let him come visit me for weekends. He and Parker got a long wonderfully and were best friends. They still are.
After college, I moved back to the Quad Cities and Chase was the biggest reason why. I tried to include him in everything we did. He came to holidays and family get-togethers. We went to the park and zoo often. Rode rides at Adventureland. We went to Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom Huck Jam and met some of the skateboarders.
Years passed and I met Kevin and eventually moved in to his condo in Madison, WI. It didn’t take long for Kevin to fall in love with Chase too. Chase would come to Madison to visit us there as well, and we continued to include him. We took trips to Chicago and went to Legoland, Medieval Times, Shedd’s Aquarium and the SkyDeck. We went to the zoo in Des Moines and the boys fed a giraffe, rode on a camel, and swam in the hotel pool for hours. We had a blast in Wisconsin Dells sliding down water slides and relaxing in the lazy river. And we rode rides and toured the aquarium at the Mall of America.
When Kevin and I moved back to the Quad Cities after getting married, we were happy to be able to see Chase even more and have the ability to do some of our favorite activities with him more often like going to QC Mallards and River Bandit games. We even included him in our family pictures.
Since Kevin travels for a living, we were able to save up hotel points and airline miles so we decided to take Parker and Chase on their first flight! We flew to Texas and went to Six Flags and toured the River Walk. We swam in the ocean and went aboard the USS Lexington. We fed dolphins, sea lions and pesky sea gulls. We held an alligator and were splashed by an Orca. It was an awesome trip!
The next year we went to Minnesota with the entire family, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We rented cozy little cabins, made s’mores over the campfire, and played games. The kids loved fishing out of the bass boats and pontoon boats. We took them tubing and they swam, but they spent most of the day in kayaks and paddle boats. We had reservations to go back this year, but with Parker’s chemo schedule, we don’t think that’s going be feasible.
Last year I had Kaitlyn, so we didn’t get to take a vacation with Chase. He did stay with us throughout the summer though. We continue to include him in the holidays and family get-togethers.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, Chase is family. He may not be my biological son, but I sure consider him to be one of my own and love him just the same.
Chase and Parker are not only brothers, they are best friends. When Chase stays with us, they can be heard giggling all day and way past their bed time.
Chase is 15 now. When he came up to the hospital to see Parker, my heart broke for him. Tears were streaming down his face. Parker started to cry too. It’s the only other time Parker has cried since they told us they thought it was cancer. Chase was also a wreck when Parker went in to surgery for his biopsy and port placement. When I gave him a hug, I wanted to never let go. His aunt has brought him to visit since, and he’s stayed a few weekends with us. I’m happy to tell you that they’re back to laughing and having a good time!
This has been very difficult for Chase though, so to those of you who have thought and prayed for Parker, I would also like you to include Chase. We would be mighty grateful!
And to Chase,
We love you, Cheeseball.
Hang in there.