Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cole - His Journey and Legacy

Some books touch my heart and leave their imprint long after the last page is turned. Such is the case with Cole...I Love You to the Moon and Back.

At the age of 3, Cole Ruotsala was diagnosed with cancer and died eight short weeks later, on September 19, 2008. Because of the incredible amount of support his young parents received during this devastating time (Cole's Caring Bridge website received over 600,000 hits, prayer teams were organized, and they received thousands of messages), they founded C.O.L.E.'s Foundation (Caring Openly, Loving Eternally), which provides support to families in crisis, primarily those who have children fighting cancer.

Cole's daddy, Aaron, tells the story of their journey in this precious book, Cole...I Love You to the Moon and Back. Peppered with journal entries from Cole's Caring Bridge site as well as comments left by concerned readers, and containing precious pictures, the book chronicles not only the physical trial but the spiritual growth they experienced. What an amazing testimony this family has, and what maturity and wisdom they have reaped from their journey. Aaron Ruotsala says,
I've written this book not for my glory but that all glory will go to God the Father. He truly gave us the strength to endure this journey day by day. It was through His grace that we were able to be a part of a beautiful body of believers, a body that realizes that the church is not a building, but rather it's within us all. Cole was truly a vessel that God used to bring together thousands from every walk of life. . .When our lives were suddenly stopped, shaken, and mixed up by Cole's cancer, it was God Who helped us withstand everything.

Grab a copy of Cole. . .I Love You to the Moon and Back and visit C.O.L.E.'s Foundation. You won't be the same!

Cole...I Love You to the Moon
and Back

By Aaron Dean Ruotsala
Xulon Press/Oasis Audio
softcover, $14.99; audio, $25.99

Aaron Ruotsala never expected to be writing a bio for himself at the age of 24, at least not one like this. He also never imagined losing his only son, Cole, at the age of three to cancer in the span of eight short weeks.

Before Cole’s death, Aaron considered himself an average church attendee, trying to make a name in the world. Unfortunately, he says, it took the loss of his son to realize how precious life truly is.

“From his hospital bed, Cole looked me in the eye and said, “Daddy, help me!” But, there was nothing I could do,” says Aaron. “It broke me, inside and out. I never experienced a love this deep before. I never realized how much I would give up to make all of his pain and suffering go away.”

At that point, Aaron says he could understand what God himself went through while watching His Son suffer and die. “I can only imagine how God must have felt to know that by a touch of his finger He could have stopped everything for his son. I am afraid that if I had that opportunity, I would certainly have stopped everything for Cole.”

Cole died in his parents arms on September 19, 2008. It was the beginning of an entirely new world for Aaron and his family.

“I was suddenly aware of a world where life is truly worth living. I realized that the years of burdens I carried on my back could have been dealt with in seconds. Through my son’s battle, I awoke to a new perspective on life. I wanted to reach out to others who were suffering and let them know that God loves and cares for them.”

Aaron and his wife, Moireen, co-founded C.O.L.E.’s (Caring Openly, Loving Eternally) Foundation, in September 2008 to honor Cole’s memory. Cole’s Foundation has over 1,500 active members who offer encouragement, support, and prayer for children and adults who face cancer and other serious and life-threatening illnesses.

In addition to serving as president of the foundation, Aaron owns and operates a concrete business with his family, speaks to groups around the country, and is a licensed pilot. He serves on the board of his church, and has previously been Sunday School Superintendent, and served on the State Board of Directors for Students Against Drunk Driving. Residents of Ironwood, Michigan, Aaron and Moireen have three children, Cole, Chanielle, and Whitney.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publicist. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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quilly said...

This sounds like a book that would break and heal me all at the same time!

Beverlydru said...

Oh man, I say this to Addison all the time..."I love you to the moone and back again." This sounds like a profound read. The word "Bittersweet" comes to mind. Love your reviews.

Cathy said...

I can't even imagine.

sara said...

I agree with quilly, sounds like a tough but healing read.

CeeCee said...

Wow, seems like a powerful story.