September 2nd marked 19 months since Kathryn’s passing. It seems like it just happened. Actually it is still something that doesn’t seem real. It still feels like she will be coming home to see me and we will talk and hug or maybe go to Starbucks and have a cup of coffee. It won’t happen but it does in my mind.
I had a dream that I was in a car with Kathryn and Princess and the road became very icy and undriveable. Kathryn and I ended up having to leave the car and walk leaving Princess for some odd reason. As we arrived to our destination we were wondering about Princess and then she came running up to us, all wiggles and smiles. This did kind of happen on time. Kathryn and I were driving home from our cabin in Packwood. It was in April and it was a beautiful sunny day. I decided to take Skate Creek Road so we could shave 30 minutes off of our drive time. I was hoping we would make it back in time to go watch the school play at the school where I work. Well just like in the dream the road became icy and snowy. I started to slide and all there is to my right is a cliff with a small river at the bottom. I slow and crawl along. I finally realize that my car is not going to make this trip as we climbed a small hill. It would not climb even a small hill. I didn’t exactly have tires for the snow on my car but rather I had track tires on my car. I think both Kathryn and I were relieved to have found a spot to make a turn around. The road had only gotten worse the farther we went so turning around was a great idea. So we didn’t make the play but we made it home safely.
Tuesday 9/3 was the first day of school. I always have a letter that I write that tells a bit about my family and myself. I do tell about Kathryn and her passing. It gets very quiet at that time. Kids are very respectful and I appreciate this. Sierra, who knows me well said, “this is sad” as she read through the part about Kathryn. I don’t know if I should stop mentioning this but for now it is who I am and this is my life so I will continue to include it.
On Wednesday (9/4) I wrote to a man who was just diagnosed with a GBM (the same brain tumor Kathryn died from) on September 2nd. He’s concerned about telling his children that he is going to die. My first letter never went through but then I tried again and did get a second one to go through. I hope that my words were hopeful and helpful. I know what the doctors have told him as they told me I would be lucky to have Kathryn one year. They told me it would come back and kill her. He has heard those same words. If he gets even a little extra time there could be a new method of treating this beast. They are working on it and coming up with new things all of the time. It is just that, a matter of time. I think writing to him helped me because as I walked Princess that evening I found myself signing aloud. I don’t do this or at least haven’t sung out loud for a very long time. There was happiness in my heart.
On Thursday I had a student ask if that was my daughter on the wall. She asked if she could look at my pictures and I said yes of course. I love it when they take an interest. She said Kathryn was beautiful. I couldn’t agree more. Her smile was so beautiful. She was perfect in every way as far as I am concerned.
I read more about GBM Patients on this site for brain cancer research. It is the most common brain tumor and the most deadly. Some people live just a few days after diagnoses. One woman wrote about her husband who only lived 126 days while there was one who lived 5 or 6 years. The author of the book, Surviving Terminal Cancer is still alive. He is the only GBM survivor that I know of. It has been 19 years for him. I think it is because he is a scientist in the medical field and he would switch form one treatment to another if it appeared one wasn’t working. He continued to change his treatments and also live a very pure life and using natural products to the hilt. I tried this with Kathryn but… well we all know how that turned out.
Ambulances Everywhere – I have been behind or next to an ambulance every day for that past too weeks. Of course they make me think of my ride in the ambulance with Kathryn. I always wonder if I will see those two guys again. For that matter will I see any of the nurses or doctors again? They were all so good to us. The one doctor called to see how Kathryn was doing. She had passed by the time he called. He was so concerned. He wrote us a nice card. Not all doctors take the time to do this. He was the doctor who got Kathryn to a place where she could come home.
On Friday (9/6) some of my boys asked me if I was going to the football game. It sounded like they were playing as they were also dressed in their jerseys. It was the High school varsity team that was playing but my boys were there. I told them I would go if it wasn’t pouring down rain. Well, the sky cleared and it was a gorgeous evening. I really enjoyed talking to the kids there and watching the game. We won too!
I’m really enjoying my students more this year. They are good kids. My yearbook class is amazing. I discuss with them what they should be doing and then they just get to it.
The second week of school has flown by. We had our floors refinished so I have been living out of a suitcase. Other things aren’t going well but that is enough said. School is going well.
I talked to a friend about my classes and I have one young lady who failed my class last year who is earning an A at this time. That means she has completed every assignment so far. She is my project this year. She is a great kid but it is obvious that she has no support at home. At least no one to ask her about homework or help her with homework. So I hope to help fill this spot by keeping a very close eye on her work and using that mothering push to keep her going. There are a couple of others who will need similar attention. I have one boy who is autistic and I have already had a couple of email conversations with his mom. She is on top of it that’s for sure. He came to school after we went over how to put a notebook together with is already to go. He just works a little slower but I think he will be just fine. He has great support at home and that makes all the difference in the world.
Today (9/14) is the funeral for the 10 year old I wrote about. Yes, cancer took her too. It just took a long time Porsche Club member too. Also another friend of ours lost a close friend of his to cancer too. He asked me about the man who sang at Kathryn’s service and about setting up a bank fund for the family for donations. This man left his family with no life insurance and dept. They need help. I told my friend that the wife needs to know that people want to help and giving them an avenue to do so is good. She doesn’t want to look like she is begging but she isn’t. There is a need to fill. My goodness, the bills could be horrendous. I know our 4 months cost us $100,000 to $110,000 but we had a life insurance policy. Anyhow, I gave him all the information I had and thoughts and ideas. It just a shitty position for anyone.
I’m going to end on a good note. Our floors are done and I will return home today. I did look at them from the door way and they look like new floors. Absolutely beautiful! My gym workouts are going great. I can really tell that my right leg has been lazy as it heals. It is so much weaker than my left leg. And when they work together I can feel the left leg doing more. It will all even out. I do feel so much better. I don’t hurt like I did.
Richard is planning on heading out to North Carolina for a camp retreat. Well, it is a big deal for him. He has really been involved in planning events for camp to help raise funds.
He is also enjoying his student teaching. He had open house the other night and it went well. A quick 10 minutes with each class of parents. I remember those nights.
He is doing great!
Well, I didn’t get this out like I thought I would so here’s a little more. I went to the Staff appreciation dinner (9/18) for Camp Goodtimes Staff. I am so proud to have Richard as my son. He and his girlfriend Bee earned the Volunteer of the Year award. Of course I teared up as Beef spoke about my son and his girlfriend and how they have taken their cancer experiences and used them to help others. It was a great evening because I was with such great people. How can you not feel good around people who give so selflessly? I love this Camp Family!!!
So, today I looked at the mail and there was a letter for Kathryn. Well an advertisement for Kathryn. On the envelope it said, “Get a glimpse of your future…. Well if these people only knew. There is no future. It has all been put to an end by cancer.
I have a good weekend ahead. Looking forward to spending some time with friends.