Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Last Holiday Party at UCLA

We went to the UCLA Pediatric Transplant Holiday Party this weekend. We have gone the last two years and it has been a really great time. Going back to Westwood and UCLA has become one of the rare times of relief for the whole family. It was really strange to be going this year but it was something that we need to do. It was to be our last chance to see so many people that have played such a huge part of Emily's life and our entire family.

We drove over to LA on Friday morning and got to the Tiverton House by about 1pm local time. Our first stop was for lunch at Mr. Noodle on Broxton in Westwood. This was been our favorite place to each in Westwood for more than 2 years. It was also one of Emily's favorite places. Lunch was great, as usual, but it was strange to be there without her. It was so strange that we only ate there once over the weekend, which is strange as we generally eat there two or even three time in a two day trip.

The party was held on Saturday and this year it was in a new location. Previous years the party was held in the ballroom at the UCLA Student Union. This year the party was at the Lionsgate Commissary in Santa Monica. Yes, this the entertainment distribution company. The location was very nice and they had a movie theme for the party. It was all very nicely done. We got to see a lot of the doctors and staff from UCLA and several of the transplant families that we met during Emily's stay at UCLA. These are some really great people and it was good to see them again, but it was very emotional for all of us. Some of the people that we saw had not heard the news and that was hard. I will miss these folks but I am fairly sure that we will not see most, if not all, of these people again.

All-in-all it was a really good weekend. It was emotionally draining but we needed to be there. I think that this will help with some closure on that part of our lives...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Today was another tough day. We went to the cemetery an ordered Emil's headstone. It was another surreal task...and it was very draining. It only took an hour but I felt like I had run a marathon. It wasn't as tough as I thought it was going to be...

It will take several weeks to be delivered.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Emily's Birthday

Today is (or should have been) Emily's 18th birthday. We should have been going to the movies for her free movie on her birthday. We should have gone to her favorite restaurant - Lai Lai Mongolian BBQ - for lunch. We should of had a bunch of people over this evening for cake and presents. But that is not what happened and it felt all wrong.

Instead we went to the cemetery and put up a temporary maker that Emily's Uncle Red made. Without a marker the grave seems so lonely. We also placed some flowers. It was a tough day to say the least, but we knew it would be.

Things at the Brightwell house have been OK, I guess. Kathy and I went back to work on November 8th, she was only able to work a few days before it became too much to deal with. I struggled on until the end of the month but now I have to take some time. I had hoped that getting to work would help me cope but it didn't and now I am paying the price. Time to get this sorted...

Sharleen and Delaney are doing well. Sharleen still has some bad days but she seems to be getting through this. Delaney, as expected, has been doing fine. She has had a couple nights with bad dreams but nothing too bad. They are going to be fine. Kids are resilient.

The standard question that I am asked is "How are you doing?" The standard answer I give is "As well as can be expected." I don't know any other way to express how I am feeling. Everything seems wrong to me and I guess that is normal...