Saturday, March 24, 2007

Goodbye Emily

My cousin Emily passed away this week. I'd only ever seen her a few times throughout our lives but I'd come to know her recently through a family forum I maintain. She always had something interesting to add to the conversation. She was in her late 50s and suffered from the effects of radiation treatment she received in 1967 for Hodgkin's Disease. The treatment apparently worked but her heart and lungs were damaged in the process. You wouldn't know through her writings that she was experiencing as much difficulty as she was. Her dog died last year and she'd just brought a new puppy into her home. I was happy for her. So it was with much sadness that I learned she was brought into ICU two weeks ago struggling for her life. She lost her battle last Monday evening around 8:30. I'm especially sad for her parents who are into their late 80s. The photo to the left is one of the few recent photos I have of her. Emily is the one in the middle. The man to the right was her very good friend, Earl.

I don't have many memories of her with the exception of the time she came into town on business in the early '80s. I drove my mom's TR7 to a hotel by France ave and 494 to pick her up and bring her to our home for a visit. She saw the car and I can still hear her say..."what a sexy car!" Her personality was upbeat and I got the impression that she had the world by the tail. I was very impressed by her if not a little intimidated. I always looked forward to reading what she had to say on the forums. I have no doubt that she is being remembered and missed by many, many people. My heart especially goes out to her parents, Don and Dorothy, her sister, Barbara and her friend, Earl.

The weather turned mild here over my weekend and I was able to get a couple nice rides in. I especially enjoyed Friday's ride. I'm taking a more conservative approach to my riding this year as I don't think my body will allow me to do another 9000+ miles this year. I want to be able to do some long distance riding in my retirement years and unless I back off a bit I'm not sure my body will hold up to those kind of miles year after year. I'm shooting for 6000-7000 miles in 2007 and if I fall short of that it's okay.

What I'd really like is to be able to find time to do some stained glass work throughout the year. As I mentioned in a previous entry, my brother, Keith, would like us to do stained glass for the occasional client who would like it. He thought that we could maybe count on a job once every 6-8 weeks. He's asked us to come up with a few designs he can put in a display. We put this together for him this week and have another nearly completed which is also also a mission style Frank Lloyd Wright inspired design. Tammy is excited to jump into this. Me, I'm a little more hesitant because I'm worried about not having enough time for it. So that's another reason I'm planning on a reduced riding schedule this year. Actually, I'm looking forward to working the craft more. There's something very relaxing about being creative down in the shop.

Rachel is all packed and ready for her trip with Prince of Peace church to Hollywood. They'll be gone for a week beginning this Friday. We've dropped her off in the past at the church for events and we always leave with a smile as we see how she has so many friends there. She's a typical teenager with a celphone which is constantly ringing and a Myspace which has pages of contacts. I would've enjoyed that had there been something similar when I was her age. This blog is my Myspace.

Speaking of Rachel...her report before the class last Monday went as good as it could have. Her teacher told her that he'd never seen a better 9th grade presentation. She dressed up for it and got a few extra credit points for that and for going first. She said there were kids coming up to her after class to tell her that they were moved by what they'd learned from her about Darfur. Not only did they learn but Rachel educated Tammy and I as well. I don't know if it's politics, apathy, denial, ignorance or unwillingness which causes us as a people to stand idly by while this tragedy continues. I hope we're judged harshly for doing absolutely nothing.

I created a set of 3d photos I've taken for my Flickr account. If you're able to cross your eyes while relaxing them just a bit you may be able to bring these into 3d focus. Here's the link


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