hope4chase

Hope for Chase Gordon

An End and a Beginning

copied from facebook

This is a photo of the last time I wore my grey ribbon for Chase. I will still wear grey for him, but he has this ribbon now. It is tied around a scroll of paper I placed with him in his casket. I gave him copies of a few posts I’ve written and of things I have written to him. I told him about this page and the blog. I wanted him to know. I wanted him to know how many lives he touched. I will write about my impressions of the funeral later. It was beautiful. I will be taking a break from this page for a couple of weeks. I need some time. I have things to catch up on.

In the meantime, if any of you have stories of Chase or how he touched your life, please send them to me. If you have stories of one of your loved ones battles with terminal illness, please send them. I have purchased hopeforchase.org. I’m in the process of transforming the blog. I want it to be a chronicle of Chase’s life and impact. I want it to be a place where others can share their own stories and post their photos and support each other. I will post updates as the new site nears launch. For now, please continue to watch this page. Please send me your stories.

I always email the photos from my iphone to myself. Today, I started typing “chase” in the “to” field. That is who I wanted to send it to. That is who all of this is for. It is for Chase, and now, for others like him.

Thank you for reading.

*edit* Please send any stories to hope4chasegordon@yahoo.com. If anyone needs, or wants, to contact me personally, please send an email to ashley.clements.rimmer@gmail.com

Obituary

  Chase Mykal Gordon

  •     BORN: December 14, 1997
  •     DIED: April  6, 2012
  •     LOCATION: Hot Springs, Arkansas

Chase Mykal Gordon, age 14, of Hot Springs, Arkansas, passed away Friday April 6, 2012 in Hot Springs.

He was born December 14, 1997 in San Diego, California to Carl Gordon Sr. and Chymberly Dutton. Chase attended Lake Hamilton School District and his loves were swimming, soccer, Pokémon and McDonald’s Fish Filet Sandwiches! At the early age of nine, Chase was diagnosed with Brain Tumors. Chase met his challenges with dignity, courage, head held high and always a positive attitude. He had a great faith in God and knew that is where he drew his strength. He was and still is an inspiration to all who knew him.

He is survived by:

Parents: Carl Gordon Sr. (Natasha) of Hot Springs, Arkansas and Chymberly Dutton (Martin)

Brother: Carl Gordon II of Hot Springs, Arkansas

Sisters: Winter White and Braylin White of Hot springs, Arkansas

Grandparents: Relis and Imogene Gordon

Several Aunts and Uncles; and numerous cousins

He was preceded in death by his paternal great-grandmother, maternal grandparents and one uncle

Funeral service will be at 10:00 am Friday, April 13, 2012 at Atkinson Chapel with Chaplain Brad Launius officiating. Interment follows in Hickory Grove Cemetery in Bismarck. Visitation will be Thursday April 12, 2012 from 5 until 8 pm at Atkinson Chapel

Pallbearers are Carl Gordon Sr., Carl Gordon II, Renee Gordon, Harry Rimmer, Jon Rimmer, and Michael Jones

Honorary Pallbearers are the Staff at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Dierksen Memorial Hospice, Renee Rimmer, Ashley Rimmer and Kari Chancellor

In lieu of flowers, memorials are to be made to Dierksen Memorial Hospice 3648 Hwy 7 North, Hot Springs, Arkansas 71909. Web address: www.dierksenmemorialhospice.com

Arrangements entrusted to Atkinson Funeral Home, Malvern, AR.

You can view Chase’s obituary, and leave messages for his family here Atkinson Funeral Home and Chapel

The Garland County Relay for Life is on June 1st. The Hope for Chase team will be participating. For ten dollars, you can light a Luminaria for Chase. It would be wonderful to see many luminaria for Chase. All proceeds go directly to helping others in the fight against cancer. Please light a luminaria for Chase here.

Memorial Services

Visitation for Chase will be on Thursday, April 12, 2012 from 5p.m. to 8p.m. at Atkinson Funeral Home and Chapel. Chase’s funeral will take place on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10a.m.

Atkinson Funeral Home is located at 126 East 2nd Street in Malvern, AR.

I will post a link to his obituary when it is published. If anyone sees any news articles or stories, please email me at hope4chasegordon@yahoo.com.

December 14,1997-April 6, 2012

Chase Gordon died at 4:40p.m. on April 6, 2012. Chase’s passing was peaceful. Carl Gordon was by his son’s side. Chase’s suffering, his long battle, is finally over. Chase Gordon now has the peace he so richly deserves. He departed this earth with a smile on his face.

I received the news while at work yesterday. Chase’s aunt asked me to come. I drove to Carl’s home in a daze. To be honest, I still feel like I am in a daze.

When I arrived, I knew immediately that I was at the right house. Cars filled the yard. I hugged Chase’s aunt and was introduced to the rest of the family. Then, holding hands, Melanie and I walked into the house. The funeral home had not yet arrived. Chase was still in his bed. He held his Yoda doll in his right hand. He looked like he was just sleeping; he looked like he was having a beautiful dream. The smile was still on his face. One of the hospice workers said that she was almost waiting for Chase to give his little thumbs up to the crowd around his bed.

I was at the home for hours. The time has blurred together in my mind. I can’t place anything into chronological order now, but at one point, I was sitting, almost alone, beside Chase’s bed. Chase’s Aunt Renee and Aunt Melanie were with me. I can’t remember if anyone else was in the room. I was able to touch Chase’s hand. I kissed his beautiful cheek. I was able to tell him all the things that I wanted to say. I’ll never forget that. Each of the family members and friends were able to spend time with Chase. Everyone kissed him or rubbed his arm. We all spoke to him.

Everyone tried to guess exactly what Chase had seen to put such a smile on his face. We all kept returning to that beautiful smile, to Chase’s adorable, slightly crooked little smile. To me, that smile was Chase. That precious smile defined so many things about him. I am so glad that it was the last expression to cross his beautiful face.

Chase never gave us the thumbs up. Chase Gordon was gone. I did finally get to visit him again, and although it was not as I had planned, it was enough. I’ll never forget the family welcoming me at such a time. When everyone departed, Chase’s father thanked me for being there. It was touching, but completely backward and I told Carl so. I thanked him for allowing me to be there. I thanked him for allowing me to say goodbye in the best way possible. He owed me no thanks for sharing those moments with me; I owed him more than I could ever explain.

I was able to speak to Chase. I kissed him. I gave him promises that I do not intend to break. I was there when the funeral home arrived. I watched as Chase Gordon left his earthly home for the last time. I watched as Carl Gordon helped lift the gurney bearing the red velvet draped body of his beautiful son into the back of the funeral van. I stayed in the background. I am not family and I did not want to intrude. I was in the back of the crowd, so as I watched the van drive away, I could see every single head turned in the same direction. Each of us watched until Chase out of sight.

I won’t describe my own grief. Mine is nothing compared to that of Chase’s family, compared to that of those who watched Chase grow up into the amazing person he was. I will just say that I do grieve, but it is now bittersweet. As usual, I am writing this from my back deck. Usually, when I am grieving, I do not enjoy beautiful weather. Sometimes, in grief, it seems almost as if the bright sun, perfect sky, the entire sparkling world is mocking me. It feels as if everything should stop. The sun should not shine. People in the street should not laugh. How dare it? How dare they? Doesn’t the whole world know what has been lost?

I do not feel like that now. I feel the warmth of the sun and look at the leaves glowing in the light. Where I am, the sky is perfectly blue. Flowers are blooming. Everything is green and lush and perfect. I can hear birds singing all around me. I do not feel mocked or alone in my grief now.  I do not feel as though the world should stop with my loss. I feel as if everything is exactly as it should be. I feel like everything is exactly as Chase would want it to be. I can look at the golden, green grass blanketing my backyard without being furious that Chase isn’t here to see it. I feel like the flowers, the light, the grass, the entire sparkle, is a part of Chase. I feel Chase’s brightness in every ray of sunshine.

Today, it looks more beautiful than it ever has before in my life. I think that Chase would like that. Chase would want the sun to shine today.  Chase would be glad of the flowers, the warmth, and the light. He would begrudge no one their laughter. He would be glad that I find warmth of the sun on my face and shoulders soothing. Although he is not here to feel it, he would want me to. He would want me to enjoy every second of it and hold each moment in my heart. He would want all of us to do so.

Chase Gordon was love, purity, and joy. Today, it seems fitting that these qualities radiate from the world around me.

I do not know how the weather is where you are. I hope it is as beautiful for you as it is for me, but no matter how it is, I want you to do something. I want you to do something because I think that Chase would want you to. Go outside when you finish reading this. Go outside even if you are at the office and it is pouring rain. I want you to stand barefoot in the grass, even if you have to strip off your dress shoes and stand on a patch of sod between sidewalks.  I want you to look at the sky. If there are trees, flowers, grass, or even weeds, just look at them. I want you to breathe. Close your eyes, turn your face up to the sun, and just take it all in. Just stand there and take everything in. After that, I want you to remember it. I want you to tuck that moment into your heart and hold it. We never know when our chance to create these moments is gone. We never know how much time we have in the sun. Chase would want us to savor every single one.

As for the flowers and the beauty, yesterday was a beautiful day. In front of Chase’s home, there was a rosebush just covered in blooms. Every one of us stopped to marvel over it. Many people cut roses to take home and press. We all felt that they were Chase’s roses and that they had bloomed just for him. I did not cut a rose. I didn’t want to. It seemed too fragile to hang on to. I just touched the roses and smelled them. I kept rubbing the petals gently. The roses felt like a mystery somehow. A marvel. I wanted to remember them exactly as they were. I took photographs. I wanted to share them with each of you. It seemed so fitting that such beauty was there, although it could never replace the beauty that had just left us.

 Chase’s service will take place in the latter part of the coming week. Once all dates and times are finalized, I will post them here. Thank you for reading.

-Ashley

Another Update

I’d like to apologize for taking so long to post an update on Chase. There really isn’t anything much to say at this point. His condition remains unchanged. He sleeps constantly. He does not eat. His oxygen level is good. There is just no real change.

I do have one beautiful thing for this update. Chase did open his eyes and try to speak this week. Chase’s mother, Kim, made got a flight in to Arkansas this week. She has been visiting Chase every day. On her first visit, Chase opened his eyes. He watched her. He tried to make an “I” sound. His aunts tell me that he was trying to tell his mother that he loved her. Kim sat with Chase for a while and sang to him.

Not only is it wonderful that Chase got to see his mother, but he responded. He opened his eyes and tried to speak. His family also managed to get him to drink some juice.

It seems like everything has been conspiring to prevent me from visiting Chase this week. I’ve tried for the last two days, but things small crisises keep interfering. I plan to actually visit him this afternoon. If I finally pull it off, there will be an update from me tonight about our visit.

Thank you for reading.

Update from Family

Chase’s Aunt Renee posted the following on the Hope for Chase Facebook page:

Chase had a 102 degree fever today. His nurse Mandy helped get his temp back down to normal. He is still unconscious, although I do think he can hear us when we talk to him. I have been reading everyone’s posts to him, and his friend Amy Arego came to visit him today. She was his date for the Spring Dance at Lake Hamilton Junior High School. She is a wonderful person, and I know that Chase enjoyed her visit even though he couldn’t tell her himself. When we asked him to move his toe if Amy came to see him, he did!

Renee Gordon

Thinking of you, Chase…

Update

There is still no change in Chase’s condition. His respiration is good and he is resting peacefully.

That is all we can really hope for right now.

Holding you in my heart, Chase.

No Change

Chase’s condition remains the same. Since my last update, his breathing has become much easier. His amazing nurse, Mandy, helped Chase cough to clear his chest during his last bad episode. Since then, he is resting more comfortably. Thank you so much, Mandy. As I said, Chase’s chaplain, Brad, also came over to help. Brad even stopped at a store on his way, around two in the morning, to pick up something that was needed for Chase. The family does not know what they would do without Mandy, Brad, and the rest of the hospice team.

I want to thank Dierksen Memorial Hospice for the amazing care that they have given Chase. While I hope it never happens, if your loved ones ever require hospice care, this is the place to contact. Dierksen cares for the entire family. Chase’s aunts praise Dierksen each time I speak with them. I can’t thank them enough. If you are praying for Chase and his family, please pray for this amazing hospice team as well. Their compassion and kindness is extraordinary. While I know that hospice workers are very accustomed to death, Chase is a very special child. I imagine that his hospice team could use a prayer or two. Please keep them in your thoughts.

I was unable to find any information on Dierksen Memorial Hospice online. I would love to be able to tell you more about these amazing people. Sometime during the next couple of weeks I plan to contact them for more information. It sounds like they have an unusual, and beautiful, approach to hospice care. As soon as I have this information, I will share it with you.

Please continue to support, pray for, and think of Chase and his family. I know that I cannot think of anything else.

Edit: Please follow this link to the Dierksen Memorial Hospice for more information about this amazing group. This site has information on Dierksen’s “Last Wish” program, information on how to volunteer, and more.

A Sad Update

Chase had a very bad night last night. He was unable to talk or give his characteristic thumbs up. Chase is very tired now. Chase’s family is so grateful for his nurse, Mandy and his chaplain, Brad. Both of them stayed until three in the morning, offering support and comfort. Chase’s aunt said, “They were right there when we needed them.”

Chase’s aunt does not think that Chase has much time left. Please continue to show your support and love for Chase and his family. I keep saying that they need it more now than ever, but it is true. Chase’s condition deteriorates with each passing day. As he becomes sicker, his family needs your support more. Thank you for being here for them. Words will never describe what it means.

Please keep Chase in your thoughts and prayers. It looks as if he will not be with us much longer.

I love you, Chase. You are the most special person I have ever met. I will hold your hug in my heart forever. I hope you are at peace, Chase. You deserve it more than anyone.

About Chase Page

Hope for Chase now has the promised “About Chase” page. Please forgive any errors or typos. I do not have time to properly proofread it right now. I have to leave for work soon, but I wanted to get this up as soon as possible. Please also excuse the lack of dates and other specific information about Chase’s battle. I was to get this information from Chase’s father and aunts. As I’ve said many times before, I thought that I had more time.

This page gives a summary of Chase’s battle and tells you more about Chase himself.

I haven’t heard from the family yet today, but I consider no news to be good news. I’m thinking of you, Chase.

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