Last spring we met Kim Martin in Indianapolis at the Henry Tucker Foundation's Hope & Empowerment Event. Kim was interested to meet us because she and her family were coming to Seattle for cancer treatment for two of their young adult children. They had different kinds of cancer, but one was best suited to treatment at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (the Hutch), so both of them decided to take their treatment here. The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance comprises the Hutch, the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital, so this was a workable plan.
When they were here, I met Kim's husband, Ken, and son, Drew. They are a charming, bright and faithful family. It was a delight to meet them - but I wish it had been under other circumstances. Ken fell ill while they were living in Seattle. When the children had a break in treatment, the family moved home to Indiana. Their daughter is doing well, but Drew did not find a cure, and passed away very recently.
This morning, I received news that Kim's husband, Ken, has passed away from cancer. There will be a joint memorial service for father and son (Drew) next week. I canNOT find words to express the horror of the path that this family has had to travel. There is a genetic issue that has predisposed Kim & Ken's family to cancer. Their son Nolan passed away years ago; Drew just a short time ago, and now Ken. I am simply heartsick for them. If you are a praying person, please send prayers for Kim and her surviving children. They have a beautiful faith, but this is more than anyone should have to bear. Kim is the author of the Hair Fairy book and a kind and loving woman.
Later, I received a telephone call from my parents, telling me that our dear friend, Fred, passed away today. I have been fighting tears all day. Fred and my father knew one another in elementary school. Fred and his beautiful wife, Charlotte, fell in love at the University of Washington, and are two of my parents' dearest friends. We came to know them when our children were in elementary school, and I will give you a few examples of why I love them both so much.
|Dad & Fred in the desert|
|David & Katie in the pool at TVC|
Fred & Charlotte are fun, intelligent, warm and adventurous. They have taken some wonderful guided trips with my parents and other friends. Some of their best stories come from the Stan Boreson Tours that they took together. We loved having them to our house for visits, sharing dinner at Burrata Bistro or a clam-feed on our deck, and they always appreciated a gift of lefse from our local Norwegian bakery (Charlotte is of Norwegian heritage).
Fred has a very dry sense of humor. He and my father are hilarious together, because my dad is theatrical and Fred is understated. Fred has a way of sputtering, especially in response to my father's more dramatic story-telling. We loved hearing Fred's gentle rumblings as he teased my dad. "Unbelievable!" was often all he had to say, but it was the way he said it that made it work.
|Dad & Fred|
Fred was a hugger and kisser whenever we would get together. I will miss his loving greetings. He was always perfectly dressed and groomed, a very dapper and handsome man. He was a Marine who had been wounded three times in World War II, and still had his helmet with the hole in it. He was modest, but when we asked to see the helmet (and his Purple Heart medal), he showed them to us. It is impressive, as is his service record.
Fred and Charlotte came to the hospital to visit us when Katie was sick, and brought a book for her. They have been the most loyal, thoughtful, affectionate and sympathetic friends to my parents, coming all the way from Seattle to attend Katie's memorial service. They have encouraged us and supported our efforts in Katie's Endowment for Cancer Research. They have been kind, generous, always interested in David and in us. They are like extended family...and I feel as if I've lost my uncle today.
Not only this, but in February, one of their two sons passed away. Charlotte has had more than her share of sorrow this year. If you are a praying person, please send prayers for this beautiful, valiant lady, whose beloved husband and best friend of over 60 years has died. Thank you.