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.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Flood 9/26/13

The Flood 9/26/13 Friday morning 9/20 we woke up to a mess. Scott went downstairs at 4:45 am to take the last step off of the stairs into a puddle of water. He yelled up to me and I headed down to see the downstairs flooded. I couldn’t believe it. We were calling the insurance company to tell them that the hardwoods were all finished and we were satisfied so they could cut the final check. You could hear the water gushing in. The faucet was running full blast. Luckily we have a shut off valve in the hall closet and I turned the water off immediately. The hose to the freezer for water and ice had come off of the faucet and so that water was just shooting in full blast. We have no idea how long it ran. It covered the hardwoods and flooded the laundry room. The family room carpet was all soaked but one small corner of the room. The water got into the living room and dining room about four feet in. I scooped up water with a dustpan into a big garbage can. I filled the garbage can three times. Scott cut the thresh hold off of the front doorway so we could just push the water out of the front door. That worked well. Then we soaked up the rest with towels. When I laid a towel on the family room floor it soaked up water instantly. Then the cleaning crew can. 18 fans and dehumidifiers were set up in the house and several under the house. The floors were covered with special mats that had hoses running to and from them and plastic covered the floors. The plants all had to be removed as well as candles or anything that couldn’t with stand temperatures of 96-99 degrees. The upstairs was tented off so getting to our bedroom meant we had to go through a zipper tent. 20 garbage bags of insulation were gathered form under the house. The laundry room floor was all cut out and thrown away. Oh and all the ductwork was taken apart under the house and the insulation from it thrown out too. What a mess!! In spite of it all I kept a good attitude. What can you do? I made it to work about an hour late. One of my students actually picked the perfect day to tell me, “You are always so happy Mrs. Bradley and it makes me happy every time I come into your room.” Wow, I guess I must be doing ok for a student to say that. Later in the week my friend told me her aunt said she couldn’t believe how calm I am about all of this. She said that I have been through so much in my life that this was nothing. She’s right. I have been through so much and this is just a little tiny deal. Nothing to get worked up about at all. Saturday I went to Woodenville to do some wine tasting with friends. There were 7 of us including Richard. He was the only man in the group. It was supposed to be all girls but two people canceled last minute so I told him he should come with Bee. It was fun and several of us ended up buying some wine. We also had dinner and there was live music. On Sunday I saw a little girl sucking her thumb with her blanket. When Kathryn was little she sucked her thumb. Richard did too. When Kathryn went to kindergarten she decided that sucking her thumb was not something she should be doing at school. She had all of these cute little tops that had a satin bow on the collar. She would rub that bow and suck her thumb. One day she told me she couldn’t wear the shirts with the bows to school because they made her suck her thumb. She amazed me at 5 years old how she could see that she had to stay away from the bows to stop sucking her thumb. It worked! On Sunday there was fabulous Rainbow. Most of you here in our area saw it. It was the most crisp rainbow I have every seen. The colors were so clear and bright. Usually the colors fade into each other and are fuzzy. I Bought a Panda Watch in Hot Pink, skinny black jeans and sparkly blue shoes. All in Kathryn’s memory. She would have loved the outfit I wore to school on Monday. Most of my students commented. Even a Mom I met with after school commented on my shoes. Kathryn would have been so proud of me. I was kind of stepping out of my comfort zone. Out to dinner every night because our kitchen is not useable. The fans are loud, the plastic on the floors and the hoses running everywhere are dangerous to walk around. And, let’s not forget the 96-99 degrees in that part of the house. While at El Toro’s I heard a family behind me ordering a grilled cheese sandwich. That was what Kathryn ordered there for years. She said they made the best grilled cheese sandwiches. Better than any other restaurant. She did move on the Taco Salads when she got older. Taco salad with beans, no meat. Wore the beautiful pink heart pendent Kathryn bought me while in Europe with People to People. I love it. I will wear it more now that I have a chain that I feel comfortable with. I had a chain but it had a bad spot in it that I always feared would break and I would lose the pendent. Now I have a nice strong chain that is shinny and beautiful just perfect for the pendent. I will never forget how Kathryn ran to me at the airport when she returned home from that trip. It was the first time that she had spent away from her family for more than a couple of nights. She was gone 3 weeks. She ran to me crying as I ran to her crying. We hugged so tight and gave each other a kiss. She said, “I’m never going on a trip like that again.” Than she explained that she did have a good time but she would never go on a trip without us for that long again. We both missed each other so much. I was so happy to have my little girl back home. I sure wish she would come home now. I spoke to God again today about letting me see her or at the very least dream about her. I told Kathryn that I know we will be together soon as this lifetime is just a blip in time. A short little period that will someday be filled with life everlasting and time with Kathryn once again. It’s already Thursday 9/26. Time is flying as usual. Our house is still a mess and will be for a while. The floors need to be replaced because of the flooding. That means more dust and mess. 160 gallons was removed by the machines plus the 40 gallons we mopped up! That’s 200 gallons, a lot of water!! The rest of the blog is a letter I wrote to help you understand a little bit about pediatric cancer and Camp Goodtimes. Cancer Sucks as we all know. It has touched everyone in some way. You may not be the one who has had cancer but maybe you know someone who has had to deal with it. Or even someone who has died from it. For myself I know way too many people who have died from cancer. I have always expected that some day I would hear the words you have cancer. It does run in my family. But, never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined my child having cancer. I didn’t even know that children got cancer until it hit my child. Yes, Cancer Sucks! It really sucks if you are a child. Your life is just taking off but you have no idea what is happening to you. You may not feel good so you go to the doctor and they start poking you. You are told you have cancer. This makes your parents very sad. It makes other people act very strange around you. Then you are told you have to get treatments and those treatments make you feel even sicker. You lose your hair and you are just a child. Only old people are bald! Maybe you were a girl with long flowing hair or a boy with nice wavy hair. Now there is not one hair left on your head. People stare at you as they try to understand why you might be bald. Your classmates may treat you differently. Well, that is if you are allowed to go to school. Your blood counts may be low and you may need to stay home or even worse be hospitalized (again). You have a thing stuck in your chest to ease the pain of being poked regularly. The radiation makes you so weak and tired. You were an athlete or at least a kid full of energy. But now you can hardly handle a day. Naps become something you naturally take to like you were 2 again. People just don’t understand that you are suffering. You have lost your childhood maybe even your friends. You just can’t be yourself any more. Cancer has changed everything. But then you find a place. There is this place in the world where everyone understands because they are just like you. Even the adults have had cancer experiences. They understand your limits yet encourage you to participate and have fun. Your baldhead is not different just part of who you are. You may have even found a new friend who is bald too. Your feeding tube is not stared at or questioned. There may be another child with a feeding tube. The scare from your surgery is normal and may look just like others in the group. You may even compare scares with other kids here. You feel loved and accepted. You have a spirit in you that is brought alive. What is this place? It is Camp Goodtimes. It is a place where kids with cancer can go and feel normal for a week. A place where cancer is put on the back burner and forgotten for a week. A child gains back their childhood for a week. It may only be a week but it is enough to carry this child through a year until the next week of camp. And if this child survives this bought of cancer then he or she may grow into an adult who has learned to give. This child may become a volunteer at camp to help those other children gain back a week of their childhood to carry them through a year that can be filled with disappointment and pain. Not just physical pain but emotional pain too. This place also gives the parents hope. Hope that their child will grow with happiness in their heart. Hope that their child can be a child not a cancer patient waiting for results and suffering from the side effects of treatment. Even if for only a week. Parents also see the sibling of the patient come back from what could be some deep depression as they have had to watch their sister or brother go through so much and not understanding why. Well, no one really understands the why. The sibling gets a week of rest. Rest from protecting their brother or sister from any more pain. Protecting them from cruel people. They too get to be a child again if only for a week. It doesn’t sound like a week is very long but this week of camp builds new relationships. It has built a community, a family that works together for each other. They support one another and now this family is in danger. The American Cancer Society supported Camp Goodtimes for 30 years. But the ACS has decided to put all of their focus on finding a cure so we won’t have to have cancer camps but regular summer camps. Without the ACS we (the Camp Goodtimes Family) need to work hard to bring in funds to keep this week of camp going. We actually have three weeks of camp. Two separate regular weeks of Camp for about 260 kids and one week of Kayak camp for older young adults. My two children have benefitted greatly from camp Goodtimes. Kathryn called it the Happiest Place on Earth. Richard continues to volunteer and is a driving force for fundraising to make sure camp continues. My children learned to love with their whole hearts, to give to others and care for others. They learned to give back too. I could not imagine our lives without camp. This camp gave my children a wonderful childhood and allowed them to blossom into grateful and loving adults. So, I am asking for you to make a donation. It will be in memory of Kathryn Panda Bradley. Any amount will help. It is truly a special place that deserves to continue. The kids deserve to have a childhood, if only for a week. I would love to have all donations collected by Kathryn’s birthday February 5th. Thank you so much! Carol Flower Bradley Checks can be made out to The Goodtimes Project memo: Kathryn Panda or just Panda Send checks to me at: Carol Bradley 6711 71st St Ct W Lakewood, WA 98499 The tax ID # 46-2489916 it is a tax deductable donation. http://www.dwellable.com/u/add_post/2776

3 comments:

  1. You are such a light in the world, Carol. Your attitude about the flood reminds me of this quote I saw today: "Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones. And when you have finished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake."
    - Victor Hugo
    You have the BIG picture perspective, and you clearly do your work straight from the heart. That is why, even though you woke up to find a flood in your home, your student could say he felt love and happiness in your presence. Your essence shines through. God bless you and your family!

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  2. I knew Kathryn from Elementary School. She was an awesome person, I hope I posted that here when she passed. I was brought back here by watching this video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_gnqXr5C2Q. It is a video of some people I watch sometimes finding out they are going to have to battle brain cancer. From the video I started reading a bit about Oligodendroglioma's, scary stuff. Made me think of Kathryn. Hadn't seen her in a long time, but I will always remember her as extremely positive person. If you are willing to share, I was honestly curious what type of tumor Kathryn had?

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  3. Plumbing issues if not solved on time, then they can create such type of severe damages. Water flood in home can sometimes be risky and it can create a very big problem too. When we live in our old house we had faced such a problem. The kitchen faucet was loose and it was in quite bad condition. Moreover the dishwasher was not working properly. One night the whole kitchen got flooded with water and in the morning when I saw the water in the dining area I was amazed as if what terrible has happened in the house. The kitchen was in very bad condition. The supply line of water in the kitchen was also broken and water was still leaking in the morning. We called a plumber to fix the problem and he suggested us to use the quality material in home.

    It took a complete day to clean the home and we were indulged in arranging the things properly. A lot of things in the dinning hall and the drawing area were damaged. Carpets were wet and we have to work hard in drying out the property. Recently, we have built a new house and it got completed last month only. We don’t want the same situation to happen again, so we have used efficient and quality plumbing products from South Coast sales (http://www.southcoastsales.com/products) recommended by one of my friend who is an expert in home construction. We are happy with the installations in the new home and all the fittings are done with great care from a professional plumber. In order to get rid of the plumbing issues it is essential to use products from right manufacturers.

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