Sunday, December 23, 2007

Free as a bird now

Christmas Eve is almost upon us, and we're spending a few precious days in the sunshine. There's something to be said for riding with the top down in December. And for hearing the phrase Merry Christmas at every turn. Everyone has a right to celebrate openly and with a joyful heart, no matter what holiday they observe.

This year, so many of us were blessed to be part of this story. A story of hope, faith, determination, and even miracles. A story of profound love and courage. And although the story took an awful twist, I cannot and do not believe it is over.

Don't you believe that all of us are a little better off, a little kinder, a little more appreciative, for having been involved? I know I am. I know I met people along the way who amazed me with their spirit, and I now count them among my cherished friends.

To all of them, and all of you who keep coming back here to show your love for everyone in Sahara's world, best wishes for a Christmas filled with blessings, joy, and laughter.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Closing out the year...with a big sigh

Hello everyone,

2007 - it's finally coming to an end. This year has been full of so many things...the highs, the lows, and the unimaginable. You know, I never stopped believing that Sahara would beat that tumor. I never let myself believe that she would actually die! Maybe I figured that if I never let myself believe it, then Sahara would never believe it, either. She knew that I was never going to give up. And she certainly never gave up. She always talked about the future and did not dwell on the past. Time just wasn't on her side, and her body was so tired. It was time for her to rest. And as much as we have always loved this time of the year, I have to admit that I will be glad to see the lights and decorations put away. It's just too much.

There is, unfortunately, another little boy in our area with a brain tumor, and he and his family need your prayers. His name is Gunner Gillespie. Gunner's dad, Gus, is the coach of the Marshall County High School boys basketball team. As you can imagine, this immediately struck a chord with us on many levels. Basketball gets into your blood, and surrounds you with great people who believe in KIDS. So please, keep this family in your thoughts. Gunner's website is If you have a moment, consider adding a note of encouragement to their guest book. I know they will appreciate it, as we have appreciated all of the support you have given to us.

We are working on some very cool things to do in honor of Sahara in the coming year. I'm excited to have some projects to keep me busy. And of course, Upward Basketball games begin in January, so that will be a great way to focus on something very worthwhile.

Somehow, we are surviving...literally taking this one day at a time...and I won't say it's getting any easier, because it really isn't. But we are learning to function again. We've been keeping to ourselves for the most part, and will eventually start coming out of our self-imposed shells. For now, though, we're just searching for that elusive thing called peace.

We wish you blessings and a sweet Christmas. Please try to keep your holidays from being too commercialized...and stressful...don't lose the true meaning of the celebration. Maybe next year we'll be able to participate in the season. Only time will tell.

God bless you all.

With love,
Amy and Shannon

Friday, December 14, 2007

Speaking words of wisdom

I debated whether to go with that (from Let it Be) or Ice, Ice Baby...but then I realized that a good bunch of you are too young to remember that monstrosity of a song. And don't go looking it up. Truly a mistake, although the stolen riff from Queen and David Bowie's Under Pressure IS a brilliant bit.

It is cold and icy this morning in New York, but it's supposed to warm up quickly, before we get hit again tomorrow. I guess we're going to have a winter this year. I was hoping we'd be off the hook. I hope your place in the world is warm and safe. Preferably with palm trees and drinks that involve small umbrellas and fresh coconut...and if you're there, maybe Amy and I need to come inspect or something. Hmmm.

She and Shannon are feeling their loss more these days, and that's absolutely to be expected, in this season of holiday wonders. So many people have wrapped them in love, offering them places to go, carols to sing, cookies to be tasted. And while that warms their hearts to no end, right now it's too hard--too painful a reminder of what they've lost. So, if they say no...please don't be hurt. They know your intentions are good...they just need more time by themselves.

Rest assured they won't become crabby little hermits...these are the people who gave us Sahara, for God's sake. But if they need quiet time at home, alone with nothing but a wheel of cheese, then that's what we can give them. There will be plenty of time for cookies and mistletoe in 2008.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Looking for the holiday spirit

Computer's behaving, snow's just a little dust on the grass, and a dear friend sent me a box full of fragrant balsam wreaths to deck the front of the house. And, my oldest niece and nephew just showed up in my email, on Santa's lap and beaming. I'm blessed.

Here is Amy's slightly belated blogbit. It's all my fault.

Hello, everyone,

Well, it’s here. It’s everywhere, actually…the Christmas season. And today, exactly one month after Sahara passed, there were snow flurries. She dearly loved the Christmas holiday and we would always decorate every room in the house. She even had her own personal tree in her room. So far, I’ve only had the heart to hang her Christmas cat doorknob hanger on her bedroom door. That just might be the only decoration this year. We’ll see. Maybe the spirit of Christmas will sneak up and surprise me.

I can’t believe she’s been gone for a month already…this time warp I’m living in just keeps on swirling. The fifth day of each month will always be a sad anniversary. But we are doing our best to keep busy, and overall I think we’re doing fairly well.

Our Lady Comets had their first practice last night, and I have to tell you, these girls are going to be GREAT! It was so much fun to see all of them again. They were all excited and ready to play. Upward Basketball is such a fantastic program. It’s going to be really good therapy for Shannon and me.

I have a couple of things I’d like to share with all of you. If you haven’t checked out Rick’s new Christmas album, then do yourself a favor and add it to your collection. It is called “Christmas with You” and it is absolutely wonderful. You can pick it up locally at P-Mac Music here in Cape Girardeau, where it is the NUMBER ONE SELLING ALBUM THIS WEEK, beating out new releases by Seether and Kid Rock! I love it!!! You can also order the cd online at

All proceeds from the song "CHRISTMAS WITH YOU" are donated to support the US Military Organization American Gold star Mothers, Inc. (AGSM). AGSM is an organization of mothers who have lost a son or daughter in the service of our country. If you would like information on a grassroots holiday fundraiser sponsored by Rick’s fans
for this very worthy organization, please check out

And finally, here is the link to the video for “Christmas with You” – enjoy. But I challenge you not to cry – what a huge debt we all owe to our soldiers.

With love,

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Greetings from cold and wimpily snowy Long Island. I left the office this evening in my cuddliest purple polarfleece jacket, a pink polarfleece hat, one black glove, one white one, and sandals. (I have my limits on the winter stuff.) I was surprised when I got to my car: someone had cleaned the windows for me. It's little gifts like this that make life worth it.

As I dug through my trunk to find my own scraper (because apparently it's time), I discovered my pink Crocs...and of course I thought of Sahara. In her honor, I sang Christmas carols the whole way home.

Amy wrote a lovely piece earlier and I'm supposed to post it tonight, but my email account is misbehaving. So have patience, good friends, and with any luck I'll be able to share her words in the morning.

Be gentle with snowflakes. Visit Santa. Light the candles.