Tuesday, July 30, 2013

                              July 30, 2013

Dear Jane,
     It's unusual that I find myself in a quiet house this time of evening. Jamie is at work, my "littles" are paying a visit to the sandman and my "biggles" are lapping up every last dollop of summertime daylight with neighborhood friends. If I listen quietly, I can hear the heartbeat of summer just outside the door to my left. A heartbeat so constant and so familiar that when I listen... REALLY listen, I am Ten all over again.
     A bit of a bittersweet day over here. It's been Three weeks since Adlers last round of chemotherapy. And what a delicious Three weeks it has been! Weeks filled with all the things that make summer...well, summer. Parades and picnics, bike rides and splash pads, Nanny's house and snow cones, extended bed-times and enough Scooby Doo episodes to make one say: "Zoinks" entirely too often. All in all, it has been an especially vibrant summer. Full of vivid living. Ever aiming to be mindful of the morsels. Ah, the "morsel moments"....You know the ones? The moments that "dog ear" themselves to the pages of your heart? Those sweet morsels are the moments that have carried me. Carried me everywhere I have wanted to go....Even when I didn't know how to get there. Addys ANC counts were once again too low today to administer Chemotherapy. I was a bit surprised....Although, that's one thing Cancer has taught me...Surprise parties are always aimed and at the ready. I had hoped that with so many weeks in between treatment that Addys counts would have time to rebound and that delays would be a thing of the past. But, alas, here we are once more. Adler was so distraught to learn that we'd be making the trek back up to clinic next week. He was so anticipating another long reprieve. As was I. With each additional delay we stretch out this tiresome chapter in our lives. A chapter with entirely too many run-on sentences.
     So, that, my dear Jane is how the events of my day and I suppose even my summer have unfolded. I'll leave a few merriment morsels with you on this beautiful summer evening. I gift to you.... Oliver Tolliver. Teaching us that it's never too late to drink life up through a bendy straw.

Morsels of merriment indeed.

Cricket lullaby's
 to you,



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

                              July 23, 2013

Dear Janey,
       Happy Tuesday to you sweet girl. Woke up to balloons, gifts, a raffle and chocolate cake for breakfast. That's how I know I am growing older in my mothering. When McKay and Sammy were little I would never have dreamed to feed them sweets for breakfast. However, as I have swam through more of lifes waters (some filled with cancer rapids), I have come more to know that life isn't just about the "big picture"... but rather, the thousands of polaroid snapshots along the trek. And, it just so happens, todays snapshot included chocolate cake. 

And the winner is: Jennie Wallace

To all who participated (especially Jamie shillig the creator of the quilt)I thank you from the deep well-spring in my momma girls heart. Thank you for swimming the rapids alongside of me and our family. With you by my side....no current is too great to conquer.

   Chocolate cake wishes to  you,

Thursday, July 18, 2013

                                                                                                            July 18, 2011
Oliver Tolliver July 18, 2013
Dear Jane,
     Just got back from taking Addy and Ollie to our neighborhood gas station/convenience store. Addy has been asking all morning if we could "please go pick a treat?" After meandering through the aisles of carbohydrates and calories, decisions were made and then made again. We finally scooched our way up to the cashier only to be told that our purchases had already been paid for by a stranger. Oh Jane. How utterly good people truly are.
     Have had a few rough days over here. Addy has been feeling crummy and crabby. And, well, I've just felt crabby. Overwhelmed with life and underwhelmed with cancer and the wake that it's left in our pathway that heretofore, was relatively ripple free. Of course, that's easier to identify now in my current life state. What felt like rough waters Six months ago, would feel like smooth sailing today. Ah, blessed perspective. How she doth force me to ultimately love her...Pain and all.
     Aside from feeling like a crabapple lately, I've also struggled with a great sense of sorrow for all of my boys. But, this week, particularly my little toe headed Oliver Tolliver. Came around the corner this morning to see him on his tippy toes with a large wooden spoon in hand. Doing a little jig in front of our kitchen sink. I asked: "Oliver, what are you up to?" to which he replied: "I'm not big enough to reach the water spout (faucet) but, I needed to wash the yogurt off my hands." Gulp. In the past, I would have been the sink turner on-er. I would have been Ollie's wooden spoon. But, he's learned as of late, that his moms arms and hands are weighted and brimming.
     As I watched Ollie tip-toe dance his way through his new found hand washing system, my heart sank and my initial inclination was to weep and raise clenched fists to the sky. However, for some reason still unbeknownst to me, I did neither. I simply sat down right in the middle of my kitchen floor...The hardwood warm from the kiss of the mid morning sun. I sat and marveled at how very resilient the human spirit is. About how proficient and resourceful we become when we stop asking "how?" and replace it with "now." Can't reach the kitchen faucet? Seven year old son diagnosed with cancer? Okay, what now? What's another way, a different route, a previously uncharted thought,or perhaps, a separate road altogether? Those Four year olds. They hold some astonishing answers even in the tippiness of their toes.

               "They say the world has
                become too complex for
                simple answers. I say...
                they are wrong."
                             -Ronald Reagan

                   Out of the toes of babes,

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

                               July 16, 2013

Dear Jane,
frequent flyers July 16, 2013

 .....Woke up with Adler on the side of my bed. "Mom, mom, I've already brushed my teeth and I got my clothes on. Can I go to Tennessee?" It just so happens that he can. A dear, soul drenched, woman by the name of Terri McAllister Hincks read my blog post about the sojourns Adler has taken while waiting for Chemotherapy to be administered. Adler has arrived at each "chemo- destination" by way of a magical medical exam stool. In reading my post, Terri remembered she had a set of wheels of her own...A decked out, bedazzled, Harley Davidson "work stool" set of wheels. Terri dropped the stool off at Jamies office. Jamie loaded it up and brought it home. Around Seven O'clock we heard a knock at the door. Adler raced to answer it. And there sat Jamie on the "Harley portal." "Hey Adler, how do you feel about Egypt at sunset?"....And, they were off, just like that. I should have awoken extra early to pack sack lunches. The Seven Wonders are a lot to take in...in a day. Bless you Terri McAllister Hinks for giving us wings and wheels. We'll send you a postcard when we get there.

                                          "And he sailed back over a year
                                            and in and out of weeks
                                            and through a day
                                            and into the night."

                                                     ...Let the wild rumpus begin,

Monday, July 15, 2013

                             July 15, 2013

Dear Janey,
Addy June 2013


                 "We've been through
                  some things together...
                  with trunks of memories
                  still to come.
                  We found things to do in
                  stormy weather.
                  ...Long may you run."

                     -Might the wind always
                      be at your back sweet


Friday, July 12, 2013

                            July 12, 2013

Dear Jane,
Adler July 11, 2013

Have had a bit of a rough go of it over here at the brown house with the green front door. Had Chemotherapy on Wednesday and have struggled since. Poor Addy has been fighting a fever (doing better this morning) and just all around feeling crummy-ola. Spent the majority of the last Two days at the Hospital. Here's to hoping we can avoid that field-trip today.
On a much happier note, it's been raining since last evening here. On and off. I can think of few things lovelier, more gentle, more soul preserving, than July rain.....A massage for the soul.

              "Some people feel the rain
               ....Others just get wet."
                         -Roger Miller

                 polka dot goloshes
                 and puddles aplenty
                 to you,

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

                                             July 9, 2013
Dear Jane,
     Happy Tuesday to you dear girl. Woke up early. Had a date with overdue laundry. Hung a few loads out on the line. Found myself wishing I could bottle the sounds and smells and the newness of the day and send them off to you. I've found laundry looks beautiful when she first wakes up.
    A few weeks ago, I was gifted an absolutely amazing quilt. The quilter (whom I have never had the pleasure of meeting) had created it in hopes that I might be able to raffle it as a means to help with mounting cancer related costs. I was stunned. Stunned by the beauty of the quilt...But equally, if not more so, by the empathetic generosity of a stranger. I am humbled and stand in awe as I contemplate such love...One Mother to another.
     I have mulled over the easiest, most convenient way to go about setting up a raffle Having never been the ring leader of such an undertaking before. I enlisted the help of my Sixteen year old who so often takes pity on his technology deficient Mom-a-girl. He helped me create a paypal button at the bottom of this blog post. You can simply click on that, order the desired amount of $2.00 tickets (I will write your name on pieces of paper. For each $2.00 increment, you'll have a separate allotted "raffle ticket." We'll fold them up, place them in a basket and have Adler draw the winner on July 23rd (My Sampsons Birthday). Make sure to include your name in the "notes" section of paypal if your account was set up by a different party. You can also send funds to our home directly (if you're comfortable with that) our home address is: 255 East 100 South Alpine, Utah 84004 (Will need to arrive on or before July 23rd).

The quilt measures 52 1/2 inches in width and 70 inches in length. There is no real way for me or my camera to compile enough adjectives to convey the sweetness and talent sewn into each stitch. Bless you Jamie Shillig for your true labor of love. I thank each of you in advance who bless us by participating in this "Healing Quilt" raffle... We thank you with all that we are, or ever hope to become.
Happy raffling,

multiple tickets

Saturday, July 6, 2013


                              July 7, 2013
World journeyer July 2, 2013

Dear Jane,
  Woke up thinking of this image of Adler. Recounting the numerous times I have mentally taken this same "image imprint" as the months have bid adieu.
   Each chemo Tuesday greets us in such unimaginable emotional chaos that it is nearly impossible for me to articulate the dread and heartache that holds sweet Adler hostage. Such anxiety, such fear, such deep, deep, sorrow. The kind of sorrow that carves  canyons on the walls of your heart. 
   Despite the toil, somehow or another we do, in fact, manage to make it to clinic. For Adler, every aspect of the clinic experience is likened to the "molten lava" game I use to play as a young girl. Only certain surfaces are deemed safe. However, these "safe" surfaces are shape-shifters and they morph and elude based on perceptions and previous molten encounters. The only player who knows the rules is Adler....And Jamie and I spend each clinic moment in a frenzied state...pleading and perspiring as we search for the instruction manual that will show us the way.
    Once we find the "molten salve" and have defeated the soot and the ash, Adler hops on the Dr.'s exam stool and away he goes. Somewhere along the chemo line, Addy found out that the exam stool was actually a portal of sorts. Once he hops aboard, that shiny stool will take him wherever he longs to go. He scoots himself out of our exam room, into the stark hallway, makes it through customs, winks at the nurses and just like that... he's off like a shot. Each time he passes our assigned room, he grins and announces where he's been and where he's headed. "Just got back from Australia...Heading to Hawaii." "Went to see Mt. Rushmore...Now I'm off to Paris."
    Just as I was tucking Adler in last night, he pulled my ear close and asked if I knew where to get an exam stool..."Because that way, I can see everything I have ever wanted to see."
              That our eyes might see.
              Every. Single. Thing.
                                                                         Bon Voyage,

Monday, July 1, 2013


                              July 1,2013
My Sampson love and I June 2012

Dear Janey,
    I am down right astonished that July greeted me this morning. July. Really? I scarcely know how that happened.
     I do so love the month of July. Everything about it. Even the heat. I believe great clarity comes through the heat. I've long admired the Native Americans approach as they seek for higher understanding, peace and answers through soul-drenching/soul cleansing heat. Heat often forces us to be "still." And sometimes, for me, stillness swaddles me like a Mother would her babe.
     My beautiful Sampson was born in July. He'll be Fourteen this month. His soul "fits" his birth-month. Even from the beginning Sam knew that there was great power in "stillness." He is wise beyond his years...And always has been. He's a deep thinker and has such a tender awareness of those around him. Always and in "all-ways" nurturing as he moves through his days. Long ago, I began to say to my boys as I'd tuck them in or drop them off at school... "Hey, it's good to be your mom." Upon Adlers diagnosis, Sampson has taken to yelling over his shoulder as he heads out on a teenage, summertime adventure... "Hey mom, It's so good to be your son." Sam wakes with the desire to help me do whatever needs doing and often his final act of service before he crawls into bed is to carry Adler up to his bed (Since cancer, Adler prefers to fall asleep on a make-shift bed in our family room...He's developed such a fear of being alone). Sam scoops up Adler's weary body and carries him upstairs and tucks him in til' morning. To be a witness to such a sacred exchange is a daily reminder that Heaven is here.
     Adler goes in early tomorrow morning for Chemotherapy and a series of tests/scans. Again, I find myself bowing to the blessed heat which has afforded me the luxury of sitting still long enough to sign a peace treaty with my current reality. I now more fully understand the phenomenal wisdom found in the quote: "When you argue with reality you lose....But only 100% of the time."(Byron Katie)

A few weeks ago, we were given this sweet notecard.  I placed it above my kitchen sink as I find myself standing in that space more than any other. A few days later, I noticed that Sampson had covered up the word "to" and handwritten the word "for" on a scratch of sticky note.  Wise soul indeed.

Hey Janey, it's so good to be
your friend,
-Sara Joy