Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A tragedy...

Imagine. Imagine for just a minute your worst possible fear coming true. Can words even describe how the very thought of the events at that moment make you feel? Does your vocabulary even allow you to voice your hurt or your fear or your pain? Mine does not.

For the last few years, I have followed a foundation set up due to the untimely death of a little girl Layla Grace. She lived in Houston with her family and as a baby was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a deadly and aggressive cancer. Through her foundation, I have been following a little boy’s journey as well as his family’s journey through his diagnosis and treatment of cancer. He was 4 years old when he died on Monday from it. Reading his mother’s words, I am unable to even finish a single entry without tears streaming down my face. So sad for her. So sad for her other two little boys. So sad for her husband. So sad for the little boy Ronan to have fought such a battle and to have lost and never to be a healthy ornery boy’s-boy little boy.

The story is a sad one. It’s one of many sad ones of families losing their children to childhood cancer. You may think that this is the introduction to some terrible story about our beautiful and wonderfully healthy children Caden and Keali. Of course I am happy to say that it has nothing to do with them physically. They are healthy and doing well. I can only hope they continue along that path.

However, this little boy’s story in particular has made me appreciate even more the life and health that we live. Some would probably say we are blessed, lucky, fortunate, etc. I tend to disagree with all of those. To say that means, that the other family was not blessed, not lucky, or not fortunate. Why would they be selected or “chosen” to endure any of those things? The saddest thing I have ever been through in my life was my sweet Brewskii dying. I was sad for weeks and years. Sad is inadequate. Heartbroken doesn’t fully explain it. Broken seems closer, but still not fully descriptive. What if I had to see my little baby girl or boy slowly dying before my eyes as this mother did? Although I have not personally lived through that grief, the words that come to me are hopelessly inadequate to describe how I thinkit feels. I hope I never know for sure.

I am thankful everyday that I have my husband, my kids, my parents, my brother, and more. I am not perfect and still get irritated with the kids, but this little boy’s journey has taught me to appreciate all the little things even more.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Holiday in Barcelona

As I begin this entry, I realize that the last entry I made was a holiday. To those who don't know us very well, it may appear that we just jet around and take holidays in various beautiful places. I so wish that was the case... I will admit that we are so lucky to enjoy these experiences. We are all healthy, happy, and fortunate to travel as we are and experience such a different life than we were used to in the US.

Mom and KC made a trip over to visit us all, although their biggest desire was to see the kids. The day after their arrival, we all left for a seven day vacation in Barcelona.

Barcelona is an amazing, busy, historic, giant city. We stayed in a fabulous 4 bedroom apartment a block off of Las Ramblas. The crowds, people and street performers were in full effect throughout the day and night.

Since we were all so busy prior to leaving on the trip, it was one trip that we essentially did not prepare for at all in terms of "what to do's". So we basically started walking around. It didn't matter where we went, we came upon a historic site or a something amazing to see. Some of the favorites were the cable cars overlooking the city and leading up to Castle Montjuic, the Olympic Stadium, Picasso Museum, and generally the beautiful architecture and buildings everywhere. We all loved seeing the GIANT farmers market
Unbelievable and amazing, and there is nothing I can say to fully describe the mammoth size of this structure (Segrada Familia), or the beauty in every detail and every corner. Just as amazing is that it was started under construction in 1882 and is still under construction. I simply cannot imagine how big it will be when it is finally completed. (If you look in the pic below, you will see to the back the Segrada Familia from the far outskirts of town on the hill where the Castle is located.)

Overall the trip was a successful trip for site-seeing, eating, sleeping, and drinking. We all spent some great time together. For anyone considering a holiday in Barcelona, I think that 5 days is a good amount of time to spend there. Seven was a bit long, unless you feel good about hanging close to the house and relaxing for a day or two without feeling guilty about "squandering" your vacation.

Honorable Mentions:

Below - Mom and KC as we walk down the stairs from the top of the Segrada Familia.
Below: Caden and Keali where Keali actually looks taller than Caden (he still has about 2 inches on her...)
Below: Caden at Segrada Familia
Below: Scott and I outside the Picasso Museum.
Below: Our "crew" overlooking Barcelona...