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.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Being a Mom 7-30-12

Being a Mom 7-30-12

Yesterday Richard and Bee came over in the early evening.  We took the picnic table out to the front yard and had a delightful dinner out in the sun.  It was perfect.  The steak was bar-b-qued just perfect.  The salad was from out garden.  This garden is really doing very well.

After a beautiful dinner we watched the Olympics for a while and then sat in the hot tub.  It was nice to just enjoy their company.  One thing I try to always do is spend every moment that they are here with them.  We talked about how my Mom and Dad have always been good about that.  They always stopped what ever they were doing is friends or family came over and would visit and spend the time with their visitors.  They drop every thing to spend time with their friends and family. 

In the morning I did sneak out to walk Chambers Bay with Princess.  I knew they would still be asleep when I got home so I wouldn’t miss any time with them.  Richard made breakfast for Bee and me.  He is such a good cook.  I cannot take any credit for that.  He learned from Scott.  Kathryn was very mush like me.  I always told her she would have to find a man that loved to cook. 

After breakfast we went to buy a sectional that Bee found online.  It was in fair shape but worth the $90.  They borrowed our truck to move this sectional and left their two cars here.  The truck was very full inside and in the bed. 

I got a call from our office manager at school today.  It was about yearbook stuff.  She hasn’t heard back from our rep and this really concerns me.  I know his wife was due with their first baby towards the end of June.  I hope everything is ok.  She also asked if I would be in before the required days.  I said I don’t know.  I’m not looking forward to going through my room and setting it up.  Well, Kathryn would help me with this and this year she won’t be there.  Last year she make a bunch of paw prints and put them up all over like a cougar had gone through the room.  She also put up my bulletin board with all the photos (family photos).  She worked hard on this and I made sure no one took it down so it will still be there when I go in.  My calendar was made by Kathryn years ago.  I always have a student comment on it each year.  It will be hard to walk into my classroom.  I don’t want to go alone.  Maybe I will ask my Mom to go on day with me.  It will help to have someone with me. 

I’ve also been thinking about our summer party.  Kathryn always helped me with every event we had at our house.  Last year she made my beautiful birthday cake.  She made the backdrop for pictures.  I could never do either of these.  I don’t have that artistic talent or vision that she had.  How will I get it all done?  She was my sidekick, my little helper and friend.

All of this thinking wore me out.  I was pooped.  I was supposed to go through some boxes today for the garage sale but I just couldn’t move. 

Tomorrow is a Ferrari day at the track.  I guess it will be pretty fancy with linen and such for breakfast and lunch.  Scott is excited.  It will be fun but I don’t like getting up that early.  I guess it is ok since I wake up anyhow.

Kathryn would also be proud of Klyde (her cat).  He is finally learning to snuggle.  I laid on the couch with him.  As I did I thought about how many times I snuggled with Kathryn on the couch or loveseat.  So many times.  One of my very favorite things to do.  I did get some wonderful hugs from Richard today.  I love it and I love him.  I also love his girlfriend Bee.  She is a very special girl.

Having children was the best thing that every happened to me.  I’m so grateful to have Richard and to have had Kathryn.  I’m so grateful that the four of us were always so close and shared life like we did.  The three of us will continue to do this.

Scott told me about one of the survivors of the Aurora shooting.  This lady lost her 6 year old, had a miscarriage and is now paralyzed from the waist down.  Just when you think you have it bad you hear about something like this.  I can’t image the pain she has.  I can share some but she has so much more to deal with. 

Tomorrow I’m going to stay off the couch and get busy.  I have a garage sale to do to raise money for Rowan. 

Good Night

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday 7-28-12

Saturday 7-28-12

Thursday marked 26 weeks since Kathryn’s passing.  It was also one of Kathryn’s favorites days at Camp Goodtimes.  It was Carnival Day.  I have many photos of her with her hair all done up.  She would get it sprayed different colors and usually had glitter put in it too.  I remember the year she had to take off she still attended the carnival (with permission).   I took her to the ferry that day and Richard met her on the Vashon side to take her to camp.  Then I picked her up that night.  She had her hair done up like to big cotton candy puffs – one on each side of her head.  She looked very cute.   This photo was in the tri-fold handed out at her celebration so you probably saw it.  People looked at her on the ferry (well they stared).  But she never let stares bother her even at 8 and bald. 

Yes, when we were camping and Kathryn was 8 she was bald.  There she sat with me and Princess on the beach.  Another child walked by and stared at her.  She looked at me and said, “Mommy that little boy is staring at me.  He doesn’t mean to but he just doesn’t understand.  He sees that I am bald and can’t figure out why I’m bald.  It’s ok that he stares, he is just trying to figure it out.”  It was something just like that and I was so very proud of her to be so understanding at 8.  I agreed with her and said that he was probably just trying to understand just like she thought. 

I didn’t stay for the whole carnival on Thursday but I did get a good idea of what it was all about.  Friday my Mom came with me to camp.  We helped pack up all of the arts and crafts.  It is a lot of work with the sorting, organizing and taking inventory.  We helped Bee’s cabin of girls get ready for the dance after dinner.  I had brought extra things for their hair and some eye shadow.  Bee’s Mom was there too and she did some fancy hair braiding.  We all dressed up for the dance and had a great time.  Richard had on light blue slacks made of some sort of polyester.  You see it was a 70’s dance.  He told people that some one in my wedding had brought in his pants and gave them to the Vashon second hand store.  He is such a smarty pants.  He looked good.  My Mom had a pant outfit that she actually made back in the 70’s.  It was perfect.  It was a very late night as we took the 10:55 ferry home.

My Mom had spent the night and today we did a little shopping.  We had a great time.  When we were at Costco a lady came up to me and said, “I thought that was you.”  This was my childbirth class teacher.  Scott and I actually went to her class before both births.  Most people only do it once.  I guess having natural childbirth and 4 years apart I wanted to make sure I knew what I was suppose to do.  And Scott too!  Yes, I said natural childbirth.  No drugs for me either time.  I didn’t want my babies to have any drugs.  I figured I could do this.  Other women did it and I could too.  Actually I never even considered having any drugs.  All went fine.  Kathryn was pretty big too.  Richard was petite at 6 pounds 12 ounces but Kathryn was 8 pounds 13 ounces.  That’s right.  That tiny little girl was a very big baby.

This lady had asked me if I was going back to work in the fall.  I said yes but that I was a bit nervous about some things.  I started to cry.  She said some words that were comforting and also some things that helped me think about how I could handle my fears.  I will have to file those words in the front part of my brain so I don’t forget what she said.  She is a wise lady, a good lady and one that I really respect.  She and her husband had taken in her husband’s sister’s daughter years ago. The sister was in prison and the father I don’t know but not around.  This little girl had been taught absolutely nothing.  So they had a very difficult job.  They did well but as I told my Mom that a child develops the person they will be early on.  Like by 5 or 6.  So if a parent neglects the child and doesn’t teach them right from wrong the child may never pick it all up.  This was the case here.  They tried so hard but the way of thinking (no so good) was already set.  She has made some accomplishments but she stepped on a lot of people along the way.  She destroyed their trust in her.  Trust is a BIG deal!  I was also her teacher back when she was in junior high.  Anyhow I was so so glad to see my former teacher.  I’m glad she came up to me and didn’t just walk away. 

It’s Saturday night and I am watching the Olympics.  I wonder if the YMCA had not let their gymnastics team go if Richard would have gone on with it. He was really good and the coach was very impressed with him.  I also wonder if Kathryn had not had cancer if she would have been more involved in sports.  She did play soccer but not too long.  I think the chemo and radiation took her strength and made sports difficult.  Her balance was never the same after the first go around.  She did play soccer for a couple of years after cancer treatments .  Who knows what may have happened if one little change had been made.  All I know is that I couldn’t change anything but if I could of I would have taken cancer out of Kathryn’s life.  I really don’t know that she would agree with that.  Maybe she would have taken her second bought of cancer out of her life but I bet she would have kept the first because it gave her camp.  It gave her a life that she loved.  It gave her that wonderful relationship with others especially Richard.  She wrote many times about cancer giving her wonderful things in life.  Her cancer even gave Richard skiing.  Yes, Kathryn’s cancer gave Richard skiing.  My brother had asked what he could do to help and I told him to take Richard under his wing and teach him how to ski.  I said Richard was going to get lost in all of this and he needed something.  My brother did just that.  He took Richard shopping and bought him all of the gear, Everything!  And then proceeded to take him up skiing every weekend.  It was the perfect thing for Richard.  To this day it is one of Richard’s favorite things to do in life.   

184 Days today

Good Night – I hope you all enjoy the Olympics.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday 7-25-12

Wednesday 7-25-12

The other day someone at camp said I had the best wink.   Then she said that I had a twinkle in my eye.  And then she said, “I bet you get everything you want with that.”  I thought and replied with: “Yes, I have gotten everything I have ever wanted in life but one thing.”  She knew exactly what I was talking about.  Kathryn being healed of course.  Her reply was,  “We all wanted that.”  Yes, I can’t think of a single person that didn’t wish for, pray for, negotiate with God for, dream about and constantly think about Kathryn being healed.  I am a very fortunate person but the one thing I wanted most I didn’t get.  I really feel…  Well, ripped off, cheated, let down, heart broken and hurt.

I did finish painting the carport on Tuesday.  Finally!!!  I started the deck today (Wednesday).  I got it all clean and will paint or stain tomorrow.

This morning I walked with my friend down at Pt Defiance along the beach.  We walked there so I could catch the ferry.  While we were walking she shared with me that her sister’s name (Kathryn Elizabeth).  Can you believe it?  I was thinking that would be the perfect name for a Granddaughter if Richard and Bee married and had a little girl. 

I sat with Bee at Lunch.  She spotted me and invited me to sit with her cabin.  I really appreciated the invite.  I enjoyed sitting with the girls.  One of the girls asked me if Pandas were my favorite animals since I had two necklaces and a pin that were all Pandas.  I asked her if she knew Panda from camp and she said yes.  She went on to say Panda was the best CAP.  A CAP is a person who fills in for the counselor to give the counselor a break.  The break is about 3 hours.  I told her I was Panda’s Mom.  She told me how sorry she was for me.  I told her that I have to remember the goodtimes just like my neighbors told Scott.  One of them asked me what was my favorite memory of Panda.  I said I had so many that I didn’t have a favorite but I would share a memory.  I told her that when we went to Mexico a few years ago we went snorkeling.  It was my first time.  She (little tiny Panda) kept close to me and kept checking on me to make sure I was doing alright.  Richard and Scott did too.  The girls didn’t realize that Richard (Loop) was Panda’s brother.  They didn’t think they looked a like at all.  It told them that people have asked me if they were twins.  I also told them that the only way to tell their baby pictures apart is by the way they were dressed.  We had a very nice conversation about my two wonderful children. 

Tonight I went through the mail and came across the Verizon bill.  I finally called to cancel Kathryn’s phone.  Every one of these things makes it more real.  It makes things more final.  It makes Kathryn go away in a sense.  You know what I mean?  They young man on the phone started to tell me that there would be a fee since the contract wasn’t up.  I said,  “My daughter died back in February and I should have cancelled it back then but it was too hard to do so I’m finally doing it now.”  He said, “I’m so sorry and there would be no charge.”  He asked for me to hold on while he took care of the charges.  He was very nice and told me several times how sorry he was for my loss.  He realized how hard this must be for me.  He thanked me over and over for my patience and he told me over and over how sorry he was for my loss.  I told me he was very kind and did a good job.  I thank him for his help and kind words.

I get other things in the mail addressed to Kathryn.  I could send back the stuff with a letter stating that she is no longer alive but I don’t.  I think I don’t because getting those things (junk mail) makes it seem as if she is still here.  Maybe some day I will send them back with a note but not now.  My bank even sent a credit card even after I asked for it to be cancelled and explained why. 

I’m finally off to bed.  My day will start by giving blood and then go to camp.  After camp I will do the deck.  Having a busy schedule is a good thing.

Oh, I was told by one of my blog readers and friend that she sent Rowan’s family a check.  She said it was small because she doesn’t have much money.  I told her very little bit helps.  It all adds up.  Maybe we will help with a utility bill or maybe a copay to the hospital.   I said, “Isn’t Rowan cute with the Ice Cream all over her face?”  She said she thought Rowan is adorable.  She really is adorable!  Thank you my friend for donating to Rowan.

Good Night

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More on Camp 7-24-12

More on Camp 7-24-12

On Sunday I just made the ferry.  I was the very last car on.  I started thinking as I drove to camp about What If….  What if Richard and Bee got married and had a little girl?  What would they name her?  Richard was named after his two Grandfathers.  My Dad was Richard and Scott’s Dad was Gordon so we named him Richard Gordon.  That was easy and both Grandpas were happy.  Then came Kathryn.  The name June Ann or Ann June just didn’t set well with me.  She needed a more royal sounding name.  One that would fit with Richard.  Kathryn is not a family name and I don’t even care for the name Kathy.  I was very determined not to have anyone ever call her Kathy.  Her first name was going to be Kathleen.  My Dad has a cousin by this name and I adore Kathleen.  But when I said Kathleen is didn’t sound right at all.  When we brought her home from the hospital a friend called her Kathleen thinking I had named her Kathleen.  Now when she said Kathleen it sounded so pretty that I almost changed her name.  Kathryn was a name Scott liked and it went well with Richard.  Scott even picked out the spelling.  Her Middle name Margaret is from Scott’s mother’s middle name and my Grandmother was Margaruite.  This was my Dad’s Mom who was very close to me.  So I figured Margaret was kind of on both sides of the family.  Julia was considered as well as this was Grandmother’s name on my Mom’s side.  I tried to choose family names because I like tradition.  I like the family ties and knowing that a name was from someone in the family.  So back to Richard and Bee.  Bee’s sister (who also died from brain cancer) was Elizabeth.  What better name than to have a Kathryn Elizabeth after the two sisters.  Or even Elizabeth Kathryn.  I’m more partial to Kathryn Elizabeth of course.  If you read this Bee, it is only my mind buzzing and thinking thoughts.  Parents are the only ones who name their babies.

Before camp registration started I was talking to a couple of ladies and we were talking about camp names and such.  One lady was probably noticing my Panda necklaces and Panda pin on my nametag when she said, “Wasn’t there a Panda too?” I tired to gently say, “Yes, there was and she was my daughter.  She passed away in February.”  And then she said Yes, I remember her and went on to talk about Kathryn’s smile and bubbly personality.   She even said that I looked like her in the eyes and nose.  I liked that. 

After dinner I really had a hard time leaving.  I wanted to stay for memory circle as I knew many people would be sharing their thoughts about Panda.  But yet I didn’t want to stay because I knew it would be hard and I would cry and probably cry a lot.  Even at Arts and Crafts I started to cry.  They had taken down the memory flags that were written on from last camp and I read two.  They were both about Panda and I started to cry.  I had to leave.  I couldn’t even look at the flags.  I knew they said such nice things but I never wanted to have Kathryn be part of the memory circle because that would mean she was dead.  It hurts so bad to think of her as dead.  I left and didn’t take part in memory circle.  I didn’t want to make it even harder for Richard.  I know he doesn’t say anything and at memory circle he is quiet.  I can only imagine what goes through his mind during it and if I were sitting there crying it would only make it more difficult for him.  So I chose to go home.

On my way home I missed the ferry.  The Strawberry Festival was going on and this was the time that everyone had choose to leave.  I wasn’t the only one.  I was the Fifteenth car left behind and there were at least 30 more behind me.  I just took a walk and called my friend and chatted with her for a while.  When I did get on the ferry I walked around.  This young lady came up to me saying, “Mrs. Bradley.”  I acknowledged that it was me and she could tell I didn’t remember her.  She told me her name and that she was only in my advisory this past year.  That means I only saw her a few times and for only 20 minutes each time.  But I did remember her as soon as she told me her name.  I could even tell you what seat she sat in and that she missed several days.  We had a nice talk and I told her a few times that I was so happy that she came up to me.  Kids are great! 

Monday I had to get up super early to be in Shelton at 6:45.  I was heading the registration for the Ridge Racing School.  So much to do for this.  I had a helper, which is really needed.  Scott was instructing and he was very busy.

I left at lunch and went home to take Princess for a walk and to head off to Camp Goodtimes again.  They weren’t supposed to have Arts and Crafts that afternoon but when I got there they had it.  The entire schedule was changed because some mixed up and a group that was going to do juggling with the kids wasn’t going to be there.  The schedule for the entire week had to be revised.  I just jumped in and helped.  One little boy shared his knowledge about whales with me.  One boy had me draw him a cat.  They had all kinds of things going on.

At dinner Richard sat next to me.  I sure enjoyed his company.   As I left the dinning room I saw the totem pole.  It’s the one where they put a picture of all the kids who have past.  Kathryn’s beautiful smile was there.  I would like to share a picture of it with you but not sure how legal it is since there are other campers on it too.  Maybe I can get the part of just Kathryn so you get an idea of what it would look like.

After dinner the kids all broke up into teams for Goodtimes Olympics.  The teams are a mix of girls and boys and ages from 7 to 16.  They had to pick a team name and design a flag.  It was a big nylon flag that they had to decorate.  We had to put together supplies from Arts and Crafts for them to use and set up a station for the supplies.  Then afterwards the teams carried their flags up to Arts and Crafts to hang them on the close line to dry.  It was fabulous.  I stayed and helped with some final cleaning and got all the stuff back to the Arts and Crafts shed with help from one of the girls.  They have a sign that hangs above Arts and Crafts that reads, “Kathryn “Panda” Bradley.  Thanks to all of our friends and family who donated to Camp Goodtimes we were able to chose how we wanted her to be remembered there.  She loved Arts and Crafts. 

After cleaning I went off to Casino Night.  I was calling out numbers for BINGO and the teacher came out in me.  Instead of calling straight up numbers I would call B (9 times 3).  The camper sitting next to me was great at getting the right answers.  She told me after that math was her favorite subject.  We all told her how good she was at math and that made her feel so special.  I guess Richard was calling our numbers for tables to go to the salad bar.  He said things like all the prime numbers, all the odd numbers, all the even numbers.  The teacher in you never leaves.  Richard was in charge of a game called Zombies and People.  And later he shot me with the nerf gun.  They had three activities each for a different age group, Casino Night for the older kids, a concert for the younger kids and Zombies VS People for the middle aged kids.  They all were having such fun.

Headed home on the 10:00 ferry.  I was the last car on.  Didn’t cut it as close as on the way over.  I must have been super tired as I slept all the way to the alarm.  Yeah!

Today is Tuesday and I walked at 7:30 am with my friend.  Princess did great.  I wrote this and cried my eyes out as I do every time.  I’m dried up now and will go out to paint.  It is a beautiful day.  I hope you all get to enjoy this sunshine.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Camp and Rowan 7-22-12

Camp and Rowan 7-22-12

Saturday was a day at Camp Goodtimes.  I arrived at the ferry and was one car short of making the 9:15.  Such a bummer being that close and not making it.  So I took a little walk around and checked out the bait house and things.  First on the 10:05.  As I drove towards camp I got this new feeling inside of me.  It was a feeling of relief for Kathryn.  I haven’t had this feeling before.  I have always felt so bad for her.  But this time I felt good for her.  It was like I was feeling good for her because she has no worries anymore.  She doesn’t have to worry about feeling sick.  There are no more treatments.  There are no more pokes.  There are no more MRIs.  There are no more clinic visits.  There are no more worries about her hand not working right or being able to walk.  No more worries about being able to communicate.  No more blood draws and worries about weather or not her port will work.  She doesn’t have to worry about hiding her pain so others won’t feel bad.  I know she did this, as she would suck it up before anyone would visit or before she would go out.  She worked hard to be as normal as she could.  Now she is free.  She is free to be happy, painless and worry free.

As I write this I still think about how much I miss her and want her back.  And as I took the last road turn towards camp I pictured Kathryn in her dinosaur costume out on the field just having fun.  Oh she loved camp.  I could also picture her sitting on one of the counters in Arts and Crafts making lannies.  She was the lanny Queen. 

I had a real good time at camp.  Kathryn’s good friend Lexie (Boots) is helping in Arts and Crafts this week so it was nice to hang out with her.  Everyone is so nice and just fun to be with.  Since I was going back into town I was asked to pick up a couple of things.  I like having a mission and helping out.

Last night Scott took me over to the job he has been working on.  What a difference.  The house was a total pit before and now looks clean and nice.  It isn’t all the way done but it is already a 100 times better.  Then we drove to Office Depot to get some pens for camp.  As we were pulling in there was a young lady walking with her little girl with long blond hair.  Oh, of course it make me think of Kathryn and me walking together holding hands and how I would look down at her and as this lady looked down to talk to this little girl.  Scott knew exactly what I was thinking as he looked at me when we parked and asked, “Are you ok?”  I said yes as if I hadn’t even noticed but he knew. 

I had another dream with Kathryn in it.  It was about us living in this house or condo in the city.  Strange house for me.  It is so hard to describe dreams.  Why is that?  It makes me feel good to dream about her.

Today I will head out to camp again to help with registration.  I will also help with anything needed in Arts and Crafts.  I’m expecting another wonderful with my camp family. 

I’m including a link to Rowan’s celebration of life page.  It would be so great if each of you reading my blog could donate to her.  Even ten bucks because it all adds up.  I’m such a goof at computers that I had a difficult time donating and will try again on Tuesday when I have the time to sit down and figure it out.  I just tried again and for some reason paypal is not connecting for me.  I guess it isn’t me after all.  I think I will just send a check and forget the paypal thing myself.  I have included Rowan’s address if you would like to send a check instead of the online deal.  I will be donating $100.  When you see her Ice Cream covered face you will see why we need to help her.  Her little personality is just as sweet as the face. 

Make it a Good Day!

121 likes · 59 talking about this

Rowan Baker
170 Burnstead Rd
Monson, MA 01057

Probably best to make checks out to her Mom Rebecca Paniagua
I think her Mom kept her maiden name.  Her Dad is Chuck.  They are a wonderful couple just trying to save their daughter and it is working.  Money should not stop her from living.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Nerves 7-19 to 7-21-12

Nerves 7-19 to 7-21-12

Yesterday, even though it was a Thursday, was a beautiful day.  I spent the morning with my Mom.  She and I took a walk and had a nice morning.  Richard came down from Bellingham after dropping off a friend at the airport.  I went to the eye doctor, first time in 10 years.  My sight is not so bad but do need to up my reading glasses to 1.5.  I spent the afternoon with Richard.  It was nice to have lunch with him and just sit our front and chat.  Then Bee came over and Scott and I had dinner with Richard and Bee.  We had an Artichoke from our garden and the salad with lettuce, broccoli and peas from our garden.  Then in the evening we sat out front and watched the lighting.  Just a great day from beginning to end.

Today (Friday) I went for a walk with my friend Carol in the storm.  She and I were talking about some of the military policies as both of her sons are serving.  The one son had given orders to the group he was in charge of and told them he would be leaving and why.  They were all set and he was heading out the door.  Just then the officer above him said he was doing a surprise inspection now.  He told him of his situation and asked if they could do the inspection another time and the answer was no.  He left anyhow.  Of course he was written up.  This could really cost him.  But why did he disobey you ask?  Well, one of his fellow soldiers was contemplating suicide and he was on his way to talk to him and try to save him from himself.  You would think that they would be happy to have him go and try to stop this from happening.  I’m proud of him for going and saving a young man from self destruction.  I shared with her about my niece not being able to come hoe for my Dad’s funeral and missing seeing Kathryn.  It just seems so unfair.  I guess it is a choice to serve and these things happen.

After Carol and I walked I came home and spent a little more time with Bee and Richard as they were heading off to camp.  After they left I worked on some addressing at the table.  After a while I got up and felt dizzy.  Then my tummy felt icky.  I laid down and that was the rest of the day.  I was sick!  My head and neck hurt.  My tummy was feeling icky and then I threw up.  Scott mentioned that it was like the last time and I didn’t want that to happen again.  He said it was my nerves.  I told him I had nothing to worry about.  He said it is way deep inside of you and it is your nerves.  Well he is probably right.  I thought about all the things I have been thinking about.  Projects to finish, camp things to do, getting a garage sale ready, setting up flying for Tony and then my bedroom the pit.  I guess it all gets to me.  I was feeling so good that morning and feeling so productive that I can’t believe it just hit me like that.  Bummer

Well I had a good night sleep and it is Saturday.  I will be heading off to camp in just a few minutes.  I will be helping set up with Arts and Crafts.  Oh yes, and Richard and Bee sent me a small list of things they forgot.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Is this it? 7-18-12

Is this it? 7-18-12

I finally had a dream with Kathryn in it.  This was Monday night.  I finally slept long enough to have a dream.  It was a funny little dream about Kathryn and I trying to fix some button on her coat.  She was wearing the coat and we had to slip this tube like thing onto some tiny shaft. At least it was a dream with Kathryn.  We were close together and working together just like we would do if she were here.

My friend wrote in her blog about helping a man.  He had a sign, you know one of those cardboard signs.  It read something like, going through treatment for colon cancer need help.  She knew he was for real as she looked at him.  Most people who are going through cancer treatment have a look.  They had the dark circles under the eyes and the lack of hair.  If you have been there you recognize the look right away.  She recognized this look in him.  She asked him what she could do to help him right now.  One of her questions was, “Are you hungry?” and he was.  She asked him if she could buy him a sandwich and what type he liked and what he would like on it.  She went to Subway and bought him a foot long Turkey sandwich and a lemonade.  This was her way of paying it forward.  He appreciated it and it also made her feel good too.  Giving is good.

This morning on my walk my friend gave me a little pink bag.  In it was a token with an angel on it.  My cousin had given me one of these when Kathryn was diagnosed at 8 and I still have it.  She included a little poem that starts off with “I said a prayer for you today.”  I told her that yes her payer was answered as God had given me a new friendship with her.  I really enjoy our walks and talks.

Scott did some work for our neighbor today.  This is the neighbor where they have seen the little ghost girl and we just refer to her as Kathryn.  The little girls are still seeing Kathryn.  They said that last night she was opening dresser drawers.  The oldest girl said her make-up case moved across the table.  She is still there. 

My Mom and I went down to the Bremerton National Airport where my brother operates most of what goes on at the airport.  We had lunch and a very nice chat.  I asked Pat about taking Tony (the 20 year old who was told, like Kathryn that he only had months to live) on an airplane ride.  Pat suggested many options, which were all more than just a ride in a plane.  A romantic dinner for Tony and his girlfriend at Roch Harbor, Time actually learning how to fly and then getting a chance to fly.  Flying to the ocean, Westport or Friday Harbor along with what they could do at each place.  He said to just let him know when Tony can go and how many he would like to take with him.  Wow!  I was so pleased.  This will be a good thing.

I also received and email from a lady I don’t know.  She told me that her daughter went to elementary school with Kathryn and remembered her daughter telling her of a girl with a brain tumor and that she was better.  She also told me about a Mom who is really not doing so well 5 years after her daughter’s death in a car accident.  I actually know this girl and she was a friend with Kathryn.  They kind of drifted as Kathryn went to a different high school.  Her Mom is having a 21st birthday party for her.  I shared how we had a party for Kathryn’s birthday too.  We were out of town when her funeral took place or we would have been there.  I think an accident would be so shocking and harder to take.  Not that I have taken Kathryn’s death easy ( I cry every day) but I think if it were all of a sudden and I couldn’t have told her I loved her one last time it would have been a lot harder.  This lady also asked about Kathryn’s treatments and doctors as a friend of a friend has a 6 year old just diagnosed with a rare brain tumor.  I shared what I could about Kathryn and her treatments, doctors and my only regret.  I hope it helps them find the right path to a successful treatment for their daughter.

Is this why I am here?  Is this why Kathryn had to go through cancer?  Is this why she died?  Am I here to help others find what they need?  I don’t know but if this is what it is all about I hope I have the ability to really help.  God needs to lead me down the path so I do the right things.  It just seems things are landing in my lap and I am being directed to help others.  I will do what is asked of me.

In the next couple of days try to reach out and do something nice for someone.  Like a subway sandwich for the hungry. 

Take Care

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thoughts and Good from Cancer 7-17-12

Thoughts and Good from Cancer 7-17-12

I think I have become more aware of things in the last few months.  I don’t know why things have been placed in front of me but they come and I listen.

I mentioned about girls having babies and not loving them or wanting them.  Well yesterday after walking I took a little break before I got started on a project.  There on the TV was a show about three young girls that were pregnant and in a place where they would work with them to help them find a family for their babies.  All three girls gave up their babies and it was probably the best thing they could have done for these little guys.  They were able to chose the family, meet the family and have an open or closed adoption.  One girl said all she had to her name was four suitcases of clothes.  She had no home, no car and no job.  She also had a one year old.  I wondered how she would ever raise this little girl.  No men in the picture for any of these young women.  They all bailed.

I’ve also noticed lately that there are a lot of young people getting into BIG trouble.  I have read over and over again in the paper about 14 to 18 year olds beating people to death and robbing people.  It is so sad.  My kids were at home or we knew where they were and what they were doing.  How do parents let their kids get so out of line?  Don’t they teach them to love others and Do on to others as you would want others to do onto you?  The Golden Rule!

I also had a friend write about how people seem to shy away when you tell them you have cancer.  Kathryn’s friends never left her and never bailed on her but I have been told about this before.  September of 2011 I went to the Ride for Kids.  At this event a Dad spoke about how his neighbors would not come over any more.  How all of their friends left them.  I really thought this was so bad.  He said that their friends found it too sad to be around them.  Oh my, they think it is sad.  They are not living with it every day.  They are not there 24 – 7.  Please don’t ever leave a friend alone because you find their illness sad.  We need to rally around our friends and support them.  I must say we have very good friends and family.  We never felt that we were alone.  We had tremendous support.  And I thank all of you for this.  The support has continued and I so appreciate it.  We all appreciate the support.

I sent out to the staff at my school not to be afraid to talk to me or even ask questions about Kathryn.  I said I may shed a tear or two but I don’t want you to be afraid to approach me.  I don’t want people talking about me behind me saying that poor woman.  The few times I have been at school and one staff function they have been great!  I think letting people know that I don’t want to be ignored or treated as if I have some contagious disease really helped.  Now they know that I can be approached and I am fine with talking about Kathryn or any things else.

A friend also posted a video about a man, Zach Smith, who believes cancer is the best thing that ever happened to him.  He will die of his cancer.  He is at the point that it has spread and consumed too much of his body to be fixed.  He has three children and a beautiful wife.  He was diagnosed at 32 in 2009 with stage four colon cancer.  It went away but came back in his liver, splean and other areas.  I suppose he has already passed as he made the video at age 33 and he expected that would be his last Christmas.  He was a strong Christian.  He believed cancer mad him a better husband, Dad, Friend, boss, and follower of God.  He also believed that God has a plan and God is good so this must be in the plan.  This reminds me of my friend telling me how she prayed about Kathryn to get an answer to why and God said her duty was done.  Another friend told me that God answered his friend by saying sometimes I take the cancer from the person and sometimes I take the person from the cancer.  Kathryn did a lot in her short life.  She encouraged and inspired others to be better people.  She taught me a lot.  He heart was open and very giving. 

Kathryn believed cancer gave her open eyes.  She believed it gave her a heart full of love to share with others.  Cancer certainly does open your eyes to see what is important in life.  Since Kathryn’s passing we have helped many people and we will continue to do so.  I believe Scott and I have become more generous with our time and money.  There was a song that I learned as a little girl and some of the words are: “Love is something if you give it away – It’s just like a shinny penny, hold it tight and you won’t have any – spend it lend it and you’ll have so many they will roll all over the floor.  So giving away your love to others create more.  It is so very true.

One last thing.  Our neighborhood is having a garage sale on August 4th and 5th.  If you would like to get rid of a few things I would be happy to sell them at the garage sale.  I am giving the proceeds to Rowan Baker for her life saving treatments.  She is the little girl we met in Houston.  Her parents have almost exhausted all of their options and need financial help.  She is only 3 years old and has lived way beyond the life expectancy for this type of brain tumor (brain stem glioma).  And her tumor is shrinking.  She is on her way to a long and happy life.  Give me a call if you have something to donate to the garage sale.  253-318-7790

Have a super day!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Matt’s Party 7-14-12

Matt’s Party 7-14-12

Yesterday while walking my friend told me about two boys who she knew who had huge family problems.  The one is currently living at her house.  I couldn’t believe that the mothers of these two boys could say things like:  I wish you were never born, You are a disgrace to the family, I hate you, I never want to see you again, I wish you were dead, get our of my life.  Wow, how could a mother ever say those things to their own child?  Why did these women ever have a child?  There are choices and the first is birth control, then there is the pill the day after, there is abortion (not that I am in favor of this) and of course there is adoption.  Why would you ever be so selfish to keep a child that you hate and make their lives miserable? Some of us had to go through medical treatments to have babies, watch them go through a terrible disease and treatments and finally watch them die.  I guess with this background I just don’t understand how any mother could treat their child as anything other than a precious gift.  How can they not understand that they are responsible for nurturing and loving this being they brought into the world.  I know my whole life changed when I became a Mom.  I did everything I could to make the best possible life for my children that I could.

I remember when I was teaching at Stadium High School I had a student who had become pregnant.  Her plan was to become a foster child of her boyfriend’s mom and the baby would too.  That way when her boyfriend got out of prison they could all live together?  She wasn’t planning on finishing high school.  I told her that I was a Mom with a good career and a husband with a good job and I was worried that I could do enough for my children.  I told her that as a parent you want to give your children everything you can and her plan just didn’t sound real good to me.  I also told her that there a lot of wonderful couples wanting to have a baby so bad and they can’t.  She came to me later and said she had decided to adopt the baby out through an open adoption.  She wanted to give her baby a better life than she could at this time.  I gave her a hug and told her I was proud of her.  She thought of her baby first.  She wanted her baby to have a better life than she could give at this point in her life.  It must have been difficult but I’m know it turned out well for that little guy, unlike to two boys I mentioned earlier.  She shared photos with me.  She stayed in school and graduated.  She was happy to see that her baby had a good home with loving parents.

I also received a letter from Multicare yesterday.  It was from they bereavement lady that I talked to last week.  I must say that they have been good about calling and checking on how we are doing.  She sent a list of grieving rights as well as grief groups and her number to call if I just want to chat.  On one of the grieving rights was about how the grief will just sneak up on you at any time without any reason.  Oh it does.  It is uncontrollable and just takes over your body.  You cry out loud and without control.  Tears just stream down your checks as you sob and sob. 

Today we went to Matt’s 21st birthday party. Matt was Kathryn’s boyfriend who was there for her always.  We were happy to be there for him.  It was kind of hard to think that we would be there and Kathryn would not be there.  Scott had a hard time with this and I was apprehensive about going.  Scott made a card from Kathryn and attached it to a bundle of logs from the tree we had to take down.  This was Kathryn’s favorite tree.  It always bloomed around her no more chemo day (May 5th).  It was interesting to see the kids who were there.  Several were Friends that Matt made through Kathryn.  It is also so good to see a brother a sister have a wonderful relationship like Richard and Kathryn had.  Matt and his sister Katie have that special relationship.  I think is has to do with the parents.  Matt and Katie have good parents.  They believe in the family working together and sticking together.  They are loving but also have expectations.  We really love this family.

Kathryn was fortunate to have this family in her life.  She was fortunate to have a loving boyfriend like Matt.  He was there for her when others would have left. 

Good Night