This has been a powerful and emotional start to the week. Actually, back up, I had an emotional weekend as well.
On Saturday we went to my big brother's overdue housewarming party (he bought his house in December, haha). But the weather was finally right, so we grabbed the pups and headed to his house for some games and grilling. The pups loved the yard and the sunshine.
The best surpise ever? My aunt Diane came AND my Uncle Mike. Both are my godparents and I haven't seen my Uncle since Christmas. He was diagnosed about a year or two ago with a rare form of lukemia (less than 2,000 cases) so his treatment has been tough, to put it lightly. I will back up... for a few years, when he was healthy, he would make each of the grandkids a custom "bags" set. If you have ever played this game, it is also called "cornhole." My brother and my cousins have received beautiful hand-painted and custom wood sets with various designs, like Vikings, Twins, and even my brother's which is Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon"-themed.
About a year ago, Mikey asked Brady and me what design we would like for ours as our wedding gift. We thought a Twins Baseball design would be really cool. Or the "Leinenkugel's" logo for my hometown brewery in Chippewa Falls, WI. But that design was pretty intricate, so we told him to just choose whatever one was easier. Well, it's been 8 months since our wedding and with his health, I didn't think he was working on them... I mean, he has been in the hospital for the better part of a year already.
So to see him on Saturday was a present enough but then, our "gift" gets carried into the backyard. And then the tears started...
This is SO special. The whole set has our wedding date as the "est" date on the set. Mike custom-made a "Leinie Lodge" carrying case. It has a custom wood score board and holders for beverages! And matching bags ready to go! Just unbelievable. It is truly a work of art from a VERY special man.
We got a few photos including this big one of my whole family. Proud moment. :)
As if the day couldn't get better, we ventured Sat evening over to Woodbury to celebrate Brady's sister's 10 year wedding anniversary! WOW! Congrats Bria and BJ!
My nephews were adorable per usual! Kohan's 6th birthday (white shirt) was on Sunday so we gave him his present - "a digital watch just like his gym teacher!" haha. I guess he wore it to bed that night! :)
I tried Halibut for the first time too - DELICIOUS!
Just a BEAUTIFUL family!!!
On Monday, I got to work to hear some pretty tragic news that Zach Sobiech had past away. If you don't know anything about him, he is a local Mpls kid who was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 14 in 2008. In July of 2012, the doctors told him they were out of treatment options for his rare form of osteosarcoma, and he maybe had a year.
So, Zach did not sulk. He celebrated life each and everyday. And pursued his dreams of writing and singing music. With the help of my company, Hubbard Broadcasting, Zach recorded his first song, "Clouds." This "good bye" song is now the #1 Amazon download for the singer/songwriter category.
His Youtube video we created at work has now over 2 million views. Celebs and people everywhere have become SO moved and inspired by his strength and message. I love one of his quotes:
"You don't have to find out you are dying to start living."
I was fortunate enough to meet him and hear him play this song back in December at a staff luncheon. He was as nice and wonderful as he seems in this song. Also, Soul Pancake (ppl who are behind the Kid President and more) produced this documentary towards the end of his life. It'll make you ball.
"My Last Days" Video:
And one of my FAVS: A Celebrity video message to Zach with a lot of famous peeps showing their love and admiration to Zach.
My heart aches for both Zach's family and friends as well as the people affected by the tragic tornado in Oklahoma. I hope everyone is able to get through all of this sadness and live each day to the fullest. Something I have to remind myself each and every day.