An entire season has passed since the last update, and so much has happened that words will surely fail me. So, I turn to pictures, trusting the communication of thousands of words each will make up for lost time.
Most importantly, Abbie is thriving, happy, healthy, engaged, and enjoying her life as we relish the sparkling light she brings to our family.
So, here’s where we’ve been since summer began:
In early June, Ray had meeting in San Francisco, followed by meetings in Lake Tahoe. With that kind of itinerary, the twins and I thought it would be a prime opportunity to tag along.
We were able to spend an extraordinary day with Chase and his wonderful girlfriend, Melissa, in San Francisco. In one day we hit the Sports Basement (outlet store), did the obligatory troop movement and photographs around the bridge, enjoyed amazing seats at a Giants baseball game, experienced family bonding through trampolining at the House of Air, and then feasted on a perfect Italian meal in North Beach.
We knew the trip had been a success when RJ said, “The summer after I graduate I want to do a trip like this again…remind me I said that, and make me do it, because I’m worried I’ll change my mind. Just make me.”
It’s been a long time since we needed only a single hotel room during a trip, so we were glad to know the boys enjoyed the togetherness as much as we had.
Melissa survived her initial exposure to the dynamic duo, and won them over quite handily, actually. On the way to the airport we asked each person to state their “Top 3″ of the trip.
“Meeting Melissa,” answered Matt. This statement, made in a serious tone, was stunning coming from the King of Sarcasm and One-Liners, but echoed what we all felt.
We arrived home to find Abbie happy, healthy, and ready to hear all the funny stories about her brothers.
We always look forward to July, which brings our family retreat in the mountains of Washington State.
Abbie was the healthiest she’s been in years, which allowed to go on more outings, and enjoy more happenings this summer.
This year, we were fortunate to have Genevieve’s son, John, and daughter, Kuuipo, with us for the first week:
First jet-ski rides, first S’mores, first time in Washington…first time seeing Ray wear suspenders. It was a lot of fun having the Kealoha “kids” with us!
We also celebrated my Dad’s 70th birthday:
What Abbie really, really looked forward to happened on the last weekend of our vacation. Her bestie, Claire came to visit, with her family, the Wings.
Claire’s face literally radiates joy when she sees Abbie – her friendship is such a precious gift. During the weekend, for the most part, wherever Abbie was, so was Claire.
The day before we left was very special for our family. Chase graduated from Army ROTC Leadership Assessment Development Course (LDAC) at Fort Lewis, WA. This camp, and his performance at it, greatly dictates whether he will be commissioned as an active duty officer next June, and what branch (or job) he will be assigned.
I wondered how we would find him in the midst of over 800 cadets on parade. The day before graduation he called to say that he had earned the spot of top cadet in his company, and would therefore be in command during the ceremony. We were thrilled by his success, and realized this would make it a snap to find him.
Here’s the first time we’d seen Chase all summer:
Abbie’s “patron of the arts”, Dr. Nina Hayahsi, invited us to see the ballet, “Alice in Wonderland.”
Because Abbie was seated in her power chair, with the perfect positioning and support, she was really able to view all of the fantastically creative ideas and beautiful, talented dancers.
Then, she was invited backstage:
Those are the highlights of the summer, and the fall has been equally fabulous: a new school, new teachers, new friends, a new communication device, and the same spunky girl we love so much.
Life is good.