Thursday, August 31, 2006

All by myself!

Dad's in Spokane...

Katie's getting a facial...

Crap, I need to water the yard.

(I got my hair cut SHORT and it's auburn. Will post pictures soon!)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

In the last week...

I have seen Mom and her Dad, my Grandpa Wes, twice in my dreams;

I got to go sailing at Detroit Lake;

I got to see the Milky Way and many shooting stars;

I went camping on a boat;

I ate Zeeks Pizza;

I saw Katie's friend Elliott star as "Macbeth" in the Scottish Play;

I have reconnected with some family and connected for the first time with others;

I went for a walk in the neighborhood where I grew up and rediscovered many new things;

I talked to neighbors and was told that the kids I used to baby sit are now all in high school;

I got to know Brenda, my cousin's wife, who is completely wonderful and it's so nice to have a member of the family who is my age and also female;

I have spent so much time with my wonderful sister, who is wacky and goofy just like me, and is passionate about all things political and environemental;

I went to a friends house for dinner, but it was a surprise party - I had the most wonderful time and it was exactly what I needed in order to boost my spirits;

I have started to realize what it takes to run a household and yet still maintain a sense of independence and teamwork - it's a very tricky balance;

I have learned a lot about my family;

I have discovered that I think I'm going to be okay.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I have that little song going through my head where the chorus starts with the word "vacation". I don't know that rest of the words, but it's been a nice thought these last few days.

The fam and I are in Puyallup. We've stayed with my in-laws these past few days and tonight we're off to my Uncle's place also in Puyallup. He has a pool. I will make use of it. :) Then we'll go back to Seattle tomorrow and Thursday Matt leaves to go back to California. :( Which means Katie, Dad, and I go to Oregon to spend a few days on Uncle John and Aunt Muriels boat on Detroit Lake. I can't wait to spend some time outdoors. I may even get a chance to listen to my ipod.

I'm doing alright, but I'm more concerned about my dad. I know we'll all pull through this, some how, some day. But I find myself getting really mad and moody these days, just at the drop of a hat. I've also been really super lazy, which means I need to kick start the bikram yoga next week (thankfully there's a place close to my folks, er, my Dad's, over in Fremont). I have thought more than once "I wish my life would just go back to normal." But I have to adjust to this "new" normal.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Her voice
Her smile
Her wisdom
Her kindness
Her grace
Her cooking
Her warmth
Her hugs
Her kisses
Her petnames for me
Her unique sense of style

I have the best family and friends in the world. Everyone has been so supportive, kind, and understanding. Thank you for everything. I am so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Sometimes, a little retail therapy at Nordstroms is a very good thing.

I think Mom would approve. :)

Monday, August 14, 2006

You say goodbye, I say hello...

Mom (aka Karin)

Born October 7, 1948 - Portland, Oregon
Died August 14, 2006 - at home in Seattle, Washington

Beloved wife, mother, friend, and artist. Survived by her husband, Richard, and 2 daughters, Camille and Katie. Services to be held this weekend.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The game of Life

My career: Artist
My salary: 90,000
College: yes
Kids: no
House: Dutch Colonial
Win: yes

Fake life is fun to play!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Getting there...

There's this phrase that keeps circling the house: "Any day now, she could go." Yes, that's true. Last night Dad asked Katie and I if we wanted to be woken up should Mom pass during the night. We both said "No thanks." He also said that it could take the coroner 24 hours to show up to the hosue to take her away and would we want to say good bye before she left the house? "No thanks. Don't want memory of Mom not alive in the house." Dad said he wanted us to have the choice, which I appreciated, but I think Katie and I will stay downstairs at that point, until she leaves. I want to keep my memories of my mother alive. I think she'd understand. Dad seemed to.

For those of you who wanted to come visit and I've canceled, for those of you who have emailed and I've not responded, please bear with me. I have reached the point where I'm talked out. I feel like there's nothing new for me to say. I mean, I know what's going on in my life, and so do you. Tell me what's going on in your life. Remind me that there is a life after all this is over, that I'll get out of this house, be able to talk above a whisper, and my first thought in the morning will not be "I wonder if she made it through the night."

Friday, August 11, 2006

Happy Birthday!

To me! Okay, so selfishly I really wanted Mom to stick out the day, and she did. She the oxygen plug in her nose, which means she's not working so hard to breathe. She almost passed today. It was so frightening and I was so mad. Not at her, just at the circumstances. There was about 10 minutes where we all just watched her breathe, wondering if that last breath was truly her last. Then she shook, and "re-booted" herself. She's still hanging on. We just take it one day at a time, and I am still hoping that she'll make it for my parents 35th wedding anniversary on the 14th, which is Monday.

I didn't expect presents today. Dad came in and said that he was sorry that he didn't have time to shop, but what did I want? I told him I wanted an I-Pod, so my cousin took me to the Apple store today, and I got one. It is SO COOL! Other gifts included a fabulous homemade chocolate cake from Keith, a photo album that Katie made for me that's all pictures of me and Mom, a book by St. Francis of Assisi from Kari, Wonderwoman T from Brie and Steve, glass from Aunt Diane, some FABOO lotion from Aunt Gwen, and a new kitty tile and pj's from Aunt Sharon, oh, and Season 4 of the Golden Girls on DVD from Matt :) . Perhaps the greatest gift of all is from Aunt Muriel, who has taken my place beside my mom, caring for her and helping with meds and bodily functions - stuff that I just can't bring myself to do - she is wonderful. We had a lovely celebration outside, with that chocolate cake and 28 candles (that I blew out in one breath) and champagne. Despite the circumstances, it was a wonderful birthday.

Matt went to GenCon, was there for one day, and flew home today. He will miss all the premieres. He says its just a movie and that there will be more. But good news - there's discussion of possible distribution AND the first premiere, which was tonight, was a huge hit. Congrats, honey! I am so proud of you!

Monday, August 07, 2006


Setup: Dad (Richard) is in the kitchen, and Aunt Muriel and Aunt Sharon are with Mom in the living room. Dad has just finished giving Mom some juice...

Muriel: Richard, Karin says she wants some milk.

Dad: What?

Muriel: She wants some milk.

Dad: She doesn't drink milk. She never has.

Muriel: I know, but she wants some.

Dad: (ponders) Okay.

He gets it ready and gives her a sip. Half way through the next one she closes her mouth tight - no more.

Mom mumbles.

Dad puts his ear next to her mouth and says "What's that, honey?"

Mom: I wanted chocolate milk.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Me: Mom, I love you.

Mom: I love you too honey.

(5 minutes later)

Me: Mom, I love you.

Mom: I know.

(a few minutes later)

Me: I love you, Mom.

Mom: I know sweetheart, you've told me already.

(a few minutes later)

Me: I love you, Mom.

Mom: I know.

Me: Do you love me too?

Mom: (thinks for a minute and wrinkles her nose.) Nah.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Hi Mom

I thought that since so many people have commented about what's going on these days, you all should see what she looked like before she got sick. These shirts were made last summer by my Mom's brother, Uncle Dan. He sold them to friends and family and gave the funds to breast cancer research. Everyone is wearing one these days. I keep hoping for a miracle. And trying to keep the mountain of laundry to a reasonable level.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Little Peanut

When my little sister was born Mom started calling her "My little peanut". And it was true. Katie was so cute, all bundled up in blankets and her face kinda squished when she'd cry. It was adorable. Our little peanut flew in last night a week early from Costa Rica and we were up until about 3am crying and laughing with our cousing Zac who was sleeping on the floor. We had a great time sharing stories and sentiments and joking late at night in the dark. I think it's what Mom would have wanted us to do. She always let us feel how we were feeling, but not without letting us know that we were loved and cared for. She's still the greatest Mom. Ever. Heck, I'm partial. :)

What breaks my heart, truly, is that my baby sister is only 16, and there is still so much that she needs to learn from her mother. Mom will never see Katie graduate from high school in a few years. She'll miss college graduation, wedding, and babies. I know, I know, she'll be there, but she won't be there. I told Katie what I thought, comforted her until the wee hours of the morning, and she feels a little better, but not by much. This is the worst thing that could happen, and my heart aches for her and for the both of us. I told her it's okay if she gets mad at me because I got to spend more time with Mom, but I think it will be imperative that I be present for all those major events.

Mom grabbed my hand a few nights ago and looked me in the eye and said, "Don't worry honey, everything will be okay." I thought, 'Sure, Mom, that's easy for you to say. We have to live without you.' And what makes me cry these days is that she's always called me sweetheart in that sweet voice of hers. She still does in her lucid moments. And when she goes, I won't hear that ever again. I have thought about getting a tape recorder just so I can hear it every once in awhile.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Isn't It Ironic?

I have a very dear friend, Kari C., who lost her father suddenly 2 weeks ago. She and I met through our dads 21 years ago at t-ball practice. They started talking which meant we started talking. She and I have never gone to the same schools, never really had the same group of friends, but always celebrated each other's birthdays and went to Italy together 6 years ago after we graduated from college.

Now, we are losing a parent. At the same time. I have 2 other dear friends, Jenny and Pat, who have lost a mother or a father in the last few years. I think it is never easy to lose a parent, you're never prepared, but at this age we still so desperately need them for guidance and reassurance and in some cases, approval.

I regret that my mom will never see her grandchildren and miss my calls to her when I don't know what to do and need her advice. I regret that she won't see my sister graduate from high school in a few years, and watch her go to college and get married. I am so mad, so confused, I don't understand why it has to be her. Why does she have to go? Why is it her time? Why does she have to be taken away? I drive myself mad with these questions and I haven't found any answers.