Saturday, April 4, 2009


I am stunned! I don't even know how to begin this post or what to say. I am at a loss for words. That's hard to believe, I know.

We are so completely overwhelmed at the outpouring of love and thoughtfulness towards CJ and our family. I really wanted to make this day special for him and I could not have done that on my own. Each and every one of you made this day memorable for him. He was so happy and extremely grateful. He kept telling me how thankful he was and what a great time he was having and how it was his best birthday ever. Well, it was his best birthday ever for his mom and dad too. Six months ago this day seemed so far off. It was a hope and a prayer but clouded by fear and uncertainty.

Thank you, Lord! And thank all of you for helping us put a beautiful smile on his face today. Thank you for coming and celebrating his 10th birthday with us. Thank you for rejoicing in God's Grace with us. It was such a sweet time of fellowship with all of you.

When a gentleman named Tony spoke today, before presenting CJ with a surprise that he and his wife had arranged, he told CJ through tears that CJ had touched many lives. It really hit me hard as I watched and listened to this man, that has never laid eyes on my son before today, hold back tears. He and his wife went to great lengths to make today extra special for CJ. I was moved to see how God has used CJ's battle against cancer to move the hearts of His people and to open the hearts of others. We are humbled and grateful.

Today, in Tony, and others like him, like the man who delivered the tables and chairs and left an extra bounce house free of charge just to bless our family, and in the family that is fighting their own battles who left a large check in the bracelet jar, and in the publix employees who rallied together to cover the cost of the cakes and then some, and in the people who came from Outdoorworld on a Saturday afternoon to bless a little boy they never met, and in the clown from the hospital who rarely gets a Saturday off of events but spent the whole afternoon with our family, and the in the nurse who showed up to wish CJ a happy birthday, and in the friends that set up equipment and spent time serving our family with music and worship, in the church who donated their facilities to our family for the day, in all of this and more, I saw, and was challenged by, the hands and feet of compassion. I saw beyond the heart of compassion to something even deeper and more profound. My heart is full of feelings to raw to express right now.

We sang a few worship songs today and the words of one in particular keep ringing in my head. They define the last six months of our life and since I am at a loss for words right now I will let them finish this post and express what I am feeling. Please read the lyrics thoughtfully:

Blessed be your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where the streams of abundance flow
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say...
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

Today, in the land of the plentiful, the sun shone down and as I watched my son run and play freely with friends I thought to myself, all is as it should be. Blessed be the name of the Lord! As I watched my son open his gifts and the streams of abundance flowed, my heart was grateful. Blessed be the name of the Lord! As we receive the love of family, friends and even strangers, my Spirit rejoices. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

But even more so, when we are found in the desert place and walk through the wilderness, blessed be the name of the Lord! When we walk the road marked with suffering, blessed be the name of the Lord! When there's pain in the offering, still I will say, blessed be the great name of the Lord.
Every blessing He pours out on our family both glorious and grievous, we will turn back to praise and bless the name of the Lord. Blessed be His glorious Name.

"Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.
Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise."(Nehemiah 9:5)

Thank you again! We will post many pictures and more in the days to come. For tonight we just want to say thank you and goodnight. And Blessed be the name of the Lord!


Wendy Whitlow said...

Hey Dawn,

I finally had a chance to read your last three posting. I just got internet access in my home last week - so now it will allow me to keep up with the reading. Please know that the praying hasn't stopped and as often as I can I wear my bracelet in show of support. :)
God has gifted you with an amazing way of sharing your pain, your joy, and God's truths. You make me want to be a better person.

I wish I could have been at CJ's party yesterday. I had the day off from Wannado City to go to the Chris Tomlin concert. Thanks for sharing the event here and I look forward to seeing the pictures and stories behind them.

I tried posting one of your post on Jo Frost's website for the moms to read an update...and to ask for them to buy bracelets. The link was long and I kind of messed things up a bit...Lol! So hopefully the webmaster can fix it...and you'll start getting some responses.

Way to go CJ...stay strong!Happy Birthday too!


Break the Mold said...

Thanks Wendy,

I wanted to let you know that a shortcut link to our blog when sharing with friends is It makes it much easier to remember and to share. Thank you for sharing with others. I have met many wonderful people through you because of this blog and CJ's story and poems have been read in churches across the country because of you taking the time to share. Many more are praying for him as it spreads. Thank you!

Thanks for your kind words and for continuing to pray and support us. I was wondering if you are going to SHE SPEAKS again this year. Give me a call when you have some time. Or lets meet at Jackie's one afternoon to visit and passionately talk about our favorite subject!

By the way, every time I email you it bounces back so I need a current email or number.
Be well,

Anonymous said...

Happy 10th Birthday CJ!!!!!!!!!!!

I am just one of the many people clearly touched by your life and the journey the Lord is walking you through. To you and your parents I can only say: Rest in His love, continue holding onto His promises- believing Him-, Keep pressing on in HIS strength one day at a time and know that His life in you (and in your family) is evident and glorious.

Praying for you all.
-kim (boca raton)

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CJ!!!! We are so glad that everything went well. We thought about you all day yesterday, telling the clouds to go away and cool air to keep blowing. We are so sorry we could not be there in person but we were there in spirit!! I hope it was the best birthday ever, you so deserve it. We cant wait to see all the pictures and your big smile! HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Love, Nicole Ana and Alberto

Anonymous said...

Dawn, Chris,Allie, CJ, Brett and Corey,
I wish we could have been there for your celebration! We were thinking about you and talking about how much fun you must be having! If only it weren't so far away, but the love we feel for you is stronger than the distance, and we rejoice with you and are soooo happy it was a wonderful celebration of CJ's birthday and God's faithfulness! We love you - Happy Birthday, CJ! Love, aunt Karen and family

Anonymous said...

What a fun time meeting people who have been a part of this season in your lives that I would have not been able to meet any other way, and see God's provision in every area. It was especially great to watch CJ playing flag football with so many of his friends. How cool that God provided such special gifts for CJ (and the family)! I am glad you were able to meet some of the folks who have supported you and prayed for you that you hadn't met yet. Imagine if everyone was able to come who wanted to? You would have had to take shifts just to talk to each person. :) Thank you for letting us celebrate CJ's birthday with you AND God's amazing grace in your lives. My prayers will continue for you in this next phase of treatments. May this be a special week as you meditate on Christ's Crucifixion and Resurrection.
With love, Vonda G

Lonny Unverzagt said...

Hi CJ,
Happy 10th Birthday Bud!!!! Hope you enjoyed your special day. We were thinking of you and wishing we were in Florida to celebrate with you. Last time i was there was in 2001 we visited your Grandma & Grandpa Alibrandi We will have to plan a vacation to meet you. Take care, And My prayers go out to you everyday. Godbless. Lonny , Sonya , Levi, Unverzagt

Janet said...

George Family. We had such a wonderful time Saturday. It was great to see CJ and all the kids having so much fun. Chris and Dawn, you two must've been especially exhausted by the end of the day after meeting and greeting so many people. I was tired just watching you! We can't wait to see the pictures...but get some rest first! :)

We praise God for all His goodness. It was a beautiful day in more ways than one!
Thank you, Lord!
Sedano family

Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord that He has been with you and has brought you to this place, and will continue to see you thru until CJ is well. We claim his healing and are praying the rest of this journey is complete with no complications. Wanted to let you know our prayers are with you today and hope everyone enjoys meeting and greeting and that CJ will not be worn out but rejuvenated. Thank you for sharing this journey with this marvelous young man.

Mary Boggs
Love and Prayers
In GOD We Still Trust

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,

We so wanted to be at CJ's party yesterday to show our love and support for CJ and your family. I had to fight the desire to "make it happen" at all costs, because it is what "I" had planned for the day, but God had other plans. Can you relate?! LOL I won't take up space with the details, but I will share this - part of God's plan for my day was to ordain a time and place for me to share the gospel with my mother-in-love (who just arrived from Missouri Friday night). I say that because, even though I have met you, Dawn, I have never met your son, CJ. I only know CJ through this blog. From what I've read, I'm guessing CJ would be happy to know that someone he's never met, who wanted to come and meet "Dawn's son", couldn't come because God wanted someone else to meet HIS Son!

CJ, I think many, many people are meeting God's Son through you and this blog that your mom is so gracious to share. Your smile alone is enough to brighten anyone's day, but the light you shine through your love and concern for others, in the midst of your own suffering, is truly a reflection of Jesus in you. Keep smiling, sharing, caring and shining. (Oh, and just in case you were wondering her name, it's Marion Braden. We would covet your prayers for her salvation. She was very open and receptive and we will coninue to plant and water while we have her here these next 5weeks. Thanks!)

Anyway, CJ, the Bradens wish you a Happy Birthday and you have our continued prayers for many more to come! God bless you, Dawn, CJ, Chris, Alibrandi, Brett and Corey, and thank you for sharing your lives with us.

Love in Christ,
Colleen, for the Bradens

Derek Murrell said...

You're such a blessing, CJ. Happy Birthday (belated)... sounds like you had a blast with many family and friends! We are still praying for you, buddy.

Derek & Amy

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to thank you for sharing the info on CJ's birthday since we couldn't be there and am looking forward to the pictures. We are so blessed to hear of the wonderful turn-out and the testimony of so many people who want to help. Your blog has touched many more hearts that any of us could even begin to guess and that's a God thing because He is using it to touch people. We love you and continue to pray for this wonderful young man. My grandson just went to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville Sat. He will be 10 in August. They are working to find out what is wrong with him but you never know when it will be one of your own children or grandchildren. We bless God that He is truly the Master of the Universe, the Healer of All. No words to describe what all He has done.
Love and Prayers,
Mary Boggs and family

Anonymous said...

Easter Is The Gift...

Easter is the gift of HOPE
Easter is the gift of PEACE
Easter is the gift of LOVE
Let us rejoice in Him,
Who gives them all.

May God bless you at Easter,
And keep you all year through.
May God give you all the faith it takes,
To make your dreams come true.
May His love and wisdom always help,
To guide you on your way.
May His light shine down upon you now,
To bless your Easter Day.

Our special prayer at Easter is that God will richly bless
your heart, your home and those you love with lasting happiness.

Happy Easter George Family & Friends. CJ you have touched my heart in such a special way that I thank God for bringing me the oppurtunity to meet such and amazing and strong friend. You and your Family are always in my heart and prayers.

faith2pray said...

I was thinking of you all on Saturday & what a joy it is to hear all the excitement that was shared becuase of God's goodness!

Andrea said...

Hey C.j., it was really exciting celebrating your birthday with you! I was so honored to be there, and sing Blessed be HIS name with you!
yay double digits! :D


Anonymous said...

Hey Guys,

What a Blast! The party/celebration was amazing except for Poppa's fall. But let me tell you, I am positive that not only does God have BIG plans for CJ, Allie, and Brett, He has GIGANTIC plans for little Corey! He has protected that little guy from so very, very close calls! The day I left the side gate open and the fall with Poppa are just two that I am very aware of. I am sure there are more we are unaware of because God protects us so often from things we don't even realize alot of the time! But, GOD Bless Corey! Any, the gathering was awesome, hot, but awesome! Thank you for letting us be a part of it! God is good! I love you guys and can't wait to celebrate another milestone at CJ's 11th birthday!



CeCe said...