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Had the great opportunity to once again ride with our dear friend that is battling cancer. After an extremely long week of work and a very long tiring day was at home showered, finished with dinner, and settling in for a Friday evening of relaxing and trying to stay cool. My wife's phone rang and it was our friends wanting to know if we were up for a night ride. They had asked if we wanted to go for a ride on Saturday but we had to turn them down because I had to work. So we asked where they were wanting to go and they named a trail that we had been on a couple times before but never for an evening/night time excursion. We immediately said yes and were loaded up and heading out the door to pick them and their machine up by 7:15 p.m. We arrived at the trail head by 7:45 p.m. and were out of the parking lot and on the trail by 8:00. 4 or so miles into the ride we stopped at our normal viewing point to sit and visit, share a bottle of sparkling cider and wait for the sun to set. It is a beautiful view in the morning and anytime throughout the day, but on a mid-summer evening just before sunset it is spectacular. This was an opportunity we were not going to pass up not knowing how long Julie is going to feel well enough to be able to go out and enjoy the creation we live in.
 

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Champagne Rock

After toasting to our friendship (Sparkling Apple Cider), our creator, and to the privilege of having the means to be out enjoying our beautiful mountains and trails, we visited and waited for the sun to go down.
 

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Spectacular painting

Great to see this lady smile, laugh, and be thankful to be out enjoying God's creation. And to just be where she loves to be with her husband.
 

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Into the dark

Worked our way through the trails up to a man made reservoir called Hyalite Reservoir, next time will try to get there before sunset to see what it looks like there while the sun is setting. The trails were amazing and temperatures were perfect.
 

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The best thing about these moments is looking back on them in a few years to come and remembering how much enjoyment you all had. Sometimes (for me) the enjoyment seems more (if that makes sense) when you look back on the moments you had.

Glad you all had a great time FF :)
 

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Midnight Run

Left the Reservoir at 10:40 and arrived back at the truck to load up at Midnight, was a perfect ending to a long week and a long day, wouldn't have had it any other way. By the time we dropped our friends off, got home and cleaned up and in bed was 1:15 a.m. very short night for the day I had Yesterday but would do it all over again. A great Memory.
 

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Great to see this lady smile, laugh, and be thankful to be out enjoying God's creation. And to just be where she loves to be with her husband.
These show how true it is when they say the best things in life are free. No matter how much you had you could never recreate a view like this.
 

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great pic's again
and memories are for life, so always good to make as many as you can, when you can
this goes for everyone, but gather when you know the end is near they get to be more valuable!
 

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Our dear friend

It is with a heavy heart that I have to share this news of our dear friend Julie who has cancer, this is the Email she sent out.


Dear friends and family,

We have been blessed by your kindness to pray for us and encourage us during these last couple of trying weeks. We are grateful that our load is lighter because you are bearing it with us. Thank you!

The Thursday and Friday procedures to take care of the kidney drain were, indeed, routine. We give thanks for this. It was interesting to find out from several medical staff that metal stents, like the one they removed because it stopped working, actually very rarely fail. Ray wasn't surprised to know that I was a "problem child" in this as well. At any rate, the new set up is working great. The docs left a short tube in my back in case we ever need a back-up plan (pun intended) to drain my kidney.

As for the bowel constriction, we've been in communication with MD Anderson for advice on how to resolve that issue. The Bozeman surgeon said that surgery is the only way to fix the problem. Therefore, we contacted MDA to see if they could do that surgery, and perhaps take care of some tumors along the way. (Honestly, the thought of being opened up again is horrifying!) Last Thursday, MDA let us know that it is "not in my best interest" to have any further abdominal surgery. The cancer is too invasive and my low albumin levels would inhibit tissue repair; opening me up would be a total disaster!

We are grateful the Bozeman surgeon decided not to operate on me when I was in the hospital a couple weeks ago. Resurrection Sunday morning he came into my hospital room to make the decision about surgery. Standing by my bedside he sighed and said, "Not today. I don't know why, but not today." But I knew why: Proverbs 21:1--The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. We now know that the Lord sovereignly protected my life that day. For that we are grateful.

Since surgery is not an option, I will continue the restricted diet in order to nurse along the bowel constriction. It is just a matter of time before it is fully obstructed. When that happens the medical staff will do their best to keep me comfortable until it is time for me to meet Jesus face to face. As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness (Psalm 17:15). We trust Him to unfold His plan according to His perfect timing (Psalm 139:16).

With this news, our family has shed a lot of tears. Of course, this has been our path since my diagnosis in September 2013, but the current reality is still difficult and sobering.

The Lord was very kind to ship in a special healing balm from Idaho for the weekend. Our son, Landon, his wife, Ashley, and their two little punkins, Fletcher (22 months) and Weston (11 weeks) brought some special cheer and laughter to our home these last few days. (See attached photo.) It was delightful for all our family to be together. For this we are thankful!

Thank you for your continued prayers for our family that we would endure in faith, fixing our eyes on Jesus--the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-3)--that we may glorify His great name!

Blessings,
Julie and Ray
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This is going to be a tough summer, she told us Sunday at church she is looking forward to our first ride, I don't think she will make it until the trails open up. She has teased me and given me grief about being such a big Cry Baby ever since she informed us of her diagnosis in September of 2013, She told my wife she wants me to be a Paul Bearer at her funeral, I think that's her way of one last dig because she knows how hard it is going to be for me. We are very sad and will miss her immensely.
 

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We got the call today. Our dear friend and sister in the Lord passed from this earth to her heavenly home for eternity. Julie passed from this earth this morning at 7:25 a.m. our dear friend Ray called my wife to let us know that Julie was gone. She has left a huge hole in our hearts, and will be missed so much. She and her husband Ray have left us with so many outdoor adventures and unforgettable memories. Our ATV outings will never be the same. In visiting with her a couple weeks ago, in typical Julie fashion, she said that she knew she was at the end but was disappointed that it wasn't going to be a little later in the year, she wanted one more season of riding with us. We will miss her dearly. FF
 

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Some things just don't make sense . . . it's your time with her that counts. Smiles will return when you think of her . . . Peace to you and yours.
 

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thoughts and prayers.
 

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Thanks guys for the encouragement, I do appreciate it. It will be a tough summer, especially for my wife as this was her closest friend. It is not ours to ask why but to just trust to see how her life and legacy will continue to bless and affect people. We will have a lot of memories to keep us going.
 

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thoughts and prayers go out to you and everyone bro, hang in there..we are here for ya if ya need to vent :).
 

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Thanks Shade. We are better people because of her and her husband. We met them 28 yrs ago, and our lives have been intertwined through a lot of different avenues. Church, school, our kids playing sports together, and riding together these last 4 years just to name a few. Right now it is surreal. Appreciate you guys commenting and thinking of us.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
bcsman, our sentiments exactly! We know where our friend is and know she is far better off. Will be hard to see the family at the funeral, am privileged to be a pallbearer for this great lady. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. FF
 
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