This is VikingFest weekend in Poulsbo. We live in a Norwegian-American town, which is proud of its heritage and culture. For 40 years, the town has celebrated Norway's Constitution Day (its national holiday) in some way. Our kids have grown up seeing the traditional costumes, dancing, the funky fair atmosphere, carnival booths and rides, eating the junky fair-food, watching boats cruise by our house and into the harbor, visiting with friends and neighbors while out walking around the town anytime from Friday to Sunday. There is a pancake breakfast and a lutefisk-eating contest.
Last year's VikingFest marked a big milestone for Katie. It was her first outing on her own, with her friends, walking through town. She wore her own choice of clothes --even called her best friend to coordinate ahead of time (not hospital clothes, or default-clothes, like she had worn for months before surgery, that fit around her then-swollen abdomen). Cute, teen-style clothes, that fit her normal, natural, pre-cancer, Katie-shape. She went to town with her NG tube in place, not letting it stop her from "being seen," visited with & checked out the boys and girls who she hadn't seen in many months. She was getting better and stronger. It was so exciting to be able to let her go out with her peers!
I saw all of the preparations being made in town as I drove through yesterday. It hurt me to see the carnival being set up. It is so hard to believe that she is no longer on this earth, that at the very next VikingFest, she is dead...gone from here. Unbelievable.
David is going to meet friends there this evening, just as he did last year. I hope he has a great time. He is part Norwegian, and it's still VikingFest, in Poulsbo...but, without Katie, it will never be the same again.