Dear Beloved Friends,
Although it drives me a little crazy to send a group letter rather than to write individual notes or phone each of you, time and energy in our crazy, hectic world seems to often be in short supply. Also, some of you have heard various parts of this note already and I apologize for boring you twice. But frankly, I didn't get holiday notes out this year between holiday business demands and the loss of four friends between Thanksgiving and the second week of February, so I'm writing a "one size fits all" note. So, Happy New Year, Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day Easter, Passover, Mother's Day, Memorial Day and Father's Day. :-) Hopefully I can pick upo again by the Fourth of July.
Getting through the holidays was difficult as I spent many days in hospitals and at memorial services. There were some wonderful special moments with Theo and Zane, especially Christmas morning when they walked into the living room and couldn't believe that Santa had not only come but that he knew they would like a big boy bicycle and tricked-out tricycle even before they knew they wanted them. The looks of amazement and joy were a huge antidote to the difficult hours of helping friends through their transition from life to death. By January I was pretty burned out.
Blessedly, I had a magnificent trip to look forward to, one that I had initially booked through the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce. However, due to my contacts throughout the world, the next thing I knew was that I was having a two-in-one journey to China! The first part was the tour, and the second was eight days with a research scientist on Hainan Island in the South China Sea. As often happens when I travel, nothing was firm about the second part of the trip until days before I left, but it all came together into one remarkable adventure.