Birthday Wish List

Bday Wish ListDeb’s birthday is this Saturday, May 28, and she would have been 56 years old.

I found this adorable letter that 11 year old Deb wrote to her Dad with her birthday wish list.  Note the return address of “Daughter Gifford, Upstairs Bedroom, Our Home, 41131819112623425.  And it was addressed to: “Dad Gifford, Downstairs Bedroom, Our House, 52432611918131, USSR (editorial note:  I never knew Deb lived in Russia 🙂 )

Dear Dad: 

May I have one or two items on this list for my birthday if posable (editorial note:  spelling was never really her thing 🙂 ).

radio, alarm clock, bedside table with small lamp, room divider, pillow, watch

Love, Debbie

This is soooooooooooooo Debbie – even at a young age, she was immensely practical, yet always the jokester.  There’s no doubt in my mind she actually wanted (and could use) each of those items.  But I can just picture her sitting down to write this letter with a big smile on her face.  And I can also imagine how it made her Dad smile and how it warmed his heart to read it and then look at Deb who surely had a very sheepish grin on her face.

I wonder which of these items she ended up with – or perhaps all of them!

Happy Birthday, Deb!  We miss you so much, but we also know that heaven is full of laughter because of you.  Until we meet again, we’ll continue to cherish these precious memories.


Wonderful Grad Memories

WPI Grad

This is a great memory from three years ago when we had the blessing of celebrating our youngest son Jeffrey’s graduation at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester MA.  This was near the end of Deb’s first chemo regimen and attending Jeffrey’s grad was a huge goal and milestone for our family.

Deb did a great job describing the experience in her May 14, 2013 Caring Bridge post, and being the wise woman she was, offers all of us the following sage words:

  1. It is good to take a minute in the middle of an event to just stop, take a breath and enjoy the moment.

May we all take the time to heed that timeless advice.


Grad Weekend Summary

By Debbie Thomas — May 14, 2013 4:22pm

Before I started chemo, I told the Doc that I had to be able to travel to MA in May for Jeffrey’s college graduation. The Doc was non-commital in his answer. Kinda like when you would ask your Mom for something and she meant ‘No’ but would say ‘We’ll see’. Last week my lab numbers were good and I was cleared to travel.

I was so happy to see Jeffrey and watch his graduation ceremony on Saturday.  It drizzled during a large part of the outdoor event but we were seated under a tree and remained mostly dry. Alan and I headed inside for warmer/dryer environs while the rest of the crowd remained outside at the end of the ceremony to sing the school song. That turned out to be good timing because the skies opened up just after we went inside.

Mother’s Day was spent packing and traveling home. We arrived home around midnight and spent Monday trying to recover. Our house is filled with luggage and the faint smell of O-De-Dorm-Room. More importantly, it is filled with my family once again. I know that my young men will soon be out and on their own so I will enjoy the time together. I am also thankful for your thoughts and prayers on our behalf.

JFF – Just For Fun

Some things I learned on this trip:

  1. I am one of those people who will go to the hotel lobby for breakfast while wearing my jammies.
  1. For the first time in my life, I can use hotel shampoo to completely wash my hair.
  1. TSA folks can be helpful but it helps to be in a wheel chair.
  1. I love Southwest Air. Between the four of us, we had 11 pieces of luggage, a ripstick (google it), two backpacks and a purse the size of Montana with no extra fees.
  1. It is good to take a minute in the middle of an event to just stop, take a breath and enjoy the moment.