About Me

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Bakersfield, CA, United States
Hans was a busy, happy, sweet and fearless three year old when he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. He fought his disease like a "gladiator" for nearly 6 years. Hans was an animal lover to his core. He was 'guarded' at home by his three cats, Black, Orange and Cotton. He also had his Golden Retriever, Honey, to keep him company. Hans enjoyed swimming, biking, gardening, grilling (he had his very own grill!), horseback riding, playing video games, building Legos, and flipping between Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Animal Planet. Hans loved all members of his family and he was a loyal friend. He had to go through a lot of treatment in his life. But Hans powered through it. His attitude was let's get this done! His motivation was always to get back home, to his family, pets, favorite foods and pool.

Thursday, October 03, 2013


Hi, my name is Carmen Smiley, and feel extremely lucky that I had the pleasure of knowing and being touched by Hans.   Lara has asked, and I am humbled to, be a Guest on the blog and share the story with you of how Hans’ Texas “family” decided to remember Hans on the anniversary of his passing. 

Saturday, September 21st, 2013 came with mixed emotions. This marked the first full year of living here on Earth without Hans. But, it also was the beginning of a tradition where a group of people, who had been brought together because of their love for Hans, got together once again in his honor to dedicate a walking path to him (just steps from the old Sand Pebble Dr. House in The Woodlands, Texas) and maintain it in his honor. 
As we pondered various ideas of how we could appropriately honor Hans on this anniversary, we always came back to the question - what would have made Hans a happy boy?  To name a few, we thought of a red brick alongside many more at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion entrance, specially engraved with a message honoring Hans, and we also thought of, and wondered how we'd go about putting a permanent placement of an object in one of the local pools or parks Hans used to happily frequent quite often. 
But, the ideas didn’t seem to be perfect enough.  And, the word "Family" kept popping into my mind. Hans so very much loved his family: Dad, Mom and big sis Elle (of course, + all his animal friends). So, the idea of doing an activity of Adopting-a-Path seemed so appropriate. In effect, each of us on Team Hans had "adopted" our little buddy.  Getting our group together and picking up litter along the same path that Lara and Kev and Elle would stroll him, would baby jog him (where he may have tossed out a blue raspberry Jolly Rancher or Ring Pop candy wrapper, or two, or three along his journey from time to time), would take walks on, and where he'd ridden his bike, seemed so special to us.  
So, we rallied the troops and once again the love for this little guy warmed all of our hearts. We gathered early, beginning at 8:00am, on the morning of September 21st.  We enjoyed donuts and drinks, and visited as we listened to Sam VanLaningham 's beautiful song called Hans Song, we rocked out to the Big Time Rush album-Hans' fav., wrote chalk messages, held Optimus Prime balloons, sported our Hans-gear, smiled, laughed, felt Hans’ presence,  felt the spirit of those who loved Hans from all over the world who couldn’t make it, felt somber, ate blue candy, signed a guest book, took photographs, gazed at Marigolds, contributed money for research we long to find a cure for, walked together, picked up trash together, pulled wagons of trash/recyclables together, played on play-structures, swung on swings, ran, walked, goofed around.  But, most importantly of all, we remembered our friend Hans and thought of his family, The Weberlings, who are so dear to our hearts and who will always have a special place in our lives.   
So now our group has a rallying point, a path, somewhere to gather, reflect, and give back. A place where our love for this boy and his family can be put into action. You all know that's what Hans would want us to do… He’d want us happy, having fun, doing what we like. There is a passage that I thought was somehow fitting to this story, for its obvious use of the theme of a path, but also for its message about the things that happen along the way. On all of our paths we encountered  Hans, and on his path he encountered us and because of this, we are all better for it.  

As you journey through life, choose your destinations well, but do not hurry there.  You will arrive soon enough.  Wander the back roads and forgotten paths, keeping your destination in your heart like the fixed point of a compass.  Seek out new voices, strange sights, and ideas foreign to your own.  Such things are riches for the soul.  And if, upon your arrival, you find that your destination is not exactly as you had dreamed, do not be disappointed.  Think of all  you would have missed but for the journey there, and know that the true worth of your travels lies not in where you come to be at journey’s end, but in who you come to be along the way.  For life isn’t a destination—it’s a journey.  We all come upon unexpected curves and turning points, mountaintops and valleys.  Everything that happens to us shapes who we are becoming.  And in the adventure of each day, we discover the best in ourselves. 

I think Hansie might be looking down from Heaven right now advising us to continue to do just what this passage said.  I know I’m glad Hans’ journey had us in it. 
Thank you to everyone for making this possible.   And stayed tuned from me for future ‘pick up’ dates happening each quarter…and the journey will go on…..
LOVE and MISS you dearly Hans; and love to you all,  
PS-If you are feeling moved, and would like to help by making a monetary donation (big or small, as every penny helps), to The Children’s Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation, please do so by visiting Hans’ park http://www.cncfparks.org/help-a-child/park/21/    Let’s make September not only just Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, but make it each and every day of the year!


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful gesture Carmen. Thank you .

Hans' Mom said...

Awe - thanks to you Carmen, for this great, heartfelt thoughtful post and for the pics! Thanks to Michelle also for organizing and to all our wonderful friends and neighbors back in TX. We were blessed. Hans was blessed. Thank you! Love, The Weberlings

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful way to honor Hans! Beautiful post - His Texas family are very special people!

Hans' grandma Kathy