Battles against terminal illness, anxiety, and life!

Braden’s Bucket List-Updated October 2013

Scroll past the introduction to reach the list.  The intro is in blue.

“I have three treasures that I keep and prize: one is kindness, second is frugality, and third is not presuming to take precedence over others.  By kindness one can be brave, by frugality one can reach out, and by not presuming to take precedence one can survive effectively.  If one gives up kindness and courage, gives up frugality and breadth, and gives up humility for aggressiveness, one will die.  The exercise of kindness in battle leads to victory, the exercise of kindness in defense leads to security.”

– from Tao-te Ching, prefiguring Sun Tzu’s teachings in the Art of War

Each day is a battle, an exercise of creating order and security from the unpredictable and unknown.  While at times I feel as if I’m held together loosely by Scotch tape, I make it my daily goal to be as strong as possible.  I put on my brave face, pretend that my wimpy Scotch tape is more like the indestructible Duct tape. We owe it to our son to give him our absolute best each day. 

We work as a team, my husband, my parents, friends, and me.  By giving Braden our best, we also give our daughters it as well.  We still have our moments, our less than stellar parenting moments, and we do allow ourselves to be human.  However, we always bear in mind that there will come a day when we will gladly give almost anything to have this time back…to hear an “I love you Mommy,” just one more time.  We are squeezing our lemons for all their worth, to make the world’s best lemonade.

We have joked about creating a baby bucket list.  It’s humor that only those in a position like this may appreciate.  So, it was in an attempt to find some  silver lining, living life to its fullest,  that we created our very own baby bucket list.  We will be crossing off a thing or two very soon.  Seeing as he is six and in love with You Tube, some of the items are rather entertaining. We have recently created a category for experiences that he himself didn’t dream up but are fabulous! Feel free to let us know if you come up with something that you believe he may enjoy. Without further delay, I bring to you Braden’s Bucket List:

  • Have my own bedroom and paint it yellow. (Coming soon!)
  • Go camping like Nurse Missy. (LOL! That would mean in a camper. No complaints from us since we have to plug in life saving medical equipment!)
  • Be the bell ringer for a little bit this Christmas!
  • Have a tree house. (Um, mobility wise we would have to get creative here!)
  • Go to a country music concert.  Thank you Rodney Atkins for an amazing tour and meet and great! You and your crew are the most amazing people! Completed Summer 2013
  • Go on a really big water slide.
  • Create an ice cream flavor.
  • Have a bike I don’t need to balance on. (Santa has that covered this year!)
  • Learn how to make donuts all by himself. Completed August 2013! Thank you Dunkin Donuts in Huntsville!
  • Go on a really big roller coaster. Completed! October 2012!
  • Go on a train ride that is long and I get to sleep on it.
  • Sing with Carrie Underwood.
  • Meet the president. (He said he is the daddy of the United States of America. That makes us smile!)
  • Go on Mickey’s boat again. (Not surprised! It was amazing!)
  • Meet Spider Man at his house.
  • Go on a Disney Cruise Completed! October 2012! Thank you Nana and Papa!
  • Go to Thomas Land in England  Completed! May 2012! Thank you Make-A-Wish!
  • Go play in the snow.   Completed!  Christmas 2010!
  • Drive a steam engine.  Completed 2011 in TN!
  • Visit a tropical island  Completed!  Jamaica January 2011!
  • Ride on the Polar Express Completed! December 2010!
  • Go to a farm that has cows!
  • See a whale  (Think our best bet is out of MA.)
  • Ride in a fire truck. Completed July 2013! Thank you Decatur Fire Department!
  • See the Statue of Liberty
  • Ride a steamboat (Been looking into this one, and I think Disney World has one.)
  • Ride a horse Thank you Open Gate Farms!
  • Go to the Toronto and Australia zoos!
  • Take an art class Thank you Huntsville Museum of art for the class and art show! Completed July 2013!
  • Ride in a helicopter (Completed July 2011, thanks to Huntsville Hospital’s Med Flight!)
  • Ride on the Bullet Train (Thanks YouTube for that one!)
  • Become an artist!  (Have art, but how to display it?)
  • Meet a meerkat (We have seen them at the Nashville Zoo.)
  • Feed an elephant
  • Ride in a race car
  • Go in a submarine under the water (Looking into this one for him.  I think I found an excursion on Carnival Cruise Lines to do this!)
  • Have a yellow van.  It’s Braden’s favorite color!
  • Record a song of him singing like a real singer in a studio! (Thank you WZYP and Mojo! Completed September 2013!)
  • Go to Hogwarts!

Added to Braden’s list on his behalf by those that know and love him:

  • Made his own pizza.  Thank you Papa Johns! Completed August 2013
  • Zip Lining! Completed August 2013 thanks to Mallard Stables!
  • Decorate cupcakes at a bakery! (Completed! Donor asked to remain anonymous.)
  • Ride in a streetcar!
  • Go whitewater rafting (suitable for a child.)
  • Experience zero gravity!
  • Ride in a hot air balloon!
  • Go dogsledding!
  • Have my portrait painted, but I want to help!
  • Drive coast to coast and see something neat in each state!

Every once in a while we encounter an individual who worries that our focus is solely on Braden. Please know that as our girls grow, as their parents, we strive to make their dreams come to fruition. We work very hard to give each of our children plenty of love and attention. This blog may be dedicated to Braden and his condition, and while that condition affects our life immensely, it is by no means the focus of our existence. We indulge Eve’s passion for baking and cupcakes. We allow Piper to giggle and grow into the little girl she is and allow her to find her own passions. This little family is one of great love!

Help fund Braden’s bucket list through his Go Fund Me page or through PayPal!  His mom and dad will be sure to keep the smiles coming! To email  We promise the funds will go directly to Braden.  Hey, we are all about free fun too!  Let us know if you have something cool you can do or have to see!
This is a work in progress.  Please feel free to let us know if you have any suggestions.

Remember that life is a gift not a given.  Hug those you love, those that mean the world to you.  Be sure to tell them that you love them.  Don’t assume they know.


Comments on: "Braden’s Bucket List-Updated October 2013" (5)

  1. Is Make a Wish going to do any of these? Are the Disney parks still on his list at all? Email me? I have some thoughts.

  2. Jeannette McLachlan said:

    NCL trip around Hawaiian islands can give him two of these,,, submarine ride, and see whales…the humpback are around the islands and come in close…good luck

  3. lsanderson105 said:

    Hi, I work with Susan through a pure focus and wanted to let you know that the Georgia aquarium has whales now! Beautiful beluga whales, and also whale sharks. We just went last week and its breathtaking. Just thought you’d want to know since its so much closer than Massachusetts. Also, my husband is a firefighter with the Huntsville fire dept. you say the word and we can get a ride along planned!!

  4. wanda tucker said:

    sent you an email please check ,sending healing prayers ,

  5. I had come across another bucket list and here is the link.

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