We had a 2-week window between Phillip’s last chemical injection and the start of his radiation. It will be 40 rounds of daily radiation from June through August. He wanted to see his Mum. Click: Amazing Grace. Everyone needs their Mum at a time like this!
So we took our little one out of school late May/early June for this family emergency and visited relatives in Europe. Aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, Godchildren, close friends, everyone we could see within 2 weeks.
Phillip’s mother was overjoyed! Her 89th birthday was in June and she said seeing her son was the best gift ever!
Naturally, everyone we saw wanted to know how treatments were going. We could not rehash the details over and over. Not only is it draining for us but we didn’t want these conversations to overwhelm or frighten our youngest. Most of the time, we can shield her from it but when you’re traveling from home to home – or pub to pub, as is the case in England – folks want to catch up and we’re very sensitive to little ears in range.
Plus, we have striven to reclaim normalcy in the household & beyond for our family. Playing with friends & doing cool things was a mainstay.
And Legoland was awesome but laying on the grass topped all!! Why? Because there are no ticks or pesticides for ticks at all where Grandma lives and Darling was so happy!! It’s the little things, isn’t it?
While staying for an overnight with dear friends about a hundred miles south of Scotland, we ventured with the girls to a nearby castle where parts of Harry Potter & Downton Abbey were filmed, click: Castles & Angels
Later, we drove nearly 300 miles south to Oxford to visit the university and delve into the history of this beautiful medieval city, click: Oxford
And because our budding marine biologist, during these 2 weeks, would unfortunately be missing a highly-anticipated field trip to the beach to explore the biodiversity of the water’s ecosystem, we wanted to do something special for her and booked her for Seatrek at what’s known as Europe’s 1st Seabed Walk: SeaTrek
Her 5th grade teacher kindly allowed our daughter to give a full presentation to her class on the 3 adventures above & what made each so special.
And speaking of 5th grade, the Friday we left for the airport was the same day her class was split into just girls/just boys earlier that morning for “The Talk.” You know the one. Menstruation, growing bodies…
But unlike the lecture we had in school when I was that age – along with a cartoon movie with dancing flowers depicting our blossoming into young ladies – this talk was not only about girl stuff…but boy stuff, too! Would be shocking, but the school explained that with the advent of the Internet, kids see much more than we did at this age and need to know more material to educate and protect themselves.
Humm… Still found it shocking. But it certainly made for fits of laughter – of which we need much of these days – and especially with a silly 5th grader! as we passed by unassuming pubs like the Dandy Cock, or were served Nobby Nuts (salted peanuts) or when we read Spotted Dick on the menu – a British sponge pudding made with raisins & served with custard – but I mean, seriously, come on!
When we all revived in the car from laughing so hard, we arrived at one of Phillip’s oldest friend’s for a lovely meal. No, not at the Dandy Cock. We walked over buttercup-covered hills and along lakes & clifftops.
The Bright Spot – finding the hilarious things in life out of the simplest moments! And appreciating the glorious countryside with our loved ones.
Born & raised in picturesque Connecticut just 30 minutes from Newtown, I was devastated to hear the news on December 14th. I sat in church longing for words from our clergy to help make sense of the tragedy. My heart was so heavy, my eyes and cheeks burned with tears for the parents, siblings, grandparents and friends who lost 20 of America’s babies and 6 heroic adults that fateful morning.
Christmas was about a week away and the kindly folks of that small, beautiful town felt grief beyond measure. Understandably, the holiday lights remained unlit.
Our church held several prayer vigils for the victims & surviors that horrific night, the very next morning and throughout the week. A Christmas concert had been planned for later that week and the question came up, “Should it be cancelled?” I and the rest of the congregation were so heavy-hearted. I expected the pastor to say it was cancelled.
But instead he said, “If we do not sing, evil wins. If we do not help our community move forward, we lose. If we do not light our trees and our candles, evil wins. If we do not help others to start healing, we lose.” “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you!” (Isaiah 60:1)
The Litany: “I live, at times…grieving the loss of loved ones…” “Oh Lord, You are my Light! Come, dispel my darkness!”
Closing Litany: “If we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another…”
A fellowship from around the globe! Calls poured in from our grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends shocked by the news. The world community mourned the little children & brave adults all together and everyone’s wishes for strength, love, healing and comfort are flooding the families in Newtown.
456 children attended the school. There was only 1 homicide in that charming, rural town in the last 10 years. The parents will need help. The siblings will need help. Not talking about it to trusted friends or professionals could repress feelings and cause future problems. Many may feel “Survivor’s Guilt.” This tragedy has hit many adults and children in many parts of the world. We had a friend whose 8-year-old son didn’t want to go to school. Children need to feel safe. Parents need to address this in age-appropriate terms and only you, as a parent, know what your child can & cannot handle informationwise.
Phillip & I wanted to do what we could to help promote healing. We asked family therapist & trauma expert, Melissa Cook, to speak on our Live call-in radio program, “Let’s Talk!” on 1490am to give specific advice on steps families & individuals – directly & indirectly – could use to start to heal and repiece their lives. All shows are archived on this site, just click here: