Saturday, June 10, 2006

The word of the work of Soulumination has spread to such a degree that while I was gone to our cabin for three days we received requests for three new families. I worked with the first two on Friday and will visit the third on Sunday. News also came while I was away that our friend Andrew had his scans and the test results are excellent, all clear. This sent shivers of joy through me at the time and just writing it now makes me so very happy. The two new families yesterday both have beautiful sons. One sports incredible red wavy hair and a smile so charming he just melts your heart. The other little guy is dark-haired and at just a few months of age was watching the first match of the World Cup and acting as if he understood the game. He lives near my Llewelyn so maybe she will be able to deliver some of his photos and meet this charming baby. I also got to take a few more photos of my new little friend with the brain tumor. She was bright-eyed and looked so good when I popped in that it was nice to take a few more shots. I also ran into a family that I haven't seen in months, their son was only three pounds when I met him at Swedish and he is now 20 pounds and from the looks of his web site he is making great progress.

It was a busy week and I had the pleasure of taking an entire day to go hunting mushrooms in the Cascades with two women whose reputations place them as royalty in the mushroom-gathering hierarchy. We found some 'shrooms, but the glory of the country and the time spent with these two--Patrice and Hildegard--and another charming new friend, Penny, was just so refreshing. The wildflowers are so astonishing right now and the whole countryside was just so breathtaking. While eating some to the morels last night it transported me back to the sight of the elk and the smell of the forest. Penny shared with me the loss of her son 26 years ago and is one of the only moms I have met who had complete and dedicated support from family as she navigated through this devastating loss. She explained that one of the things she feels so strongly from her experience is that each loss in war is someone's beloved child. She relates to these losses in a profound and compassionate way. It seems she has a very human and dear way of understanding the devastation to the parents of those young people.

Doug and I watched our friend Kiel race at Seward park on Thursday. Kiel is a bike racer of great skill and prowess and it was thrilling to see him place second. He is the brother of Janus, to whom the work of Soulumination is dedicated, and he just happens to be riding for the Benaroya Research Foundation team. He will get to tour the facilities as I did if he is not off racing in Belgium.

Its off to weddings today and tomorrow, but I managed to slip away after dinner last night to hear one of my favorite writers read from a new publication. I am a huge fan of Ivan Doig and had the pleasure of meeting him at a wedding. His books are some of my favorites and if you haven't had the pleasure of reading his work, try starting with This House of Sky.

Today I am posting photos of my little friend from California, Taryn. She had a rough time this past week, so keep her in your hearts. She and her family flew up for these photos and this little one charmed my socks off. She does not speak or hear but she is so enchanting and connected to people through her own special magic.

I want to mention my appreciation for Microsoft's matching programs. With all the new families calling, we do not want to ever turn anyone away, so funding is just so important for the continuation of the work. Microsoft's matching funds have kept our heads above water these past two weeks as they sent one check that matched employees' contributions, which was grand, and another that gives us money per hour for any of their employees' work with Soulumination. Thank you Kelley for the hours you have spent that resulted in this check, it makes such a difference to have that check to directly serve the families this month. In love and peace, Lynette