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.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lazy 4-30-12

Lazy 4-30-12

It was hard getting started today.  Finally Scott and I went to the store and bought a new kitchen faucet that has been broken for a while now and some flowers.  I got all of the flowers planted.  It is hard working out in the yard because it gives my mind a chance to just go.  And it goes and goes and I think about how much I miss my little girl. 

I did get all of the flowers planted and they look great.  I planted a bunch under a tree where we have some little squirrel figures.  Scott asked me if that was my squirrel tribute since I ran over one on our trip.  I never even saw the little bugger.  I only heard the thunk. .

Roady is back on Kathryn’s bed sitting with his little buddies. 

Neither Scott nor myself had a lot of energy today.  Kind of a lazy day for us. 

Richard called and said there were 14 people who stayed at our cabin and there were about 40 people there fro the bond fire.  They had a great time.

Hope I sleep better tonight.  I think I was hearing noises last night and I couldn’t sleet too well.  I should sleep well tonight.  We sat in the hot tub and it usually makes me relaxed.

Good Night

Home 4-29-12

Home 4-29-12

We hung out in Springfield Oregon for a while to see Scott’s old surf buddies.  We went to a couple of garage sales.  I found a pink wine glass to take the place of one that was broken over the summer (Cody).  They had one, just one, that was just like the ones I have.  It cost an entire dollar.  What a lucky find.

We met Scott’s friends at Shari’s.  They hadn’t seen each other in 40 years.  They talked about the good old days.  Russell has Parkinson’s.  He has had it for 20 years.  You know when you have this disease your hands usually shake.  He had a surgery in the brain (actually 2) where they burned off lesions and then did something else with some sort of wire.  Anyhow his hands don’t shake at all.  He does have trouble walking but does walk.  Not only do his hands not shake but he also took up painting two years ago.  And he is a fabulous painter.  They could sell for hundreds of dollars.  They are really good.  He paints each one for someone special in his life.  He is a true inspiration of never give up.  He took his love of surfing and need to give back and started to judge surf contests.  He couldn’t surf but he still wanted to be part of it.  Then he found painting.  He has a very positive out look on life.  He has things he wants to do and he will eventually do them all.  His friends and family are very supportive and willing to help him in any way they can.  The support he gets keeps him going.

Scott’s other friend that we met helps people who are in prison or coming out of prison.  He works for a nonprofit that puts together programs to educate and help the people develop skills they can use to become productive citizens.  They help them get back into society and feel good about themselves so they don’t turn to drugs, alcohol, violence or other things.  What a good program.

Our drive home was beautiful.  We really have a gorgeous world that God gave us.  It was tough driving.  A few times I could feel my chest tighten up and the tears come.  When we got home we were first greeted by Klyde.  He talked to me just like I thought he would.  I gave him a little piece of bacon.  He followed me around a little.  I had to go in a get the deaf dog Princess.  She came outside with all the wiggles.  She enjoyed her little bit of bacon.  Dude never moved form the bed.  I had to go upstairs to find him in his usual spot at the foot of our bed.  I gave him a hug and pet.  I think they were all happy to see us. 

Our niece, Janice, was at the house to greet us.  She had the house all clean.  That was so nice of her to make sure we came home to a clean house.  She even scooped all of the poop. 

I went into Kathryn’s room later.  This was the hard part that made me cry and question God.  She still seems so alive.  When I go to the blog and her picture comes up with that excited look on her face.  I can’t think of her as gone because she looks so alive.  How could she not be here with all of that life in her?  Most people think she had a long drawn out ordeal.  They can’t believe that the photos that we have of her just a few months before she died.  She went to Mexico with us in July.  She made the backdrop and cake for my birthday party.  She went to school and Houston and planned a big Christmas Party.  It went fast.  But I guess that is better than prolonged suffering.  The last week was hard. 

I didn’t sleep very well either and the Printer made some noises this morning around 5:45.  Kathryn just kept coming to me in my mind and I couldn’t sleep.  Once I wake it is hard to get back to sleep if I do at all.  My mind just won’t stop. 

I went through some mail and did a few other things but then I just crashed.  By 8pm I was out on the couch.  I couldn’t move.  My body was so tired.  Maybe my sleep on the couch was enough.
It’s a new day now and I’m up and ready to get some things done.

Have a Great Day!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Last Night in a Hotel 4-27-12

 Last Night in a Hotel 4-27-12

The man that was missing has been found!   I don’t know all the details but he is fine.  I got goose bumps when I heard this.

From yesterday’s blog I also received a message about a lady Julie.  You have probably heard about this story.  This is the one where the father and young son went out on the lake in the canoe and never returned.  They did find them later not alive.  Her loss is much more than I could even imagine.  She lost her entire family.  It has been 6 weeks for her.  She was at the house celebrating her birthday with friends when her husband and son went out.  I wrote a comment on her blog.  It makes me feel good to share and hopefully help her deal with her grief.

I also had a nice talk with one of our friends who has cancer.  I can’t believe how parallel her life is with Kathryn’s.  She was diagnosed with cancer at a young age and now has a secondary cancer very much like Kathryn.  Similar in that when I read about it her cancer is usually found in older men and is many times caused by previous treatments (radiation).  Kathryn’s second cancer is usually found in older men and her tumor was definitely caused by her first treatment (radiation).  Both Kathryn and our friend had been cancer free for years.  Kathryn was 11 year out and our friend 12 years out.  Both of the secondary cancers gave the girls very bad prognosis.  Both were told that cancer would come back and take their lives.  Kathryn prognosis was that she would live for months, a year if lucky and 2 years is we won the lottery.  I hoped for the best and did everything possible to not let this come true for Kathryn.  Our friend’s type of cancer said 3.5 to 4.5 but longer for younger people.  Since she is younger she could have many more years.  She is not showing any disease at this time.  I was very happy to hear this.  I just hope that the time she gets will be enough that they develop a cure.  Hope and prayers is what I have to work with.  I’m not a scientist nor a medical professional but I do know that they are working hard to find a cure for cancer and it could happen at any time.  Many people who have cancer today are saved and that was not true a decade ago.  Kathryn has inspired our friend in many ways.  Kathryn inspired her to do her recent chemo.  She believes Kathryn is guiding and helping her as she goes through this tough part of life.  As we talked I did share with her that I wished that Kathryn had not protected me so much.  I wish she would have talked to me more about any fears that she had.  I know she was strong and I truly do believe she had hope up until maybe the last couple of weeks.  I know she feared that she would die when she left the hospital.  But she didn’t talk much about it.  I told her even though it made be sad to talk to her mother about her fears she should .  At least I know I would have liked to have known more about how Kathryn was feeling. How she was truly feeling.   

Scott and I drove up the coast today to Florence Oregon.  We went by the place we took the kids way back when.  Richard had gone out with Scott to the dunes and they drove dune buggies while Kathryn and I stayed back and played putt putt golf.  I remember that I thought Richard was going to have so much fun and he would have a big smile on his face.  Well, he didn’t.  He came back mad because he had flipped over upside down and was hanging there by his seatbelts.  I think this just scared him so much that he couldn’t show how excited he really was.  It was a great trip just like all of our family trips. 

Richard is now at our cabin in Packwood.  I’m so glad we bought that place.  He is having a bunch of friends coming up and they will ski and hang out.  That is exactly why we bought it.  We bought it to build memories and have good times.  One time around Christmas Richard went out and cut down a little tree (Charlie Brown type) and Kathryn and her friend Erica decorated it.  We also hung out and played games.  This is where most of the hats were crocheted.  Lots of good times at the cabin.

We are going to visit with Scott’s friends from way back (40 years ago).  They all surfed together and hung out at a place called Tongs.  This is a place close to Waikiki.  After our visit we will head home.  Princess, Dude and Klyde will be so happy to see us.  Princess will do her little wiggle dance.  Dude will sniff everything and rub up against us and Klyde will probably do a lot of talking. 

Good Night

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Twelve Weeks 4-26-12

Twelve Weeks 4-26-12

Every Thursday marks another week since Kathryn passed away.  It has now been 12 weeks.  I can’t believe that I have been without her for 12 weeks.  I’m so glad Richard is so good about keeping in touch.  I love talking to him and hearing what he is up to.  Better than that I love it when I get to spend time with him.  He is the best son in the world. 

Today I realized that I’m so self-absorbed in my own grief that I over look how other people have been feeling.

A friend sent me a text so I called her.  She has cancer and has had 5 different cancers.  I think it is five.  See, I didn’t get the number because I was so self absorbed in my own feelings that I didn’t catch the right number for sure.  She has lost her brother and father to cancer.  I feel bad because I don’t remember if her Mom is still around.  She has been a wonderful person to know and have in my life.  I’m so fortunate to have her as a friend.  I’m concerned about her and hope that the new radiation that she will be encountering for 10 weeks works will do the trick.  Ten weeks is a lot and I need to really be there for her.  Radiation can really make you tired and just feel out of sorts.  I really need to listen better and not just think about my loss when others around me have lost loved ones too.  Yes, losing Kathryn is the worst thing in the world for me but my friends and family have lost loved ones too and I need to be open to listen and be sympathetic to them. 

I am glad to hear that my blog and my strength have helped others deal better with life and what comes their way.  My cousin has a family like mine, one boy and one girl.  Her children are grown and little older than mine.  Her daughter had twins in August.  They are beautiful.  The birth of these two little boys is very special since they (the parents) had to go through a lot to get pregnant.  Anyhow my cousin’s daughter is moving to New York because her husband’s job has him moving there.  She said she cried and cried about her daughter being so far away.  But then she thought about my daughter and me.  How could she cry and be so upset when she will be able to see her daughter at least 4 times a year and I can’t see mine at all.  She said that I’m so strong and there is no reason for her not to be strong too. 

Some one asked just the other day if I was upset or felt bad when Kathryn went off to college after she was diagnosed in April of 2010.  When she went back in September of 2010 I was happy for her.  She wanted nothing more than to be a normal college student.  That year was a good year for her and I did see every two weeks and every holiday.  She had so much fun and was able to be a normal college student.  Well, as normal as she could with having cancer and all.  It was a great year.  I even wrote in Scott’s birthday card that April 2011 “It’s a good life.”  I really thought we had it all.  Kathryn was doing well and I thought we would beat cancer once again.  We were living a very happy life.  Even though we don’t have Kathryn we are still Team Bradley and we do have a good life.  How could I ever say anything but it is a good life.  We have wonderful friends and family who love us and care about us.  We have each other and many many good memories of Kathryn. 

Right now in the news there are 2 little girls missing.  There is also a young woman (in her 20’s) missing and my friend Kathy in Houston has posted on facebook about her friends husband that is missing.  Where have they all gone?  What about the little boy missing for 33 years?  The parents never moved and never changed their phone number just in case he should come home.  That has to be the worst feeling.  I can’t imagine not knowing.  This does not compare to these situations but when I was 6 our dog went missing.  We looked all over for him.  We put an ad in the paper and drove all over looking at dogs people had found.  We never knew what happened to him and that always bothered all of us.  We felt guilt and sorrow.  Guilt for just not knowing.  I couldn’t imagine the guilt a parent feels when their child goes missing.  How do you ever get over not knowing what happened”  I would always be blaming myself and be so heavy with guilt.  I don’t know how I could ever go on.  As I have said before, I feel that Kathryn’s death was as peaceful as it could have been.  I know what happened and that she did not suffer.  This I can be grateful for.  I still pray to God to bring her back.  Some day I will probably not pray this prayer but for now I will continue to ask. 

Well, now Scott and I are in Crescent City California.  It is beautiful even though it rained.  We had a very scenic drive here.  We stopped at several places along the way just to take in the views.  There are some tall ships here in the harbor so we went and took a look at them.  They are a couple of the ships that were in Tacoma.  We figured they had to be since they were flying the Washington state flag.  We talked to one of the guys for a while.  They do a lot of traveling and will be in Westport in June.  This could be fun to do for a while. 

It is getting late and I need to get to bed.  So Good Night and Sweet Dreams.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Eureka 4-24-12

Eureka 4-24-12

We drove though the scenic mountains of California today.  It was absolutely beautiful.  You know I try so hard to not think about Kathryn being gone.  I try to just be happy and remember how wonderful we had it when she was alive.  But I can’t help it.  I just get so sad and cry.  I distracted myself by doing all but the last hour of driving but that wasn’t enough.  I really don’t know how people do this.  How do they become normal again? 

We stopped at the Black Bear CafĂ© for breakfast about 45 miles out of San Francisco.  They had a bunch of carved bears out front so Roady had to have a picture taken with his relatives.  This place was started in Shasta, Or. 

We stopped at some roadside attractions.  One was the big redwood tree that you can drive through.  Scott drove through while I took the picture.  He held Roady out of the window while in the tree.  There was a lady who thought that Roady was so cute she wanted a picture of him being held out of the window too.  I told her about Roady and how he related to Kathryn so she would have the story to go with the photo.  Picked up a couple more souvenirs for Richard and myself.  There was a box in the gift shop with a picture of little forest animals sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows.  I said to Scott, “You know who would have loved this picture.”  Kathryn of course. 

Camping at Twanoh will be difficult.  Just driving up and seeing the smoke from the campfires will be hard.  Kathryn always road with me and we would smell the campfire smoke while still on the Highway.  Oh… the campfire!  That is what we would say.  She won’t be in the truck with me this year.  We won’t look at each other when we smell the campfire and smile at each other.  Camping was something I did with Kathryn and Richard every year.   Every year we were at Twanoh with the exception of one year when it was closed.  I hurt just thinking she won’t be there around the campfire or sitting on the dock or holding the flag when we water-ski or wakeboard.  She won’t be there floating on the floaties with me.  But I will still have a good summer no matter what.  I will need to stay so busy because this will be my first summer without Kathryn.  She won’t be there to lay out in the sun with me.  So many things will not be there because she will not be there.  Tears and Sadness…..

Our second roadside attraction was “Confusion Hill”.  This is where water runs up hill and all kinds of things are off.  I rolled a golf ball down a trough and it just rolled right back up to me.  This balance of things and magnetic pulls are all different here. They say its some kind of Vortex

We pulled into Eureka at 4:30 pm.  Our room is great!  The lady at the front desk said the VIPs fight over this room.  It is very nice.  They have a limo that is free and will take you to restaurants and such around town.  So we took them up on the offer and had the limo take us to dinner.  We ate at the Seafood Grill.  The food was amazing.  Our waiter was a master at his job and the place was clean and had a nice atmosphere.  When we were picked up by the limo Scott twisted his knee getting in.  He had torn I his ACL just 3 weeks ago so this was very painful.  He feels better but now his knee is hurting.

Tomorrow our drive is very short and we have lots of sights to see.  the owner of the restaurant that we ate at gave us some good tips for our trip tomorrow.  It should be a good relaxing day of sight seeing. 

Good Night

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

San Francisco 4-23-12

San Francisco 4-24-12

We had breakfast in Solvang and then did our shopping.  In the toy store a lady was there asking the clerk about restocking certain items.  Some how Scott mentioned Kathryn to the clerk and this other lady could see my eyes well up with tears.  She was so kind.  She came over to me and gave me a big hug.  We exchanged stories.  Although her children are still alive she has been through a great deal.  Her daughter now in her 20’s was born with heart disease.  Surgery on a baby is never what a parent is hoping for.  Her daughter is alive and well but has been through it all.  She will be on meds her entire life.  Then her son who was the healthy athletic one started having seizers at 14.  He is 20 and on seizer meds for the rest of his life.  Her son is going to Europe for 4 weeks (I think).  She is so afraid that he will forget to take his meds.  If he forgets he will surely have a seizer.  This is terrifying for a parent.  After Kathryn had her radiation in June and July of 2010 a seizer was always something in the back of my mind.  I discussed this with Richard so he would be prepared if she were to have one while in Bellingham.  I had put this fear out of my mind after a while because she seemed to be doing so well.  But when she started showing symptoms in late September of 2011 I started to get nervous about the seizers again. When we got to Houston and they check her valproic acid level regularly I felt safe again.  It was always kept on target and checked regularly.  This lady has a third child who is normal and healthy and I commented on him (9 yrs old) being normal and healthy.  She said, that her first son was too and his seizers didn’t start until he was 14.  I felt like she was walking on egg shells.  I think she is also worried about the younger son developing something too.  I felt for her as she felt for me too.  I know Kathryn is safe and in Gods arms.  There are no more worries.  The clerk listened as we talked.  She said she was keeping her blinders on so she wouldn’t cry as we talked.  She was very taken by our stories.  Her eyes were filled with tears just ready to spill over.  Scott shared the blog with this lady and I hope she reads it.  Kathryn’s story is worth reading. 

We bought our toys at the toy store and went on our way.  I went to the Del Sole store.  I got a bag and nail polish.  They sell things that start out in black and white and change to color when in the sun.  They also sell nail polish that is one color in the sun and another when not in the sun.  As I was talking to the clerk I remembered we bought some of these things when in Alaska.  I bought Kathryn the polish.  I think the green she had me paint her nails while in the hospital in January was this kind.  It would have changed color when in the sun.  When I get home I will check on this polish.  I bought the silver sparkle nail polish that will turn to red sparkles in the sun (ruby slippers). Kathryn would appreciate this type with the sparkles and all.  I painted her toenails just a day or two before she passed a beautiful sparkly blue.  I don’t know if she realized it or not.  I think so.  I talked to her as I prepared her nails and as I painted them.  I explained to her where the nail polish came from (her cousin Emily) and how it was a deep blue with sparkles.  I also talked about how beautiful her little toes looked.  We showed them off too.  She would love to have other people see how beautiful they were. 
Scott was feeling a little better this morning but not up to driving to San Francisco.  I drove whole way.  I like to drive because it distracts me from thinking about how much I miss Kathryn.  I sill cried a little while driving but not as much as I would have if I were the passenger.  The landscape was so pretty.  The hills were green.  There were tons of vineyards.  The hills were filled with perfect rows of grapes vines. 

When we arrived in San Francisco it was rush hour (4 pm).  Somewhere our directions went wrong.  We called the hotel and the directions they would give were frustrating.  Turn left on 4th, but there is not left turn allowed and there were more directions like this. Or this road is for buses and taxies only.  I don’t know how but Scott got me there.  Oh, the hills too.  Did I mention we are driving a car with a clutch and the hills are very steep.  When we got there I went in to check in and find out about parking.  I had to sign some paper work.  At that time I realized I was really shaken.  My hand was shaking and I couldn’t believe it.  The guys at the desk were very helpful and did a great job of calming me down.

Our mission in San Francisco was to see Scott’s cousin Laura.  She met us at a bar/restaurant very near our hotel.  We just walked.  We don’t plan on driving until we drive to the freeway.  There was live music that we all enjoyed.  Our visit with Laura was wonderful.  This is only the 2nd time Scott has seen Laura in his life.  We were so fortunate that she was able to make it to my birthday party in August.  She was able to meet Kathryn and all of us for the first time.  I gave her a painting in August that we had that her Grandma Vernie had painted.  She mentioned this painting tonight.  I was so happy to be able to share one of Vernie’s paintings with her.  We also introduced Roady to her.  We talked about Kathryn and she had brought with her the tri-fold, and bulletin from Kathryn’s celebration.  And a thank you.  She said she reads them often to keep her focused on what is important in life.  Kathryn knew that being happy and not worrying about things you have no control over was the way to live. 

Off to bed – Hoping Scott feels more normal tomorrow. 

Good Night                                                                                                        

Monday, April 23, 2012

Solvang 4-23-12

Solvang 4-23-12

We drove along the coast today from Anaheim to Solvang.  It was a nice drive and not too long.  There were some really nice sites to see.  The ocean was beautiful.  We saw surfers and one guy doing stand up paddling.  The towns along the coast were cute. Huge houses on the hills over looking the ocean.  As we drove through the beautiful mountains we received a call From Richard.  He calls regularly to check on us.  We call him too.  We talk everyday.  I was driving and when Scott finished talking to Richard I started to cry.  I couldn’t help but hear Kathryn’s sweet little voice in my mind saying, “Hey how ya doing?”  She would be calling to see how we are doing on our trip too.  I miss that sweet little voice.

Thanks goodness we arrived in Solvang early (3:30) because by 6:00 all the little shops were closed.  This town is a Dutch town.  All of the buildings remind you of the chalets in the Alps.  Very cute!.  For those of you who have been to Leavenworth it is like Leavenworth but bigger.  We found a bakery for Scott and tomorrow we will take a look in the chocolate stores and more bakeries.  We also went into a toy shop.  We found some things there that we will pick up for Richard and us.  Of course there were toys that Kathryn would have loved.  The little wind up toys and animals.  Then the sock store.  Kathryn was referred to as socks back in middle school.  It was the way she rebelled against the strict dress code.  She would wear her red, white or blue polo and a denim skirt with her brightly striped socks.  My Dad would remember this.  He had a story about Kathryn and her socks that he loved to share with everyone. 

We went to dinner at the Red Viking.  It was a Dutch restaurant. We shared the veil.  We also looked at each other and agreed the shops were tough to go through.  Thinking of Kathryn as we looked through the shops is difficult not to do and it makes both of us realize our reality.  It’s really rough when that reality hits.  It’s like a slap in the face.

Scott saw two older ladies eating dinner together.  He said, “I think they are sisters.”  Then he said to me as we were checking out, “We should buy their dinner.”  I said, “sure.”  So, the girl had picked up their money and was at the cash register and we told her to give them back their money and we would pay for it.  Only one lady was at the table at this time and after taking care of her bill she called over to me a big thank you.  I walked over and gave her a hug.  I asked if she was with her sister and she said yes.  I said I was glad she had a sister to share with and she said she was too.  I said this because I wish Richard still had a sister to share his life with.  We saw them a little later as we walked down the street and they thanked us again.  It felt good to make them so happy.

After our walk we took a little drive.  The hills are so beautiful.  We saw a bunch of dear but no bunnies.  I kept looking for the little guys and none anywhere.  There was also a ranch where you could rent cute bunk houses.  The horses were really thick horses.  I’m sure they do trail riding up in the hills where we saw all of the dear.  We also drove through a small residential area with gorgeous houses that have outstanding views. 

Then we sat in the hot tub when we got back to the condo.  Later Scott got a little upset (tears) and he said the thought of Kathryn being gone just creeps up on him and really upsets him sometimes. But then he got dizzy and boy he didn’t look good.  I hope he is better in the morning.   Don’t worry, he is sleeping well right now and I am sure he will be fine in the morning.

Good Night

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Our Day in Anaheim

Our Day in Anaheim 4-21-12

We decided not to go to Disneyland but instead we went to Huntington Beach.  We reminisced about our time in Disneyland and Disneyworld.  We all went to Disneyworld back in approximately 1995 with my Mom and Dad.  Kathryn was wearing a Minnie Mouse shirt and when she saw Minnie Mouse she looked down at her shirt and took her little hands and squeezed the Minnie Mouse on it.  She was so excited.  She also got sick on that trip.  We were out to dinner in a horse arena to watch the Arabian Horse show and during dinner she got sick and threw up all over my Dad.  I took her to the bathroom and Richard ran in not caring that it was the ladies room.  His concern was for his sister. 

Scott and I also talked about our separate times with Kathryn at Disneyland.  I took her back in 2004.  I was asked to do an infomercial and I said I would if Kathryn could come with me and they would pay for a couple of days in Disneyland for us.  They agreed and we had a fabulous time.  Kathryn’s relay team raised so much money one year that she was given a free airline ticket to anywhere in the US.  Of course she chose Disneyland.  Scott took Kathryn and her boyfriend Ryan in about 2007.  I think going into Disneyland would have been too hard right now.  I probably would have cried just walking through the gates. 

Just going to the gift shop was hard.  The multicolored bean filled animals would have attracted Kathryn.  She would have liked the turtle and she would have wanted to buy the dragon for Lexie.  I think it is Lexie who she always said liked dragons.  The Minnie Mouse bags, the Disney mugs, the Disney sweatshirts and the Disney travel mugs would all be things that Kathryn would like.  Of course being her Mom I would have to limit the spending.  Pick one!

So, we went to Huntington Beach and watched the surfers.  We walked out on the pier.  We also watched some young men do break dancing, Flips,  and jumping over several people at a time.  The one guy could really twist up his body.  I couldn’t help but think about how Kathryn would have loved watching and playing volleyball on the beach – Richard too.  Kathryn use to talk about living in California where it was warm.  She hated being cold.  I’m sure glad she stuck around Washington. 

When we came back we went to the rooftop and sat in the hot tub.  Both of our kids would have appreciated this.  It was very nice.  We were the only people there. 

We had dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen.  While there I showed Scott a really cute picture that I had found on my phone last night.  I usually don’t use my phone for pictures but when we were in Houston at the aquarium we forgot the camera.  So last night for some strange reason I was looking up pictures on my phone and there were several pictures from Houston.  The one I shared with Scott was of Kathryn and Richard on the Merry-Go-Round.  She was so full of life.  They were having a good time being silly.  Then there were pictures of the two of them petting the stingrays.  I’m so glad we have always taken pictures.  My mind always goes back to the viewing when I think of Kathryn.  As I knew it would.  You see I can repaint things in my mind pretty well.  I can see my grandma in the casket in front of the church to this day.  I can picture my Dad in his bed too.  I try not to picture the images of them dead in my mind but they just appear in detail.  My mind probably goes to the viewing of Kathryn because that was my last vision of her.  The photos help me erase this vision and replace it with more pleasant ones.  Photos help me remember her happy and vibrant.  I wish we had more video. 

We took a little walk after dinner so we could buy Richard a little souvenir and something for breakfast.  We also needed to walk off our dinner. 

It was a quiet day and all three of us are in bed.  We hope to get going kind of early so we can spend a fair amount of time in Solvang tomorrow.  I have never been there and am looking forward to it.

Good Night

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Leaving LaPaloma

Leaving LaPaloma 4-20-12

We had a beautiful breakfast on the patio over looking the pools this morning.  The little birds were flying about.  When the people at the table next to us left about 10 birds landed on the table and started feasting on the left over toast and fruit.  Kathryn would have loved the little birds.  We used our extra toast to make P&J sandwiches for the ride.  After breakfast we went for a swim.  It was already very hot (closing in on 100).  The swim was great!  We sat by the pool for a while then checked out the gift shopped.  While going through the gift shop it was hard not to think about what I should get for Kathryn.  She would have loved the hats with the sparkles in them.  She would have loved the Christmas ornaments that were cacti decked out with Christmas lights.  I bought the ornament that I thought she would have liked.  Maybe she would have liked another one better but this one was light in weight and will hang on the tree better.  It is glass and will glow nicely with the lights on the tree. I almost bought the hat too but I didn’t want to overspend.  Then we packed up and headed out.

We were approximately one hour out form our next destination when we ran into a serious traffic issue.  Both lanes going in our direction came to a stop and then just crept along.  Slowly we made it to the site of the accident.  A tracker trailer and a pick –up pulling a huge barbeque with a big  sign on top had run into each other.  Who knows who cut who off.  They were off the road but you know how people just have to stop to take a look.  It added over an hour to our driving time.  Oh, we were in the middle of the desert and the temp was over 100.  Thank goodness for AC.

We are staying at my cousin’s house in Anthems.  It has a gorgeous country club and the house is fabulous.  We ran into a couple of problems.  The first pool was closed for a Luau.  The second pool said we had to have a guest pass and we didn’t.  So we didn’t get to swim.  Oh well.

We had a wonderful dinner with my cousin Ethan Nightengale and his girlfriend Melinda.  It was a very nice evening.  Ethan is a nice young man.  He just lost his Dad in a car accident not even a year ago.  Two years or so ago his Mom died.  He just has his sister now.  The two of them are having issues over stuff.  I hate to see it when siblings have a hard time getting things divided up when the parents pass away.  Some times the stuff should just be handled by an outside person who can just follow the will and not have any feelings involved.  They only have each other and stuff isn’t nearly as important as having your family together.  Richard would have given his life for Kathryn.  He would have done anything God asked him to do if only he would have saved her.  I know he prayed and offered whatever it would take to keep his sister alive. 

Tomorrow we will have breakfast with Ethan’s sister Diane and her husband Vince.  I hope I can impress upon her the importance of having Ethan close to her.  I don’t want to get mixed up in the handing out the stuff just helping her remember that her brother is blood and he is her family forever.  They should be looking out for each other.  I’m glad that Scott’s family handled this pretty well. 

I didn’t cry about Kathryn until tonight.  Sometimes the tears just flow and they are like a steady stream down my face.  When I realize it is all for real I get so upset.  I wanted so badly to call her while we were driving today.  I wanted to share what we have been doing and tell her about the little birds at breakfast.  I wanted to share about the hummingbirds I saw this morning and all the little bunnies I saw this evening.  There were a dozen wild bunnies on the T-box this evening as we drove by.  Bunnies are everywhere here.  She would have wanted to coax them with some food and get them to eat out of her hands.  I really miss her. 

Getting away has been good.  I shared with Ethan and Melinda the time when our dog was hit by a car and died.  We didn’t have any children at the time so they were our children.  When Cruiser died we were so sad that we had to leave the house.  We took the loop around the peninsula for several days.  We took our other dog Ellee who was Cruiser’s mom with us.  As we were heading home and about 10 miles out we looked at each other and cried.  When we did get home Ellee looked all through the house for Cruiser.  She was sad too.

I’m going to wash the tears from my face and get to bed.

Good Night

We had a wonderful breakfast with my cousin Diane and her husband Vince this morning.  Well more of a snack.  I do think Diane is really feeling the stress of losing both of her parents so close together.  I reminded her that her brother is her family and he will always be family.  I just told her that I hope that she and her brother will come to terms and love each other like their parents would want them to.  Family is the most important thing.  Stuff is just that – Stuff.  I also sent her a the quote form Kathryn, “A minute upset is 60 seconds wasted.”  I feel so bad for the two of them.  They seem to be lost but I think Diane is realizing that she can do things differently and it will help her be happy.

Speaking of happy – This trip is helping me find my happiness that is for sure.  I will never stop missing Kathryn and I will probably cry about my loss but I can also be happy they way she would want me to be.

Scott and I arrived in Anaheim around 4:30.  When we got 81 miles out of LA we saw the smog.  Scott couldn’t believe it.  He kept asking me is that really smog?  I kept saying, yep that is smog.  And the traffic.  Oh my goodness.  There were 6 lanes of traffic completely filled with cars fro as far as you could see.  Scott said, “It’s a sea of cars.”  It looked kind of neat because it was going in the opposite direction.

Before we saw smog when driving through Palm Desert we saw hundreds and hundreds of windmills.  I thought there were a lot in Eastern Washington.  No there are not a lot in Eastern Washington when you compare it to this area.  And it was 103 to 105 most of the way. 

While we were checking in I noticed a small Disney shop.  Of course Kathryn came to mind.  She loved Disneyland and the Disney store.  When it was in the Tacoma Mall we always went into the Disney store.  I have been using her Mini Mouse bag lately.  It is beautiful.  We bought when she and I went to Disneyland together back in 2003 or 2004.  We had such a good time.  At California Adventures we road the big roller coaster over and over until we got the perfect photo.  There were no lines at all.  I think we road it at least 12 times in a row.  We knew ever turn and just where the camera was. 

No accidents to slow us down today.  Thank goodness for that. 

We are off to dinner now.  I will blog again tomorrow night now that I have Internet.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Driving the Lotus 4-19-12

Driving the Lotus 4-19-12

Sorry for not writing yesterday.  Scott and I got into Tucson (4-18) just with enough time to clean up and go to dinner.  Our drive was great.  It was much shorter that the one from Nampa Idaho to Vegas.  Our dinner was really something.  It was part of the package that Scott purchased at the LeMay Auction.  We ate in a private wine cellar with the people who put this all together.  We had delicious food, delightful wine and wonderful conversations.  The people we were having dinner with were people we had never met before.  As we spent time with them it was like we had know them all for a long time.  One of the ladies had lost her husband to Lou Gehrigs’ disease.  So she really understood about being a caretaker.  Only she took care of her husband for over two years.  We both agreed that this disease and the way Kathryn’s tumor affected her were very similar.  Thank goodness ours was not so long.  She asked if we had read “Heaven is For Real”.  She said it really helped her out with dealing with the loss of her husband.  We have read it and it is a very good book. The frustrations must be so hard for the one who is in this condition.  We had dinner with Dominic Dobson (a former Inde racecar driver),  Tom and Ann Marie Hedges of Hedges Wine Vineyard, CJ and Graham Doland (owners of Inde Motorsports Park),  and Brad Green and his girlfriend Lisa.  Brad owns the Lotus that we drove and a very nice outgoing guy. Roady went to dinner with us and every one loved him!

Today we ordered room service for breakfast.  We were out late last night and we planned to leave for the track at 7:30.  We all drove about 70 miles to this private racecar track.  You can become a member and get a garage to keep your car in for $50,000 and then you would have annual dues.  

When e got there we were given a tour of the facilities.  The frig full of drinks was open to us.  Then we drove.  Let me tell you there is nothing like being the only car on the track.  First we drove around the track in a couple of SUV to familiarize everyone with the track.  It has 21 turns, blind turns and some elevation changes.  It is a very technical track.  Then I went out in Tim’s Porsche.  He went with me to instruct me.  He was a great instructor.  I drove until I became tired.  The track was all ours for the day.  Scott went out with  Dominic Dobson and they learned the track together.  He drove the Lotus that belongs to Brad.  We took turns driving.  I drove the lotus with Scott and then with Dominic.  All three of them, Tim, Scott and Dominic helped me improve each time around.  I got pretty darn fast.  Both Dominic and Scott pushed me and taught me how to go faster. 

We had a beautiful lunch at the track..  At one point while we were all just standing around after lunch this small jet flew right in front of us long the straight away.  Then it came by us again.  It belongs to Brad and he called his pilot and told them to do this low fly by.  It was great.  Roady had a good time too.  He even rode with me on my last 6 laps around the track.  Then we were treated to dinner again; this time by Tom Hedges.

I have been able to talk about Kathryn with out completely crying and I think this is progress.  I did get a little choked up but didn’t have the tears running down my cheeks.  I only cried a little by myself.

I received an email the other day from my friend who lost her daughter 5 years ago.  She talked about not going to church so much now because she just cries.  That is exactly how it is for me she said the music and songs all make her cry.  Me too!  I can’t do it.  I know that I should be seeking out God’s help now more than ever but I can’t do this by attending church.  So I think both she and I will be attending very few church services for a while.

I’m pooped so off to bed I go.
Good NIght