Good… love… light…

October 3, 2015

I felt it immediately when I walked in the room.

The day was finally here – a day I’ve been eagerly looking forward to and scared silly about for months.  I would be sharing our story with the ladies of Life Fellowship (my home church).  Our story is heartbreaking yet inspiring in how Jenson lived with such joy despite so much pain.  Even in his darkest hour in the hospital, he was thinking of others and wanted to send another little boy going through a bone marrow transplant a monkey to cheer him up.  His simple statement “I need send him a monkey” inspired us to start sending smiles to other Histio families in need through Monkey Grins.

The question lingered in my mind: Would I be able to share our story, have moments of tears, and recover to continue telling our story?  Or would the pain of grief leave me crippled? 

I knew I couldn’t do this in my own strength.

As I entered the room, I was surrounded by monkey centerpieces on each table, balloons (orange, blue, and white), lolli-pops, handmade monkey cookies, and a group of over ten women (and countless behind the scenes men) serving and setting everything up for a fabulous evening.  I could feel a sense of peace and Jenson’s generous spirit throughout the room.  I hugged my friend Tatum who planned the event and started crying.  “This room is filled with Jenson.”  Tears rolled down her cheeks too.


Our worship pastor Nathan opened with a song “Forever Reign”.  It was the same song Doug and I picked to be played at Jenson’s funeral.  This song seems to show up whenever I really need an encouraging word.

It first made a big appearance when we were living in California.  We were driving into San Francisco for Jenson’s chemo appointments.  We would cross the bay bridge on our way to and from our home in Oakland.  As we journeyed home one day after a particularly troubling chemo appointment, a song played in the car.  The lyrics talk about how God is good, love, light, hope, peace, joy, and life.

As the song played, Jenson sat strapped in his black Britax car seat singing a few of the key words.  Good… love… light… hope… peace… joy… life.  I would blog later that day about our appointment that morning where the doctors found the first tumor in Jenson’s skull, and how Jenson inspired me that day:


November 9, 2010 (on

…”We go to UCSF in the city to see his oncologist, so we have to cross the bay bridge on the way there and back. I’ve noticed I always cry on the way home as we cross the bridge. Yesterday was no exception as the tears rolled down my face. We had a song by Hillsong on (I’ve added it to my playlist) and Jenson was back there singing the last word of most of the lyrics (good … see … hope). One of the lines is “You are peace, you are peace, when my fear is crippling. You are joy, you are joy, you’re the reason that I sing.” Once again, God is using my little boy to teach me about life. How to let the pain and worry go and appreciate the incredible blessings he’s given us.”

Pastor Nathan had no idea this was the song we had played at Jenson’s funeral.  Or that this song reminded me of an important truth in 2010 at a time when I desperately needed it.

But God knew.  He knew I needed a reminder five years ago when we found the first tumor in Jenson’s skull.  He knew I needed a reminder three years ago when Jenson passed away.  And He knew I would need a reminder again on the night of “Inspire” to “let the pain and worry go and appreciate the incredible blessings he’s given us”.

Jenson’s spirit continues to inspire, and God continues to give me the strength to face things I never dreamed possible with an unwavering belief in his truth.

Good… love… light… hope… peace… joy… life




Categories: Faith Friendship Inspiring
Tags: inspire; faith; friendship;monkeys,

4 Responses to “Good… love… light…”

  1. Rebecca Armerding says:

    This month Jenson would turn 7. Since my grand daughter’s birthday is September (she turned 7), I am reminded of Jenson’s birthday a few weeks later. You, Doug and Sydney are much in my prayers as you remember Jenson’s birthday. Grace and peace, Rebecca

  2. Cheri says:


    Your faith, courage and positive messages continue to inspire me and countless others. Jenson has definitely left footprints in the hearts of many!

    Love and hugs – Cheri

  3. Kristin Aaron says:

    Thanks for the encouragement Cheri! To know Jenson is remembered and continues to impact others means the world.

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