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.