Isn't he handsome? And believe me, he knows it. He is known around here as "the King of Beasts," and sometimes as "Robert Redford," because of his gorgeous blue eyes and that strawberry-blonde fur. He's vain, dominant, and a real character. He's LATTE. (BTW, he came to us with this name; we didn't give it to him. I think it's the Italian word for milk, isn't it?)
Today, I took 13 quilts to Seattle Children's Hospital. The staff is so nice, and they tell me stories about how much the kids like the quilts, while preserving the privacy of their patients. I love knowing that these simple quilts bring comfort to children and parents at a time in their lives that is full of shock and fear. I remember the feelings very, very clearly myself. It means so much to know that the staff can get to know each child, and put the right quilt into his or her hands; that they will have a little touch of "homemade love" with them in the hospital, just for them. I am thankful to my mom for helping me to buy the materials, as well as to MB for all of her help buying fabric and sewing with me. A special "thank you" goes to Rita, who taught me how to make them in the first place (including the original one: Katie's!), and who sews them with me. I couldn't do it without all of you!
For some reason, it was the hardest day I've had, visiting the hospital, since Katie's passing. Usually it makes me feel good to go there, but today, I was having flashbacks. I felt walloped by memories, and decided to spend the minimum amount of time there. I just dropped off the quilts, had a quick chat with Ashley & Jen in Childlife, and left. I lost all of my energy suddenly.
I wonder about this. Because the last 10 months of Katie's life were so intertwined with the hospital, and because the staff was so supportive and helpful, guiding us through the maze that is cancer treatment, I have loved staying connected with them. Now, however, I find I am looking to my good memories of Katie's happy life, before she was sick, whereas the hospital memories are the beginning of the end of her happy life. I was sad today as I drove the familiar route, and recalled all of our trips to the clinic, after she was discharged from inpatient care, checking for complications and recurrence. I always took comfort in the staff's help and any evidence of Katie's progress, but today, I remembered the bad trips: putting numbing cream on her arm to make the blood draws painless, the nausea that came over her as we got closer to the clinic, Katie getting sick in the car or the parking lot, doubled over in a wheelchair, hiding from the world under her quilt, and her sadness over all of it. I just wanted to get out of there, so I did.
I stopped by the Hutch School and gave them some of Katie's books for their library, after visiting the hospital. Katie loved attending the Hutch School with David during the spring of 2007. The staff and students were wonderful to her & David, and we love to support them. They can always use donations.
One more photo of handsome.
Look at that huge tail. It has knocked over wine glasses & decorations; he loves to swish it all over the place.
For some reason, blogger doesn't want to let me separate pargraphs today, so I'm using bold type to highlight points. Maybe it will correct itself tomorrow.