>> Monday, January 18, 2010
Can you imagine having to bury your 17-year-old son? That's exactly what a local family close to many of my friends is doing today. But no doubt that through their tears of grief will also be a great deal of rejoicing. Because, I've noticed while following his story on Caring Bridge that he has taught all who know him a whole lot about what matters in life. His name? Carson. And his story will live on...
Please do not close this post without watching this 4 minute video directly from Carson...it isn't as much about his journey with cancer as it is about a book he was writing to help other kids deal with cancer. It is remarkable. VERY few things have reached into my heart as deeply as this:
Isn't that amazing? Want to know what happened with the book? Read this article from the Dallas Morning News yesterday:
When Michael Young talked to Carson Leslie for the last time, the conversation was typical.
They talked about the cancer that was killing Carson at 17. There was no sense in avoiding it. Carson's three-year struggle had in some ways defined him. Ignoring the subject would have only diminished the triumphs – and there were many – in his long, hard fight.
But the topic didn't consume the conversation between the two friends, either.
Over the years, as the Rangers star came to know Carson and his family – Craig and Annette and older brother Craig, who met through the work Young and his wife Cristina do with Wipe Out Kids' Cancer – it was clear that, of all the kids the Youngs had helped, Carson was his favorite.
Maybe it's because Carson had been an athlete at Covenant. Or it could have been his sudden, disarming smile.
Maybe it was how he made his difficult lot in life so much easier on the people around him.
He always knew what to say. One minute, it'd be pain or his latest treatment. Next thing Young knew, it would be baseball or girls, the kind of stuff you'd expect from a typical 17-year-old.
Carson tried hard to live a normal life. When it was no longer possible, he lived an exceptional one.
He decided in June to write a book about his experiences. He wanted to give a voice for kids like him who didn't have his resources or gifts. He wanted people to better understand loved ones with the same life-threatening prospects.
"Even though every day of my life is a battle, I have learned that God is always there to lift me up, and I live each day as if it were the Day of Judgment," he wrote. "I believe my story will give readers a new perspective on the importance of how words and/or actions affect those around them.
"I wish to make a difference, and I know others my age want to do the same. Maybe after they read my book, they will discover how to live the struggle."
He called the book, Carry Me. A party celebrating its finish was scheduled today. The book's release was set for Monday.
They'll hold Carson's memorial service Monday instead.
"He was an incredible young man," Young said. "He fought a good fight. He did it with courage and grace and dignity, and he was just 17 years old."
He leaves a loving family, legions of friends and a story of how to live. The ending came too soon. Michael Young is glad he got to know the rest of it.
"I got a chance to be friends with Carson Leslie for three years," he said. "I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world."
Services set for Monday
Carson's memorial service will be 1 p.m. Monday at Grace Bible Church, 11306 Inwood, Dallas, corner of Inwood and Northaven. Proceeds from his book, Carry Me, will go to the Carson Leslie Foundation in support of pediatric cancer research. To order, send $17.95 to Carry Me-Carson Leslie, Suite 102, 16250 Knoll Trail Dr., Dallas, TX 75248. Or go to http://gw.vtrenz.net/?QUQCHA8HOJ
Well, I don't know about you...but this book is going to be in my library. How about you? His story has impacted me beyond words, and I am praying for his family, friends and all who have been ministered to by the life of Carson Leslie.
Carson's life verse:Joshua 1:9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged,for the LORD your God will be with you wherever your go...