Sunday, August 30, 2009


A few months ago I let Google start putting ads on my blog. I thought that it would be a nice, passive way of gathering funds to donate to sarcoma research. I haven't done anything other than sign up, and, voila', I now have about $25 in my account. Only problem is, I can't access it until I have at least $100. and, there is something about a pin number that I think they sent to the's too confusing. One day I will figure it all out, and when you hear about some million dollar donation to M.D. Anderson for sarcoma research, you'll know it was me.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bubble Exit

Here is another picture of Lydia and Joao's wedding. I am so glad that Airika and Gerald Pope were the photographers--they are such artists! I stole this picture (with their permission, so I guess it's not stealing) from their blog, and, if this is just a preview, how wonderful the collection will be! I can hardly wait!

Friday, August 28, 2009


I have blogger friends--would they be bloggends? Or blends? Or is that too complex a fabrication? They write their stories and matter to me. When they hurt, I want to make them feel better. I rejoice in their successes, whether it's a clear scan or release from the hospital after a procedure. Kathy is superwoman, probably the strongest person I know. Elsa has a heart of gold and is pure goodness. SG is unafraid of honesty and, oh boy, can he write. And the young ones, Michelle and Lindsay--they remind me of Maura because they are young and beautiful and strong, and I can see when they tire of being strong. They are survivors. Sue and G.H--I don't know them well, yet. All of these precious people chronicle their sarcoma journey on the web, and I feel as if I know them. If any of them visit Texas, I'll expect them to call, and I'll offer them a place to stay. I miss them when I don't see their blog entries or their emails or blog comments. What can I offer them? Not advice. I say it's not so great to talk to the woman whose child died from the disease. I can't give them ham or cheesecake or any practical help. I can offer prayers and cheers and hectoring of vicious tumors (They also increase my vocabulary). Their lives give me hope--I receive so much more than I give.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Live Teal on TV

Right this very second, as the Seattle Sounders play the Houston Dynamo, Kai Kamara, Maura's favorite player, is wearing the Live Teal bracelet (teal rubber bracelet like LiveStrong) that her friends had made to show support for Maura. 
When six of the Dynamo players came to visit her just 5 days before she died, Maura confessed that Kai was her favorite , and he had the shy grace to be flustered. 
We slid the bracelets off our arms to give to each player, and Stuart Holden promised they would wear them the following Saturday. We couldn't see them on that Saturday in that out-of-state game, but we can plainly see the bracelet today on Kai's arm. And we can also see that Stuart Holden has his wrist taped, with a telltale bulge hinting that he may have the Live Teal bracelet underneath as well. Back in May, he had said that he would have to tape it.  
Stuart's father died from cancer last year, and he has a charity called Holden's Heroes , which provides Dynamo tickets to kids with cancer. 

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Warning: If you see me in my car in a parking lot, don't look; just keep walking. My car has become my staging ground. Since I started back to work three weeks ago, I have discovered that the car is an excellent place to cry. I didn't plan it that way. It just turned out to be a place of solitude and reflection. So now, after weeks of repairing tear-stained streaks, I delay putting on makeup until I reach the parking lot. There, I can both pull and put myself together before joining my colleagues.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A moment.

When I adjusted, just a smidgeon, the angle on the screen of Maura's laptop, the picture of her on the blog took on a three-dimensional quality. Her smile seemed to grow. My throat constricted, and, for a moment, I couldn't breathe. So real, so touchable. It seemed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sometimes I Pay Attention in Church

So, this Sunday the pastor of a church I visited talked about adopting an attitude of thankfulness. When he included Greek verb tenses his explanations, I nearly swooned because I love grammar. No, really, I do. It was a great message, and I took lots of notes. Don't know the guy's name.
I am thankful for time. I've been thinking a lot lately about how patient God is--and how gracious to bestow on us the gift of time.  Through/with/because of time we can heal. We forgive, forget, or sometimes just soften the image. We gain perspective and become wise. Maybe. We become better people simply because of the passage of time. 
I know that this is my time to grieve, and I know that God will not rush me through this.
For about ten seconds, though, I wrestled with the thought that it might be wrong of me not to be thankful for Maura's death or her illness. I mean, I'm really not one bit thankful that she had cancer and died. Duh. No shocker there. Does God expect me to be? No. I think He expects me to do just what I'm doing: move through my grief through time. Left foot, right foot. 
However, I also think that I ought to purposely thank God for other things in my life because my attitude may be on some sort of movable linear scale. On one end is thankfulness; on the opposite end is bitterness.  And, I don't think I can remain stagnant; I am constantly moving toward one side or the other.  Mind you, lots of the time, my grief consumes me to the point of not feeling thankful for anything. Like I said, God is patient, and He will wait for the other times, like right now, when I can begin to list what I'm thankful for. The list quickly becomes so long and detailed, it borders on the ridiculous (my family; colored plastic-coated paper clips; a job that I love; that Korean lemon tea that I eat like jam...). 
Not so ridiculous, though. 
Not so ridiculous to have an infinite number of blessings from an infinite God.
I am thankful for time. 
I thank Him for allowing me to mourn and for not expecting too much. 
I am thankful for all the healing that is taking place within me, even when I don't know it, just because of time. 
Mostly, it comes down to this: I am thankful that God is God. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I'm not sure how to express this, but I now know I can feel happy and sad at the same time.
When Lydia got married a couple of weeks ago, I rejoiced in her happiness, but I had to make myself scarce several times that day to deal with uncontrollable sadness as I thought about Maura--how she would have loved the occasion, the dancing, the food, the time with sisters and cousins; how I will never see her walk down the aisle...
And I returned to work last week--same location, different job--and am very happy with the change. My new position is a much better fit, and is something that I love. But several times a day just for a few seconds at a time, I shed a few tears, and then get on with it.
But it's more than just the tears. It's the sense that even when I am smiling, I am sad. Sadness is the constant undercurrent. I'm not talking about the fake smile/fake happy that I still do a lot. I'm talking about legitimate, unforced smiles and genuine joy. And always underneath, tugging at me like the undertow at the beach, is the grief. Always.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

More You CAN Say

I like the comment and suggestions Joni gave in response to my last post:
"When people ask me what they can say to a person with cancer, I tell them, 'Anything you say is wrong, and if you say nothing, you are a terrible person.' "
Sums it up pretty well, doesn't it? And it holds true for many of life's crises.

I also like her additions to my CAN SAY list:
  • I just want you to know I care. (Usually okay.)
  • I'm listening. (I'm not sure I agree with this one. It leaves me feeling like I have to say something back for the person to listen to. See how tricky this is? It's different for everyone)
While you most likely have not had a child die, there are many of you who have been put through the wringer of disease, heartache, or death of a loved one. And you have your own experiences of the good, the bad, and the ugly of what was said to you.
I invite you to share CAN SAYs and DON'T SAYs in the comment section of this post.