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.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Eve of Kathryn’s Passing 2-2-13

The Eve of Kathryn’s Passing 2-2-13

Last weekend I was at Fred Meyers purchasing a couple of sympathy cards.  Another lady joined me.  I made the comment, “This type of card is always hard to buy.”  I shared that I was buying cards for two young people both around twenty.  They both have services tomorrow 2-2-13.  I won’t be attending neither service as you can understand or you will understand later in this blog.  As I talked to her Kathryn came up and we both talked about life after death and things like that.  She said, “We are just a blip in time.”  She said, “This life is just a very small part (a blip) of the eternal life to come.  I had to agree.  She was there and her words made me think and remember that our time is yet to come.  Kathryn is already enjoying the eternal life free and happy.  Little reminders like this are so helpful.  God must know that I need these from time to time because he just keeps sending me people to uplift me and bring me peace.

I did get word from Rowan’s Mom Rebecca.  The MRI showed that the tumor was stable.  MRI’s don’t show or tell everything so they are doing a PET scan.  We all are hoping for better than stable.  When I talked to Rebecca she had asked me about Kathryn’s favorite colors.  She loved blue and then I told her that her room was green, yellow and blue but rainbows were in her liking too.  They were planning a gift.  I didn’t realize this.  They had three”Glassbabies” sent to us.  They are out of Seattle.  Glassbabies are hand blown glass votive candle holders.  They were started by a three time cancer survivor so very fitting for a gift for Kathryn or us.  They are made to share hope and give peace.  The light glows so beautifully in each one.  They sent a green, blue and white one.  For the earth, sea and peace.  I placed them on the fireplace mantel.  Rebecca also wrote a beautiful letter to me too.  I had said something about not having talked to Kathryn enough or much at all about death.  We didn’t share a lot about fears.  I only know a few things and one was that she was really concerned about Richard.  She wanted to make sure he would be ok.  She wanted to give him something like we did the first round with cancer and that was skiing.  But Rebecca reassured me that we did things just fine.  This is a little of what she wrote:  surviving cancer as a child changed Kathryn into someone strong and with a unique perspective about life and death. I am certain she suffered knowing she would be leaving her loved ones behind, but I imagine that she also was able to face what was ahead better than most people. Perhaps you two could have discussed death and dying more, but it seems to me that everyone was trying to create an environment that wasn't sad and bleak. You all strived, including Kathryn, to relish every moment you had together and every beautiful moment she had left on this earth.”  She is so right.  Kathryn was forever changed when she survived cancer as a child.  She didn’t take anything for granted.  Not time, people or love.  She shared herself with others and she loved everyone.  She enjoyed life so much because she did know how precious it was.  And as for all of us relishing every moment including Kathryn, that is spot on.  We even had fun in the hospital down in Houston when Kathryn had to get transfusions.  We decorated the entire room where we would go each day at the clinic.  It was a big room with several people getting treatments or learning how to do all the things like draw blood, set the pumps and change the needles for the port.  We made a bunch of snowflakes and taught the nurse how to make them too.  The place was covered with snowflakes.  “The Bradley’s left their mark.”  I wouldn’t allow people to talk negative around Kathryn.  When Matt came to visit he shared stories with Kathryn.  He made up stories for her too just like she would do for him.  At one point I told the people who came to the house that I wasn’t going to talk to them any more if they were going to talk about my daughter dying.  I had enough.  I only wanted to talk about good things and listen to Richard read to Kathryn or read her strange animal friends storybook to her.  I guess the little we did talk about dying was enough.  We had better things to share. 

Today is Friday 2-1-12.  One year ago when I said good night to Kathryn I told her, If Jesus comes to take you tonight, please tell him you don’t want to go.”  I prayed hard that night still believing she would wake up in the morning and smile at me and get up and out of bed.  I truly believed it was going to happen.  As I took her blood pressure I realized something was different.  Usually her blood pressure started to climb around 5am.  This morning it was normal.  I thought this was either really bad or really good.  I was still hoping for really good.  I was hoping my prayers had been answered and the normal blood pressure was the beginning of normality for everything.  Then her oxygen level fell but came back up.  Then it fell and came back up.  I got Richard and we cleared her trec.  Richard and I both knew this was it.  We agreed that we won’t bag Kathryn because we were going to let her go peacefully.  We discussed that even if we brought her back she would not be Kathryn.  She would not want to live a life that wasn’t her life.  Even if we were to give her a breath or two it wouldn’t have been for long.  So, I had Richard get Scott and Grandma.  As we all know her eyes didn’t open on that morning of the 2nd.  I watched as my baby took her last breath.  It was about 8:15 am.  We all cried and told her how much we loved her.  By then she was already out of her body.  She was there in spirit and watching us. 

Now I think of two families having services for their children tomorrow.  One a girl and one a boy but both about the same age Kathryn was when she passed.  I feel for them but I can’t be there.  My day has been hard enough.  And the days to come will be even harder.

There is always good though.  My dear friend Julie followed me down to my classroom after school today.  She is the Office coordinator.  I said,
“What are you doing down in this neck of the woods.  She said ”I’m following you.”  I thought she was joking but then she turned into my classroom.  She had been shopping for her daughter around Christmas time and she was buying this darling bracelet that is a pinkish metal that has love twisted into it (2 times).  She said something was telling her buy two, buy two.  Maybe Kathryn.  So she bought two and knew she had bought one for me.  Maybe it was Kathryn telling her to send me a message of her love for me.  I would like to think this is the case.  It’s simple but beautiful and such Kathryn style.  We both cried and hugged. She was going to give it to me at Christmas time but then we had a snow day the day she was going to give it to me.  She thought that this being the eve of Kathryn’s passing would be a good time. I thought it was perfect.  Thank you Julie.  I’ve been wearing my Team Bradley ring my other friend Julyn gave me last year on the day Kathryn passed.  It has 4 hearts, one for each of us.  We will always be team Bradley no matter what.

I went to the gym today and my sweet trainer Rose told me that tomorrow is her youngest son’s 2nd birthday.  I said, “I will never forget his birthday.”  I told her that was the day Kathryn passed away.  I love Rose.  We both wished each other a good time with our plans for tomorrow.  She hugs me good bye.

Hey, did you know that  tomorrow is going to be another beautiful day just like today?  It was a gorgeous day last year too.  I remember the sun coming through Kathryn’s window.  I’m so glad it won’t be rainy and grey.  We have plans for a “Bond Fire” and rain just won’t do.

Thank you all for your love and support.  If you know Richard, his birthday is the 9th.  He could use some well wished and happy calls.  Kathryn’s birthday is the 5th and we will go out for dinner as a family as we always did.  We will do this for Richard’s birthday too.

Love to all! 


  1. Carol, you are amazing. Thank you for writing each week and enabling us to see all that we should be grateful for. Good luck this week...we will be thinking of you. Julie A.

  2. Hello,
    Something led me to open your blog today - my daughter Shelby met Kathryn at WWU when Shelby was a freshman suffering from homesickness. Kathryn welcomed her warmly to the Relay for Life. I just wanted you to know that I have not forgotten what your dear daughter gave to mine in helping her adjust to college. We sent a card when Kathryn passed, but I bookmarked your blog and have often thought of you. Shelby will graduate in March and I will always be grateful to your daughter for helping her branch out and make friends and get involved at Western. Shelby decided to take snowboarding at WWU and she broke her left wrist quite badly a couple of weeks ago - she was such a great patient and the doctors commented on it- her comment back was that she had known others that had to go through so many difficult medical things- this was just a broken wrist and she figured she could do that.
    God bless your family - your Kathryn and my dear grandma shared a birthday :)
    Kathryn will always be a part of Shelby's memories of college.