Thursday, April 24, 2008

A State of Mind

I have been really making a contious effort to find the good in each day, and in this state. It's no secret that Texas is not my favorite place to be but for the time being it is home so we have to embrace it! One of my regular sayings is that we might as well see the sites in Texas now cause you know we won't be coming back! lol

Today was one of those days that makes our stay here a bit more tolerable. We got to go with friends to pick strawberries! Yes, it would probably be cheaper to just wait for a good sale at the grocery store but this is one of those experiences that Alaska doesn't offer us. The girls loved getting to taste test and I got to take a ton of pictures! (Go figure!)

After going berry picking, we went to one of our favorite stops- the base thrift store! Along with many great deals (I'll write about another time) I was looking thru the baby clothes and came across a tie-die shirt...with the Alaska Grown logo on front!!! I instantly got a big lump in my throat and felt giddy about my find. My friend made a comment that it wasn't true and I looked at her in total confusion. I just didn't get it. Then it clicked in that she was saying Rori isn't Alaska grown! I went from confusion to anger (nothing against my friend tho). Of course she is Alaskan....her birth certificate may say Texas on it but we do not belong here. That's when I decided that it's just a state of mind...our hearts belong to Alaska...including those born elsewhere!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

We have just returned from one of those outings that I hope the girls will remember for a long time, even if it's only in pieces. The trip had this feeling about it that I don't know if I'll explain correctly but to me felt like one of those Americana, very basic road trips...four people smashed into a tiny car (my little red Sunfire gets great gas mileage!), with no CD player and two very impatient kids! It was only a 6 hour drive but with no DVD player and only ancient cassette tapes to listen to it made for an interesting afternoon. Nonetheless, I had warm fuzzy as I looked at my little family making it all work and having fun along the way.

We went to San Antonio to visit an old friend of mine and her new baby and then took advantage of free tickets to Sea World! The weekend went by so fast but it was wonderful to see her again and to actually get the girls out for something fun to do. The crowds were a bit suffocating and I still would have rather gone fishing/camping but for Texas fun it was a good time! Now we'll see how they do on the bigger road trip.... lol This should be interesting!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Farewell to a friend

I guess it was naive to think that our family would return to Alaska the same as it came here...I just always thought we'd have both of our trusted friends with us when we returned to our state of home. Koda and Karma so loved it there, in the snow, hiking in the woods or just spending the day at the park in Peter's Creek. As I write this, all I can feel is the pain in my chest and the sobs that just won't stop. I know that I can't fix her and that Karma is going to be lost without her. Janie is already heartbroken and I can't fix those feelings for either one of them either. My poor husband has taken the burden upon himself to take her in. We really had no choice...

For those who don't know, we have been fighting food allergies with Koda since she was about a year old. Recently it has progressed to what they think is either irritable bowel disease or lymphoma, (neither one is good) and she hasn't been responding to any of the numerous meds and diet changes we've been trying. She is down to just skin and bones and last night Janie found that she was bleeding and I won't go into details but to say the on call Dr. said there was a choice to be made. Even as she went thru all the options with me I had a calm come over me that told me there really was no choice. The hardest part was seeing her sweet face watch me make dinner like nothing was wrong and then having to explain to Janie that we couldn't fix this but that we had to be a good friend and let her go...All evening, night and now morning I just can't help but cry. It's just not fair, she's too young and too sweet and so very loved...I know it sounds so stupid but she's one more piece of Alaska being taken from us....she was the first thing to make us feel like a family.

I was 8 months pregnant when I ran across her picture online and showed Jason. I told him joking that it was good thing we didn't live in Fairbanks cause if we did we'd have a dog! lol I showed him a picture of her, we ended up calling the shelter and talking at length with them about her to later leave for the 7 hour trip north to stay in a hotel. We got up early the next morning, stopped in a cute little diner to barely eat due to excitement and then we sat outside of the shelter waiting for them to open. Jason was like a little kid, squirming in his seat to the point that he went and stood at the door in 12 below temperatures to ensure no one else got in before him! We went into a room with Koda (then Katy) and it was all over from there ! There was something about her that just said "yes take me home". And then stupid us, drove the 7 hours home with her asleep in the backseat of my sunfire! She slept most of the way home and the rest if history.

Deep down I know we couldn't let her go on the way she is but I still hope that someday soon I will be at peace with our choice. It's never easy to say goodbye to a friend, especially one so faithful. If you are reading this please just say an extra prayer for her friend Karma that is left behind. She has never known a life without her. And for Janie, it is so hard to mend the heart of a little girl.

In loving memory of Koda 2003-2008