As usual, life has gotten away from me and I haven't posted in a long time. Yet, so many things have happened in the time since my last post, I couldn't decide what to write about first. So, I decided to do a condensed version of everything right here.
Most significantly, on Memorial Day we lost Jay's mom Elizabeth Lester at the age of 80. She lived about two miles away from us and was very involved in the kids' lives. She was a great help to us all in terms of driving the kids home from school and taking them to buy the things they needed, bringing dinner over regularly, delivering things we needed from Costco, etc. Losing her was a big blow to our family and we miss her. She loved to take the kids to the zoo, the library and many other places, even when it got hard for her.
Liz had a peaceful and happy death, which is all any of us can ask for. We have known for about a year and a half that she had an ocular melanoma and, as she chose no treatment, that the the end would come. However, she tripled her estimated life span and was in good health up until the last two weeks of her life. Only the last four days found her very ill and only the last 24 hours did she need constant care. She died at home, as she wished, with a small smile and a beautiful expression on her face. Thank you so much to all of you who sent cards, flowers and condolences to our family. She will be missed.
On a happier note, in early April Joey received the sacrament of Confirmation. This was a beautiful things for us all, as he chose our faith for himself. Of course we were hoping he would choose to be confirmed, but the choice was truly his own. He prepared well with a retreat the weekend before and two years of preparation at the church. He really thought about it and questioned what he needed to question. We hope and pray his choice will bear fruit for him throughout his life.
In May, Tony received his first Holy Communion. As usual, the sacrament was beautiful and we were delighted to see it. Five down, two to go! Bella will receive hers next Spring and Natalie the following year.
Earlier this month, Lindsey graduated from Sacred Heart School after 9 years there. She received a number of leadership, music and service awards, and we are very proud of her. She will go to Paraclete High School in the fall. Time does fly!
Julia recently moved up another level in gymnastics. As a new level 6 she gets to compete optional rather than compulsory routines, which means she can choose her own combinations of elements as well as her floor music. She just returned from a week at Woodward West camp in Tehachapi where she was able to master a number of new skills. I love watching her grow and excel in her chosen sport, and she is truly a joy to watch.
Also in the extreme sports category, Sam also was at Woodward West last week but in the scooter program. He is getting very good on his scooter and learned a back and front flip while he was there. I tried for awhile to get the video on here but failed completely. So, you will have to trust me, he is awesome!
On the cancer front, I have just started a new chemo regime to get back on top of the slow creep we have been experiencing of late. It is a good strategic move, but my body is not enjoying it as much as it could. I am now on a new combo for Her2+ specific cancer and am, for the first time, on Taxol which is not targeted and affects all rapidly dividing cells. I am almost to certain to lose my hair (again!) in the next week or so and am experiencing a decent amount of bone and muscle pain as well as fatigue. So it goes. If it works, it is worth it all.
Finally, we are taking our every-other year family vacation, courtesy of Jay's airline miles and hotel points, next week. 10 days in Hawaii (Kauai and Kona), nine people, totally free, flights, hotel and rental cars. This is our reward for Jay's near-constant travel. Speaking of that, he is in Israel this week and having a wonderful time exploring Nazareth and the surrounding areas when he is done with his work day.
Hope all is well with you all and that your summer is blessed with all good things!