Sunday, March 18, 2012

Autumn is doing really REALLY well, a great weekend!!! So excited about our upcoming trips, life is good!!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A piece of mail was sitting on my desk this morning from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The news at the top of the letter read, “Autumn’s wish has been granted!” and I had a huge smile on my face. The organization has given the whole family a week trip to Orlando’s “Give Kids the World” Village which includes Disney World, a water park, a swimming pool and lots of ice cream. Although it wasn’t really what Autumn had originally desired, it will most likely be the most amazing kid experience of a lifetime! At any rate, we are booked for the end of May!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

It still feels so strange to be in a coffee shop, working on my computer, teaching not in a hospital, not in the past. I cannot believe we have been in Santa Barbara only one time in the past two months, how wonderful that feels!

We are all headed to Costa Rica in exactly two weeks!!! I can hardly believe it, I had originally planned this trip almost 2 years ago. I have no idea what we will do when we are there, but the possibilities are endless...agghhh...peace and relaxation and fun!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

“Mom, I don’t really want to be big. I just want to grow to about 16, be as big as sixteen because that when you can drive, right? That’s all I really want to be”. Autumn spent the earlier part of today contemplating age, most likely due to my birthday.  I swear 38 must sound soooo old to a kid. I distinctly remember my mom turning 35 (I happened to find a mug in a local store with 35 candles on it and was overjoyed!) and thinking that was ancient! How humble age makes us, we think we know so much when we are so young, but we get older and realize we never really knew anything at all! How can that be?

Grandpa John has a great story from his youth. He was about 17, working in a restaurant somewhere in Ohio. Life was about to begin for John, but not so much for the “old” guy who worked alongside him. One bright day, he remembers the older guy telling John a story of age and intelligence. He said to John, “You’re only 17, is that so? You think you know everything, don’t you? All that means is that you are only going 17 miles an hour.” “I’m going 70 miles an hour, don’t forget it!!!” Of course when John was 17 he thought that was a pile of crap, a bunch of shit given to him by a bitter old man stuck working in a restaurant his whole life. But after 70 years, the story remains and the restaurant worker was a whole lot smarter than anyone knew. Only age can do that to you and it’s unfortunate that we don’t give the old guys and gals in our society a break once in awhile to stop and remember their wisdom.

So onto the celebration of birthdays…and to moving 38 miles an hour!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Every situation can be seen in a positive light or a negative one, the glass can be half full or half empty, clich├ęs abound in the area of pessimism and optimism. Which is it for each of us? How do we really choose to live our lives? What REALLY matters? I feel like I have learned so much from Autumn, from her life experience and how she has reacted to some of the most difficult aspects of cancer. I have also learned so much from how others have treated her and how there has been so much love and support from strangers. It makes me wonderfully happy to think that we all care that much about each other, even when we don’t often show it. It often takes tragedy to bring out the best in us.

There is a concept known as “survivor guilt” which exists on another level of emotions. After Lexi’s death, I realized how real this concept is for those who did not have to grieve that awful reality. There is a group forming for some of the parents in this situation to talk to one another along with a social worker who is trained and can help guide each family along this new path. It seems as though once you are “on the other side”, you would feel fabulous all the time, but I have to admit, there is a strange sensation that lingers, however happy I am. I am curious to know how others feel.

We have a short time here. One can consider himself lucky to see his grandkids, let alone the following generation. “How old are those people?” Autumn asked me this morning, while gazing at a photo of a young couple hanging on the wall above my computer. “Well, those two people aren’t alive anymore, they would be about 150 years old today and no one lives that long.” I said. “Really?!? No one, not anyone on this planet lives that long?” she asked, almost frustrated. As I took a long hard look at the picture of my great-great-grandparents, I thought briefly about the life they led in Turkey so many years ago. What was that like? What did they think of all the generations that would someday proceed them? Maybe they were just happy and in love, I hope so anyway.

As it turns out, supercentenarians are not very common, but if you ever see a photo of one, they always appear to be smiling! The oldest woman may be a French lady born 122 years ago, hard to imagine what she has seen in her lifetime. If one could be offered a full life, a healthy life, then we may all chose this length because why not! Imagine what someone today would see between now and 2112…lots of possibilities!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

“When I was 3 ½ I had a dream about your daddy. He was flying with his eyes closed.” Autumn casually mentioned this just after we dropped off Sage and Lindsey at school this morning. Earlier, we had been discussing dying for some reason and it’s as though it jogged a memory of hers, a memory I had never heard of before. I couldn’t help but think it was the energy of my father somehow finding its way thorough the only channel it could, through that of a child’s mind. Kids have a way of opening up to the unknown world and accepting it in a way that adults cannot. I love being with Autumn because she has a way about her that is remarkable, she reminds me to slow down which has never been my forte.

Purple Cake Day was being celebrated today at Farmer’s and we decided to make our way down there to join the crowd. With Sage’s help, Autumn dressed up in purple from head to toe and off we went. Little did we know that all of her nurses from Sierra were there at the booth, face painting and selling goodies to help those less fortunate in Nepal. I love how people can make a difference when they are in the mood to do so. This organization sounds wonderful and we were happy to be a part of it!