Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fall Colors

Nothing like the fall colors of Aspen trees to make you feel good. These were surrounding South Lake, in the Sierra's. At about 10,000 feet altitude, fall is definitely in the air. Click on the photo for a large shot; it's worth the effort!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Good bye, Mom. You showed amazing strength and dignity through your last breath. I wish we could have mended fences earlier because we were so much alike and probably would have gotten along grandly in old age. The last few months, though painful, were very dear to me.

I'm sad you are gone, but relieved that you don't have to suffer anymore. I love you.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Whale of a Time

Kyle and I went out with a good friend on his boat to do some tuna fishing. I know, surprise surprise.... Anyway, we happened to have a nice visit with what we believe was a blue whale. I've been along side California Gray Whales, and this was more elongated and probable 70 feet or more. Just amazing to watch it blow and sit on the surface. At one point, it eye balled us as if to say "what strange looking creatures you are..."

It was a bitter sweet day as I learned that my mom's stopping feeding and hydration and it's basically over. If you need to send good thoughts, send to my Dad and my Sister. The have been right there during all this and I worry for them the most. My mom's not feeling any pain, nor does she have any awareness of what is going on. I'd say her mind and spirit have already gone home. They are waiting for her body to do the same.

My wife, Tami, is heading out to Nebraska on Wednesday to help out. She's amazing and I absolutley appreciate how lucky I am to be married to her.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Yellow Cancer Bracelet

Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a huge Lance Armstrong fan. I'm just not convinced that he won all those Tours de France in a clean fashion. And, I never wore the Livestrong bracelet as I viewed it as trendy.

Not too long after my mom got diagnosed with cancer, my buddy, Pete, gave me a couple of the Livestrong bracelets. He told me "I know you don't like Lance, but....." I put the thing on to thank him for his caring, and to honor my mom's fight. Funny thing happened.

Everytime I look at the yellow rubberband on my wrist, I feel proud that people are fighting for a cure. I feel safer because I know there's other who have, and will share my mom's story, and my sadness. And, I am reminded of what my mom is enduring as cancer is pulling her away from my dad, her family, and friends.

She's not winning the fight. The cancer's returned to her remaining lung, spine, and adrenal gland. I went out one last time and it was tough. Fortunately, I enjoyed a few golden moments of lucidity and clarity with her on the morning I was due back in California. I'm fairly certain my good bye was last and I savored it, sad as it was.

When it's all said and done, I'll take off the Livestrong bracelet and put it safely along side my Sigma Chi Fraternity badge, my grandfather's Mason's ring, a gold bracelet passed down to the mother of the 1st born son in a new Bayer generation, and my important papers. As far as I'm concerned, it's an heirloom.