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...


Anonymous said...

Cathy, Robert

Hang in there..., Kariann and I pray for you and family all the time... We will certainly stay in touch. We are only a phone call away.

Gabe and Kariann Virissimo

Drunken Samurai said...

Thanks Gabe! We are hanging on. I will try and get some new posts up soon. I really need to lighten this place up a little. said...

hekekekeke, a samurai supposed to bring a samurai sword, cheap shinken maybe, but not a beer :)

NorthernChic said...

Mr. Brightwell,

I'm so sorry for my delay in writing, but every time I open your blog I seem to cry. I was a classmate of Emily’s at EMCC; we had Pysch 101 together this past fall. Each day for the remaining of that semester, class felt so "empty".

I'm so sorry for your loss - you have continually been in my thoughts!! I would like to touch base with you and your wife if I may; regarding a paper I'm doing in my English class on Organ Donation.

Emily and I connected IMMEDIATELY when I heard she was a heart transplant recipient as was my Daddy:) He lived 3 extra years from someone donating their organs; so it’s something VERY important to me – something Emily understood FIRST hand!!! We had an awesome conversation about it when I first met her. We actually talked about combining our Pysch presentation at the end of last semester on Donation and Transplants. After she passed away; In her honor, I altered my final presentation to include as much as I could :)

If you’d be willing to share some thoughts, experience, or anything that’d spruce up my Eng 102 paper I’d really appreciate it. You can reach me at danagayer at hotmail dot com if you’re willing.

Thank you so much –
You are still in my thoughts...

Janet said...

This world is a much darker lonelier place without Emily's brightness. Thank you for allowing me to be apart of her life. I am a better person beacuse our relationship. She will always be in my heart and thoughts. Love always.


I just want to say thank you. your blog is an eye opener. i too suffer from a heart defect, but no where near to the extent of emily's. she was one of my best friends at camp del corazon, and i will miss her always. i visit holy cross every chance I get so that i can still feel some closeness to her.