Your blog host

Ron Whitler

Ron Whitler

I am just a friend who offered to host a blog as a place for Tanner and her parents to journal, to leave information that might be of interest to friends and family and a place where she and her parents can visit to receive supportive words from you (and partially because it was just something I could do.) Please jump in with your comments and words of encouragement.

A word about how I know Tanner: about 10 years ago I was working with the youth at First United Methodist Church (UMC) in Franklin, TN and I heard from a mutual friend about a guy named John (Tanner’s dad) who was about to tell his youth group in another state  that he had accepted an invitation and would be moving away to work with the youth at another church,  Brentwood UMC, in Brentwood, TN. Having made that announcement twice myself, I knew it was a difficult thing to do, so I had developed a tradition of picking up the phone and calling anyone who was about to make it. I initially  met  John over the phone. After his move, we became friends, planned an overnight event together for our youth groups, crashed a coupleof restaurants on opening day, wrote a couple of curriculum pieces together including an eleven week discussion of the movie Forrest Gump. We were almost successful at editing the language out of the movie, but we had fun trying. I remember one of my first conversations with Beth (Tanner’s mom),  I knew they were going to be great team. After one of all-time my favorite rehearsal dinner meals at Corky’s barbecue, my wife Celia sang at their wedding on December 11, 1999. When John and Beth moved to Jackson, TN we stopped in on a couple of times when we passed through their town. In 2000 John and Bth were some of the first people to hold my son Max when he and Beth brought dinner for four to the hospital. When Tanner was born, we returned the meal favor by taking a meal to their hospital. Last summer (2008) I taught Tanner swimming lessons. She is a confident and capable girl with her ideas about how things should go. Her strong will is going to be a great asset for her in this fight. Tanner was supposed to be swimming with me again on Monday June 1, 2009, the day she was diagnosed. How I wish we were swimming instead.  Monday night I sat with Tanner for a few minutes, she let me choose the movie. She wanted French Fries and it felt strangely satisfying to do what little I could and to deliver a container of fries from Mcdonald’s. She has promised to swim with me another day and I am looking forward to it. Please send me your comments, ideas and feedback.

Ron Whitler


7 thoughts on “Your blog host

  1. Ron,

    I am a longtime friend of John’s from when he lived and worked at our church here in Murray, KY many years ago. A friend emailed this website about Tanner, and I am devastated to read this news. Having just spent the last seven months being a part of my father’s treatment for cancer, I have a too real understanding of what they must be enduring. Please, please give John and Beth this message: You have my heartfelt prayers for Tanner’s full recovery, and yours, because you’re right–the whole family has cancer. If there is anything I can do let me know, and it is done! For now, just know you are in my prayers.

  2. Ron,

    While I do not know you, I have to commend you highly for taking time to do this-it is a great way for those of us who care so much to keep up daily without wearing out the family. My husband and I have know John for many years and Beth for several-When John was in Jackson with Franklin American we ran up and down the streets (literally) trying to get real estate loans closed! John & Beth are a wonderful couple-my heart hurts so much for all of them. Our prayers will be continual. Could you please post where we can send the cards to with perhaps the gift cards included? Thank you for loving them-they deserve every bit of it!!!

  3. Hey Ron ~ It’s John’s cousin, Denise. I haven’t seen you guys in a long time but thought of you recently when Terry Carty said something on his FB post about Celia’s music. Hope you all are well. Thanks so much for doing this. It is a blessing for all who reads it. Since I’m not there to give them all big hugs, please do that for me if/when you see them. Many blessings … Denise (Thompson) Hensley

  4. Hi Ron,
    I am John’s aunt,the other Beth Page. Your gift of this website is wonderful. This must be so very therapeutic for the family as well as those concerned. I know they are most appreciative of this. Please give them my love and many hugs when you see them. Everyone who knows them here in Trenton are in prayer for them.
    Beth Page Thompson

  5. Ron, I commend you for what you are doing. Call on me to help in any way I can. I call Jake and Tanner my adopted Nephew and Niece and I their crazy Uncle from NJ. I work with John at FAMC and have met Beth, Jake, and Tanner, and I am trying to make them Flyers fans. I plan on dancing at Tanner’s wedding. See you there.

  6. Hey new friends, thanks for the messages.

    To those of you who asked me to deliver a message to John & Beth, rest assured they are reading your comments.

    In terms of appreciation for what I’m doing, this is something I felt like I could do and I felt like it might be helpful. We’re all doing what we can. We had a brief visit with the family yesterday. Tanner wasn’t feeling well, but I think she will have good and bad days during her treatment.

    Continue checking in here at the blog and if you’re on Facebook, become a fan of the friends of Tanner page. (The link is on the right of this page.)

    Thanks again for posting… Ron

  7. Ron, I just learned about this today from John and just posted a comment to the Blog, after reading all of the entries. They are lucky to have friends like you and Celia!!!

Comments are closed.