Friday, March 9, 2018


Early on the morning of January 31st, I proposed to Catherine Anne Lounsbury. It is astounding to me that 20 months after Sharry departed this Earth on JJ's birthday I have found somebody that I love so completely and hope to spend the rest of my days with. And I know it may seem completely unbelievable to the majority of people who have not had to endure such loss but as my deep love for Katie continues to grow my love for Sharry is not diminished in the least.
I have known the greatest of losses and experienced such depth of suffering and agony that I truly thought I would never recover. If it wasn't for JJ there is a good chance I would not have survived. Sharry saved JJ and he saved me. I still miss her everyday. Yet despite all of that I sincerely believe I am one of the most fortunate people in the world when it comes to love. I had twelve extraordinary years of love, joy, and friendship and an ongoing relationship with a guardian angel. And lightning strikes twice. Katie is the unexpected, missing piece of my heart. Neither Katie or I were looking for love. Yet love found us and brought us together. She is generous, compassionate, wise, talented, beautiful, funny, sarcastic, patient and intelligent. After being lost at sea tossed by waves and storms she is the warm home that feels so right. She is perfect for JJ and me.
Katie and I entered each other's lives at an absolutely divine time. If it would have been even a little bit earlier I would not have been ready at all for a friend like her in my life. Yet at the same time, it was early enough where she can form a deep meaningful relationship with JJ, somebody that before the age of two he'll always remember as his Mama. I LOVE that. Just like me, JJ is incredibly fortunate. He has two amazing mamas who he will know, learn about and learn from as they will always love and watch over him (and at least twice that if you count his amazing Grandmas).
Two days before I proposed we were hiking in Snow Canyon state park. We hiked the petrified dunes trail and when we reached the very top of one of the peaks we set JJ's backpack down so he can walk around play and throw rocks. Our normal hiking routine at the turn around spot. After playing for a bit we decided to pack up. As we picked up the backpack Katie noticed immediately underneath where we just happened to set it carved into the stone was the name "Deckers" a few inches to the side the letters "KT" were carved out and above that there was a carving of a couple holding hands and off to the side a few inches a little kid and not 5 feet away a "J+S" was carved into the rock. In my post-June 2016 life, I have become a big believer in signs and whether this was a pretty cool coincidence or more than that it was an excellent confirmation to my heart that asking Katie to walk this road of life together was a good idea.

The morning of January 31st was a very rare celestial event. It was the first lunar eclipse of the year and also happened to be the magic trifecta of super-moon, blue moon, and red moon. The last time all these events occurred at the same time in North America was March 31, 1866, and the last time anywhere in the world was the day after I was born December 30, 1982. Needless to say, it doesn't happen very often and I thought that was the perfect fit for Katie. She is an extraordinary person in a myriad of ways entering a very unusual circumstance with love, confidence, and light. 

At 5:30 AM we went to one of our favorite Snow Canyon overlooks to take in the sight. We cuddled under a cluster of blankets and drank delicious hot coffee. Then at approximately 6:29 AM I reached down to where I had hidden the practice ring (we hadn't picked one yet and I wanted it to be a surprise) and got down on a knee. I told Katie how she brings such profound love, goodness and wholeness and how incredibly grateful I am to have her in my life (among other more specific cheesy things) and asked her if I could merge my life with hers and she agreed! I am overjoyed and ecstatic to start our family this summer and continue to count myself as one of the luckiest.

And as a happy finale...JJ dancing! 😀

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Letter to JJ from Katie

I wanted to share my very favorite Christmas present. A week before JJ was born Sharry and I both wrote our hopes and dreams for our new beloved baby boy. I cherish Sharry's letter so so much and know it will someday mean the world to him. This Christmas my top gift request I asked of Katie was for her to write JJ a letter with her hopes and dreams for JJ. I realize this was a high pressure one time gift request and was half expecting her not to do it but she totally delivered. Katie continues to surprise and amaze as our love and relationship grows. I also asked her if it would be ok with her if I shared it on the blog and she approved. Lovesharred continues to expand.

Hi baby boy,

I'm writing this to you during the last week of 2017. It is unbelievable to me that we hadn't even met when this year began, and now I can't imagine my life without you in it. Over the last 8 months, you and your dad have become the people I cherish most in the world. Before you were born, your dad and your beautiful angel mama wrote down their hopes and dreams for you. This year, your dad was thoughtful and generous enough to ask me to do the same. That is what this letter will be, but the first and most important thing I want you to know is that I love you so much. I can't express how grateful I am that you came into my life and filled it with more love, meaning, and purpose than I could have hoped for. When it comes down to it, finding love, meaning, and purpose are my greatest hopes for you as well JJ (but I'm still going to write a whole bunch more so bear with me).

Your very first day on earth, life already tested you in ways that many people can't even imagine. Life showed you how unfair it can be, how heartbreaking, how cruel, how unpredictable. And yet...I know you today 18 months later as a sweet, smart, funny, curious, healthy and loving little boy who brings so much joy to us all. Before you even left the hospital, you became an example of what else life can be. All of the beauty, magic, and promise that will always be there to balance out the darkness, as long as you are able to let it in. You are so strong JJ. I pray you will always remember that as life continues to challenge you in the million different ways that it will. I hope that you are able to remember in your darkest times just how much you can bear. I hope that you never lose hope, instead using the strength of your spirit and the support of those who love you to always fight for the happiness you so deserve. The genuine happiness that I want for you above anything else.

My dream for you is that this happiness comes through honest and deep love for others and for the earth. You already have so many people who love you so completely, and a guardian angel who will carry you in her heart for eternity. I hope that this well of unconditional love is something you never doubt, and that it will lift you up and inspire you to spread peace and love to all the lives you touch. Your angel mama's legacy and your dad's example will help you to learn that compassion and empathy are your greatest guides for living well and making a real difference in this world. I hope that your dad and I are able to help teach you these traits by example and through stories, art, religion, and all of our family travels and adventures.

I want you to find your people and form lifelong friendships full of love, humor, and generosity. But I also hope you are able to see pieces of the divine in all people, even the ones you share nothing in common with. I want you to someday find a partner whose soul connects to yours in a way that is everlasting and fills you with courage and contentment. This is what I have been lucky enough to find with your dad, and what your dad has with your mom as well. I hope this love extends to yourself too. I want you to always be able to recognize your value and embrace the wonderful, flawed, beautiful person you become. I pray you'll find your passions in life and never stop fighting for the people and things you care most about.

I hope that you continue to nurture your connection with nature. Right now you would be outside 24/7 if anyone would let you. You are continually fascinated and delighted with dandelions, piles of fallen leaves, any and every rock you can throw, bubbles, water, dirt...and so on. I pray you hold on to this, and that it brings a deeper level of gratitude and wonder to your life every day.

Finally, I hope you always feel the strength and power of your angel mama's love and support. It will never be ok that she doesn't get to hold you here on earth, but she will hold you in her heart forever, as you will hold her. Your mom left behind so many different pieces of herself that will help you get to know the kind of special soul she was. Your dad can't wait to share that with you. I hope you are able to embrace that connection, and that it helps you to carry the burden of your loss. I also hope you never doubt that though nothing can replace what you lost, in me you will always have a mother here on earth who sees you and loves you as her son.

Truly JJ, I want you to have a fun, adventurous, passionate, meaningful life full of love. However that looks for you, I will always be there to support you, cheer for you, nurture you, and love you for the rest of my life and whatever comes after. I love you JJ.



Saturday, January 6, 2018

One year can make a world of difference

It is amazing the difference a year can make! Christmas break 2016 I did not want to be on a break. It was a time of grief, darkness, mourning, and loss. I would have much rather been at work which was my refuge from the catastrophic storm of life. I even spent a night sleeping and freezing in the cemetery! A year later, of course, I still desperately miss Sharry but along with that this time there is light, excitement and joy.

I had the therapeutic experience of sharing our story on a podcast in 2016. Strangers is a podcast with the expressed mission of connecting people and growing empathy for its listeners which is very much in line with my life goals. You can listen here to the podcast from a year ago where I was able to share mine and Sharry’s love story and the tragedy that tore us apart.

They reached out to me one year later to do a follow-up story on where I was at. This time in addition to me they interviewed Katie and my mom. There is a clear distinction in the tone. It is more hopeful, positive and full of love and light. Both podcasts continue the Buhanan-Decker family mantra of Lovesharred and are available on podcast apps as under the podcast Strangers.

Now for holiday updates via pictures!

JJ developed quite a fear for "real" Santas hohoho

Then on December 26th Katie and I traveled to the birthplace of western civilization...Greece. We had a fabulous time and thank you to Grandma Decker for watching a cute but demanding baby JJ for a whole week! 

We amazingly were promoted to business class free of charge for our 13 hour flight back...never flown so good! We both attest it to angel Sharry pulling some strings. (o: