This is by far the toughest post I have had to write. I am robbed of words as I am still in shock that instead of holding and cuddling what would be my almost 8 month old baby boy…..I sit here posting his funeral. (It really sucks….like a lot.)


I will say as far as funerals go it kicked ass. Family and friends traveled from afar, we had our close friends lead the service (Thanks again Godwin and Jonathan we love you both and are so thankful for you both) and First Alliance Church (the host church) went above and beyond for our family to make everything happen. Ronnie and I got an awesome surprise from all of our friends (watch till the end it is worth it) and we danced our way out of the service.


We were surrounded by amazing support that day. My prayer is that you get something out of watching this, that you “run towards your roar” that follow your nudge and that you make the most of the moments that you have.


Lewiston, thank you for teaching so many so much. We love you and miss you.


Lewiston James Olstad May 25, 2016 – November 22, 2016 Short but oh so sweet.

17 Comment

  1. Rose Corrigal says: Reply

    Jessica, Ronnie & Swayzie,

    My husband and I heard of your story shortly after Lewistons diagnosis. My younger brother is friends with Tanner and would often give my mom and I updates on Lewiston. Having become a mom in May of 2015 your story was the first to hit home. It was the first time I could sympathize and try to understand what a parent in your shoes was going through. I began following your story myself on Instagram and found myself praying for your family. Having had an on and off again relationship with God it was weird to pray, let alone pray for someone else’s marriage and family.

    I remember where I was when I read of lewistons passing. I was exhausted and trying so desperately to get my toddler down for a nap. Having recently found out I was pregnant all I wanted was a moment of silence so I could sleep. Instead of fighting I immediately picked Bryan up and held him just a little tighter. I sat in the rocking chair holding him while he slept desperately praying that you Jessica and your smoky would find the strength you needed.

    Today as I watched and listened to both yours and Ronnies speech I thought to myself that I needed to strengthen my relationship with God as I found that I was jealous of your beliefs and your willingness to believe after all you’ve been through.

    I’ve never met you but always find that your Instagram videos brighten mine and my sons day. Your story reminds me daily to try and have faith, to enjoy the little moments and to hug just a little stronger, tighter and longer.

    My brother went to the funeral and has since been an even more outstanding uncle than he was before hand. So I am thankful for that also.

  2. Corrina says: Reply

    You are truly the strongest people I have ever known. Through your entire journey you have touched my heart in so many ways. Lewiston was a strong little lion whenever I hear that song I will forever think of him and your family. I live in Milton, Ontario but it doesn’t feel like we are that far from one another. You have made me hold my son a little tighter and love him even more then I already was, I wish that you could hold and snuggle Lewiston but know when I hug my son I think of you and your family and wish only strength and love for the future. You are an inspiration and a strong couple, thank you for sharing your journey as hard as it was you are loved and forever in my heart and thoughts

    Thank you

  3. Cheryl Cysouw says: Reply

    I am touched beyond words. You have been in my prayers. The Lord bless and keep you and may His face shine on you and through you and give you peace.

  4. Lori (& Stan) Block says: Reply

    Your Little Prince of Valour 👑
    Your LittleLion 🦁
    Will never be forgotten.
    His moments mattered and his little light shone…..he danced his way into thousands of hearts, ours included and he leaves a lasting legacy.
    The service was just incredible….touching….genuine…
    capturing….tear jerking….inspiring..
    real….humbling…and God glorifying.
    God help us all to dance in the dark and to sing in each storm, ……and to make the very most of our moments…..to have grateful hearts. We’re proud of you Ronnie & Jess……and we love you and Swayzie.

    1. Lori (& Stan) Block says: Reply

      Your little Prince of Valour and your Little Lion will never be forgotten. His moments mattered and his little light shone (and shines) He danced his way into thousands of hearts….ours included, and he leaves a lasting legacy. The service was just incredible. Touching, genuine and inspiring. God glorifying. I went through a lot of Kleenex. God help us all to choose to dance in the dark and sing in life’s storms. To make the most of our moments and to truly house grateful hearts. We’re so proud of you Ronnie and Jessica and we love you and Swayzie. God bless, keep and comfort you fully. Our prayers are still covering you continually.
      Love Lori & Stan

  5. H. Walton says: Reply

    All the way from Sheffield, England, I truly think you and your family are amazing.
    I have a 5 month old baby boy and your story has inspired me and broken my heart all at the same time. I would love to be able to purchase a “small and mighty” babygrow and a sweater like you wear so often to show the Love For Lewiston all the way over here in the U.K. Is there somewhere I can buy them? (I really really hope so).

    Lots of love 💙

    1. Jessica Olstad says: Reply

      Hey Hannah. Thanks for the note and thinking of us. I so appreciate it. The Small and mighty are easy to get check out http://www.jacobgracedesigns.com I believe the sweat shirts are all sold out. Check out Parts and Labor on instagram. Thanks for thinking of us.

  6. Christmas Josey-Thomas says: Reply

    I am absolutely amazed at your story. I don’t even know how I ran across it except it was a God thing. So many of us get caught up in our daily problems that are so petty and you run across a story like this and feel so ashamed. You may think I’m crazy, but I even sent a message to Justin Timberlake not that he would ever see it, or maybe he has heard your story already, because of the song that you all play … Anyway you have forever changed my life. I cannot wait to meet sweet Lewiston one day in heaven and if there is ever any small thing I could do all the way in Augusta Ga , I would be honored. May God bless you, strengthen you, and be with you on the darkest days. This is already such a testimony to his love because there is no other way you could survive this kind of pain with the sweet attitude that you all have. I love that you use the term “it’s a choice” because life every day is a gift and the way we handle it is truly a choice in everything we say, do, react, everything ….is a choice and you inspire me to make better choices , To count my blessings and be a light in this lost and dying world

  7. Dan Hall says: Reply

    Jessica and family, I am just seeing this now! Thank you for sharing his journey, your journey with us all. You have inspired, motivated and touched the hearts of more people than you will ever know. I can’t even begin to imagine how you are feeling. Please know that there are so many people who care for you and love you.

    1. Jessica Olstad says: Reply

      Thank you Dan!

  8. Taylor Potter says: Reply

    This video is absolutely beautiful, thanks for sharing your loving connection with Lewiston and your family, you are so loved!!

    1. Jessica Olstad says: Reply

      Thanks for taking the time to watch it.

  9. Patricia Harder says: Reply

    I have not stopped thinking about you or sharing your story since I emailed you offering a possibility for nursing care as you were working towards bringing your “Lion” home. Jessica you are an incredibly strong woman tho you may not always feel that way, believe me when I started to watch the video of Lewiston farewell I had tears listening first to Ronnie and then yourself. Amazing how God carries us thro this journey .. Keep the faith and keep running towards the roar 💕

    1. Jessica Olstad says: Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to watch. It means the world.

  10. Caitlyn says: Reply

    It’s taken me a few tries to get through this – I will never know how you had the strength to speak so beautifully on what must have been such a hard day. It was a beautiful service and a wonderful tribute to Lewiston and his family. Since following your story on instagram, I have a new method for hitting ‘reset’ on those days when my baby girl is crying, my toddler is melting down and my parenting is far from where I want it to be. We stop, drop everything, hit play on JT, and dance it out. Every time we so this, I say a little prayer for you and Lewiston.

    Also, although I’m writing this from Melbourne, Australia, I’m getting ready to move to Quebec with my husband this year (he’s from Quebec, we met in Lake Louise though, both working at the ski hill) and our two girls. The idea of moving away from my friends and family to an area where I don’t speak the language has been terrifying and I’ve been letting my fears get the best of me. After watching this service I’m going to trust that God is guiding us to where we need to be and I’m going to run towards that roar!

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us, it has touched my life and inspired me to be better.

    1. Jessica Olstad says: Reply

      We will be praying for your move. Praying for the nudges that you need to get involved and to make it feel like home. Thank you for following our journey and for learning to dance it out when you aren’t where you want to be. Dancing has become such good therapy.

      Much love, xo

  11. Clair says: Reply

    30 years ago my aunt buried her first born. A daughter, born on mother’s day, passed on Thanksgiving. She had this same condition. Reading through your blog I read so many of the things I grew up hearing about and the similarities between your son and my late cousin are uncanny. I’m so sorry for your heartbreaking loss. Prayers for you and for your family.

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