A month without Axel

Axel left us a month ago. It feels like the longest month of my life but I am inspired everyday by the love of thoughtfulness that surrounds us. I received an email today from the parents of two young children that were murdered in NYC last year about how they go on. “…was the most painful and alienating and isolating experiences imaginable, we’ve also learned that there are many good people out there to support us.” It would be easy (and understandable) for people to shy away or avoid us but we have found the opposite…there are many wonderful people out there willing to give their support, both locally and around the world.

To celebrate and remember Axel we hiked Bell Rock this morning. Randy, Kalden and Axel had hiked the trail back in October. Randy used the Ergo baby to carry Axel up while he napped and Kalden always talks about how much fun that hike was. The hike is mostly a scramble up rock and you choose your own route up, so it’s perfect for energetic boys.

K practicing his rock climbing moves

K practicing his rock climbing moves today















I also had a very memorable time with the boys around Bell Rock back in October. One Saturday while Randy was riding the Sedona Century I took the boys for a ride on the Bell Rock Pathway.  Axel decided he didn’t want to sit in the Chariot and he rode his Strider for 3 miles. It took us hours but we all had fun stopping to hike, eat, play and talk to just about everyone we passed.  He was 20 months old and was the tourist attraction of the day. I joked to Randy that we had probably sold at least a dozen Striders to parents and grandparents that day and more people were taking pictures and video of Axel than the scenery. He was just a boy on his bike trying to keep up with his big brother but his zest for life was definitely noticeable to almost everyone we passed. They all wanted to share in and pass on that joy.

It was one of those days as an ‘outdoor mom’ I enjoyed and treasured…being outside doing what I love with my kids. Below is a video of Axel from that day and some pictures.

[nggallery id=13]



  1. You have no idea, but I think about your family every day and I admire your strength. Wonderful memories and photos.

  2. Michelle says:

    That is such a neat video – I am so glad the outdoors is there to help prompt good memories and just “connect” with the rest of life; thanks for continuing to blog.

  3. Love the pictures and video. Imagine how many families you inspired that day in October, and how many your family continues to inspire now, under different circumstances. Thank you for continuing to share your adventures, and journey of healing.

  4. thank you for sharing. i live in sayulita. my heart is with you and sending love.

  5. you are such an amazing strong woman…love hearing about your family adventures. thank you for continuing to share.

  6. Beautiful Jenn. Thanks so much for continuing to share your journey. Your family was and will forever be an inspiration. My prayers and thoughts continue to be with your family.

  7. Such beautiful boys and memories, Jen.

    We’ve gotten a Strider in the past month thanks to Axel’s inspiration and I’m sure we’ll have 2 of them by the summer as our 14 month old is starting to eye it.

    I think of Axel (and his big brother and you) very often.

  8. I think of you and your family often and am awed by your strength!

  9. I think of you and your family often and am in awe of your ability to carry on with such strength and conviction.

  10. Your story has broken my heart, I think about Axel and your family daily. I love the updates, photos and videos.

    “Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
    Life is beauty, admire it.
    Life is a dream, realize it.
    Life is a challenge, meet it.
    Life is a duty, complete it.
    Life is a game, play it.
    Life is a promise, fulfill it.
    Life is sorrow, overcome it.
    Life is a song, sing it.
    Life is a struggle, accept it.
    Life is a tragedy, confront it.
    Life is an adventure, dare it.
    Life is luck, make it.
    Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
    Life is life, fight for it.”
    ― Mother Teresa

  11. We’ve been thinking of you guys! You are an amazing woman, thank you for sharing these updates with us.

  12. absolutely beautiful, jen. thanks for sharing . all my love…

  13. Wow! 3 miles?!! Yes, he has inspired a lot of Strider riders, already (and hope to add us to the list when we return to the US)! What a great memory of him and your adventure together!

    You didn’t hold him back from experiencing everything he could :-)

    I thought of you at the month mark, and continue to send good wishes and prayers your way! Your motivation to look at the good and move forward is inspiring!

  14. My heart has been broken since I read your story. I have a 2 year old nephew who is much like Axel. I can’t imagine. I don’t want to imagine the pain you are in. I will pray for Axel and for your continued strength and for eventual peace. Thinking of you in Texas.

  15. Axel is an inspiration to our family – to live life to the fullest! We just ordered our 18 month old a Strider bike after watching your video. I cannot wait to see him tearing it up out there like Axel. We think about your family regularly and are sending huge hugs your way. xo

  16. Monique Labarre says:

    Our family is moving to Bucerias from San Diego in June. I wanted to send my condolences and prayers, and a heartfelt wish for peace and healing for you and your family. May Axel’s memory be for a blessing.

  17. I can’t even imagine being as strong as you.

  18. I heard of your story, through other outdoor bloggers, all the way here in Australia. Thanks for sharing your stories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *