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3 Today

There are some days when you realize at the end of the day it would have been better to have just crawled back between the sheets and kept your butt in bed. Maybe today wasn’t completely awful, but tonight I’m just really worn out and looking forward to tomorrow being a new day.

I think the starting clue was that my first two emails of the day were word of two children who had passed away from their cancers. Devastating. One, I only knew through the words and praise of others, the second I never knew at all. It’s just the fact that the world is now short two beautiful children and two families are grieving that loss in a monumental way. It doesn’t matter how well I knew them or didn’t know them, it sure started my day off with a hurting heart.

The more inconsequential bummer of the day was when I realized that someone had stolen all the awareness magnets off my truck. Yes…someone took the time to peel off and steal my “Childhood Cancer Awareness” and “Leukemia and Lymphoma Society” ribbon magnets right off the back of my truck. That ticked me off so bad, but the kids lost it when they realized that whoever did that stole their school magnet off as well. I mean, REALLY! Are you kidding me? I sure hope it brought them a lot of joy because it had better have been worth the way it made all of us feel.

The kids had been invited to participate in the Gasparilla Children’s Parade, which is the clean child-friendly version of Tampa’s version of Mardi Gras. We celebrate pirates with alcohol and bead throwing, it’s a good time. It was our first year being on a float and we were excited about it because it’s one of the bigger events of the year. The Fore the Children Foundation was our hosting float and we were prepared to party down!

Now, the kids did great during the walk to the float…we parked at the beginning of the float line and ended up walking over 118 floats down because ours was the LAST float in the parade….of course it was. But the kids handled the seemingly forever walk because we had lots to look at and it was fun to see all the Gasparilla Krewes getting ready for parade time. We finally got to our float and we spent an hour just having fun. We chatted with the other families, we went through the many boxes of candy and beads that we were going to get to throw, the kids played games, Peyton had her first introduction to port-o-potties.

It was time for the parade to kick off when we got the announcement that the whole thing had been cancelled because of weather. Storms were approaching and they weren’t willing to chance it.

Oh despair!!! The announcement was a huge disappointment to everyone there, from those who’d spent months in planning this event to those who wait each year for the chance to come down and spend the day with their kids.

Then came the fun job of walking our disappointed kids back the mile to our cars…in the beginning rain…good times. Penny Hawkins and I had our whole brood there, 6 kids, Nikki in her wheelchair with little Will and Peyton slowly crushing the life out of her legs…her OT/PT person is going to be “What, did you decide to go all Chariots of Fire on me this weekend?” No, I just sat with two preschoolers on my lap for a freaking mile! But it made the walk so much faster. THANK YOU, Nikki, for letting them sit on your lap!

However, it wasn’t fast enough and the weather was getting consistently worse and Penny and I decided to just leave the kids with her kids’ father at some parking garage where they would be dry so that she and I could rough the rain and get the vehicles.


There was a moment when Penny and I were so close to the truck that I could actually see it for all of 3 seconds. I could only see it for 3 seconds because at exactly THAT moment the skies went from raining uncomfortably to torrential downpour of Biblical proportion. So, we’re running that last block to the truck, the wind and rain are coming down on us ridiculously hard and my umbrella has turned inside out from the force of the wind…then it slipped out of my hand…it flew down the street and I stood there for a moment trying to figure out why I was even considering chasing it….then I looked over and saw that there was a van full of dry sheriffs…laughing at me. It went downhill from there.

I’m going to leave it at this. The next 45 minutes involved a smack-down from Mother Nature, a blistering lesson in traffic control, a cell phone dying a slow painful death and realizing that there is a point where you WILL stop your car in the middle of traffic, in the pouring rain and YELL at a cop.

And apparently be so scary that the cop steps back from you and does his best to accommodate YOUR level of crazy, which includes the handing over of his personal cell phone.

One ironic highlight of the day was realizing that I will make my immune suppressed child wash her hands with antibacterial wash if someone sneezes within 10 feet of her, but I will pick beads up off the GROUND and put them around her head.

As I finished up this post I got a call that yet another child earned his angel’s wings today.

Getting caught in the rain and lost downtown are nothing…they are nothing.

f.r.o.G…fully relying on God

The reasons that today was a good day. I can’t complain.

Now showing “Rachael, Queen of the Parade”

Peyton did say to me “I have hair now, i don’t have to wear these anymore!”

3 Comments on “3 Today”

  1. #1 Misty Seals
    on Jan 19th, 2008 at 9:37 pm


    I am sorry your day did not go very well. 🙁 Know that I think about, and pray for all of you daily. I hope tomorrow is a better day! Love the pictures! Thanks for always sharing your beautiful kids with us!

    Some chick in Texas,

  2. #2 Penny Hawkins
    on Jan 19th, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    I couldnt pick anyone else to be in a DOWN POUR with then you. Specially when your NOT SO MARY POPPINS umbrella was destroyed by the rain… and all those police people enjoying the show. STAY DRY! Penny


  3. #3 Alayna
    on Jan 19th, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Man, you have had one heck of a rough day! Most of all, I'm sorry for all the sad news – but I did laugh at the cop handing you his cell phone – that is good! Just another reason why I wouldn't cross you, and another reason why it'd be good to have you on my side! I hope Peyton's "girly bits" are feeling better. I've never heard that exact phrase used, and I like it – very much. Hang in there!