What a difference a year makes.
AND a Happy Columbus Day to all of you.
This weekend was filled with joy and celebration. It was jammed packed with life in its largest. The Blue Angels, Fleet Week, The America's Cup, A Playoff game for my Giants and all of it in our backyard.
The Purchase family has been owed a sail for quite some time. And the other day Leslie looked at me and asked, "Is that invitation to see the blue angels still open?" OF COURSE it was! We set it up with our boat partners to snag the boat for Saturday. On Friday night Leslie and Rob joined Glenn and I for the APR evening at the Mill Valley Film Festival. It was a far cry from where they were a year ago.
A year ago, I had invited Leslie and Rob to come to the Film Festival and they were going to come. They had it all set up. About 30 minutes before the film started I got a text message saying they just couldn't make it. You see a year ago they were in the midst of the biggest nightmare anyone could ever face, the fight of a lifetime for the life of their daughter Olivia.
Olivia had been diagnosed with a rare form of Brain Cancer when she wasn't not yet 3 years old. It is hard to remember this now when you see the vibrant darling child she is today. It is hard to remember her losing her hair, being hooked up to poisons, having a bone marrow transplant. A girl with no appetite who was as used to shots and MRIs as she was to playing in the park. It is next to impossible to put my head there now. Frankly I don't know how much I allowed myself to think of it then. I just knew she had to be alright. And she is so much more than alright, she is amazing.
AND what also is amazing is that her family is alive and well and living a "normal" life. So when Rob looked at Leslie and she at him when they said, "you know where we were a year ago? UCSF." I know they were thinking the same thing.
Here they were watching as the jets soared overhead in a startling blue sky, mouths full of awe and pumpkin bread, being normal. It was a very good day.
But in case you haven't guessed this family of 5 is anything but normal, they are extraordinary. They love each other - they share with each other. These children are smart and well behaved, kind and silly. Watching Jack on the helm of the boat as the ice cold waters of the bay drenched him was remarkable. You could tell he didn't know where to laugh or cry, so he laughed... Olivia in her Panda hat (Giants style that I bought for her before the surgery) and looking oh so perfect. And Joe analyzing the compass, loving the moment, the sailing the planes and the day. Then there was Leslie who learned down below in a boat may not be the best for your stomach... but typical of her she hung in there and bounced back to scream in excitement at the daringly close passes of the Blue Angels. Rob hauling up the anchor and lending a hand. I think they all enjoyed the day very much, especially since it was a graduation party of a sort. Graduating from Cancer to life. Flying across the waters like an AC 45 with a crew that can handle anything.
Rob on the anchor line with Dana
Taking it in
It took me a day to recover! I was exhausted , and felt like I had a cold coming on... and I have trip coming up so I laid low to recup. Training walks are further between and I hope I can get back on schedule soon. After all, we are very close to the final walk of the year - San Diego. If you would like to donate please do! I had hoped to make $3000 for San Diego and I am a ways off of that mark (by about $700). I am a total of $1900 off of my super secret personal goal of $17,000 for 2012. Anything you can do would be appreciated.