Monday, June 15, 2009

Two Weeks Before Departure

What a weekend! The winery fundraiser was a huge success! There is so much to say, I don't even know how to start...We brought the kids over to the winery during the set-up, so that Hank could get a feel for what was going on. Too overwhelming for him to be at the center of attention for a prolonged period of time, but I wanted him to understand the magnitude of what was happening that night. He got a chance to thank some of the vendors and meet the band. He was very excited about everything, but I notice he didn't ask to attend!
Jeff and I weren't sure what to expect. So it was great fun to arrive and see so many familiar faces! I walked through the crowd and spotted a friend who I hadn't seen in 20 years...I knew she was coming, but it was still a thrill to see her. As I made my way over to her, I caught a glimpse of another friend who lives hours away and was shocked to see her and her fiancee' there. And as I was torn on which way to go, I glanced over and saw another friend who lives 5 hours away and no way did I ever expect to see her!! So many good friends from here and from afar were there, as well as people we don't even know!

And Jeff had some surprises too, like the guy he worked at McDonald's with, when they were in High school. What a nice guy and he was so happy to reconnect with Jeff and offer his support. (I suspect a "bro-mance" is brewing)

My sisters really pulled it off and made this such a great night for all of us! We really attribute the success to seven amazing women: Barbara Arthur, Patty Wackman, Barbara Wackman, Susan Hopkins, Deborah Larson, Lynda Castle and Anne Figueroa. Without their dedication, hard work and belief in this cause, this night would not have happened! We are soooo grateful! And of course our wonderful brothers-in-law: Mike Wackman, Chuck Arthur and Stephen Hopkins, who lent their expertise along the way to ensure as many people as possible knew about our cause! We are blessed and Hank is so lucky to have so many people who love and support him!

The out-pouring of support was amazing and we felt like the bride and groom at the wedding reception, who just can't get to every guest. Kind of reminded me of the dreams I used to have as a know...crowded restaurant, I'm overloaded with tables and there's that one table in the middle of the room that I just can't get to. "I'll be right with you, " I call over. And then, in my dream, I keep taking orders and serving food, and then remember that table and run out to yell, "Be right there", only to find them getting angrier and angrier... and I am feeling more and more desperate! Whew...only a dream. And the reality was that at THIS event, everyone understood that we did our best and from the looks of things, everyone had a great time, left with auction or raffle goodies, learned more about PRS and Hank's battle and left knowing that they had done something great for our little boy.

We are in the middle of another fundraiser... a four day fundraiser at the local ceramic studio, "Color Me Mine". Very excited to take the kids and am hoping some friends will join us. So nice of members of our community to do these fundraisers for us!! We have offers of more, but with two weeks to go, I think they will need to wait until we get back. Should be just in time for the first medical bills to come rolling in! (ugh!)

In less than 2 weeks, we will be on a plane, headed for New York! OMG! So much to do between now and then. Happy to report that my sister-in-law, Susan, is going to accompany Hank and I on the first leg of our journey! OK, so technically, she is my sister's sister-in-law, but I am claiming her as my own, since Jeff is an only child and I only have sisters! She is such a great "sister" and I am grateful to have another grown-up along as we tackle the "Big Apple"!

Jeff will fly in the night before Hank's surgery and will stay for a week. And then Hank and I will be on our own, as he recovers from surgery.

But we won't be alone for too long...after Hank's stitches and drains are removed, Hank and I will take a train to Connecticut, so that Hank can recover in a private home and we can be with another family who has been through the same ordeal. Patty, is a mom who's son had the surgery 15 years ago. The doctor put us in touch and through Patty's story (and others'), we were convinced to move forward with the surgery. Patty and I have never met, only through email and phone calls. But this amazing mom has opened her home to us and has invited us to spend some time with them. And she's funny too. When she invited us, she said, "We're not weird or anything! You can ask the doctor, he knows us!" And I remember saying back to her, "but how do you know WE aren't weird?!" We both got a laugh out of it and I am so looking forward to meeting her in person and getting to know her better, although I already feel like I've known her forever!

We are really in the home stretch now. And so we prepare for departure, make sure the little ones are fully stocked with the things that they love and the house is ready for "Granny" to take over while we are gone. The Montessori school promises to give them extra love and my sisters and mom are here to help care for them. I hate to leave them for such a long time, but I know they will be well-cared for! (then why am I so upset?)

It's never easy being a parent, is it? We have to make choices for our children and hope we are doing the right thing. In my heart, I know this surgery is the way to go. I know it is the right thing to do. Wish it wasn't clear across the country and I didn't have to leave Lucy and Charlie...but if it were one of them instead of Hank, I would do the same thing. But more than looking forward to the trip, the surgery and recovery...I am looking forward to coming HOME!

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