Thoughts about Thanksgiving 11-24-12
It’s been an interesting week. I received a letter from the Mary Bridge Oncology Clinic about the Christmas Party. Kathryn loved to go to this. She helped hand out gifts a couple of times. They have a slide show featuring children who have passed away and also photos from some of the parties. They have a spring or Easter party and a Summer party each year as well as the Christmas party. So in the letter I was asked to send some pictures in for the slide show. I was also asked to bring in a photo in a frame to display it on the Angel’s table. I was happy to do all of this. But when it came time to look through photos I just burst into tears. The tears just flow so fast and so hard. Maybe this is why I haven’t put those photos in the album yet. I’m so far behind it is crazy. It will be the last album that has photos of Kathryn in it. Maybe that is why I been putting it off. No more pictures will ever be taken of her. It’s so hard to think about it. But it is this way and I just have to suck it up.
Richard came down on Wednesday to help out with the preparations for Thanksgiving. He was pretty fun to have around as I went through the china and silver for setting the table. He looked through things and asked a lot of questions. The china with the roses was my Grandma’s on my Dad’s side and the silver was Scott’s Mom’s. Are these crystal glasses? Yes, son and some day all of this will be yours. I told him that you can get more of the china through a company but it will cost a fortune. I purchased a couple of plates years ago at $35 a piece. Richard was a big help with the food too. He loves to cook and does a great job. Well, I did have to save the stuffing after he added too much liquid and turned it into mush. In the end it was great. He also bar-b-qued a Steelhead. Scott made the turkey and Richard carved it. Richard and I each made a bowl of mashed potatoes. It was fun to have him in the kitchen with me. My Mom came down early on Thanksgiving and helped too. She peeled an entire ten pound bag of potatoes. I don’t know that we could have done the whole deal without all of these helping hands.
On Thanksgiving my Mom said she had a message from my sister-in-law on her cell phone but she could hardly hear it. I listened to it. We also received a call from my sister-in-law’s sister too. My niece was in the hospital. She had gotten an infection in her lungs. She had surgery on the 21st to remove 400 cc of fluid and bacteria. She had a second surgery on Thanksgiving Day to remove 500 cc of fluid and bacteria. They also inserted a tube for draining. This required moving ribs which so very painful. I cracked a couple of ribs once and it took so long to get better. It hurts so much too. When I listened to the message my emotions went crazy. It was bad news of a young girl who didn’t deserve to be in this position. It was another set of parents worried about their little girl. This is just too hard to take. It made me think of how we had grand plans for Christmas Eve last year and we ended up in the hospital. Unfortunately we didn’t get to go home very quickly and ours turned from what we thought would be a quick fix to the beginning of the end. Fortunately my niece will be good to go home in a few days. Prayers are welcome for her speedy and complete recovery. Her name is Julia so when you pray say her name.
Our Thanksgiving went on. I was so happy to see my brother Mike. He has had a rough time as he is going through a divorce. He looked good and sounded good. My friend Robyn came over. Scott’s aunt and uncle were here. My Mom of course. My niece Emily, Richard’s girlfriend (Katherine) and her Mom, uncle and her Mom’s friend Dean were all here. My cousin Mark and his daughter were here. And my Mom’s only living sibling, her sister Mary Jane was here too. We had a lovely evening. Everyone contributed to the meal or drinks. Many helpful hands in the clean up too. We had each filled out a piece of paper to say what we were thankful for and then we circulated them around the table at dinner time. We each picked one out of the bowl and read it. So no one read their own. It was fun. What was funny about this is that I was thinking about doing this and without Richard knowing that I was thinking about this he asked me if we could do this. It told him that it was so funny that he should ask me because I was thinking about doing this very thing. Anyhow it was fun. We had some good laughs.
As far as my emotions go I was holding it together well. I was too busy to get thinking about how I felt. For a moment during dinner I did kind of got away mentally and almost started to cry but then I pulled myself back. Last year we were in Houston. It was fine to be there thinking and hoping we were saving Kathryn. We made our little chicken with all the fixings. We were all together as Team Bradley. Now one player short but still working as a team. Richard and I even high fived it as Team Bradley.
After everyone left and Mom, Richard and Scott all went to bed Katherine and I went and sat in the hot tub. We talked and talked. We were both very wrinkled when we got out at 1:30. I love her so much. It is nice that my son has a girlfriend that is my friend too. We talked about our losses, her sister 2003, her Dad 2007 and Kathryn 2012. I think this has all created a huge hurt and mistrust in God. We all prayed but our prayers were not answered the way we wanted them to be answered. I have forgiving God and have learned to trust that this is only a short life here and the one to come will only be better. I still feel so much pain but this dear girl and her mother have had so much more pain sent their way. She even said that life is so different without Kathryn. It was just normal to make decisions about meals with Kathryn in mind. What would Kathryn like for dinner? What would Kathryn eat? My little Kathryn was a huge part of Richard and Katherine’s everyday life. Now they don’t have her around and it is different. You know that change in life I have talked about, well this is part of it. Change in the way we live with an empty feeling. There is a void that will never be filled. We go through our days thinking about Kathryn knowing we won’t here her sweet little voice and knowing that we will never hug her or kiss her or hold her again. As I sat at the Thanksgiving table I thought about how I would be hearing her in silly conversation with my brother and his daughter. She would have been sitting there enjoying them as they would have been enjoying her. But it could only be imagined.
I also received an email this week from an organization called Candlelighters. This organization works with families who have children with cancer. They asked if I would like to adopt a family for Christmas. I said yes or course. Kathryn would have wanted me to do this. She and I would have had a blast out shopping for the family. One of the things I remember not getting done last year was getting a name from the giving tree. Kathryn had reminded me that we needed to do this. I never went out to get a name because I didn’t want to leave her. I knew she could have a seizer at any time and I would not have ever want to be away if this happened. Anyhow I never got a name so I guess I am making up for it by taking on a whole family. It will be fun to go shopping for them. I miss buying things for Kathryn. I see things and think about how she would love this and that. Also Christmas movies are coming out and she would want to see them. Or she would want to pull out the Christmas movies that we have here at home and we would watch them. It doesn’t matter if we have seen them several times and it never mattered that they were old. We still enjoyed the joy they brought and the time we shared watching them together. She had this sweetness about her. A complete and under innocence that made her “child”. Yep, we called her child. We probably would have called her child forever because of her sweet, innocent heart.
Little Rowan is doing well and so is the other 4 year old I told you about. Pray that the State of Texas allows Dr. Bryzinski to start taking in pediatric patients again. He has had to turn children away because of the government. One that I know of has passed away. This should not be happening. I have read other things about our government and the drug companies. It is not pretty. They don’t want to find cures or preventions when they can treat symptoms with drugs for long periods of time and make millions and billions of dollars. So sad to think that there are people who want money more than happiness and health for others. Anyhow pray that Dr. Bryzinski can start taking in more children to save them and their families form this disease (cancer).
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you all had a chance to reflect on your blessings. We have many things to be thankful for and don’t always take the time to think about just how very blessed we are.
Love you all,