Best Celebration EVER!

On October 23, 2010, under a full moon and surrounded by friends and family, Cooper Barghols took his last dose of chemo. It was a night of rejoicing! We don’t publicly celebrate many of the milestones these days, but we do recognize them among ourselves. The anniversary of his diagnosis. The cancer-free day that coincides with his birthday. The last day of chemo.

That day – that last day of chemo – was ten years ago today.

In my prayers, I often visit with God about those three and a half years that we were in the thickness of treatment. We were in the desert – literally and figuratively. But now my thoughts are always focused on the provisions God made for us … the people he put in our path. This 10-year anniversary is yet another opportunity for me to acknowledge and thank those people. I have literally been working on this blog post since September 12th, when I woke around 3am and could not go back to sleep. I have typed and deleted many versions. I’ve gone back and read our Caring Bridge site, my journal, my emails, my letters and my Facebook entries. I’ve finally decided that it is impossible to thank people individually – publicly – without missing and offending someone. There are literally hundreds of people that we know directly who provided support to us – and thousands if you count the people we don’t know directly. It has been quite overwhelming to contemplate.

In 2015, Big Daddy Weave released a song that makes me think of Cooper’s journey. It makes me cry every time I hear it. Hope. Love. Life. Grace. Justice. Mercy. Kindness. Victory. Freedom. These are the words that resonate with me. Within the lyrics, these are how the words appear:

If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn’t let go
You would hear Love that never gave up
You would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

If I told you my story
You would hear victory over the enemy
You would hear freedom that was won for me
You would hear Life overcome the grave

God’s love wrecks me. And when I contemplate the tremendous medical team that saved my kid’s life and the family, friends, and complete strangers that supported us through Cooper’s cancer journey, I am also overwhelmed with emotion. I wish you all could just sit in that headspace with me and contemplate the magnitude of your impact on our family.

That full moon ten years ago was divinely placed. To this day, a full moon to me and Cooper is like the rainbow was for Noah (see Genesis 9 if you need a refresher). It is an everlasting covenant between God and us … reminding Cooper and me that God is with us, and that He works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) Seeing the full moon is a friendly reminder that God is in control. And that God is good. All the time.

Today – ten years after his last chemo treatment – Cooper is thriving. He knows the blessing of this life he’s been given, and he aims to make the most of it. My last blog was an ode to him – and worth reading if you want to catch up on his life in general.

Ultimately, all of this is meant to convey that we are celebrating in the Barghols’ house today. We’re celebrating the life being lived by Cooper, and we’re celebrating all of you – who made this day possible. Thank you. Sincerely.

3 thoughts on “Best Celebration EVER!

  1. Shannon,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m so happy you posted this and your previous post about Cooper! Wow…what an incredible young man he was and has grown to be. During his journey I always marveled at his attitude, strength, and courage…All powered by God. I spent at least 5 years in Bible Study with you and felt I knew your heart for God…I saw it every Tuesday and Thursday. I knew that Brad, Grayson, Cooper and Delaney were being guided by a Wife/Mom that loves God. Many times in my prayer time, during Cooper’s journey, I would asked God to give you and Brad the strength y’all would need to make it through that day. I couldn’t imagine how you were doing all that you did to help and support your little guy through all the ‘stuff’ he was going through. “God’s love” and “He is with you wherever you go” kept showing up in scripture, commentaries and daily life! You knew all along where it was coming from. I am so grateful to know you and your family. I’m not sure if you realize how your family has impacted my life…learning to ALWAYS turn to God and KNOW that He loved us first and always loves us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    When I see photos of Cooper from high school and college, I think, “God, look what YOU did…you carried this young man across the desert (figuratively and literally) and look at him now!” He’s a strong man of God, always looking for ways to help and guide others. He is truly our family’s hero…we both still pray for him and know that he’s going places with his great big Ol heart for God! (Even if he chose to go to tu law school😉😂…btw, he’s now our favorite Longhorn!) if all Longhorns were like him I would change schools…said no Aggie, EVER! 😂😂😂

    We are very, very proud of Cooper and all of his accomplishments. Is his foundation still active and taking donations? Wayne’s sisters and I (6 of us) have a fund that we donate to monthly and then each take two months of donations and give to a group of our choice…Nov and Dec are my months and I would like to send Cooper my months amount. Please help me update the info for the foundation and I will get this in the mail to them.

    Please tell Cooper we are thinking of him today…I still see the photo of him throwing his IV pole in the pool! That made my day…we witnessed his journey by the grace of God!

    Gig’em & God Bless!


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