Monday, April 6, 2009

Visiting Alexis & Her Family

I mentioned (a few posts back) that we had the pleasure of visiting the Douglas family on our way to Cannon Beach. Jill, the mom, is helping Cara Rudd (Miss Auburn) with a benefit for Children's Hospital, and asked me to donate some quilts for the silent auction. I made two of them for the benefit, and we delivered them to her. Jill also introduced me (via email) to Mandy, a friend of hers, who has a church group that was looking for a charitable project. They are now sewing for Children's Hospital/Katie's Quilters, so I delivered some donated materials to Jill, for Mandy, to help them on their way. Thank you, Jill & Mandy!

Here is a photo of us with Alexis (the patient), Jill and Austin, the big sister. We were in the lobby of Thornewood Castle, a bed & breakfast inn that is owned by Jill's mother-in-law. Shortly after this photo was taken, Alexis serenaded us with "Over the Rainbow." Alexis' version was much cheerier than Eva Cassidy's rendition!
Doesn't Alexis look as healthy as can be? Yet she has had cancer since she was 11 weeks old. It's mind-boggling, even to her doctors. She is a gift from God, as are all of our children; she's full of love, life and spunk. We loved her and her sister on sight. (You, too, Jill, but we really know it's all about the kids, isn't it?)

Jill caught a photo of us, on the phone with David (calling from Provence). He called just before we were about to leave Thornewood.

Speaking of David, we have heard from him nearly every day, either via telephone, Skype chat or facebook chat. Technology is a wonderful thing, when your child is far away from home!

David is having a fabulous time, and has enjoyed many aspects of French culture, especially the food, and life in a small village. His grasp of the language is increasing. He has visited the local street market, the Pont du Gard, the towns of Lacoste & Rousillon and a small airfield where his "host father" takes flying lessons. He even played a round of golf at the local golf club! We're excited to see the many pictures he has taken. He will be arriving tomorrow around mid-day, and I am looking forward to seeing him!


Busy Bee Suz said...

I love those and Gregg are so beautiful...your faces are just lit up talking to David. That little Alexis and her sister are darling....great picture.
So nice you have another group behind you helping with the quilts. All the angels coming to help in the name of YOUR angel Katie!!! So wonderful...thanks for sharing. Hugs, Suz

Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh, I meant to say more about Alexis...she does not look sick at all and yet, she has been her entire life??? I hope she can be get healthy and live a life with no Dr's!!!!
Sending good thoughts and prayers to the family-Suz

Jennifer said...

So cool that David's been having such a great time ... and it's wonderful you've been able to talk with him EVERY day. Speaks to the depth of his affection for and connection to you both. I'm in the midst of reading Julia Child's delectable My Life In France, and your mention of David liking the French food reminded me of her many zesty and detailed descriptions of meals there (and one of the things I like best about the book is how she came to France knowing almost nothing about the food, culture, etc. and just began to embrace all of it, bit by bit).

Alexis's family is in my thoughts. I am glad you could be with them, and that Jill hooked you up with Mandy and her group. The love keeps on circling around, doesn't it?!


karengberger said...

Jennifer, I LOVED that book! I read it before Katie got sick, and immediately ordered two of Julia Child's cookbooks...then, I started renting the old DVDs of her show. It was the best (nerdy) entertainment, esp. after reading the book! I was planning to start trying some of Julia's recipes, and then life took another turn...but it looks as if we may get another chance to pursue French cooking, now that David can appreciate it.

Elizabeth said...

How blessed you are to have such an attentive son. I see so much love in your faces! Thank you for this sweet post.

Anonymous said...

Love the "family pic"!

Irene x

Kay said...

Alexis and her family are adorable! What a sweet girl! : )

And the pics of you and Greg are just precious. Like Suz said, your faces are just lit up. What a sweet son you have to call and keep in touch!

Bon Appetit! : )

Jennifer said...

Karen, brilliant idea to rent the DVDs of her show. I keep reading the book more and more slowly, so I don't have to reach the end so soon ... with the DVDs, I can explore her work in another way! Nerdtacular, indeed! I've already asked for one of her cookbooks for my birthday; can't wait.

I teared up when I read your words detailing how you, of course, had to suspend what must have been a true eagerness to try some of her recipes when Katie got sick and then afterwards ... but you're now hoping to dig in again, in a renewed way, with the focus of David's interest in French food.

That sounded a bit like spring, a bit like redemption, to me.

I earnestly hope you will find great joy in this endeavor. And don't forget to imitate Julia when you're cooking! :)


KBL 2 ORD 2 SAN 2 LUV said...

I adore that photo of you and Gregg, your eyes spilling forth your love for your son.

Can't wait to see David's pictures. I studied/lived/worked in both Costa Rica and Barcelona, and those experiences were PRICELESS. Good for him to go!

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

Beautiful photos, Karen! And the story about Alexis is amazing... SO hard to believe she has had cancer since her early infancy!

I hope you and Gregg have a wonderful Easter!

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

PS I'm glad David is having such a great time in France. And you are right - technology is fabulous for us, isn't it? I'm about to get my kids cell phones and I think I'm just as excited (for a different reason of course.... being able to REACH them at any time)... but when you and I were younger, our parents didnt' have the luxury of 'technological umbilical cords', did they? :)