About Me

Kathryn Bradley was born on 2/5/91 and given a Hawaiian name Kahiwalani meaning "Gift From Heaven" She has been a special gift from the day she was born.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Too Sick 3-31-12

 Too Sick 3-31-12

I’m just too sick to write much.  This crud is really slowing me down.

I did get another phone call from 000-0000 today.  No one there!

I also put together the story board for the panda cookies.  It looks really good.  I didn’t know that I even had this great program.

I need to get to bed so Good Night.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Spirits 3-30-12

Spirits 3-30-12

I forgot to share something.  Remember when my heart doctor said spirits are electrical.  She also said sometimes it is the phone.  I shared earlier about a friend whose phone would ring every night at 8pm every since her husband passed away.  Nobody was ever there if she answered so she came to believe it was her husband just staying in touch.  So the other night our phone rang and I answered it and no one was there.  Not only that but the number that came up on the screen of the phone was 000-0000.  That doesn’t happen!.  There is always a number (a real phone number).  Maybe it will say private or blocked but I have never seem 000-0000 before.  So was that Kathryn?  I guess maybe it was.

Yesterday Scott’s brother flew in from Hawaii so we were  busy cleaning and organizing a room for him.  Anyhow I had to go to a meeting and Scott was at home alone to vacuum.  He told me later that, “Kathryn is here”.  I asked him what he meant and how he knew she was here.  He said he could feel her.  He said he felt like someone was watching him.  Like Kathryn was watching him.  She said it was kind of scary and a good feeling all at the same time. 

I’m watching the Medium on “On Demand.”  There was a man on there who felt guilty about not saving his Mom but he was there holding her head when she died.  The mother’s message was to have him know that she appreciated him making her feel safe by being there when she passed.  I’m hoping Kathryn felt safe too.  I think she did.  Well this show really makes you believe in spirits. 

I’m home alone tonight as Scott and his brother Todd drove up the our cabin.  They will ski Saturday and Sunday at White Pass.  I always hate being here alone.  Well I guess Kathryn’s spirit is here with me and I do have the animals (Princess, Dude and Klyde).  I’m alone but not really. 

Our little friend Rowan is doing ok.  Don’t forget to pray for her.  Someone waid they met Rowan in person but no name was on the comment.  I would love to know who met Rowan in person.

I also need to know Julie who.  Which Julie is made the t-shirt quilts.  Kathryn had given me a bunch of t-shirts and I had started a quilt.  That was just this past summer.  I didn’t get far because I really didn’t know the best way to do it.  Julie I need your help.

If you just comment I can’t respond back.  If usually comes back as nonresponce.  Something like that. 

Good Night

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kathryn's Pandas 3-29-12

Kathryn’s Pandas  3-29-12

I worked with a couple of young ladies today on the cookie project.  We had to set up a business and then we will have to apply for nonprofit status.  There is more to all of this than we first thought.  Life was so much easier when we were all kids.  If you wanted to do a fundraiser for something you just did it.  I remember selling tickets to family and friends for a spaghetti dinner to raise money to go to Hawaii my senior year.  We just did it and the people who attended had so much fun they wanted us to do more.  I sold baked goods at school to raise money for our soccer team, had car washes, made banana bread and sold it, and had garage sales.  We just did them and no problems.  But as adults you have to do everything by the book.  There are rules and laws and then you actually have to worry about being sued.  Oh my!  All in all it is going great!  We got a lot accomplished between the two meetings today.  We are ready to submit our application for our business license.  Oh yes, the company name is Kathryn’s Pandas and our slogan is supporting kids with cancer.  Because we are giving to three organizations that support kids with cancer.  They all gave to Kathryn and we are giving back hopefully many times more.

We are going to do test cookies to see how they sell this next week.  We will have the places that sell them donate directly to the charities: Make a Wish, Camp Goodtimes or The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and this way we won’t have to have our nonprofit status yet.   We will supply the test cookies ourselves for find people to donate for the supplies.  This is all very exciting.  The funny thing about tonight is that we met at a coffee shop that had supported Kathryn back when she was 8.  They had a donation jar out for her with her picture on it. 

Today I also talked to someone at work and she said some people were wondering if I was having any trouble handling the extra time I have on my hands.  I actually was there for a little while.  She assured them that I would have something going on.  She was right.  I probably spent 5 hours our more on the cookie project today and more time on emails about other fundraisers.  I fit in some house cleaning too.  Tomorrow I will work on the storyboards for the displays at the coffee shops for the cookies.  As well as finish my last lanny for the wine auction.  I will get all the lannies sent out tomorrow too.  I love doing this stuff.  This is why I loved my job that I had with Unique Beverage giving away Wired and Cascade Ice.  I gave to cancer organizations and they loved it.  It gives me such a good feeling to do something good for people. 

Scott dropped off a things from Kathryn’s celebration today at the ICU where she was for so long.  He gave them a bulletin, tri-fold, a DVD of the slide show, and a DVD of the entire service with video of all the displays, luminaries and cakes.  They were very excited to get these.  Many of them had to work that day so we wanted to share this with them.

Scott’s brother is flying into town from Hawaii.  His trip has been interesting.  About an hour and a half out they turned the plane around and went back to Hawaii because a man had a heart attack.  We had to turn around one time too after we had already had an entire day delay.  We turned around half way there and went back to San Francisco.  It was a bad deal.  Anyhow, Scott just called and they lost his brother’s luggage too.  He has had a very long day.  Good thing his meeting at the REI head quarters isn’t until 1:30.  I hope they get his stuff here early enough for Scott to take him up skiing.  All of his ski stuff is probably in his luggage. 

A great day! I did smell that sweet smell of Kathryn several times today.  Every time I work on something in her honor I smell it.  She is here!

Good Night

Just Thoughts 3-28-12

Just Thoughts 3-28-12

Last Night (Tuesday night) I didn’t sleep at all.  I have a cough and then my mind just wouldn’t stop thinking.  I have been trying not to use sleep aids and maybe I should have used some.  I kept thinking about Kathryn.  Thinking about everything about her.  Times with her, her treatment, her time in the hospital, coming home, and songs.  Right now as I write the song “If I Die Young” is stuck in my brain.  Once it is there it is hard to shake.

Didn’t get too much done today because I was too tired.  I did work on Richard’s room.  Scott’s brother is coming over and I want to make sure he has room for his stuff.  There is plenty of room in Kathryn’s room but I don’t know if he would feel comfortable sleeping in her room or not.  I have talk to a couple of people or with people who know people who have lost a child and how they handled their things.  It sounds like most people are like us leaving the room the same for years.  And most don’t go through the child’s things for years either.  We did go through Kathryn’s stuff immediately.  We wanted to have her things to share at her celebration.  It was a good time to do it for us because I think we were all in shock and numb at that time.  Still in shock.  I gave away some of her brand new clothes that she got for Christmas.  That was easy because they weren’t really hers yet.  But the one coat… Well it bought the last time Kathryn and I went shopping together.  When I said that to Katherine (Bee)and Lauren they told me I should keep it because I had tears running down my cheeks.  I pondered over giving it to her early.  I didn’t know if she would ever get to wear it or not.  But I thought giving it to her early would send the wrong message.  I didn’t want her to think that I thought she would not be alive for Christmas.  In ways I wished I would have given it to her early and in other ways I’m glad I didn’t.  I never wanted to give up or let go of hope.  I had hope for her up until the morning she passed.  Even that morning I thought at first she was getting better because her heart wasn’t racing like it usually was in the morning.  Her heart rate was staying normal and calm.  But then her oxygen level dropped and I knew her lower heart rate was not a good sign but instead a sign that her entire system was slowing down.

I went and sat in her room for a while.  Read a story from the book I was reading her.  The book is titled “Unlikely Friendships.”  She was great at making friends.  And she made friends and had some friendships that most would think were unlikely.  But that was Kathryn.  She loved and cared for everyone.

We also went out to our friend’s work place.  He’s a landscaper.  He is going to help us get rid of the dead cherry blossom tree and maybe a couple of bushes and we will plant new trees in Kathryn’s honor.  I have a beautiful plaque that two of my coworkers gave me that will go out in the garden by the tree the staff purchased for us.  Our landscaper friend will put in two other trees.  I’m going to meet with him this weekend.  It will be great.

I talked to a friend on the phone tonight and we chatted a great deal about Kathryn and cancer.  This friend has cancer.  She told me that you can only have so much of any one type of chemo in your lifetime.  I didn’t know this.  I knew that radiation certainly had a limit because of the long half-life.  Basically radiation never leaves your body.  We also talked about low sodium.  Any cancer can cause a low sodium problem.  She is sending me a book that a Mom wrote.  This Mom’s daughter died 3 or 4 years ago from cancer.  She wrote the book mainly for the medical personnel to understand that parents know their child and need to be the child’s advocate.  The book is titled “Because of Katie.”  I will have to read it when I’m alone because I know it will make me cry.

Good Night

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Panda Projects 3-27-12

Panda Projects 3-27-12

So we have the lanny project where people including myself have made lannies for key chains.  They will have a panda charm on them and sell at the ACS wine auction on April 14th.  I’m working on my 5th lanny.  I had a hard time starting it and finally figured out what I was doing wrong.  Now they are going to add a card to it to tell a bit about Kathryn so people understand what the lannies really represent and that is Kathryn’s dedication to the ACS, Camp Goodtimes and fighting cancer.  Her fight was not only to help find a cure but to also find a way to live fully with cancer.  I guess I will be designing the card.  I had Richard choose the picture.  If you were at her celebration it will be the picture on the bulletin.  The other side will be the words telling about Kathryn.

Our other friend is a baker and she has come up with a great project that she thinks will go national.  They will make Panda cookies and sell them in coffee shops (Starbucks?).   Each cookie will raise about $.25.  We need to come up with a name for this fundraiser.  Could you make some suggestions?  We also need to decide where we should donate the money.  We are looking at The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Make A Wish, and Camp Goodtimes.  All three of these places have given to Kathryn in one-way or another.  What do you think?  We could change the recipient each month and our friend said they could change the color of the bow on the Panda according to who the recipient of the month.  Please share your ideas.  Kathryn is living on!

Now this may seem personal but you all need to practice prevention when it comes to cancer.  Get your cancer checks done: Mammograms, paps, and PSA levels checked.  Don’t forget the colonoscopy.  That’s my favorite.  I’m glad I get this done as they have found polyps which are precancerous things.  If they are left in your colon they turn to cancerous tumors.  Not good.  I do all of mine regularly as I have expected to get cancer in my life since I have seen so much cancer in my Mom’s side of the family.  I never expected one of my children to get it but I did expect it for myself.  Brain cancer has no prevention and they have no known cause.  Well Kathryn’s second diagnoses with brain cancer was caused by her radiation that they did the first time.  They say they are 99.9% sure about that.  They use to do a full brain boost back when Kathryn was treated and this is what it caused for her.  However just months before she was treated back in 99 they also gave much higher doses of radiation leaving most children with learning disabilities.  At least we missed that.  One thing they have speculated to cause some forms of brain cancer is aspartame which is found in almost all diet sodas.  It is found in other things too so I would try to avoid it or at least limit your intake of it.  Tumors also feed on sugar.  I would say too much of any one thing is bad so moderation.

Looking forward to reading some ideas.  I have a meeting on Thursday about the cookies at 10 am.

Good Night

Monday, March 26, 2012

Beliefs 3-26-12

Beliefs 3-26-12

Yesterday I didn’t share what the Jehovah Witnesses had to say.  Some people believe that people go to heaven and the bad people go to hell right away.  Some people believe good people like Kathryn go to heaven and the others get stuck in limbo.  Some people believe that we become spirits and hang around maybe until the judgment day.  Or maybe a little combination of going to heaven and still having the ability to have the spirit hang around.  The J.W. people believe that when you die you are in an unconscious state.  You are asleep without thought until the judgment day.  I think there are so many ways to think about it because we haven’t experienced it.  The J.W. had scriptures they read to support their theory and yet I think there are other scriptures that could support some of the other theories too.  It is a difficult thing, the bible, because it wasn’t written in the language that we are all use to.  Everything they said made sense to me but it didn’t explain the smell I smell.  Well I just thought I would share.  Maybe this will make everyone think about it.  I just don’t know for sure.  I think the only thing I am willing to say I believe is that there will be a judgment day and on that day all people will be resurrected and some will end up with God and others will go to hell and at this time I will see Kathryn again.  I’m not sure nor will I totally believe any one way about what happens between death and the judgment day.  But I do keep smelling that sweet smell and it must be something related to Kathryn.

Today I woke up and did a very brave thing.  I got on the scale.  Bad choice or maybe an it’s about time choice.  Yes, the stress has changed my weight for the higher level.  Not as bad as back in 1999 but still it is up there.  So I had yogurt for breakfast.  That was a good start.  Not so bad the rest of the day either and a nice walk.  Tomorrow up early and doing some exercising.  I will have to buy new clothes in a not so nice size if I don’t watch it.

I thought I was doing pretty good today until I was in a meeting.  I was listening and asking some questions and then all of a sudden I realized that I had just missed a huge part of the conversation.  I must have zoned out for about 10-15 minutes.  Scott didn’t even realize.  I came back in on the tail end of the topic so I had some idea of what was just discussed and had put it together pretty well myself.  But in the end I had to ask Scott what was said to make sure I had put it together correctly.  I don’t know where I went during this time of blank but I wasn’t there.  I think I was thinking about Kathryn.  This was kind of scary.

I read a comment tonight and my young friend had a call from her doc which said it looks like the chemo is working.  To me those are wonderful words.  It gave me goose bumps and made me cry tears of joy.  I hope and pray for her to come through this.  I know too many people fighting cancer right now and really in serious situations.  I hate cancer!  It is taking too many beautiful young people.  As I talked to someone today they said it was a blessing when a mother had died.  She was older 86 and very ill.  It is a blessing when someone finally gets to leave a painful and difficult situation but when they are young 3, 21, 29, 38 or 42 it is not a blessing it is a tragedy.  Those numbers are significant and represent real ages of people dealing with serious cancer situations and death as the 21 represents Kathryn.  Don’t take life for granted!  What’s worse than cancer is an instant, unexpected death.  The here today and now gone.  In my opinion that would be worse.  Or the unknown.  I was watching something on TV and I couldn’t imagine being the parent of a missing child never knowing what happened.  Or the missing child that is finally found dead and they tell you that your child was beat and other things.  So, I am grateful that Kathryn died peacefully by my side with loved ones all around.  I’m always trying to find some good in this situation and that would be it. 

Good news today too!  Matt’s Mom is already getting feedback from her letter she sent out for donations to Camp Goodtimes.  This is very exciting.  We also received some more donations for camp.  Camp is such a great place.  I’m so glad Scott and I really pushed Richard and Kathryn to go.  They have loved it every since the first day they went.

Good Night

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Visits 3-25-12

Visits 3-25-12

Last night before I went to bed I prayed for Kathryn to visit me.  To give me comfort even if only that sweet smell.  I hadn’t had that smell around a lot lately and so I prayed for it. 

I woke last night at 2:15 to the sweet smell as strong as ever.  I had spots on my arm that got goose bumps.  Just a little spot like a touch.  I laid there and told Kathryn I loved her with all of my heart.  I talked a bit and then I got up to use the bathroom.  When I got up I got goose bumps all over my body and felt chilled.  It was so strong I couldn’t believe it.  When I got up this morning I actually had a smile on my face.  I think was the first time for a very long time.  Scott even commented on the smile.  He said something like, “It’s nice to see your smile in the morning again.”

So, most of you saw that I wrote to Theresa the Long Island Medium.  I guess I messed up and gave too much info so I will probably never win the free time with her.  That’s ok.  As I watched tonight it was about her daughter’s boyfriend whose friend had died 2 months earlier.  He died of cancer very quickly but that is not the important thing here.  He told her that he is ok and that he really appreciated all of the things they were done in his honor.  It made me think that Kathryn would say she is fine and that she too appreciated the things we are doing in her honor.  She would be so proud of us and happy at what we are doing in her honor and memory.  This made me feel pretty good.

I also had a visit today.  The Jehovah Witness people came by to my house today.  I always listen and chat with them.  They know about Kathryn.  They read me several verses from the bible that really did comfort me.  I know a lot of people don’t like them but I feel they are just trying to do what God has asked us all to do and that is to spread the word of God.  Anyhow I appreciated them sharing verses from the bible to try to bring comfort to me.  I also was able to share with them all the crazy things I have prayed for and they said that my prayers were fine and expected. 

What have I prayed for?  First of course I prayed for Kathryn to be healed.  I prayed every day and many times a day.  I told God that we would be witnesses of his great power and love if Kathryn was healed.  I hoped that each morning towards the end that she would wake up and open her eyes like she did every morning but instead of laying there she would get up out of bed and say good morning.  Once she passed away I prayed that she would come back to life.  I prayed to God and Jesus to resurrect her just like Jesus resurrected Lazereth.  I don’t know how to spell it sorry.  I prayed this for at least a month after her death.  I told God that we would spread the word about his great power again.  Of course I have also told God how angry I am with him. 

Many people have lost loved ones and they finally get by.  I know that I will never “get over” Kathryn’s death but I will find peace.  I’m closer today than yesterday.  I have to remember that I will see her again when the resurrection comes. 

I put the family room back together after painting.  I love the pictures on the wall.  I love those photos that Mooselips took of Richard and Kathryn at camp on the beach.  Now they are in the most used room in the house and they look beautiful.  Thank you Mooselips for the beautiful photos.

Good Night

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Make A Wish 3-24-12

Make A Wish 3-24-12

Today I was watching HGTV while painting and Geneviene was redoing a girls bedroom for her Make A Wish.  This little girl has Lukemia of some sort.  I can’t remember what type.  To get a make a wish you have to have a very serious and life threatening condition.  A doctor must make the recommendation for the child to be considered too. This little girl who was about 10 looked real good.  Her room turned out beautiful too.

When Kathryn was 8 she had a Make A Wish.  By the time we went on it she was 9.  She was well into her treatment and pretty weak.  It was a perfect time to go to boost her moral.  A limo picked us up at the house.   We spent the night at a hotel by the airport and the next morning flew to Florida.  We spent the night once there in the Radison Hotel and then the next day boarded the Disney Cruise Line.  While in the Bahamas we went to the Blue Lagoon and swam with the Dolphins.  Kathryn also worked with the trainer feeding and giving instructions to the dolphins.  She was so cute out there with her bald little head.  We spent a day at the Disney Island too.  Kathryn also collected signatures from all the Disney Characters.  One day we were invited to the control room to meet the captain.  The other kids on the make a wish were also there.  One little girl had cycle cell.  One boy who had a liver transplant was too busy having fun to show up (that’s a good thing).  His parents were there.  And I don’t remember what the other child had.  It’s not just cancer that takes our children.  We had a fabulous time.  It was good for Kathryn to get away and have some fun.

Make a Wish is a fabulous program and maybe some day I can help out with a wish.

I found more artwork of Kathryn’s today.  I think there were three drawings that I never saw before.  I also found some artwork of Richard’s too.  I’m excited to put all of this artwork up in the hallway like a gallery. 

Oh, my sleep has improved somewhat.  This is good!

Good Night!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Memories/Reality 3-23-12

Memories/Reality 3-23-12

At a friends house tonight and he shared a slide show with us of Kathryn.  The family had put it together and the song “If I Die Young” plays in the back ground.  Kathryn is all around their house just like ours.  He said he can’t look at anything in the house without thinking of Kathryn.  I know what he means.  The fireplace where she would sit.  Kathryn hated being cold and loved to sit right by the fire.  He would make a fire for her every time she came over.  The chalkboard in the kitchen still displays her last drawing.  The panda balloon that sits low in the living room.  Her photo sits upon a table.

He said it is hard because on every special occasion he expects her to come through the door.  Every time their son comes home from college he is expecting her to come over too. 

I feel the same.  It’s spring break and she should be home with us.  We should be leaving to front door unlocked for when she comes home tonight.  She should be walking into my bedroom tonight after visiting with her friends to say I’m home, I love you mom, good night and give me a kiss good night.  Of course she would walk to the other side of the bed and do the same for her Dad.  We should be sending her off to school on Sunday or Monday to start spring quarter.  Scott would make sure her car has oil, wiper fluid and tires full of air. 

We too go through the house seeing Kathryn everywhere.  Scott turns on her Christmas tree every night.  He visits her room every morning.  I have a hard time going in her room.  When I do I look at photos and sometimes just sit in her chair.  Her photos are all around the house and so is her artwork.  All wonderful memories that sometimes make me cry and sometimes make me smile.  I look at the photos of her and Richard taken on the beach in August at camp.  How could she go from that vibrant beautiful girl on the beach to death in just a few short months.  Her cat Kyde reminds me of her calling him in each night and tricking him by having a toy for him to follow into the house. Princess her dog has out lived her.  Not too long ago I was worried about Princess dying on Kathryn when she was first rediagnosed back in 2010.

I remember when I was going to the “Ride for Kids” in September 2011 what she said to me.  Usually she goes with Scott and I and this time she told me to tell them that she was doing so well that she was up at college being a regular college kid.  She said that would make them all smile and she was right.  We were all so sure at that time that everything would be all right.  She came home two weeks later with a funny walk and in one month she was given 3 to 6 months to live.  It was so fast. 

Our reality is that she will not walk through that door and she will not come in to our room to kiss us good night.  It’s not just our family’s reality as I found tonight.  It is the reality for many people.  All we have now are those memories.  As we are reminded of Kathryn I hope those memories start being more smiles than tears as time goes on for all of us.  She was wonderful and her love is still spreading.  Lets keep it going!

Good Night <3

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Never Give Up 3-23-12

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much!" ~ Mother Teresa

I have thought of this quote often.  If God doesn’t give me more than I can handle I just can’t imagine what he is thinking.  Does he think I am made of steel?  I just can’t figure how I am supposed to handle this.  I guess I am doing it but it is tough.  The roller coaster ride is one with big ups and downs.  I guess he must really trust Richard, Scott and myself and many others who have been hit hard by Kathryn’s death.

I’ve also been thinking about our Christmas card.  I know it is early to think of Christmas 2012.  Our Christmas card has had a picture of all four of us on it for years.  Kathryn is the fourth member of our family and I have been wondering how I will include her on the card.  Do I take a picture from the past of her and add it to the card?  Do we draw a picture of Kathryn and take a picture with it?  I feel our card would not be complete without some representation of Kathryn.  Any ideas?

Scott and I went to the cabin to ski with Richard and his girlfriend Katherine.  This was a great thing to do since it kept us busy physically and mentally.  It helped keep those sad feelings away.  While I skied with Richard and Katherine today I did a little calculating.  I have a lot of years on these guys (25 to 28 years).  No wonder I get tired.  I don’t usually ski through trees but I did today.  Oh my goodness!  The snow was so deep too.  Thank goodness Katherine stayed close to me as I fell and got buried.  She helped me up.  It would have taken a very long while without her help.  I was glad to hear that everyone, Katherine and three other friends all thought this was a tough run too.  Not just me.  Of course Richard just thought it was great!

It was a great time.  Well, spending time with my kids (even ones I didn’t give birth to) is always the best.  Scott and I do a pretty good job of keeping up.

On our way home there was something on the radio about a young woman who survived stage 4 colon cancer.  Her comment made me think of Kathryn, “I have so much love and support around me that it would be a tragedy to give up.”  Those could have easily been Kathryn’s own words.  She never gave up because she had all the love and support of all of her family and friends.  Even people who didn’t know her supported her.  I had a woman one time call me over to her car once I had Kathryn in my car and she asked me for Kathryn’s name.  She gave me a vile of holy oil and also told me she was going to pray for Kathryn.  Something just touched her.  It was probably Kathryn’s smile.  Even walking out of the clinic after treatment she would smile. 

We should always support and love one another.  And we should never give up!  I have a t-shirt that says “Never Give Up” on it.  Good words to live by.

Going to watch “Project Runway” with Kathryn now.  She’ll be here. 
Good Night

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Won’t be posting until Thursday night or Friday morning.  Going where there is no internet.   Catch up with you then. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Productive 3-19-12

Productive 3-19-12

The last three or four days have been real down days for me.  I just laid on the couch most days until I had to get up for something.  Never in my life have I wasted so much time just hanging out watching T. V. on the couch.  I did go to my Mom’s house on Saturday for her cousin reunion.  I also went to Katie Downs on Sunday to meet with my old friends but other than that I laid around feeling sorry for myself.  This is not me.  So today I told myself I wasn’t go to do this again.  Not today!  Today was going to be a better day and I wasn’t going to waste the morning again. 

So, it started out the same as the other days but I told myself at 9 am I was going to get started on painting the hallway upstairs.  When Nine came around I actually got up and changed into my paint clothes (very attractive clothing ) and got started.  I was done by 12:30 and I felt good.  I actually got something done.  I did cry a bit while painting.  You know how painting is the quiet by yourself kind of thing.  Well, when doing something like this I think of Kathryn and I cry. 

Richard and his girlfriend came down and we had lunch and I spent time chatting with them.  Then I got started on painting the wall in the family room.  Finished!  Now all I have to do is put the things back up on the wall.  It felt so good to get some things done.  I also had some time to talk to a couple of friends.

I received a great card in the mail today too.  This was the icing on the cake of a very good day.  And I had that sweet smell of Kathryn around me a couple of times too.  So cool.  I just take it in and then talk to her. 

Last night one of Kathryn’s friend posted a song she wrote for Kathryn in the day she died.  Oh it brought me to tears.  Such a nice gesture.  Our friend Jocelyn is putting together a fundraiser in Kathryn’s honor.  It will involve bakeries.  We are going to meet next week.  It sounds like it could be a big deal and raise a large amount of money for Camp Goodtimes. 

You know this cancer thing is just too big.  My neighbor lost his sister (53) to breast cancer on Friday.  My aunt died of lung cancer on Saturday.  And another friend lost his sister to a brain tumor a few months ago.  This disease just takes too many people.  So, keep praying for our little Rowan.  Remember she is the 3 year old with a brainstem glioma that we met in Houston.  She has had zero tumor growth since she started treatment in Houston.  Also pray for my cousin’s husband.  He has tumors in his sinuses.  He is not doing very well and they have two small boys.  He has been trying different experimental treatments and it doesn’t seem to be getting better.  He has been sick a lot and in a great deal of pain.  Our friend Leslie needs your prayers too.  She also has cancer.  She is young (in her 20’s).  We need lots of prayers for all three of these dear people. 

In my chat with one of my friends today she said something about Kathryn.  Here was Kathryn fighting for her life and still living fully.  Not feeling sorry for herself or expecting anything from anyone.  Not wasting her life.  She said Kathryn is a good example for those who think their lives as so bad that they turn to drugs and such.  If she could live life the way she did with all the darkness of cancer surrounding her, these other people need to learn from her.  I would say even if you are at the end of the road make those last few steps count.  Kathryn did just that.  She also had great support from family and friends.  Unfortunately not everyone has this support.  If you recognized a person who needs support I hope you will reach out to them.  Even if it is just a smile and a warm hello.  As Kathryn did for the boy on the bus, she went over and sat by him and held his hand just because she saw that he needed a friend.

I was also reminded of something a young man wrote about Kathryn to me.  He said it didn’t matter how long they were apart (this could be years) Kathryn was always there to get together and it would always be like old times.  The friendship was still there and time apart never changed that.  They would be able to sit and chat and just share as friends do.  I don’t think I said it as well as he did but you get the idea.  I felt that way tonight as my friend shared some things with me and apologized for not staying in touch.  I told her it didn’t matter how long it was between visits, she would always be my friend.  Friends don’t unfriend each other just because they haven’t seen each other in a while (that could be years). 

Well a busy day tomorrow.  Yes, productive and not a couch potato!  I think I may be on a roll for a while.  Can’t waste time feeling sorry for myself.  I can multi task.  I can cry and be productive at the same time.  Kind of kidding but not.

Good Night – Sleep well – Don’t forget to pray for my three friends

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Words to Share 3-19-12

Words to Share 3-19-12

Gracious and Strong are two words I heard today.  Yesterday is was mature and inspiring.  The term unconditional love.  Living in the moment and focusing on bright outcomes in dark times. 

We are gracious and strong.  Well, our strength comes from the people around us and our thoughts of Kathryn.  We have so many wonderful people around that we know we never need to be alone or feel alone or be afraid to feel or share our feelings.  You, yes you reading this blog, have given us strength which allows us to be gracious.  We also get our strength from dear sweet Kathryn.  We know that she would want us to find our happiness and live our lives to the fullest. Wanting to please her and gives us strength. 

And the expression coming from an ICU nurse that cared for Kathryn “living in the moment and focusing on bright outcomes in dark times” is what we did.  We never focused on the negative of cancer or our situation.  We always looked forward to things getting better and enjoying the time we had.  We did our best to make every moment happy.  Why would you waste even a second not enjoying each other especially if you may not have that much time left? I believe our positive outlook on life allowed Kathryn to live.  Not focusing on the negative gave her time to enjoy life.  I’m a true believer that our lives are what we make them.  We can focus on the negative and be depressed or we can choose to focus on the good things we have and live happy lives.  Right now it would be real easy for me to lay on the couch and cry all day.  Today I almost let it get to me.  I was invited to lunch with a group of people from my Luther League.  This is a group from church from back when we were all teens.  I almost didn’t go but I finally got myself together and went.  I’m so glad I did.  I had a wonderful time.  It was great to see everyone.  We talked about old times and new. It was all good positive talk.  Well expect for your mean talk Terri (Ha Ha).  I will tell you that most people don’t enjoy being around negativity or complaining.  Kathryn was never negative and she never complained.  People loved to be around her because of her positive attitude. She didn’t dwell on her situation but focused on the positive things in life. She was a delight to be around.  Even in the dark times that cancer can bring we found light and laughter.  I can’t think of a single time at the clinic that we didn’t laugh.  Teasing the nurses is one of the things we did well.

Unconditional love.  I’m so proud of us as a family to have unconditional love for one another.  People have been blown away at the way we handled our situation.  As far as any of us are concerned it is just what you do.  We are family and we would not leave a family member alone or with out care.  We would not consider giving up.  We would not think about separating during this time.  Not only did Kathryn need us but we needed each other.  We all played a part in this.  We each had a special roll that needed to be done.  Not one person was more important than the other nor one job more important than another.  We had to work as a team “Team Bradley.” 

We have been called mature for the way we handled Kathryn’s death and I think that comes from faith.  Our faith that Kathryn’s spirit is still with us and that she is in a better place allows us to find comfort which allows us to be mature.

I know that Kathryn has inspired so many and now I know our family has too.  I hope we inspire others to find the good in life even in the darkest of times. I hope we have inspired others to love unconditionally.  I hope we have inspired people to realize that life can be cut short and enjoying time with the people you love is more important than making that extra dollar or working that extra hour. 

I hope the world is a better place for those who shared time with Kathryn or have learned through her experience and ours. 

Good Night  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Surprises and Clouds 3-17-12

Surprises and Clouds 3-17-12

This morning I was going through a wallet of Kathryn’s that Scott had put on the desk.  In the wallet I found a two dollar bill.  I have a few special bills and keep them in a special book.  When I went to put this bill in the book I found a note.  A note that I had not put there and didn’t know was there.  It was a note from Kathryn that said, “I Love You Mom and Dad, Love Kathryn.”  It had little hearts and flowers on it too.  It was a nice find for the day.  I have no idea when it was put there.  But I will take it and let it make me happy.

As I drove to my Mom’s house in Eatonville for a family luncheon I looked at the clouds.  I found a feather and bear head.  The tip of the nose of the bear was actually made from a little bit of blue sky.  My friend sent me a text today about the clouds she saw in the sky.  She saw a baby elephant and a heart.  I also kissed the ceiling as I went through an almost red light today.

At my Mom’s I talked to a cousin and she said she had read Kathryn’s obituary but didn’t make the connection.  She asked her daughter about it since she works at the hospital.  She said that she definitely knew of Kathryn.  She said she had seen Kathryn’s doctor and had never seen a doctor so moved by a patient as he was.
She also said that the entire Hospital would never be the same since Kathryn’s stay there.  Our family’s love, determination and compassion moved many people.  Kathryn’s positive outlook on life and love of life inspired so many. 

We are forever grateful to Kathryn’s doctors and nurses for tenderly caring for her.  Also for working so hard to get her home and finally for supporting her and our family through all of this.   I explained to one of the cousins today that Kathryn’s oncologist took great care to make sure Kathryn was able to live her life the way that she wanted.  Her last year at college (2010-2011) was a wonderful time for her and he did everything in his power to make it happen for her.  She just wanted to be in school with her friends.  She wanted to be a normal college student and for that year she was for the most part.  Her doctor and the nurses there at Mary Bridge made it all happen.  I know she had a wonderful year. 

Scott went to the track today and took a bulletin and a tri-fold from Kathryn’s Celebration with him.  He met this man there.  When Scott introduced himself to this man the man said I know this name.  So they talked some more and Scott said well my family has been written about lately by the local Porsche Club because of our daughter.  As he explained about Kathryn the man said that this was were he heard the name before.  He and his wife have been praying for our family for the last 4 months.  He lost his son at 21 in a car accident 10 years ago.  He understood our pain.  So, they talked and Scott then gave him a tri-fold and bulletin about Kathryn.  What are the odds that he would take that with him and find someone who would appreciate it so much?

There are many people who have lost children.  And as they say there is always a silver lining.  Even though Kathryn passed away we were able to tell her we loved her and were able to comfort her and say good-bye.  Our silver lining is that we were there for her and there was no pain or suffering.  We have much to be thankful for.

Good Night

Friday, March 16, 2012

Little Memories 3-16-12

Little Memories 3-16-12

Is she messing with me?  I went into Kathryn’s room and the soft pink dog Allie had given her was moved.  Not a lot but I know exactly how I placed it on the bed and it was now moved.  I asked Scott about it and he said he hadn’t touched it.  Well I hadn’t either and it is just Scott and myself here.  So, maybe she is just doing enough each day to say she is here.  I hope I don’t sound crazy.  I keep asking for more so I can be sure.

I laid on her bed and looked up at the clouds.  I had painted clouds on her ceiling a few years ago.  She loved them.  The clouds are all animals and fun to guess what they are.  I did make all of them pretty obvious.  There is one that takes awhile to figure out and one that could be a few different things.  We always found things in the clouds in real life.  Just one of the things we did.

One of my students watched Kathryn and Richard when Scott and I went to Hawaii for a week.  Well, she sent an email and reminded me how the kids taught her to raise her when driving over railroad tracks.  Of course if you don’t you will have bad luck.  They also taught her to kiss your hand and touch the ceiling of the car when you go through a yellow light.  As a gesture of thanks for making it through the light safely.  I had forgotten about both of those.  My mind had been on such a serious track for the last 21 months that I forgot about all of these wonderful things.  Just too serious and now I need to get silly and have more fun. 

Scott and I have put together a road trip.  Matt, Kathryn’s boyfriend has agreed to stay at the house and watch things (animals) for us while we are gone.  It will be nice to get away.  I love it here but Richard won’t be coming home because he will be very busy at school and work.  So this will be a good time to go.  One of the places Kathryn had said she would like her ashes spread was Disney land.  Well we are going to make a stop there and leave some ashes.  I kind of feel weird about it myself but she did tell me this at one time.  She also said she wanted ashes spread at Camp Goodtimes.  We will do this later.

Speaking of Camp Goodtimes, Matt’s family has put together a way to support camp.  The idea is to get donations for camp in the form of water activities.  You see they own a wakeboard shop so it all fits.  They are also taking cash donations for camp as well.  I will attached their letter on the next blog.  I think this is a fabulous way to honor Kathryn and connect it to the family business. 

I have three lannies now.  Actually four but the fourth one I’m not sure about.  I will send it in and see if it can be used.  Kathryn had bought a bunch of lanny materials back in September or October so I have plenty of materials to keep going. 

Create your memories with the little things like cloud gazing, raising your feet over the railroad tracks and kissing the ceiling when going through a yellow light.   There are so many little things that belong to our memories.  Yep, all those good memories.  Enjoy creating them because you never know when the creating will come to an end and then you will only have the memories.