Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Over the summer, Marika and I had reminisced about her days of riding horses competitively and how much she missed that time with her friends at the barn and the regional/national horse shows. We talked about her hours of dedication to her horsemanship that are now put on the back burner as she pursues her pre-med coursework at college.
She wondered if we couldn't resurrect and frame some of the photos that had been taken at the shows and put them up in her room as a reminder of some of the very "good times" she remembers.
We left it at that. Just "thoughts" and "wishes" that she could be surrounded by some of the really memorable photos of the horses (Oz and Baily) that took her to winning rides.
Enter "Marika's Mom" and her "need to do something creative!"
While Marika was at school this quarter, I called the professional photographer who had been the designated show photographer and had 16"x20" prints made of two great images. I had them framed (Yikes! Expensive!) and began "decorating" the room around them.
Marika had chosen a bright and cheery quilt over the summer in the rich blues you see in the photo above.
I added bedside tables and lamps and pillows from IKEA. Our indispensable handyman painted the wall the bright blue color you see (and love).
Then I went about getting the perfect candles and smaller decorative elements for the rest of the room. (Only thing I couldn't afford on my budget was a flat screen TV for the room!)
I surprised Marika when she arrived home for Thanksgiving the first night by telling her in a calm and casual way, "Go ahead and put your suitcase up in your room and come back down to tell us about your flight and school."
She went upstairs expecting her "old" room and was greeted by her "new" room. There were gasps of delight and surprise and a few joyful tears.
"Mom, I can't believe you did all of this for me!" she said.
After a few days of being here and getting used to the "newness", I asked her what she liked best about the new room makeover.
"My room smells like a vanilla cupcake every time I walk into it!" she said, commenting on the soy candle wafting away in the corner 24/7.
(And that's not such a good thing, we both agreed. Marika and I added pounds during our summer vigil in Gil's hospital room -- what else do you do but eat and go to Starbucks downstairs in the hospital cafeteria when you're a visitor all day every day -- and we don't need anything else that smells like a vanilla cupcake!)
I think we'll change out the soy candle to the pine scent of a winter forest!!
P.S. Marika gets home for her two weeks of Winter Break a week from tomorrow. The countdown of 10 days begins today.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Friends and Family,
Today marks the final day of my Thanksgiving vacation, but I am not ready for it to end. I have spent four family-filled days here in beautiful (and grey) Michigan, laughing and eating my way through the holiday. It has been a wonderful escape from the perpetual 70-degree sunny weather in southern California that I usually endure (wink-wink).
The Thanksgiving holiday rings especially true with the Raff family. Life, as we’ve realized, is a winding road. But with modern medicine, love and thoughts from family and friends we have continued moving forward.
This year, I’m thankful for my Dad and Mom.
My Dad’s strength and determination to conquer this disease has been immense. Throughout this process, he has remained optimistic, realistic and always thoughtful. I never saw him once frustrated or angry with the nurses or doctors he often depended on for even the smallest favor. He never lost his patience or lashed out despite the countless pokes and prods that he endured. His will to win is stronger now than ever.
My Mom’s kindness and patience has been endless during these past few months. She has played the role of wife, mother, nurse, housekeeper, guidance councilor, therapist and chef, all without missing a beat. She has simultaneously hosted family from across the world, turned a hospital room into a home, kept family and friends updated and soothed my father’s aches and pains. She deserves a thousand standing ovations, but would never ask for one. She is truly the glue that holds this family together.
Thank you to all those who have given us strength these last few months. Thank you to all the doctors, nurses and hospital staff who have continued to perform admirably. Thank you to everyone who has asked how my Dad is doing. Thank you for all your thoughts – silent or voiced.
Happy Thanksgiving from the Raff Family.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Gil made it home yesterday afternoon and this is the view that greeted him on arrival. It's raining today ..... but who cares?!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
In a week's time, a lot can change.