Wednesday, October 3, 2012


So I have said it before but I'll say it of my biggest fears is that people that knew Dakota before the accident will forget who he really was (even myself at times) and that people who meet Dakota for the first time now won't see the REAL Dakota that I know and love!

As I talked with my sweet friend Mandy the other night about her sweet Dylan who passed away from DIPG. She was telling me about some experiences of talking with 2 of her younger kids about Dylan. Her 3 youngest were still so little when it all happened (1 was just born). I know my situation is nothing compared to theirs...Dakota doesn't have least yet...maybe 1 day...that I have to try and tell them about Dakota AND he is still physically here to touch and talk about and not just a picture and memories to share. So I'm not trying to even compare my situation to ANYONE that has lost a child BUT...

at the same time it broke my heart to hear my nephew who is 6 (who knew Dakota the best from my side) tell me..."I don't remember what Dakota used to be like really anymore!" I stopped everything and luckily we were at my house and I took him and his sister to the computer and we watched video after video of Dakota...some even with them in it. Seeing the smiles on their faces as they watched...I knew they remembered!

Sometimes it's hard to remember because you realize how much you are missing but those memories are what make me smile...what keep me hoping for the one day have that same boy back in my arms again. I think I shared this before but heck I can't remember so I'll share this quote that I love again!


So if you don't mind I was hoping ANYONE that reads this that knew Dakota before the accident...would you please, for my sake...share a memory that you have of Dakota...ANYTHING that you remember about him. (I love it when people tell me things that they remember about him) I don't ever want to forget ANYTHING about him!! I realize many people that read this never actually knew Dakota before the accident but love him anyways...which blows my mind away! Thank you for loving him!!

Memory of almost exactly 2 years ago and a month and a half before the accident! Wish our days were as simple and perfect as this one!


  1. Tessie,
    Our family will NEVER forget how Dakota was before the accident. I think he was always overwhelmed with our CrAzY LOUD family. I remember when we were around or at functions like Zach's Fundraiser how you or Zach would scoop him up in your arms and how he would always curl his body into you as if to make it so if he got close enough to you we wouldn't see him. But his big GORGEOUS blue eyes would tell us he knew who would protect him if he was unsure of a situation or just being a little shy. I remember how he would peek while you were holding him and give a little smile SO CUTE!!! It's ironic now to look back knowing how you and Zach have become his "ultimate armor" of protection. I remember (and I think I left some pictures for Vicki to give you guys) but we went to the Friedli's to take some pictures of our grandkids and Vicki had Dakota there. It was only a couple months before his accident. Again he did the same thing clinging to Grandma trying to figure out our crazy grandkids that were talking to him like he was a baby (since he was so tiny). He followed me around while I took as many pictures as I could before we lost everyone to a melt-down (big surprise LOL) but finally when I was finished he asked me to take pictures of him I was so EXCITED a kid that would actually pose and give a smile for a picture HA HA He was so STINKIN SWEET and let me take a bunch of pictures of him. He was also so good to share his toys with the other kids who were captivated by his little John Deer Tractor. He showed them how everything worked and was so patient. Even more important I never realized the things I would learn from Dakota and you and Zach. I now have a much stronger testimony of the gospel and find myself wanting to be a better person all because of Dakota. He is so SPECIAL and has touched so many lives and will continue to touch lives he truly is an "ANGEL". I remember when we told our family at Thanksgiving of the horrific accident with Dakota and we asked that everyone remember to say special blessings for your family and it was AMAZING to hear the words from our small grandkids blessing Dakota to heal. While he is not healed to his old self, he will forever and always be our little cowboy buddy Dakota!!! We love and pray for you guys always!!! And thank our Heavenly Father that we are so blessed to have people like you in our lives.


  2. Hi Tessie,

    Whenever I read your blog or think about Dakota I remember when you picked me up at my in-laws home to go for lunch. Dakota was so sweet and cute. My favorite image of him is walking around with one hand in his pocket... so handsome and J-crew-like. (He may have been following after his mom's great fashion sense).

    I think the world of you. (Always have since the crazy cold corn maze night). Your family is never too far from my thoughts and prayers.


  3. Tessie,
    I rememeber just a couple weeks before the accident at my baby shower everyone was downstairs playing games. For one game I had to leave the room for a few minutes and I went upstairs to find Dakota asking to go outside and get his blanket from the car. I thought we could sneak out & back before I was needed for the game but as soon as we got to the car he jumped in the drivers seat & went to town pushing buttons & pretending to drive. I couldn't convince him to get out of the car & come back inside with me. Such a cute boy he is!!

  4. I have the cutest video of Houston and Dakota playing the piano at my house like a month before his accident. I love it! I'm so glad I have it. I don't think you've seen it before. I'll have to show you. I can still remember his sweet smile and cutest giggle ever. I love him so much, even though I never get to hold him because he gets passed around so much at my parents' house :)