Tag Archives: family

Rest in Peace, Beau

My younger brother, Beau, died last month. I’ve been thinking about our childhood and younger years, and sharing memories with friends and family members. I’ve had a slideshow of pictures in my mind, images mostly of Beau as a toddler and a kid. He was born a little over 6 years after me. I remember him wearing shorts and black rubber boots – even when he was napping. I remember reading Richard Scary books to him and you had to read every little word on those pages. They were very detailed. He loved firetrucks and firefighters. He banged on pots, pans and cookie tins until he got real drums. Some of my memories are of Beau as a dad with two sons. They also loved firetrucks and being read to.

My mom shared a wonderful story that illustrates the kind of musician Beau was. Forgive me if I don’t have the details quite right – I think you’ll get the gist of it: Beau was about 16 or 17 years old, and one evening a phone call came to my parents home with a request that Beau come right away to play drums for the second act of a show with Marin Civic Light Opera. The drummer for the show had fallen ill. It was intermission and they were holding the show until they could get a drummer there.

Beau, (I’m picturing him grabbing some drumsticks) agreed to go and my dad was going to drive him to the theater. Just as they were dashing out the door, Beau turned and asked my mom, “What’s the show?” “Brigadoon,” she replied. “I’ve never heard it,” Beau said as he left. Needless to say, he not only played the second act, but he played the rest of the run.

Here is Beau’s obituary.

Daniel Paul (Beau) Faw, 53, of Richmond, CA, died on February 5, 2020 at Kaiser Hospital, Richmond, after a long illness.  His loving wife Pamela was at his side.

A well-respected drummer in the Bay Area, Beau taught and inspired many. He played with The John Belushi Memorial Blues Band, White Stagg, The Black Circus, Snake Juice, Lee Presson and the Nails, Blue Beard, The Acme Swing Co, Connie Champagne and the Magnum Brutes, Danny Montana and the Bar Association, The Lost At Home Parade Drum Line and countless other projects. He was the resident drummer at Hillside Church for more than 13 years and also played at Saint Hilary Catholic Church for special occasions. Beau taught drums and percussion in after school programs. He was a glass blower at Maslach Art Glass. Most recently Beau worked as the Head of Batch Production and Batch formula Consultant at East Bay Batch and Color where he formulated new color recipes now being used by many glass artists.

Beau served as a volunteer firefighter/paramedic for six years for the town of Ross. He was an enthusiastic and knowledgeable military historian, and helped restore the USS Iowa as a volunteer.

Beau, born and raised in San Anselmo, was the youngest of six siblings. He attended Sir Francis Drake High School and College of Marin.  He was a very talented drummer from a young age. Beau was in his high school Jazz, Pep and Concert bands and played for all the musical theater productions. He played timpani in the Marin Youth Symphony, and toured with them in Australia at age 17, the same year he was awarded a scholarship from the Marin Music Chest.

Beginning in middle school, he played in the orchestra for numerous musicals at the College of Marin, the Mountain Play, Marin Civic Light Opera and other venues.

A dog lover all his life, Beau rescued, fostered, and found homes for over 44 dogs and is missed by the four dogs in his current pack: Merle, Dolly, Tugboat, Spuzzy and his cat, Gilbert.

Beau married Victoria Barsimanto in 1988 and they raised two sons, Jake and Sam, both musicians. They separated in 2009 and later divorced.  In 2017, he married Pamela Carey. He was predeceased by his father, David Faw, and is survived by his mother, Nancy Faw, his wife, Pamela Faw, his sons, Jake (Chelsea)  and Sam Faw, siblings, Michael, Pat (Valerie), Kathleen, Dianne (Rem) and Sarah, nieces, Leah, Miriam (Nick) and Caitlin, and nephew, Cooper, and many other family members and friends.

Thanks to Dr. Howard Chang of Kaiser Richmond/Oakland, Extraordinary Nurse Mila, Firefighter Burton Eubank, and Master Chief David Canfield for compassionate care given to Beau.

A Memorial Mass will take place on Saturday, March 7th, at 11:00 am at Saint Hilary Church, 761 Hilary Drive, Tiburon, CA 94920. In lieu of flowers, the family requests you support The Sea Ranch Chapel Foundation PO Box 259 The Sea Ranch, CA 95497, music in schools’ programs or  animal rescue organizations, in his memory. There will be a Flag Raising Ceremony on the USS Battleship Iowa in Long Beach,CA on March 14th. A Celebration of Life with live musical performances is being planned for May 25th, Beau’s Birthday, at the Marin Rod and Gun Club.

I’m going to finish with a quote from my niece, Leah Faw, because she said it so well: “… it’s so hard to understand how someone can be in the world and then, not be. If you have a little space free in your mind today, please think of my Uncle–a talented musician, funny man, complicated person who isn’t here to love and be loved today. And then go love your people, because time is short and tomorrow isn’t promised.”

Thank you for the visit.

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Love People, Feed Them Tasty Food

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Love People, Feed Them Tasty Food.

Suresa Dundes had that on a bumper sticker on her car and it was the basic concept for an open house celebrating her life. Suresa, my sister-in-law, died in August after an 11 year battle with cancer.

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Suresa and Michael on their wedding day. Michael is the oldest of my five siblings.

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Suresa with her girls; Leah and Miriam (the one with the spoon). Clearly loving people and feeding them tasty food has been a life long practice.

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Suresa, Michael, Leah, and her boyfriend Robert, Miriam, and her boyfriend Nick.

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Miriam and Nick’s wedding celebration, moved up so Suresa could be there.

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Rest in peace, Suresa.

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Photo Album: Mom’s 80th Birthday

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We celebrated my mom’s 80th birthday last weekend.  Her birthday was actually in July but this was when all her kids could be there for the event.

Mom & Grandkids

All the grandkids were there too.

Before the event, I made a batch of invitations. I photocopied this sweet old photograph of my mom to put on the front.

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Each card was a little different from the next.

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The party was for lunch and after considering different ideas, we ended up having it at my mom’s house (at her suggestion).

Various family members assisted and I organized the party. We decorated with paper lanterns and flowers from the farmer’s market.

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Nestled in the arrangements were naked ladies, or pink Amaryllis Belladonna, flowers that my dad always loved, if only because it amused him to say naked ladies!

Here’s some naked ladies outdoors.

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The day was sunny and warm but not terribly hot not like the weekend before.

Michael and Suresa.

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Victoria and Caitlin, both wearing giant hoop earrings.

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Robert and Leah.

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Mom and Sarah.

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After lunch we had dessert: Kathleen brought angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream.

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Leah made lemon bars from Smitten Kitchen.

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I made brownies from the Commonsense Kitchen Cookbook to round out a trio of delicious desserts.

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Victoria, Jake and Chelsea.

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Caitlin, Cooper and Sarah.

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Molly and Mom.

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It was really a big, extended family party.

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Gianna with Stella.

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Stella wasn’t the only one that was tired at the end of the festivities.

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Mom and I share an ottoman as we both put our feet up.

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Thanks to everyone for being a part of this special day.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

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Photo Album: Jake & Chelsea’s Wedding

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My nephew, Jake, and his bride, Chelsea, just after their wedding.

Here’s a little album from this special occasion on the first of August.

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I just have to say that it really doesn’t seem that long ago that Jake was a little toddler! Here he is, all grown up,  before the ceremony.

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One of Jake’s cousins, my niece, Caitlin.

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My sister, and Caitlin’s mom, Sarah.

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Victoria, mother-of-the-groom, with friends, Sam, and best man, Stu.

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My mom, Nancy, grandmother of the groom, being escorted to her seat by Jake’s younger brother, Sam.

Beau & Pamela coming in

My brother, Beau, father-of-the-groom, with his fiancee, Pamela.

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Jake escorts his mom to her seat.

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Here comes the bride!

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I think Jake’s got hands like my dad, his grandpa David.

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The minister forgot about the rings and almost completed the ceremony without them before several people reminded him and we all had a little laugh.

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Jake & Chelsea recess

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Faw Family

Family Faw (though a few people are hiding in this picture and one brother and his family didn’t make it out from NY).

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Two of my nieces, Miriam and Caitlin, look like Amazon warriors next to their uncle Beau.

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I think my mom looks beautiful with her eldest grandson.  The wedding was just a few days after her 80th birthday.

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My niece, Leah.

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Rem and I.

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My sister Kathleen with her little sister Ariel.

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Card I made for Chelsea & Jake.

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Although the quality of some of the photos is not great, I want to share this event with you. Thank you to Dana for allowing me to share some of her photos as well.

Thanks for the visit.  Congratulations to the newlyweds.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanksgiving Walk

These are pictures from my walk with Molly Thanksgiving morning.  We walked around the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District water treatment ponds.  It isn’t far from the freeway but it is a world away.  Fields and marshes surround the paths and the only sounds were gravel crunching under my feet and birdsong.

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It was a hazy morning and Mt Tam was just visible in the distance.

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As I walked along, I was thinking about all the goodness in my life.  There are so many things I’m thankful for.

I’m grateful for my wonderful, imperfect life.

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I’m grateful that I live in a place crisscrossed with beautiful paths to walk and hike.

I’m grateful to live and work where I see Mt. Tam nearly every day.

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Though we have no pets of our own in our small apartment, I’m grateful for the frequent visits of a neighbor cat.  She wants nothing more than to be petted and loved and soaks up any attention we give her.  I, in turn, get the benefit of lower blood pressure and raised serotonin levels.

I am glad and grateful to have a happy dog to join me on this walk.  When I go to pick up Molly, she greets me with exuberance.  I’m thankful to have my health to get out and walk or exercise most days.

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I’m very thankful for the latest health updates of two family members.

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My sister-in-law was just released from the hospital the day before Thanksgiving and is recovering. My brother continues to slowly heal from a major health crisis last spring.  I’m so grateful for their improving health.

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I work with people that I respect and I have their respect in return.  Some of my colleagues are sure to make me laugh and though I don’t see them every day at work, I can count on seeing some of them every week and for this I’m grateful.

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I have so many wonderful memories of my dad and though I miss him I don’t have that feeling of deep sorrow when I think of him as I used to. I think of him often and sometimes it is with sadness and tears that he is gone and other times it is just a sweet memory or something I think he would like.

Across one of the ponds I saw an old-fashioned windmill and I thought he would have liked it.  He liked old barns and this windmill made me think of him which made me glad.

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I’m thankful for all my friends and family.  I’m glad to see my mom every Saturday and eat lunch together.

The crafting I fit into my life, the books I get from the library every few weeks, and the singing I share with other women in the Threshold Choir all add richness, variety and even joy to my daily routines.  Writing this blog and having readers all over the world delights me and I’m very grateful for every one of you.

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The one that has my heart is Rem.  I am so very grateful for his humor, caring and love.

As Molly and I looped back around to where my car was parked, I looked again at the familiar outline of Mt. Tam.  I have so much that I’m thankful for.

Thank you for your visit and a special word of gratitude for every comment. I appreciate every one.

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Thinking About My Dad

Daddy Red Turtleneck

Saturday, May 24 will be two years from the day my dad died.  I’ve  been thinking about him.  The other day I saw something that made me smile and I immediately thought of telling  him about it.  A vendor at the Farmer’s Market was munching contentedly; a carrot in one hand, a bottle of hot sauce in the other. I imagined telling my dad the story and knew he’d think it was funny but in less time then it takes to read this sentence, I remembered he was gone.  With an ache in my chest, I knew I couldn’t tell him about it.

I haven’t been going to his grave as often as I did the first year after he died.  It’s been a few months at least, and it’s been on my mind to get down there.

This weekend I had the opportunity.  Rem and I were house-sitting for my mom and on Sunday morning, he needed an early-morning ride to the ferry.  He was heading into San Francisco to take photos at the annual Bay to Breakers footrace.  After dropping him off at 5:40 a.m., Molly and I went down to Fernwood.

The sky was just growing light.  A thin, grey comforter of fog was draped along the upper slopes of Mt. Tam.  Molly was delighted to be out of the car and went up the path ahead of me.

The hillside is covered with rattlesnake grass, wildflowers and eucalyptus trees.  Oh, and some poison oak too.

Hillside Fernwod

It is only as I got closer that the stone marker was visible.

Papa's Tree

Papa's Stone

Roses for Papa

I laid some flowers and cried some tears.  I told him that Caitlin was graduating at Chico and that was where Mom was.  I talked about how sick Beau has been but that we’re so relieved he’s improving.  I sang two songs and watched some hawks circling up high above the trees.

As I walked carefully back across the hillside to the path, I searched for feathers but didn’t see any.

Molly was full of energy and I had plenty of time to wander around the cemetery, something I kept thinking about doing and never taking the time in my many visits down there.  Molly romped ahead, sniffing around and happy as could be.  I was thinking about my dad and how much I miss him.  I thought about how many lives were represented by the stones around me.

One message caught my eye and made me smile.

It all comes out in the wash and a little chocolate never hurts

Comes Out in the Wash

I think I would have liked this woman!

The positive attitude that came up with those words lifted my spirits and made me try to re-frame my sadness. I focused on all the wonderful years I lived with my dad in my life instead of the last three; the year of struggling with cancer and the two years since he died.

It made me think that although these gravestones represented loss and grief they also represented peoples lives.  Many stones have a name and two dates and little else, yet whole lives are lived in the space between those two dates.

As I followed a trail, I found a section of older graves and stones that were cracked and broken.  Some gravestones only show one date or a very short span of days.  Others list the age of the deceased and many lived short lives.  The oldest year I noted was 1907.

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On their website, Fernwood states the cemetery has existed since the late 1800’s.  Again, instead of thinking of all of those people dying, I walked around and thought of all those people living.

I saw this fragment of stone that just showed a single date.  I don’t know if Valentine’s Day was remembered as the birthday of a loved one, or the date someone lost a loved one.

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Walking around, exploring the cemetery, was very peaceful.  I looked through the trees at the view of Richardson Bay.

View from Fernwood hillside

Looking down the hill I see the pyramid skylight on the Fernwood Funeral Home, reminding me of the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Pyramid Skylight

Some things I had glimpsed while driving past and now I had I time for a closer look.

Like the Buddha statue in a tree.

Buddha in a Tree

A rustic gate open to a path curving around the hillside.

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A beautifully carved wooden Buddha sits atop a rough base created from a tree stump. In spite of missing a finger, he was very serene.

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Little talismans have been left in his hands: a bit of shell, a rhinestone rabbit  with a wreath of rhinestone flowers, and a sweet little green clay cat. with a pink neck scarf.

Rabbit & Cat

Dia de los Muertos figures dangle on a cord around his neck, holding a dried orchid in place.

Face of Buddha

Day of the Dead figures

Molly and I have had a nice hike and I was in much better emotional shape than when we’d arrived.

Time has softened the blow of losing my dad.  The grief and sadness aren’t gone but they aren’t here all the time either.

Our family will be gathering to celebrate my brother Beau’s birthday on Sunday.  I imagine there will be lots of good food and laughter. We’ll probably share stories about Papa, and catch up with each others lives.  If we think of something that he would have found funny, I believe it will honor his memory if we share it and enjoy a good laugh.

Dad 50th Anniversary

Here is a link to the post I wrote last year at this time.  That post includes links to other posts written about my dad.

Thank you for your visit.

 

 

 

 

 

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Cards with Friends

Blue Butterflies

In January I got together with some friends from grade school and made Valentine’s.  We had such a great time together that we’ve made it into a regular event, calling it “Craft & Flash.”  Our last get-together was about a month ago.  Ladies: we need to schedule our next gathering.

Washi Tape

I was making a stack of birthday cards and recycling old greeting cards, maps and calendars in the process, inspired by crafting while on vacation.

Pink Butterfly card

I’d saved a pretty card with rows of different colored butterflies on a glittery green background.  I’ve had it for a few years and recycled it into new cards.

An old calendar from Paper Source provided artwork for a bird card.  I love the artwork on my wall all year long – they’re beautiful calendars and beautiful resources for crafting cards.

Blue Jay

Carefully cutting out the Blue Jay and adding a little glitter plus stamping a greeting on the inside and the card was done.

My friend Shook gave me some pretty place cards she’d bought and never used. I’m delighted to be the recipient when someone gives me something they think I might use in my crafting.  The cards add a nice detail when stamped with a message and glued inside the card.

Placecard recycle

For this one I used a scrap of the glittery green birthday card and some washi tape.  Another benefit of crafting with friends is expanded your supplies.  Everyone was generous and happy to share their goodies.

We had a variety of projects happening around the table. Creativity was flowing and I enjoyed seeing projects old and new.

Embroidery

Bees

Besides the production of birthday cards, an Art Journal was being expanded, tags and beautiful wrappings were being created for a series of birthday gifts, jewelry was being crafted and chocolate was being consumed.

Chocolate

All the best crafting events include chocolate.

As usual, the table was in creative chaos.

Craft Table

Or was that just my mess?

Glitter was spilled.

Glitter and glue pen

I got to try this ballpoint glue pen from Martha Stewart.  I will pick a few up next time I’m at Michael’s.  It is very fine, great for glitter and other detail work.  Like Dianne Dots.

The last time I was at Craft Gym at Once Around in Mill Valley, my  friend Margaret gave me the gift of a little shopping spree. Amongst the goodies I came home with was a package of cute paper embellishments. This butterfly is from that package.

Butterfly with Glitter

More glitter and an adhesive jewel, a few stamped flowers and paper from both an old textbook and an old bus schedule complete this card.

I’ve made a few of these cards with an old map and a bicycle stamp, but for this one I got a bicycle cutout from another of the Craft and Flash ladies.  I spent awhile coloring it. I love this card!

Bicycle Map Balloons

We crafted and chatted and laughed and ate.  It was lovely.

The dogs were happy sitting in the sunshine.

Dogs in the sun

Phoenicia made delicious chili, another great dish without a recipe.  If I recall correctly, it had beef, pork and sausage, and it was full of different veggies.  Write it down, Phoenicia!

Craft and Flash Chili

One last card I did that afternoon was from a 5-minute collage I’d made. A little extra embellishment and another card done.

Purple Collage Card

Sitting and chatting with my friends while crafting is the best therapy in the world for me.

It has been a very tough month since then with my brother spending more time in the hospital then out.  He was in ICU but is back in the regular ward and we expect him to be discharged in the next few days.  He has started dialysis and faces a host of challenges. The support and love we have all shared and received has helped make a really difficult situation survivable.

At first, spending long, anxious hours with other family members at the the hospital, I was too worried and upset to focus on anything more than mindless games on the computer.  Long days and nights of interrupted sleep meant I missed getting to the gym and I didn’t have the energy or inspiration to craft.

With some improvement in his condition, I’m returning to some of the things that have been on hold.  A trip to the library and new reading material I’m finally able to absorb.  I was able to spend time cooking together with Rem who has been a rock, taking good care of me.  And yes, pulling out the craft supplies and crafting.  I’m finishing up some cute cards and will share them soon.

Thank you for being here.

 

 

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You Just Don’t Know

California Poppies

You just don’t know who might be suffering around you. You can’t always tell at a glance or even at hello.

Your colleague may be coping with an aging parent,  your neighbor could have just lost his job and the checker at the grocery store may not be able to keep up the payments on her home.

Until about three years ago, when my dad was diagnosed with cancer, my life had been relatively smooth sailing.  I’ve had to cope with illness and injury in loved ones, and I navigated the sad waters of a failed marriage. But compared to the burdens some people have, I’ve gotten off pretty easy.

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Sadly, my younger brother, Beau, is critically ill and over the last month has spent more days in the hospital than not. In the last  week his already tenuous condition has turned even worse and the family has been circling around.

My mom said, when you don’t know what to do, you just show up.  She thought it was from Anne Lamott so I looked it up:

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.

And it is hard work.  Just being there is tough, seeing the suffering, feeling hopeless, but trying to hold on to shreds of hope in the data from the medical staff or in the actions of a caring, skilled lab tech.  Showing up isn’t defined as being right there either.  Showing up means taking care of a load of laundry because the washer broke.  Or getting the dogs outside or baking some cookies or making a pot of spaghetti.

When I’m at work, I can stay busy for a few hours in the morning.  Distracting myself with email and phone messages and other tasks works for awhile, but I lose my focus and get antsy.  At night (it is currently 3:19 AM) when I can’t turn off my brain, and in the hospital waiting room, mindless games on the laptop, iPad or Kindle are sometimes the best I can manage.

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I guess I’m just trying to remind myself that all around me, even if I’m not aware of it, many of us are coping with some quiet heartache.

The best I can offer as a response is to suggest we all try and find love and compassion for those whose paths cross ours.  We should try and treat ourselves and each other tenderly; with empathy, respect and patience.

Update: A friend shared on Facebook that her husband had a friend tell him “When in doubt, choose the loving thing to do.” Exactly.

I’m grateful for the love, support and prayers offered on behalf of my brother, his family and friends.

Thank you.

 

 

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You Can’t Choose

Friday, 5/24/13,  marked one year from the day my father died.  For about a week or so leading up to that date I felt crabby and out of sorts.  My energy was low and I seemed to drag through each day.  I slept through the alarm and didn’t make it to the gym.

I finally figured out the connection between the upcoming date and my feelings.  Treating myself with love and kindness seemed like a better response than feeling guilty about eating poorly or skipping a workout.  Once I’d acknowledged my feelings I was still sad but it wasn’t wrapped up in shame.  A vigorous evening hike with my sister Sarah and two other friends helped me feel more myself again (pictures at the end of the post).

My dad didn’t have a choice about the way his life ended, other than taking his own life, which I know some people choose to do, but wasn’t ever on the table.  What I’m thinking about is that we are all going to die but we don’t get to pick what is going to be the cause.  We don’t get to choose when it will happen either.

Yesterday morning, as I do almost every Saturday morning, I was taking a hike with my sister.  She brings her dog, Ruby and I pick up my  mom’s dog, Molly.  Kathleen’s little sister, Ariel, joined us.

We were heading for a familiar loop around Phoenix Lake in Ross.  It is a popular spot with lots of hikers, runners and bicyclists.  We walked up the dirt fire road from the parking lot to the lake and had just started around the lake when we came to two men, their bikes on the ground.  One was talking on his cellphone, the other kneeling.

My first impression was that something was wrong with one of the bikes.  But as we walked closer we saw it was much more serious.  A woman was on her back, apparently she’d been walking her dog and had just collapsed.  The man on the phone was speaking to a 911 operator and asked us to go back to find someone to open the gate from the parking lot for an ambulance. Neither of the cyclists or anyone in our group knew CPR.

There was a dog with a leash running around the tense scene and we quickly learned it was the woman’s.  We took the dog with us and went back to where we’d seen park personnel who radioed to someone down at the gate.  Meanwhile other people had come upon the same scene.  Two runners sped past us, seeking a nurse or doctor from the walkers and runners they passed.

A nurse was found and he, along with his young daughter, the runners and the park staffer raced back to the scene in her SUV.  We could already hear sirens and in a very short time emergency vehicles roared past us with lights flashing, raising plumes of dust.

Our peaceful morning walk was interrupted by this sad scene.  Many concerned people reached out to try and help in some way.  We walked back around to the cluster of trucks and paramedics, runners, hikers and cyclists.  We mentioned to a paramedic that the dog had tags with phone numbers in case the woman had no ID, which later proved to be the case.

The nurse was doing chest compressions and later I saw a paramedic take over that effort.  It was quite some time before the woman was loaded into the back of the paramedic truck. Her dog was with a ranger.  The crowds of people on either side of the group of trucks and SUV’s drifted apart as hikes and rides were taken up again.

I tried to find a story with more information this morning in the local paper online. I don’t know what happened to that woman after she left the park.  But I know she was out on a beautiful morning, walking her young dog in a lovely, scenic spot.  I can only guess at her age – perhaps my age (53), certainly not elderly.

She could have been driving her car when what ever caused her to collapse on the trail happened.  She could have been at a desk at work or in her kitchen fixing breakfast.  She didn’t have a choice.

After our hike I went to see my mom and told her about our experience.  We both had emergency numbers in our cellphones but realized we could add a note with our own name and contact which we both did.  A CPR class may be in my future.

My brother came by with his girlfriend for birthday cake (mom baked more of the delicious oatmeal cake).  Mom and I were having lunch (cake followed) and the four of us talked about life and death and how we just don’t get to choose about the death part.

In the afternoon I visited my dad’s grave and talked to him a bit. I sang a few songs and cried some tears. Here are links to previous posts on my dad and his cancer:

Sometimes Life Just Piles Up

On Caring

Be Loving

Keeping Busy

Goodbye, Papa

Just Less Orderly

Papa’s Stone

We do get many choices in our lives and I’m trying to make good ones.  Being outdoors in the beautiful area we live in, spending time with friends and family members, singing with my choir members at bedsides of people on the threshold, and making time and space in my life for my creative endeavors. I believe these choices are ways that celebrate the life and the opportunities I have.

Here are photos from the hike I took earlier in the week with my sister Sarah. We started by Andy’s Local Market on San Pedro Road then hiked uphill, taking in the gorgeous views.

Richmond San Rafael Bridge with Oakland and Bay Bridge in the background.

Richmond San Rafael Bridge

Loch Lomond Marina and the parking lot where we started at Andy’s Market.

Andy's Market & Loch Lomond Marina

Mount Tamalpais.

Mt. Tam

It’s quite a hike up to these swings, but the views are beautiful.

Swings

McNear Brickyard on the front of the peninsula, the quarry is on the back to the left.

Brickyard

The hikers heading back downhill.

Downhill

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ConGRADulations!

Graduation Podium

A big congratulations to my sister, Kathleen, on her graduation on Saturday, from Dominican University of California.  She has earned a BA from their School of Business and Leadership and graduated with honors, earning both Cum Laude status and a Departmental honor.  I’m so proud of her accomplishment!

I made a card a card for Kathleen using an Itty Bitty Banner (like these) and a drawing of a graduation cap, tossed in the air.  I used to have a rubber stamp with a similar design but  I couldn’t find it (I probably gave it away when I did my Big Craft Clean Up).

ConGRADulations

I should have started the Itty Bitty Banner earlier because I used Diamond Glaze dimensional adhesive to give it a  hard, glossy coating.  It doesn’t show in the photo, but it has a thick, shiny finish.  I tried to hurry it along with a heat tool but that made it start to bubble up.  Oops.  I finally put it in the freezer when it was almost set but still a little tacky and that did the trick.

The graduation was held in a huge tent at Forest Meadows Field.  Ariel,  Kathleen’s little sister (Kathleen has been an active Big Sister volunteer for many years), came early to save seats. My mom, sister Sarah, and I got there almost an hour before the ceremony started.

This is Ariel with my sister and mom reading their commencement programs.

Hi, Ariel!

It was a little chilly in the tent but I’m really glad we didn’t have to sit out in the sun for three and a half hours!

Here is the tent with Mt. Tam in the background.

Tent & Tam

Since we had plenty of time, I took a walk around.

This is the Class of 2013 Shield: Wisdom in Community.

Class Shield

Lots of diplomas for the 500 or so graduates.

Diplomas

Empty chairs ready for the graduating students.

Chairs for Grads

They would be processing from across the campus, led by a bagpiper and entering the tent down this aisle lined with banners.

IMG_0086-001

People were saving seats for friends and relatives.

Reserved Seats

Many had made signs or brought balloons or flowers for their graduate.

Grad Picture Doggie Balloon "13" or is it "31"?

At last we heard the bagpipe.  We couldn’t see much but excitement was mounting!

We could see the flag and see a few caps through the crowd.

Entry of the Grads

After the bagpiper entered  and completed his piece, we finally heard the familiar notes of Sir Edward Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance”… and I lost it. I looked over and saw my mom had lost it too.  We were thinking about my dad and wishing he were there with us.

Sarah and Ariel had gone out to watch the graduates process in and Sarah came back teary-eyed.  There is something about music that just goes right to your core.

After the typical speeches, awards and long list of names as each student received her diploma, the ceremony finally came to an end and we were able to congratulate the new graduate

Kathleen & Ariel

Sisters & Mom

Kathleen was wearing a beautiful silver and turquoise bracelet borrowed from my mom as a way to honor my dad.  My parents grew up in New Mexico and Papa almost always wore a piece of turquoise jewelry.

All of my siblings and I, without any planning or discussion, wore silver and turquoise jewelry to my dad’s memorial service.  I was pleased that Kathleen thought of this way to have Papa at her ceremony.

Turquoise Bracelet

We enjoyed the reception with cold lemonade, brownies, strawberries and other treats.

Strawberries

Congrats to everyone who is graduating and to their families and friends who offered support and encouragement while they worked towards this goal.

Eena the Graduate

Coming soon: The GRADUATION PARTY!

Thanks for stopping by.

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