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, June 30, 2012

Dinner with my son 6-30-12

Dinner with my son 6-30-12

Yesterday I cleaned house madly in the morning so I could make the 12:35 ferry to Vashon for camp.  I rushed out of the house after chatting quickly with Scott’s sister, Brother-in-law and nephew.  They had stopped by for some tickets to the Historics which is a car show and race at Pacific Raceways.  This is a huge fundraiser for Children’s Hospital and we go every year.  We usually see Kathryn’s neurosurgeon there, as he is big into cars and races himself.  Anyhow I had to rush off and was not able to spend much time with them at all.

So I get to the ferry and other people are in line.  The time is 12:35, which is sailing time and the ferry is still there not taking on any cars.  There was still a tanker truck on the ferry and they seemed to be maneuvering the ferry around like they were trying to get it to line up with the landing better.  At 12:45 I got out of the car to ask a couple of people if there was a 12:35 ferry and each person seemed to think there was.  So being who I am I walked down to the ferry booth and asked.  No ferry until 1:40.  The 12:35 is only on weekends.  Thank goodness the Taste of Tacoma was going on.  I walked up to the park and checked it out. 

Once I arrived at camp I was put to work.  We had to pack up all of the Arts and Crafts stuff.  There is a lot of stuff.  Dinner at camp was outside for Bar-b-Que.  And then the dance.  Wow!  The kids love the dance.  The staff decorated the place so great and everyone was all dressed up.  I was in charge of the tattoo table.  I’m not sure who liked getting tattoos better the staff or the campers. 

After the dance everyone headed up to the other building.  We watched a slide show.  It was made up of pictures some of the campers had taken during their photography sessions and pictures taken by the adult photographers of campers.  What I really noticed is how the kids and staff cheered for all of the campers.  The cheers were extremely loud for the campers with the most medical problems.  It was wonderful.  At the end of the slide show there are some long good-byes and this is when campers shed a great deal of tears.  They love each other and camp so much that it is hard to see it come to an end. 

So today (Saturday) was one of those lazy days.  I was pretty tired because I got home late.  I think the emotional part of camp makes me tired too.  I took Princess for a walk and did a little laundry.  I also went shopping but most of all I waiting to see Richard.

Richard came home for a short spell and had dinner with us.  I thought a lot about him this week knowing camp would be difficult for him as it would be his first time without Kathryn.  He has a lot of people there who love him and are watching out for him.  I’m very thankful for that.  A couple of days ago I laid on his bed thinking about him.  When Kathryn was really sick towards the end he laid backwards in his bed so he could hear us better in her room.  He was always ready to jump up and help if needed in the middle of the night.  Back to dinner.  I love having him here.  I love that we all sat down to dinner and he shared with us things about camp.  I love hearing what he did and how things went for him.  We had such a nice time just talking at the dinner table.  Just like old times. 

I talked to one of Richard’s friends on the ferry last night.  I said to her at one point in the conversation, “I hate change.”  I have said this before.  I know change happens but I like my life to be consistent and have the people around me that I love.  I don’t like people to go away and make things different.  But we have to deal with change as it comes.  As she and I talked tonight happiness came up.  We all make our own happiness.  I shared with her the time Kathryn had told me that her boyfriend had taken her happiness away when he broke up with her.  I told her that no one can take your happiness and that you make your own happiness.  Your happiness is inside of you and only you have control over it. 

I saw Richard off as he headed to Seattle for the Camp Staff party.  As I stood there her pointed out a panda pin that was pinned to his nametag.  He asked me if I saw it.  I said that I had noticed it earlier in the week.  One of the staff had given it to him and she also had one for his girlfriend Bee.  He remembered that this same girl gave me a panda necklace earlier this week too.  I was glad that he had pointed this out to me.  I will see him soon as we are going to the Sounders game on the 7th.  He is bringing Lauren with him.  She is a sweet girl and she is looking forward to it.  It will be a fun night.  It will be good for all of us to go out and have fun.

Tomorrow Scott and I are going to the Historics.  It will be fun.  I like walking through the pits.  Scott knows so many of the people.  There is always a famous driver there.  I had my picture taken with Bobby Unser one time.  Scott will bring his helmet that he gets signed by all these famous guys.  Who knows, maybe it will be worth a few bucks some day.  Enough to retire!  Ha! Ha!

Take Care – Good Night

Thursday, June 28, 2012

22 Weeks 2-28-12

22 Weeks 2-28-12

Last night I watched a show called “Final Witness”.  It was a pretty horrific show.  Two men had broken into a home and killed the entire family and then set the house on fire.  The father actually lived through all of it and crawled through the woods to a neighbor’s house.  This was a true story too.  Things like this make me feel lucky. 

The story got worse.  The 16 year old daughter was the one who arranged this to happen to her family.  How could a young girl who loved her family so much turn on them for a boy.  Again this makes me feel lucky.

As I went to bed Scott was already sleeping.  There he was laying in bed with Kathryn’s pink little blanket draped over him.  Sometimes just having something of Kathryn’s touching you makes you feel better. 

Today is another Thursday that marks another week (22 weeks).  I handled it ok.  I worked in the yard and this is quiet time and you know that is thinking time.  It’s always been thinking time for me.  It use to be the time I would barter with God.  I would make promises to have him heal Kathryn.  I would offer myself in place of her.  I would beg him to give me her cancer and set her free.  I would try to make him understand that she was too good to go and I was not good enough to stay.  Now the talk is different.  Now I ask why.  I ask to have her back.  I remind him that he can do anything so why not bring Kathryn back to us.  We all need her and want her.  I see things and remember – remember times with Kathryn.  I lay in the warm sun and think of how man times we laid in the warm sun together.  She and I would sun bathe together all the time. 

Tomorrow I will go to camp to help clean up Arts and Crafts.  Then I’m helping with the dance.  That should be fun.

I also talked to a friend who was on the Boata with the campers on Tuesday.  She said Matt was a rare first timer to really get camp right off the bat.  He was dancing and having fun.  The campers were chanting his name.  He is having the time of his life.  I told my friend that he gets camp because he had a wonderful role model (Kathryn).  I’m sure after hearing her stories about camp and what they all do at camp he probably felt pretty comfortable at camp, like he had already been there.  I’m so glad he loves it.

Today was also June’s (Scott’s Mom) birthday.  We lost her on Jan 2nd 2011.

Good Night

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Camp 6-27-12

Camp 6-27-12

On Tuesday after I had my screaming and crying session, well the crying lasted al day but the screaming stopped.  I sat down and paid bills.  I knew I was going to come across one that was going to bother me.  It was a $200 hospital bill for Kathryn.  She had been on a plan where she didn’t have to pay co-pays for a while due to her small income.  But I hadn’t filled out the paper work that must be done every 90 days.  So I called and asked about the bill and if I could get it reduced and also explained that Kathryn was on that plan before and also that she had passed away.  The lady was so sweet; She said there was nothing to pay and if any other bills came my way to call her.  She had me take down her name, number and extension.  Bridget made this go so much better than I thought it would go.  She made me feel better and helped my day take a turn for the better.  I guess this is a lesson in remembering to treat people well in any situation as you just don’t know what they are going through and you could make a difference like Bridget did for me.

I went to Michaels to get some decorative stuff to make myself an apron for Arts and Crafts.  Everyone else had a really cool apron so I thought I should make one too.   It turned out nice.  I will do some touch ups later but pretty nice for a quick job.

My Mom came over around 5 and then Scott, My Mom and I all went to Anthony’s for dinner.  Monday was our 29th anniversary so this was our anniversary dinner. Scott had bought me a beautiful necklace and bracelet.  Mom bought us dinner.  We had a lovely evening and drive through the 5 mile drive at Pt. Defiance.

At camp today I was gifted a camp Sweatshirt and a t-shirt.  I was really excited and happy to receive both of them.  Thanks Rocksie for working this out for me.  We did a great deal of organizing for the office and then Arts and Crafts in the afternoon.  I started about 25 lannies today.  I enjoyed doing this since this was Kathryn’s (Panda’s) deal.  I’m so happy she showed me how to make the more advanced ones.  I hope to carry on for her in her honor.  Oh, the young lady who was taking photos Monday that told me how bad she felt for me the and how much she liked Panda was wearing a Panda shirt in Panda’s honor today.  I thanked her and gave her a hug. 

I wasn’t expecting to be at camp for dinner, but Scott was still in Packwood so I stayed.  The girls (Gypsy, Rocksie and Ginger) all helped me find something special to wear.  So I went to dinner as a brunet.  It was Italian Night and dinner featured Lasagna.  It was good too!

I want to thank the person who wrote about being mad and wanting to scream when this person thinks about Kathryn being gone.  I think you are right that there are many people who feel this way.  There are many people who feel they have been ripped off and that God has not dealt us a fair hand.  It is a real shitty deal and I thank you for sharing your feelings with me. 

I also want to thank my friend who also shared her experience as she has walked in my shoes.  As I shared with her I think I would feel guilty if I ever came to accept Kathryn’s death.  I also shared that Camp is good for me.  It helps me keep that connection with Kathryn and it also allows me to keep her spirit alive.  I never want it to dime. 

Time for bed – Good night

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Highs and Lows 6-26-12

Highs and Lows 6-26-12

Yesterday at Camp Goodtimes it was a very good high.  I caught the 8:25 ferry to Vashon Island.  On my way I was listening to talk radio and then decided to change it to music.  I couldn’t.  I just knew the music would get to me so I turned it back to talk radio.  I didn’t want to have anything make me cry.  The ferry is quiet which would allow me to think.  Thinking is usually a good thing but not for me these days.  I got out of the car and walked up to the upper deck and called my Mom.  I enjoy talking with her.  She shared with me that my niece sees Kathryn’s face all the time.  My niece also said that Kathryn was the nicest person.  Kathryn never said anything bad about anybody.  The two of them only had good times; they never ever had harsh words.  I feel so bad for my niece as she tried to get home to see Kathryn.  She is in the military.  Her plane landed about the moment Kathryn took her last little breath.  Mom helped me pass the quiet time on the ferry too so I wouldn’t think.  Once I arrived at camp I was ok.

Everyone was just finishing breakfast when I arrived.  I met up with people and just talked and then headed to my position in Arts and Crafts.  I worked with Rocksie, Ginger and Gypsy.  All three ladies are amazing.  They run the Arts and Crafts like a well ran ship.  We had several cabins come in and they decorated their nametags, decorated little backpacks, painted turtle banks, made lannies, made duct tape wallets, and others things too.  I started lannies for five boys in cabin 2 so they could work on them during cabin time.  When I walked the lannies over to them they were so grateful.  That is something I noticed all day.  The kids were all so grateful and so polite.  They said please and thank you all the time.  At one point I had a little boy who had asked for more pain and he rephrased how he had asked because apparently he didn’t think he had chosen polite enough words.  Out came “Flower, May I please have some more blue paint.”  I also noticed that the counselors were very good about saying thank you and setting a good example for the campers to follow. 

Two boys really stood out for me yesterday.  Wouldn’t you know that being a Junior High teacher I would notice the older campers more than the younger campers?  This one boy just had a personality that just drew you to him.  He likes to talk but appropriately and not too much but just enough.  He is funny in just the way I enjoy young people.  He had a beautiful smile and just so friendly.  He knew Panda and told me he really liked her and thought she was so nice.  He even shared his sour patch kids with me later on in the evening. 

The second boy collected and shared wishing rocks.  What are wishing rocks you ask?  Well they are the ones that have a line that goes around them.  Usually they are grey and have a white line or two that go around them.  For every line there is a wish.  He likes to give them to people so they can make wishes.  In the evening at Casino Night he was not involved and one of the nurses sat down to play cards with him.  I was just roaming so they asked me to play.  We had so much fun.  He taught us how to play 13.  Richard and Kathryn had taught me years ago and I wasn’t so good at it.  We only played a few times so I had forgotten how to play.  The nurse was called away and we found another person to play then another.  We played until closing.  It was a great time and I think everyone won at least one hand.  Some of you may already know that I am pretty competitive.  So when I won a hand I got pretty excited!  What a great way to end my day.
I need to add that the nurses are so great.  They get really into camp.  And they help out with all kinds of things.  They are really good about stepping in to help even outside of the med shed.  They see a need and they are there.  Well, the entire staff is great!  Team work all the way.  

I also met a young girl who was taking photos as an activity that Mooselips organizes, as he is a professional photographer.  I had told her I was Panda’s Mom and she said, “I’m so sorry.”  It looked as though she was going to cry.  She told me how much she loved Panda and what an amazing person she was.  How kind and friendly she was and always so happy.  I love hearing these things.  It really makes me feel so good that my daughter was so wonderful and loved and admired by so many people.

Richard (Loop) was talking to Rainbow Bright about when he should wear his dinosaur costume.  It does need to be a time when it would be appropriate.  He’s going to look so good in it.  I can’t wait.  I hope it is while I am there.  As I left camp I was talking with some staff members and asked them to get picture of Loop in is dino costume if I’m not there when he wears it. 

To answer the question about Richard reading my blog, no he doesn’t read it.  At least that is what I have been told.  If there were something in it for him to know his girlfriend Bee would fill him in because she reads it.  He isn’t an Internet user like some.  He really doesn’t use face book or even email much.  Yes, he is a young person of the Internet age but he is not much of a user.  He’s a doer.  He is busy doing things.  Much to busy to be sitting. 

At dinner they had an 80’s theme.  Kids and counselors all dressed up.  They have this costume room attached to Arts and Crafts where the counselors would bring their campers to get things to wear.  So fun to watch!  Experienced campers and counselors come prepared with loads of fun things to wear.  I wasn’t prepared for this so I too found a beautiful dress from the costume room.  I was prepared for casino night and received some nice compliments on my outfit.  The tie I wore Gypsy found in the costume room for me.  It matched my hot pink hat and just topped off the outfit. 

There were only four cars on the ferry ride home.  I did the same thing as I did on my way over in the morning.  I called Scott and then my Mom. Idol thought time is no good.  We made plans to go out to dinner tonight (Tuesday), as Monday was our 29th anniversary.  Twenty-nine years is darn good.  Highs and lows all the way but we power through.  Some people get to a low and give up.  We are not people who give up or lose hope too easily.  We work through those things, as no ones life is perfect.  We have had so many happy and good times that those are the things we remember most and cherish.  Like our neighbor lady said, “Remember the good times, remember the good times.” 

The low came this morning.  I was doing great when I woke up and had breakfast but then It hit me when I went upstairs to get my stuff to pay bills and the cord to download pictures.  I just broke down.  I screamed at God.  I begged him to bring Kathryn back.  I yelled at him at how unfair it was that he took such a beautiful person from this world or allowed it to happen.  I told him he was suppose to heal her not let her die.  I threw myself across her bed and cried and screamed.  I thought about the quilt I was lying on as Kathryn and I picked out the different fabrics for me to make it.  How we also chose the fabric for the pillowcases.  I looked up to her closet, which has no doors, and at her cute little dresses and pictured her in them.  I admired her art on the garbage can.  It is so fun and playful just like she was. I looked at the ceramic dolls I gave her for every birthday through 18.   I told God he took too much from me.  I don’t know that I can handle it like others who have before me.  He took a huge chunk of happiness from my life.  Why?  I told him he could do anything and why not bring her back?  I cried so hard that I threw up.  I have such a BIG empty spot that I can’t stand.  I know it is part of the process but I hate this.  This crying and hurt.  I hate having my eyes burn and puff from the tears and my nose plug up from the well the snot.  I just want our foursome back.  It was perfect in every way.  I hate this too.  I should be happy for everything I have but I feel so ripped off.  My whole family and the world have been short changed. 

I don’t want to end on such a downer so what can I say… I’m adding some fun photos hopefully to make it better.  If I have time today I’m going to make an apron for Arts and Crafts.  I may make some other Flower things.  We’ll see if time permits.  Michaels may be a good place to go today and Johann Fabrics.

Later Gaters!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Camp Registration 6-23-12

Camp Registration 6-23-12

This morning I got up and got ready to go to Camp Goodtimes.  Yes, a bittersweet thing to do.  Kathryn should have been going to camp not me.  This was her special place in the world with no words of cancer and no Mom there with a concerned look on her face just there having the time of her life.

Nancy came with us.  Now I understand why Matt is such an amazing young man.  Nancy is a wonderful woman.  I enjoyed spending time with her.  Matt (Kodiak) was at camp and her looked like he had been going to camp for years.  He was having a great time.  Nancy took on the name (Gris). 

When we arrived at camp Scott (Scooter), Nancy (Gris) and me (Flower) we were all greeted with love and hugs.  This is what the camp family is all about.  The energy was amazing.  Everyone was working to get everything perfect for the arrival of the campers.  I spent time in the Arts and Crafts shed and met Rocksie.  She is a fabulous woman.  Richard (Loop) told me how special she was and how much he liked her and now I know why.  She had this huge beautiful nametag made for me.  I was so surprised. 

I ran Scott back to the ferry and then came back for my registration orientation.  Nancy and I worked on the A-C group.  There are a ton of papers to check off.  We had to check for signatures and copies of insurance cards.  It was fun to meet the kids and parents.

I did present the costumes to Mooselips and Richard today.  I do have pictures and will post them on Tuesday.  It’s late now and I have to catch an early ferry.  And I have to figure our how to post pictures on the blog.  Mooselips wore his all day and it fit great!  Richard and his co-counselor had already made a plan to wear suits so he didn't have a chance to wear his yet.  He also knew about it as someone let the cat out of the bag.  Oh, well...

Tonight as I walked Princess around the neighborhood I thought about the last real walk Kathryn and I took around the neighborhood.  It was September 22, 2011 and she told me that she was walking funny.  She had an MRI that was inconclusive.  But she knew and I knew that the funny step in her walk was not good.  They said it could be brain tissue that had died from the radiation.  They didn’t know for sure that it was tumor but I think we both did.  We enjoyed our walk and she took my arm to stay steady.  I miss those walks with her as I did tonight.  I looked at the beautiful sky and watched the swallow dive.  I thought of what we would be saying about the beautiful sky.  How we would talk about how cool it is the way the swallows dive.  Then I saw the crows that fly over every night.  Kathryn and I counted 1500 of them flying over one night.  We loved to watch them fly over. 

So many memories….

Tomorrow I will be doing Arts and Crafts in Kathryn’s honor.  Because of all the donations we received from friends and family they dedicated the Arts and Crafts shed to her.  The made a huge plague that reads, “Kathryn Panda Bradley”.  It hangs over the Arts and Crafts Shed.  What a wonderful tribute to my wonderful daughter.
I hope to carry on her fun loving personality by helping kids at camp.

Off to bed.  Good Night

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dinner with Friends 6-23-12

Dinner with Friends 6-23-12

Well yesterday after I wrote the blog my day really turned.  I saw a note on Facebook to Richard because he had left his up on the computer.  I didn’t realize that I was on his page.  Anyhow it was a note about Camp and it being a bitter sweet deal.  Then I went to Kathryn’s page and read notes from friends about camp.  Kathryn was so afraid back in December that she may not make it to camp.  I remember her talking about it and what position she would have and having a quiver in her voice and a tear just about to roll down her cheek.  All of this really got to me.  I cried and cried and cried.  Then I looked through photos for my Mom and I cried more.  My entire afternoon was one sad event.  I had housework to do and I could barely move.  I worked on it slowly one thing at a time.  I really had to push myself to get things going.  It was so hard.  What should have taken about three hours or maybe four took me seven or eight. 

Today (Friday) was a much better day.  The rain was something else.  I had to go to the store for some things for dinner and when I walked into the store I got so wet it looked like I had just stepped out of the shower.  I had three girlfriends from elementary and Junior high over.  They brought their husbands too.  We had played fast pitch together and soccer too.  It was a very nice reunion.  Dinner was fabulous!  Everyone brought a little something.  What a great evening.

So, tomorrow morning I will be heading out with Scott and Nancy to Camp Goodtimes.  Nancy is Matt’s Mom.  Matt is Kathryn’s boyfriend.  Matt is a staff member at camp for the first time this year.  His camp name is Kodiak.  He told me Kathryn gave him the name. 

I’ll be giving the dinosaur costumes out tomorrow.  Scotts going to get the photos.  Then Nancy and I will stay to help with registration. 
I’m looking forward to a nice day. 

I need to get to bed so Good Night.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Completely Done! 6-22-12

Completely Done! 6-22-12

I started yesterday by going to breakfast with a friend from work.  We also took a little walk after breakfast.  During our chatting we discussed fundraisers that kids can do and how important it is for them to see and know what or who they are helping.  I suggested fundraising for our little friend Rowan.  Maybe this will work.  The students fundraising can see her pictures as she was before cancer, through her treatment, what steroids do, how well she is progressing and how they can contribute to a month of life saving treatment for her.  The cost is $7,600 a month.  I know they are having financial issues.  You would have to be very wealthy to afford that much a month.  There are other costs on top of that too.  I hope they chose to help this family out.

When I came home around noon.  Richard was up in his room trying on crazy outfits for camp.  Very bright!  We talked about my discussion with my friend about Rowan.  I also reminded Richard about Rowan’s Make A Wish.  She is having her 4th birthday at Disneyland on Oct 27th.  Scott and I are planning on going.  Richard said he would like to go too.  But it will depend on what is happening with school at that time.  I was surprised that he showed such interest and happy too.  I think he is really interested to see how well Rowan is doing.  Remember statistics said she should not be here right now.  If she were getting conventional treatment, which would be limited to chemo because of the tumors location, she would have died by now.  But the gene therapy is shrinking the tumor and hopefully it will blow it completely away.  That’s what the people at the clinic expect to happen.  I look forward to the day that they say Rowan’s tumor is gone.  It’s going to happen.

Later Richard and I worked on moving some things in like Kathryn’s bed.  Such a bummer that the bed wouldn’t fit with the new configuration of the furniture.  I had just rearranged everything and now I had to do it all over again.  A bit easier with Richard here to help.  He and I went through some of the artwork still in the portfolios.  Both Kathryn and Richard had portfolios. We also went through her sketchbooks.  With Richard I can go through these things without tears.  I don’t know why but I can. 

After we completed some of this work we made a run to the Goodwill.  We turned things in and Richard bought a great outfit for the dance at camp.  It is a green suit of a funky material.  He bought a shirt, tie and shoes to go with it too.  Oh yes, it even has a vest.  It was fun to go on this little venture with Richard.  I remember when the kids were campers we would go every year to the Goodwill to buy clothes for the whip cream fight.  After they brought home those smelly clothes the first year we got smart.  You can’t believe how smelly whip cream can be.  After it sits on the clothes for a day or two and tied up in a bag.  I don’t know what chemical reactions are going on in that bag but it is bad!   So we would buy throw away clothes.  We also would make a run to the store to stock up on candy. 

My house looked like a bomb went off while Richard was here.  As I looked around I saw life and fun and my son.  I only wish Kathryn had all of her camp stuff thrown all over the house too.   It would have made it all perfect just like it use to be.  It would have been the three of us at the Goodwill too. 

As Richard and I took a little break late in the day he looked at me and said, “You can’t cry at camp Mom.”  I said, “I know, it’s a happy fun place and that is what I will make it.”  I asked him about memory circle and he told me, “You can cry at memory circle.”  This is where they remember all the children and staff who have passed away in the last year.  Of course Kathryn will be remembered at memory circle this year. 

Richard then continued to unload the truck with Scott while I worked in the yard.  The guys also started dinner. 

In the morning I worked on Mooselips dinosaur costume.  Richard needed to mend a pair of pants and shorten the pants to his suit for the dance.  We traded some duties since I don’t mind hand stitching and he is good at the sewing machine.  He packed up all of his stuff and headed out around 10:25.  Of course I had to clean up his dishes from breakfast but once again in this time of my life I just didn’t mind.  I never cleaned up after the kids before as to teach them to be responsible but this time it was almost like a gift was left for me.  After I saw Richard off I got out his dinosaur costume to finish one last little thing.  Now they are both done!  I almost blew it too because Richard saw the green thread and asked me what I was using the green for.  Some how I side stepped the question and moved on without letting him know that he was getting a dinosaur costume too. 

Now I sit here by myself with a messy house to clean.  So I guess I should get going so I can clean.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Catching Up 6-20-12

Catching Up 6-20-12

Monday I went to school in the morning to take care of the yearbook stuff.  I met with my sub who has worked really hard to make it all go well.  She did a pretty good job too.  I spent over two hours there, as I always get busy just chatting too. 

I left school to drive to Bellingham.  Richard was outside waiting for me.  We went to lunch and then to the coffee shop where our friend Lauren is the manager.  We had a very nice lunch.  It was also nice to finally see where Lauren’s coffee shop is.  Then Richard and I got busy moving.  Richard is moving all of his stuff into his girlfriend’s apartment until his new place opens in August.  We tried to keep it all in his girlfriend’s bedroom as she has a roommate.  Her roommate has graduated and will probably only come back to pick up her stuff but they didn’t want to give her anything to complain about.  So what that means is that we had to bring things home to store at our house.  We also picked up Kathryn’s bed and brought it home.  As we were moving things in Kathryn’s room I found all of her cute little shoes that she had under a couch.  I knew they had to be there. 

On our last trip back to the main house I was backing up the truck and I heard this pop.  The power steering went out.  Now this is a big 4 by 4 truck with big tires so turning the wheel is not so easy without the power steering.  Richard offered to drive it home for me on Wednesday and let me drive his car home.  So we had to pack all of his camp gear into his car so it would be there for him.  We went out to dinner really late (8:30) and I finally drove home.  I got home just before midnight. 

Tuesday I worked like crazy on Richard’s costume.  It is complete except the Velcro that I will need to hold the hood on.  That will only take a few minutes.  It looks so good.  His costume was much harder to do and today I found out why.  The other material is heavier just enough to make it easier to work with.  I’m going to present Moose lips and Richard with their costumes on Sunday.   I will be at camp that day helping with registration and I thought I could present the costumes just before all the campers start arriving. 

Tuesday afternoon I went to a little gathering for the staff from my school.  I had a great visit and we will just leave it at that. 

Today (Wednesday) I didn’t get a lot done.  I had to mop up the laundry room floor because the washer spilled a ton of water all over.  The floor is nice and clean now including under the washer and dryer. 

Richard called and said he couldn’t get the truck around in Seattle and he sure couldn’t get it parked anywhere there.  So he called triple A and had it towed to the house from Seattle.  It is free as we are triple A members and this made it where he could ride with the man in charge of camp to camp and help him get a bunch of things set up.  It worked out great.  Richard then took the ferry from Vashon to Tacoma and we picked him up. 
Scott started unloading the truck.  He said he lost it when he found the bag of shoes.  It is hard to come upon things like this.  I handled it pretty well when packing them up.  Some day I will go through all of Kathryn’s things but that will be later.  And when I do it will be a little at a time. 

We went to dinner with Scott’s Aunt Carol and Uncle Hugh at the Tacoma Yacht Club.  It was really nice.  They enjoy having family to share time with.  We enjoy them too.  It was different not having Kathryn with us.  We should have had 6 people at the table not 5.  It is so hard to think of her as gone.  It still seems like she is here. 

I received an email today asking about doctors.  Another young person who was treated for cancer as a child has developed a Glioblastoma from their previous treatment just like Kathryn.  I don’t know how old this young man is but I’m sure he and his family are terrified.  They have probably heard all the same things I heard and read all the same things I read.  None of these things were good, hopeful or happy thoughts. 

I need to hit the hay as I need to be productive tomorrow. 

Good Night

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father’s Day 6-17-12

Father’s Day 6-17-12

I worked on the dinosaur costume today but didn’t finish.  It was a day where I didn’t get a whole lot done. 

Scott and I went out to lunch for Father’s Day.  Then we drove around and he showed me some places.  I wanted to go through the Tacoma Golf and Country Club.  So we drove through and he pointed out houses of different people.  He has worked on a lot of the houses out there.  Then we drove over to the Midland area where he is working on a house.  It happens to belong to one of my cousins.  Just glad he has some work.  It is hard to get work after being out for a while.  He has to rebuild.

Tomorrow I will head out early to go to school and deal with some yearbook issues.  Then I will drive up to Bellingham and help Richard move some of the big things.  I should get there around lunch time so I told him we should go out for lunch.  I’m looking forward to seeing him as I always do.

His girlfriend left for Europe early this morning.  She will be doing some studies there.  His best friend Mitch and his girlfriend Lauren left for Nevada last week.  Lauren will be back this week but Mitch will be gone for two months.  I’m hoping Richard will come stay with us fro a little while since Katherine (Bee) and Mitch are both gone.  I also worry about him being alone.  He hates being alone and I don’t think it would be good for him right now.

I also went to a graduation party for our friends’ daughter.  She is a beautiful young lady.  All three of their kids are great.  The oldest boy went to daycare with Richard.  The Dad worked at my Dad’s gas station for a few years.  He has been like a brother to me.  I suppose if I needed anything he would be there for me.  The Mom is just the sweetest lady.  She is always so positive.  Anyhow The young graduate is going to go to WSU to be an Interior Decorator.  I always thought that would be a fun job.  I had a nice time visiting.   I met a couple there that live just down the street from me.  They even know my neighbors who live directly behind us and I know the man they live next to.  The party was out in Gig Harbor and we live in Lakewood.  Once again it is a small world.

Happy Father’s Day – Good Night

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Inspiring Others 6-16-12

Inspiring Others 6-16-12

Yesterday (Friday 6/15) I worked in the yard but this time I didn’t let my mind wonder so much.  Maybe a little but I held it together ok.  Our neighbor talked to me over the fence and showed me a pair of boots her 8-year-old daughter had worn completely out.  She said her daughter liked to wear boots in the sand box because she didn’t like getting sand in her shoes.  I had Scott bring out a pair of Kathryn’s rain boots and I gave them to her.  I know they may be a size too big or so but she will soon fill them in.  They are only a size 3 in kids.  She was very appreciative and asked me a couple of times if I was sure about this.  I told her I can’t hold on to everything and I had her very special things all put aside already.  Clothes and shoes will need to go sooner or later and I’m glad I can share with a neighbor.  I do have some clothes that I will hold on to but some day they will probably need to go too.  There will never be any 20 year old that will be the size of a nine year old like Kathryn.  So tiny!

Friday afternoon my Mom came over so she could go to the Fife-Milton-Edgewood (FME) Relay with Scott and me.  It was nice to have my Mom there for support too.  I was very impressed at the size of the relay.  It was the first year for this relay and it was great!  I saw a lot of former and a couple of current students.  I did a pretty good job on the speech.  Scott had to use his IPhone to light my papers and it would go off once and a while.  They had a slide show of Kathryn and everyone sat on the grass watching.  It was like movies in the back yard. 

Several people came up to me after the speech and luminary walk.  They all had nice things to say.  The man who introduced me said we inspired him and Kathryn inspired him to do more with is life.  He really had to think about life and how he could do better.  He said he was amazed by our strength because we had come out to their kick off back in February only 2 days after Kathryn had passed away.  I’m so glad that Scott and I are passing the torch as Scott put it.  By that he means inspiring others like Kathryn did to do better.  Kathryn would want us to do this and we do it proudly in her name.  That reminds me that one lady said that I must be very proud of Kathryn and we are.  She was one the most amazing people I’ve ever known.  I really believe Richard is so amazing too.

I talked with Rocksie from Camp Goodtimes on Friday afternoon as well.  She and I discussed when I could come out and help with Arts and Crafts.  She too complemented Scott and me on raising such wonderful children.  Scott and I have often looked at each other and asked, “How did we get such great kids?”  Both Richard and Kathryn have such tender hearts.  They are gentle and understanding with people.  They always do a great job of making people feel welcomed.  They treat people with respect and kindness.

Today (Saturday) was a lovely day with my Mom.  We went shopping at Target. Kathryn loved Target.  Maybe it was because she got gift cards from the clinic for Target.  You see, every time she got poked (a needle stick) she earned a token.  After four tokens she earned a gift card.  She had about 7 of them saved up.  She still has two tokens sitting on her desk.  Well, Mom and I both noticed this cute top and we almost said it simultaneously, “Kathryn would love that!”  It was bright and cheery and a cut that she would love.  So Kathryn.  I had walked right by the bathing suits because that is where Kathryn and I would always go first.  But Target usually didn’t have any that would fit because they didn’t come in XS.  Once in a while we could find something so we would always look. 

Mom and I stopped my friend’s house to look at her flower garden.  She has dedicated it to Kathryn.  She is looking for a Panda to put in her garden.  So if you find one let me know.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day.  I have a special card for Scott and would like to do something nice for him.  He has been very supportive of me through this great loss of ours.  I know he hurts deeply too but does his best to me strong for me.  He’s a good caretaker and I love and appreciate him.

Happy Father’s Day to all of you Dads.  Remember how important your job is.  You are responsible for raising children that will grow to be adults and you are shaping them as they grow.  Be a good example of love, kindness and respect. 

Good Night

Thursday, June 14, 2012

20 Weeks 6-14-12

20 Weeks 6-14-12

Today is Thursday – the day that marks another week (now 20).  I can’t believe how long it has been already.  I don’t know how to feel about it.  

Yesterday I worked on the dinosaur costume and I did again today.  Really close to being completely done.  I put them both away for now and will get back to it on Sunday.  I need to be careful because I am running out of time. 

I also gave Princess a bath yesterday.  I took her for a walk later in the evening and Klyde (Kathryn’s cat) followed.  He jumps right in to follow along when we go for a walk.  He sees the leash and he is right there.  Most of the time he stops part way and then just hangs out until we come back by him.  Then he pounces out at us.  Last night I took the leash off Princess and pulled it for Klyde to chase.  I have to remember to play with him.  He misses Kathryn for sure.  She would play with him all the time.  We are so boring compared to her.

Today I received a phone call from Kathryn’s second grade teacher.  She has been in contact with us every since she had Kathryn in her class.  Kathryn was in her class when she was first diagnosed.  I’m still grateful for her help back then and the fact that she had Kathryn doing so well before she left for treatment.  She told me when Kathryn had to leave school not to worry because Kathryn had already completed all of the 2nd grade material.  Kathryn never fell behind because she had such a wonderful teacher at the time.

During our phone conversation we talked about cancer.  Causes and suspected causes.  We talked about treatments.  Treatments that cause more cancer.  Treatments that don’t cause more cancer.  I shared with her all of the brain related illnesses that I know of in my neighborhood of only 56 houses.  Way too many!  And those are just the ones I’m aware of.  Environmental???

Today I should have turned on the TV as I worked on the dinosaur costume.  I say this because it distracts me.  Today it was quiet while I worked and that left my mind to go crazy.  All I could think of was how I didn’t save Kathryn.  How I failed as her guardian.  How she in trusted me with her life and I couldn’t find the right answer.  Or I didn’t act in time with the right answer to save her.  I know you are thinking I shouldn’t think this way but I could have chosen the Burzynski clinic earlier but I didn’t.  I was just so confused and scared.  I should have been a better thinker and act on my gut feelings.  It makes me so mad and upset.  I have to stop this thinking but I know I won’t because it’s there.  The best I can do is to keep my mind occupied and not let it wonder to these ideas. 

I need to practice my speech as I am the luminaria speaker for the FME Relay tomorrow night.  Maybe a nice walk with the dog and cat too.

Take Care and Good Night

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cards 6-12-12

Cards 6-12-12

I started the day off just fine getting things done – emptying the dishwasher, working on finances and cleaning here and there.  But then I got into cards.  I had a lit garland that I put up at Christmas that went over the opening to the breakfast nook.  At Christmas time I had Christmas cards hanging from it.  After Christmas I hung cards for Kathryn on it.  Until there were too many.  I had about 100 cards up and we received about 500 to 600 more.  Well it fell down the other evening so I pulled it the rest of they way down.  This morning I started taking the cards off.  I told myself over and over again that I wouldn’t read them.  I told myself I would only pull them off and set them in a pile.  As you can probably guess it just didn’t go the way I had planned.  I started reading them and of course I just broke down.  Even though it was hard I did savor every word I read.  So many nice things were written.  I say again thank you to all of you.

That took my day.  I decided to make cookies!  Kathryn loved to make cookies.  Scott has a picture of Kathryn on his phone as she was making Christmas cookies.  We didn’t get all of our cookies delivered but all of our neighbors received their Christmas bags.  That was something that was important to Kathryn. 

Something else that was important to her was giving to the poor and/or homeless.  Tonight Kathryn would have been so happy.  After Scott and I ate dinner at AppleBees we each had a box of leftovers.  Scott saw a young man with a hiking backpack with shoes and jackets dangling off of it.  It appeared that he had his whole life on his back.  Scott asked, “Are you hungry?”  The young man said, “yes.”  Scott handed him his box of leftovers.  It had a lot in it too (steak, potatoes and broccoli).  The young man was very grateful and we saw him eating away as we drove off.  Kathryn never wanted food to be wasted.  She always said there is a homeless person we could give it to.  Always giving! 

So I sit here tonight just relaxing and watching TV.  I wrote a note to Kathryn.  Maybe if I open my mind I will get an answer. 

Tomorrow I must work on dinosaurs!  Camp is getting very close.

Good Night!