Goodbye, Taarna

Someone I once knew died last night. She was the daughter of my friends Brant and Katrina. She shared my birthday. I haven't seen her in years, so I'll always remember her as a young teenager with dark hair, an easy smile, and freckles. She must have turned into quite a vibrant young woman. The world is at a loss without her.

The news was quite unexpected, like a surprise gut shot or a slap in the face. Brant wrote to me and a few others to let us know. There's a news story here. I'm sure there are others, but I haven't got the nerve to seek them out just now.

Being a parent gives me a different perspective on the loss of children. I routinely grow irate when I read news stories about child abuse and neglect, because I can look at my own kids and imagine them in such a bad situation. Likewise, hearing about children who have died upsets me. Learning that Taarna is gone has got me more than a little bit tore up inside. However tenuous my connection to her in recent years, I still have many memories of her in my braincase.

I'm sad, and not a little bit angry. This sort of thing shouldn't happen. I keep thinking that it can't be true, but I suppose there's no denying it.

I don't guess I have much more to say about it right now. It's pretty close to the surface at the moment. I think I need some time to reflect and come to grips with it.



Sad News From Home

I learned yesterday that my stepdad's father passed away on Thursday. As a result, I've been keeping my mom and stepdad in my thoughts for the past couple of days. I wish it were a simple matter to drive over and visit them as a show of support, but we've got the entire country between us. It stinks.

As for us: Amy's come down with a cold, and she's napping at the moment. She probably caught it from Maddie. Stephen is celebrating a renewed interest in Thomas the Tank Engine. As for me, I'm trying my hand at cooking lasagna (quite an adventure). We'll see how it turns out in about 45 minutes.

All for now...

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Latest Snaps

So here it is, November already. Sheesh. This year is zipping by.

The news: Maddie crawls, she has nigh on ten teeth, and she likes to stand up. She'll be walking by Thanksgiving, or Christmas at the latest.

Stephen has entered an entirely new phase of not wanting to eat. It's a nightly struggle just to get him to eat something, anything.

His new favorite phrase? "I don't like that." He's specific, too, such as saying, "I don't like eating," or "I don't like going to bed."

Amy seems to be getting along fine. I, on the other hand, am suffering from some back pain. Feels like a nerve to me, but then again, I'm not precisely a doctor. I spent today on my back, trying to give it all some rest. If I'm not feeling better by this weekend, I am definitely going to see how good EA's medical insurance is.

For the time being, here are some new pictures of the kids. Enjoy!

Stephen & Daddy Watch TV
I don't remember what we were watching. Amy took this picture when I wasn't paying attention. It's the last time I trust the woman with a camera.

Maddie in the Jumper
We bought this jumper thing, sort of a bungee cord with a seat, for Stephen around the time he was learning to walk. He hated it. Maddie, on the other hand, thinks it's the best thing since soy formula.

Stephen on the Trail: "What's that?"
Stephen and I went hiking again. He tends to point and ask, "What's that?" a lot.

Maddie Meets the Great Pumpkin
Halloween came and went with a whimper. Stephen, too terrified of his Halloween costume (a Jedi, no less), refused to wear it. No tricks or treats were to be had. Maybe he'll be more in the spirit next year.

Stephen at Helen & Paul's
We took a drive to visit Helen & Paul a couple of weeks ago. We took a lot of pictures, but here's one of Stephen, quite at home. He loves Helen and Paul, and he likes running around their house (both inside and outside). We're heading up there for Thanksgiving this year. I only hope he'll eat something.

Until next time...

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