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, May 24, 2013

Heavy Heart 5-2-13

Heavy Heart 5-22-13

This past weekend I was really sad and cried a lot.  More than I have in weeks.  My heart was heavy and now I know why.  On Sunday I had received a phone call from Rowan’s Mom.  If you know me well you know that I don’t carry my cell phone with me or look at it all the time.  I actually will go a day or two without it.  Anyhow, I had a missed call from Rebecca.  It came in Sunday evening.  I didn’t look at my phone until Monday afternoon.  When I saw the missed call I checked her blog to see what was up.  There I read it.  Rowan had passed away on Saturday May 18th at 12:15 pm.  I broke down and cried.  I knew my heart was heavy and this was the reason.  I knew this was coming.  Just like I knew it was coming for Kathryn but I always held on to that hope just like I did for Kathryn.  Rebecca’s blog before this last one had described Rowan’s condition in such a way that I could picture Kathryn in the same state.  I could also picture Rowan in this same state.  But it was so hard to hear that another beautiful little girl had been ripped away from their loving family.  Another child who was so sweet and loved so much.  Why?  I will never understand.  Rowan passed away in the hospital with her Mom (Rebecca) and Dad (Chuck) holding her.  Watching your child take that last breath is the hardest thing to witness. 

So Chuck and Rebecca have Rowan’s ashes with them as they are taking a road trip.  They just need to get away.  It will be difficult to go home.  The home where their little girl laughed and played.  It will take time.  I don’t know where all they will go but I certainly offered a place for them to come to if they end up out this way.   They need your prayers for comfort as their world has been shattered. 

I also got word on the t-shirt sales.  It didn’t go as well as I thought it would but we did make $110 dollars for Camp.  There was a lot of confusion when the store opened and I never received a flyer about it.  This time I have a flyer to send out and hopefully this will make it less confusion for people.  The store opens May 24th and goes through June 7th and will have delivery on the 21st.

Richard called today to tell us a little story about his day.  While he was on campus today (May 22nd) a girl came up to him.  She said, “You don’t know me but I knew your sister Kathryn.  I came across a letter the other day that Kathryn had written to me and it was special. She said Kathryn was a really awesome person.”  Richard shared this with me with excitement in his voice.  I was glad to hear that excitement.  He thought it was so cool that this girl should come up to him like that and introduce herself to him to tell him about the letter and how special his sister was.  This lifted my heavy heart.  I feel so good that this girl had the courage to some up to a young man that she didn’t even know to share such a sweet message.  Richard thought it was very special too.  I don’t know exactly how he feels as he doesn’t talk about it.  His loss is deep though.  I don’t want to pry but I will someday.  I know I don’t want to go with unanswered questions and concerns as I did with Kathryn.  My only regret is not talking to her more about her situation.  We just tried so hard to make every day a happy day. 

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!  Be Safe!

This is Rowan at 21/2.  She was 41/2 When she passed away.  I love this picture with the ice cream on her darling little face.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

T-shirts are in 5-19-13

T-shirts are in 5-19-13

Good Morning,

Normally I write little notes throughout the week but I just didn’t even have time for that this week.

It’s been an emotional week for me.  I think Mother’s Day (even though I had a wonderful day) still made me miss Kathryn and that mother daughter connection.  I have found myself crying a lot more than I have in the past three weeks.  I haven’t gone into Kathryn’s room for a long time too.  I mean months.  I only cry when I go in there so I don’t go in.  I know I need to organize and dust in there but I haven’t.  I do have a goal of cleaning her room by the end of the next weekend.  Maybe Scott will help me and it will go better for me.  He is very comfortable in her room.  He talks to her while he feeds her fish and waters her plants.  He puts his hand on her box of ashes and feels her spirit.  He has always been a very spiritual guy.  Very sensitive and connected.

I have probably been a bit more emotional because my little friend Rowan isn’t doing very well.  The doctors can’t agree if a shunt will help her gain back her mobility.  She is having a difficult time swallowing and the story goes on in a familiar way.  Too familiar…  and this makes me sad.  I have spent every second that I am not working or totally engaged in something praying for Rowan.  Once again it is hard to understand why children go through this.  Why do parents who love their child have to go through this too?  If you are a person who prays, please pray for Rowan.  Pray that God will take this disease from her body and give her health.  Pray for her family to give them strength.  They have faith and plenty of it.  They just need God’s mercy and healing power to come their way. 

I have also been asked to speak at the Lakewood Relay for life on the 31st at the Luminaria Ceremony.  I was a bit hesitant but said yes.  I know that I need to do this to help spread hope.  Kathryn would want me to speak.  I actually do enjoy doing it  and speaking about Kathryn helps keep her spirit alive. 

The water shoes have come in for the kids at camp.  Remember that the Durham’s have arranged for each child at Camp Goodtimes to receive a mess bag with a pair of water shoes along with a Panda pin.  There will also be a card attached that explains why they are receiving the shoes.  I will be working on this card today.  This is a very exciting and wonderful project the Durham’s have taken on.  They have done it because they love Kathryn and also wanted to do something to support her love of camp.  I would say they have really done a fabulous job!  Thank you so very much!

The Kathryn “Panda” Bradley shirts should have arrived on Friday to everyone. I got my box and was excited to see them.  I really like how the tribute to Kathryn turned out.  I plan on wearing mine this week to school.  On Monday, well probably Tuesday, I will stop by the t-shirt store and see exactly how we did on raising money for Camp through the t-shirt sales.  I know of people who already want to order more or their first one so I will talk to Randy about doing another set of dates for the store.  I will keep you posted on this.  Let me know if you are interested in buying a t-shirt or know of someone who would like to buy one.  This helps me get an idea of what to tell Randy.

Another good thing… I finished painting our bedroom-bathroom area yesterday.  This has been a huge project but it is all done now.  There are five different colors in the room if you include the ceiling.  It sounds like a lot but two shades of brown and two shades of blue or teal.  And it is a huge space.  I hung one of Kathryn’s art pieces on one of the teal walls and it really looks great!

I also saw the PA about my upcoming surgery.  She really shot me down as far as when and what I can do.  She said, I could not go to Bellingham on the 15th for Bee’s graduation.  This made me think that maybe I should put it off.  Bee is like a daughter to us and missing her graduation is not good.  I told Scott her had to go without me to be our family rep.  I will also be very limited in Hawaii when we go on the 6th of July.  I only get to go if everything goes well.  My student who gave me all of the books doesn’t want me to leave either.  But she understands.  I would put this off but I’m afraid that I wouldn’t be able to go to work at the start of the year in the fall if I do the surgery after Hawaii.  The Doctor and I discussed this and agreed that the earlier date would be best for this reason.  So June 3rd will be the date.  A friend of mine wrote and told me her husband had his hip replaced by the same surgeon just a few years ago and he is very happy with the results.  My cousin (who is in the medical field) told me that he is one of the best hip doctors around.  This is all very encouraging.  I will just get it done and over with.  Then my leg will not feel like it is falling apart.  I will not be in constant pain.  Yeah!  And who knows, I may heal very quickly.  Like Scott said, I am younger than most people having this surgery and in good shape.  What normally happens may be very different for me and in a positive way.  I agree, I’m not one to be held down.

And yet another good thing.  Richard passed his West-E test.  This is a test that you have to pass to become a teacher.  It is a test geared toward your field, so his test was all upper math.  He said he took his time and read every question carefully.  He is glad to have this done and over with.  He is working hard this quarter finishing the last of his college classes.  He is all set up to student teach at Seahome High School in Bellingham.  He is very happy with this placement.  He’s going to be a great teacher.

Have a fabulous day and week!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

Mother’s Day 2013

The other day we were reminded of a funny situation with Kathryn.  I had made a milk shake and we were at the table.  I asked Scott if he wanted a long spoon for his to keep it stirred.  At first he said no and then he said I better have one.  I don’t want to end up like Kathryn did with her shake.  Well, she was drinking her shake (not with a straw) and you know how shakes will get clumpy when they sit for a little bit.  Her shake got clumpy and she didn’t stir it before she brought it up to take a sip.  A big clump came out and just covered her with shake.  It was so funny.  We all laughed about it.  She was a good sport and didn’t get upset.

The Durham’s have been working on a project for camp to honor Kathryn.  They have ordered water shoes for every child and they will come in a net bag with a panda pin on each one.  The shoes are bright colors and so are the bags.  They are a perfect representation of Kathryn. This wonderful family has been so supportive of camp – it is amazing.  Again Kathryn has inspired others to do great things.

I also received some sad news about our little friend Rowan.  The new spot in her brain is increasing.  She has lost some of her physical abilities.  Her parents are now using a stroller and she doesn’t use her arms like she use to.  They are having a shunt put in to release fluid and this should help bring back her physical abilities.  However that new spot in the brain is concerning.  Please pray for Rowan.  She is the sweetest little girl and the only child of Rebecca and Chuck. 

I have this one student who is a bit different.  She talks to me about things from time to time.  She wrote me a nice note the other day about appreciating me for the things I have done for her.  Her note was quite funny actually.  Anyhow she reads like crazy.  I asked her if she had any ideas of what I should read while I am laid up after my hip surgery.  She came in the next day and said I should talk to the librarian.  Then on Friday she came in before school with this black garbage bag and she sits it on a desk and starts opening it.  She pulls out all of these books and tells me about them.  There were more books than I have read in my entire life!  I brought about half of them home.  I hope I can read enough of them to at least let her know that I appreciated her efforts.  It will be a challenge. 

One of my co-workers stopped by my room after school.  He checks on me periodically to see how I am doing.  We talked about faith and how mine has increased not decreased with Kathryn’s passing.  I have this new inner feeling of peace.  I know that God has Kathryn and she is in a safe place.  I can’t help but think he took her to keep her from being harmed on this Earth.  We talked about people who have children but don’t take care of them and how people get pregnant and don’t want their child.  I told him about a student that I had at Stadium who was pregnant and her boyfriend was in prison.  She was going to become a foster child and live with his mom and the baby would too.  I asked if this was really the life she wanted for herself and her child.  I told her that I had a good job and my own home and I still felt like I couldn’t give enough to my child. I told her that once you become a parent and you love your child with all of your heart you will want to do everything to give your child the best life.  We talked more and I told her that there were many couples out there that wanted to have a baby but just weren’t able to.  She was only 17 and needed to finish school and build a life for herself.  She came to me later and said she adopted the baby out.  She and the family were keeping in contact.  She was very happy with her choice. 

My co-worker and I talked about tithing.  I must admit I haven’t been good about this.  I have given but not consistently or enough.  He told me that he had been in dept and was really struggling to make it once his wife stopped working to take care of their child.  He felt he needed to tithe but didn’t know what to do since he didn’t have any money to give.  He started to give free piano lessons to one or two children each year that didn’t have the funds to pay.  This became his form of tithing.  In one year he was caught up on his bills.  I told him how Kathryn was concerned with her treatment costing so much.  She was worried about the money.  I told her, “Kathryn, I don’t know how it happens but money happens.  Some how it will be here and everything will be just fine.  So, you just think about taking care of yourself and getting better.  Don’t worry about money because it will happen.”  It did take care of itself.  We had many people help us through this and I didn’t’ have to worry about money and neither did Kathryn.  Thank you to all and God. 

I also said I guess Scott and I are tithing in this manor too.  We gave thousands this year to the Wine Auction in support of Camp Goodtimes.  Scott has been helping his friend out who has Parkinson’s.  He bought him a computer, helps him with his art supplies, pays for him to go to yoga and just this weekend took him to Bend Oregon for a luau.  His friend is pretty much stuck at home so going to this luau was really special.  Scott set it up to pick him up on Friday and stay over night in Bend.  They went out to one of the lady’s houses for dinner on Friday night.  She is one of Russell’s friends from Hawaii.  On Saturday they went to Mt Bachelor for the luau.  There they saw several old friends from Hawaii.  One of these friends was Gerry Lopez (a very famous surfer).  He wrote a book.  He had one copy in the car and went and got one for Scott’s friend.  He signed it too.  Scott’s friend was beaming.  This was a great day for him and for Scott.  I can see in Scott’s eyes just how important this was for him to do this for his friend.  Scott is a good man and very giving.  He is so very thoughtful and I am very lucky to have him in my life.  When you do something for others your heart fills with warmth and your whole being is filled with joy. 

Today is Mother’s Day.  The best thing I ever did in my life.  Becoming a Mom was so important to me.  I had to go through a lot to get there but I have two beautiful children.  Richard and Bee have invited us up for lunch.  My Mom and Bee’s Mom will also be there.  It should be a nice day.  I’m looking forward to seeing the two of them.  We do talk to Richard every day.  One of us talks to him each day.  It has been great to have him share his lesson plans with me.  He will make a fine teacher.

To all of you Mother’s – Have a wonderful day!
And to all of you children – Thank you for making our lives so full of love and happiness. You make us proud.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

One year and three months 5-2-13

One year and three months 5-2-13

The Kathryn “Panda” Bradley store closed this week.  We may have another run depending on how things went.  I may buy a bunch and sell them myself.  I’m excited to get my own t-shirts and start wearing them.   I would have been wearing some but the few that we have are either too small or way too big.

My trainer Rosey and I have become friends over this time that she has been working with me.  We were talking about Kathryn and how tiny she was and she wants to see a picture.  I’m going to share her Senior Prom picture with her.  She looks so adorable.  I made the dress that is hot pink and short.  She tried it on so many times as I made adjustments.  Of course there wasn’t a pattern that was her size so adjustments had to be made.  I was always afraid that I wouldn’t get it right but Kathryn was always so positive that it would be perfect.  Every time I made something for her she had no doubts that it would be just what she wanted.  I also made her date a tie to match her sash.  The tie was harder than the dress.  I’ve shared this prom picture with you so you can see what I am talking about.  And those shoes had to be ordered.  It is so hard to find tiny high heels.  When we talked about her cancer I said that it gave us so many good things.  She said it is so good that you can find the positive in this.  Kathryn’s death was the ultimate low in my life but I know that I will see her again and I know that she believed that she had a wonderful life.  She seemed so fearless.  My students and I were talking and death came up and I said that I wasn’t afraid to die.  At that very moment in time I honestly could say and could really feel it in my heart and soul that I had no fear of death.  I don’t think I ever had that feeling before.  Death is just the beginning.

I took pictures for our school yearbook at the volleyball game this week.  I was sitting there just snapping away when this older man asked me if I had a daughter out there.  I told him that I was a teacher taking pictures for the yearbook.  He talked to me the whole time.  Of course he asked if I had children.  Of course Kathryn’s death came up.  I don’t mind sharing because I always get to share about what a wonderful girl she was too.  That always makes me feel good.  He also asked how my son was doing.  I said, "He is real quiet about it."  I almost started to cry.  Kathryn wanted us all to go to a counselor before she died.  Richard and I both went and saw her counselor.  I knew Richard wasn't impressed and neither was I.  Later on this same woman let Kathryn down too.  I don't think Richard will ever seek help from a counselor.  I did and the one I saw was very good.  I truly believed she helped me get through a rough spot.

The second day I saw Rosey this week she shared with me that her son (2 years old) has eczema so bad that he has lost hair where he scratches and he leaves a pile of dead skin in his car seat when she takes him out of it.  She had tried everything.  She had taken him to 3 doctors through the clinic that they go to.  She has read about it and talked with other Mom’s in the same situation on the Internet.  The poor girl. Her eyes were welling up as we talked.  I told her she really needed to see a dermatologist.  She said she couldn’t get in for weeks.  They haven’t been sleeping at night as the little guy wakes up crying.  She sent me a text Friday while I was at school that she didn’t sleep all night but they got an appointment for 2:15 that day.  They were given 5 prescriptions.  I sure hope something works for the little guy.

Thursday night I was tutoring a young lady and I noticed her lime green finger nail polish.  I had done Kathryn’s nails for her in the hospital.  She had picked out a lime green.  Kathryn had long beautiful nails.  She kept them looking great all of the time.  I tried to keep this up for her.  She and I were talking about our nails one time and her problem was that her nails grew too fast.  She had to cut them all the time.  My problem, well, not the same.  My nails peel off, crack and don’t grow very fast.  Kathryn had nails like her two Great Grandmas.  My Grandma Peggy and Scott’s Grandma Hildar.  Both were our Father’s Mothers.  I had to take off the polish on a couple of Kathryn’s fingers for the oxygen monitor.  The guys at the mortuary repainted them nicely for her viewing.  I also painted her tiny little toes just a few days before she passed.  Sparkly Blue – polish from her cousin Emily.

Scott and I have been spending our evenings out on the front porch watching the sun change the color of the sky.  We talk and share about our days.  It’s been really nice.  Our lives are taking on a new life and it feels good.  We are becoming the couple that we were at one time.  There has been so much junk in our lives that it is nice to have peace once again.

Thursday marked on of those days.  I had stopped thinking about the time as it just goes too fast.  I’ve been trying to just remember the good times that I had with Kathryn.  Every day there is a memory to behold and every day I think about her.  But Scott said something like it was another Thursday.  I knew just what he meant.  Kathryn passed on a Thursday.  It wasn’t just a Thursday I said.  It was also the 2nd.  Kathryn passed on Thursday the 2nd of February.  This last Thursday, May 2nd, made it One year and 3 months.  It just doesn’t seem right. 

I think about life all of the time.  Scott was talking about cars that we have had and ones that his track buddies have.  He had been to the track on Friday and was telling me about the people and the cars.  He said something about Richard and the RSA. Richard drove at the track one day in our RS America (a Porsche) and on his way home he didn’t make the turn as he hit gravel and slid into a stop sign.  He didn’t know what to do.  He called and Scott just tolda him to head home.  Oh my goodness.  The state patrol pulled him over down the road a few miles and gave him all kinds of garbage.  He had long hair at the time and was driving a fast sporty racecar.  The patrol told him he was on drugs and went on and on and gave him a few tickets. He won’t even let Richard drive home.  We had to drive out and get him and the car.  It’s something we laugh at because it was so ridiculous and it was all thrown out in court.  But I was thinking that Richard has had a pretty good life.  Both of my kids have had a good life.  We had done a lot of things as a family.  They have had many experiences that other children will never have.  They have been well loved and taken care of yet taught to take care of themselves.  They were given independence and they were able to spread their wings and fly in their own direction.  With the guidance we gave early on they were able to make good choices.  Do I sound proud?  Well, I am.  My kids are my greatest accomplishment in my life.  I’m so proud of the people they have become.  They both have the spirit!  The I can do anything spirit.  Richard has learned to handle things so calmly and just rolls with it.  He has a hard quarter of school right now.  He is extremely busy with some work that really isn’t up his alley.  But he will get it done.  He was also chosen to work at a high school in Bellingham next year for his student teaching.  He is excited about this.

Next weekend is Mother’s Day.  My dear son called me a week ago and invited me up to Bellingham for Mother’s Day Brunch or Lunch.  My Mom will be going too.  It will be a nice day.  Bee’s Mom will be there too.  Richard and Bee will be cooking for us.   They are great in the kitchen.  Scott was invited down to Bend Oregon for a Hawaiian Luau.  You may not know this famous surfer Jerry Lopez but he is the one putting this on.  Scott is going because his friend Russell was invited.  Russell has Parkinson’s and Scott wanted to make sure Russell was able to go so he will be helping Russell get around.  Scott will also be happy to see all of these guys that he use to surf with.  A surf club reunion!

That’s all folks – Have a fabulous Day and enjoy this Beautiful weather.