Wednesday, May 28, 2008

favor addition

hi friends!
i've gotten a great response from many of you letting me know you are working on those letters for michael's book. many of you were already a few steps ahead of me and going to do that anyway! you all are amazing! if i could i'd like to ask you to send in/email a picture with your letter. it would be amazing if you had one with michael, but of course one of you or your family would be great too. it would really give the boys a visual of all the people's lives that their daddy has impacted. i thank you already for doing this. it's going to be something great! just like michael was!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

big favor

i need your help! i want to put together a book for the boys about michael. i would love if anyone could to send a letter or email, nothing long, retelling a story about michael, a description of him or somehow he impacted your life. it can be funny, serious, sad, happy anything. then at the bottom please have your name with how you knew michael. i thought i could put them all together and make a book out of all of them for the boys to be able to look at later! i don't want them to forget or wonder about what daddy was like. this will help them continue to keep daddy alive in their hearts and see how they themselves are like him! it is something kaleb, noah and i will treasure for a long time! thanks for your help!

one day at a time

hi friends!
i know many have been anxious for an update from us. thanks for your patience as there is a lot to get used to and get done around here. we are doing ok. this has been our first week just the three of us and we've made it! it was a busy week. kaleb had his kindergarten graduation on monday night. he did fantastic and it was so great watching noah watch his big brother. noah was so proud and couldn't take his eyes off of kaleb. i also had a teacher appreciation dinner wednesday which was a nice end to the school year. the boys are now off at nana and grandpa's for the weekend. it'll give them a chance to be spoiled and loved and me a chance to relax and maybe catch up on a little sleep. this weekend is much needed and appreciated! i'm looking forward to not making any decisions and not having to be too responsible.
thanks for your continued prayers. they are evident daily in the strength and joy that the boys and i find every day. the boys are doing great. we talk about daddy often and they find comfort in the fact that God is taking care of daddy now, he is not sick anymore and daddy is alive in heaven. they are remarkable. i draw my strength from our amazingly gracious God who continues to provide what i need. i am especially grateful for my girls who surround and lift me up daily.
God is good! i believe and hope you do too!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

celebration

friday was amazing! it was wonderful celebration of michael's life. we were blessed to be surrounded by SO many friends and family! the service is exactly what michael would have wanted. all the many hours of prep and service from so many at north point is greatly appreciated. i can't say enough wonderful things about our north point family. they have truly made this week tons easier and their love overwhelms me! now that i've learned how to do this blog thing i'll try to keep it going. thanks to everyone who has showered their love on us. we are so grateful! it keeps us going! we continue to praise our mighty God for walking through this all with us. He will sustain us and help us keeping moving forward! many have asked about how to help out our family. there has been a fund set up to do just that. here's the info.

If you would like to contribute, please mail your tax-deductible gifts made payable to Helping Hands Ministries to:


Helping Hands Ministries

Account #63045

P.O. Box 337

Tallulah Falls, GA 30573

Please be sure to notate account #63045 in the memo section of your check.


we love you all and ask you to continue to pray for our family as each day will bring about some change. may we embrace it wholeheartedly and know we don't need to be afraid, just believe!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

obituary

here's a copy of the obituary that we placed in the
paper. i thought i'd share it with all of you who
may not get to see it. it was been a peaceful week.
i know the next few days will be hard, but i'm hoping
they can be a real celebration!


Colwell, Michael T.

Michael T. Colwell, Jr. of Cumming went to be with the
Lord on Sunday, May 4, 2008. He was born June 27, 1976
in Monroe, Louisiana to Mr. and Mrs. Michael T.
Colwell, Sr. He attended Clemson University in
Clemson, S.C. where he received his bachelors and
masters degrees in Electrical Engineering. He also
received his Masters in Theology from Dallas
Theological Seminary in Dallas Texas in 2003. While at
Clemson, Michael was President of the Fellowship of
Christian Athletes and met his beloved wife Jennifer.
Michael was a staff member and pastor at North Point
Community Church in Alpharetta, GA.

In addition to his wife Jennifer, Michael is survived
by his two children, Kaleb and Noah, his parents, Mr.
and Mrs. Michael T. Colwell, Sr., his sister Catherine
of Indianapolis, Indiana, his grandmothers, Mrs. JoAnn
Dekeyzer of Aleaxandria, LA, Mrs. Nobie Gibson of
Delhi, LA, and Mrs. Helen Bradshaw of W. Monroe, LA,
his mother and father in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Donald
Brietzke of Seneca, S.C. and his sister and
brother-in-law, Erin and Clay Jernigan and their
children, Eliana and Harper Michael Jernigan, all of
Summerville, S.C.

A visitation will be held Thursday evening, May 8 at
McDonald and Son Funeral Home, 150 Sawnee Drive in
Cumming, GA from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. A celebration of
Michael’s life will be held at North Point Community
Church on Friday, May 9 at 11:00. In lieu of flowers,
tax-deductible gifts may be made to the Michael
Colwell Memorial Fund, Account #63045, c/o Helping
Hands Ministries, P.O. Box 337, Tallulah Falls, GA
30537.

Monday, May 5, 2008

michael is dancing

i didn't think i'd be writing this email this soon. after a two year battle with cancer that michael fought with such toughness and determination he is now rejoicing with our Lord in heaven. michael peacefully passed away last night at 11:50 pm. yesterday was a tough day. michael went to bed as normal saturday night. he even slipped out of bed around 3:00am. i helped him back into bed and he made some silly comment about being clumsy. when the boys woke me up in the morning around 7:30 i noticed michael was slightly labored in his breathing. at first i just thought he was snoring, but after looking at him his left eye was slightly open and looked unresponsive. i tried to wake him up and couldn't. i moved his arms, legs, tried sitting him up and put water on his face, but nothing. i then called our oncologist office who told me to call 911 right away. i did and the fire truck and ambulance were here in under fifteen minutes and by 8:25 we were in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. once arriving they put him on a ventilator and got a ct scan to see what was happening. two of his tumors had some more bleeding and there was tremendous pressure in his head causing his brain to be pushed down to the base of his brain stem (called herniated). i was quickly told this was not a reversible condition and there was nothing we could do. he would not recover from this. he was not in any pain and it would be a matter of hours before we would lose him. around 11-12 they moved him up to an icu room where we (me, my dad, bill and andy) sat with him. my mom and sister also made it to the hospital for a little while and were able to say their goodbyes. michael's parents got in their car and started the seemingly never ending drive. thankfully they arrived around 10:00pm and michael was still with us. the ventilator was the only thing keeping him alive. after spending some time with him we decided around 11:30ish to stop the ventilator. this was something michael and i had talked about. it only took minutes since he was not able to breath on his own before he peacefully was embraced by our loving heavenly Father who took him home. of course i would have preferred a miraculous healing, but since obviously this was michael's time to go i couldn't have asked for better circumstances surrounding the day. we were blessed with lots of loving friends in the waiting room, great neighbors who stepped up without hesitating, an amazing hospital staff who was supportive and michael being painfree and totally peaceful. it was a long hard day, but i can smile today knowing he's where he belongs. and nobody loves him more than my God. he's left an imprint in many lives which is exactly what he wanted to do. he will continue to live on through all of us and especially his sweet boys. please pray for them as this is something so foreign and strange. i talked with them this morning and we shared some tears together, but all agreed we would still love and talk about daddy whenever we wanted to. and of course he would never stop loving us. thank you already for all your love and support. it comforting to know i have so many amazing people around me ready to help with anything! let this week be a celebration of michael's life! he most definitely deserves it!
love,
jen
here's all the details for the week
thursday, may 8 4-8pm
visitation at McDonald & Son funeral home
150 Sawnee Drive, Cumming, GA 30040

friday, may 9 11:00am
service at North Point Community Church
4350 North Point Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30022

Saturday, May 3, 2008

saturday

michael is doing about the same. he is resting a lot. he is very tired and weak usually only sitting up to eat and then spending most of the rest of the time laying down. his speech is about the same too. he understands fine just has trouble expressing himself.
we saw the neurosurgeon yesterday. (thankfully we had a wheelchair delivered right before we left so michael didn't have to walk too far). dr. weaver examined michael physically looking at the site of infection on his head and by asking him some questions. the site looked good. michael did fine following directions, but had more trouble naming objects. weaver said the language issues could still be from the blood from the hemorrhaged tumor (especially since that tumor is located so closely to the speech area of the brain). the blood can take up to three months to be fully absorbed back into the body. he said it could also be simply from the pressure surrounding that area. he will be able to tell more after looking at the next mri. we will go back and see him monday, may 12 to get his take from the mri. the only thing we need to be watching as far as he is concerned is any more headaches and the site of previous infection for any build up or oozing.
next week is our busy week. we'll head wednesday to northside to get a pet scan. thursday is a mri at north fulton hospital and friday get the results at our oncologist visit. it's going to be a lot for michael. please pray for strength and these outings seem to talk a lot out of him.
we are continuing to feel the out pouring of love from all of you! every time we turn a corner one of you is standing there with some amazing offer of encouragement (thanks angie). today we had our family room makeover and it is AMAZING!!!! it looks so beautiful and i know every time i sit in it (especially those quiet moments at night) i will feel the love with which it was thought of and brought together! thanks to everyone who was a part of that! i am so grateful!
i'll let you know how the week goes. it'll probably not be till next weekend when i actually know something. each day is special and we are treating them like it. God's purpose through all of this may never be understood, but that ok because i trust in who God is and not what i want Him to do. He is very evident in our lives right now and we can feel His love through all of you! thanks for helping us stand strong and tall!