Friday, May 16, 2008


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.


Smileygirl said...

That must have been hard to see the town setting up for this fun fair. It's good that David is able to go and carry on his Norwegian tradition.

Your town sounds adorable.

Pinky Chong said...

Each holiday, special occasion, month, week, and day must be so hard for you. I hope that you know that you are getting stronger and braver with each passing least you are to me. My heart goes out to you and your family. I think of you guys sometimes during my day and hope that something happy comes to your mind about Katie and that gives you a little bit of peace. I've meant to comment in the last few weeks...we were in Palm Springs at the same time. Your family has touched my life in ways that only have enriched the way I feel about my family. Thank you again, for your honesty and your beautiful writing from your heart.

Laurie Keller said...

I am lost in your pain right now, and reminded of loosing my darling baby sister, Wendy, 2 years ago this July 3rd coming up. Wendy passed away unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm. No time would have been a good time. We were tight. I live near my Mom again and while our grief is very different, her's and your loss of a child, mine of a sister, I want to reach out to you and tell you what a friend told me about my pain ... that it is directly equal to the love you felt for Katie here on earth. Somehow, that helped me tremendously, and I hope it will help you. It hurts so terribly because you loved her so much. I'm not even sure how I found your blog, but as things always go, you touched my life and I hope I have touched yours. Blessings your way.