I have been struggling to get the energy to do a new post. My last one was about 2 1/2 months ago. A lot has happened. While spending time in Colorado, my sister, Karen, got worse with cancer and had a new and large growing tumor. She had several doctors and a tumor board conferring. There were several modes to attack all the cancer, but not all at once. She had had chemo and radiation treatments for several weeks and spent some time in ICU at a cancer treatment hospital in Denver, Colorado. It was a very unusual and complicated case. Finally, she decided she’d had enough treatment and just wanted to go home. She lived awhile longer in home hospice. She died Aug 2nd, early in the morning. I had been staying in the home to help out with Bob, her husband. Her son, Matt, and his wife, Giny had come out twice from their home in Los Angeles. The second time, they arrived in time to spend the last few days with Karen. My brother, Ken, had been driving up from Lafayette to Greeley almost every day. We were all with her the last couple of days. From the day that she was diagnosed with cancer until her death, it was only 92 days. She was only 59 years old. We were all with her and she knew it and was restful and peaceful when she passed. It was a hard time for me, very emotionally draining. I still can’t believe that she’s gone. Her room had about 150 cards taped to the walls, a testament to all the lives she touched. She was a wonderful woman, sister, wife and mother, and we all loved her so much.
After the memorial service, which drew 250 people, crowding the church, I left the following day for my trip back to Arizona. I was back in Arizona on Aug. 16. I had been emotionally drained. After a week or so, I flew to Alaska for a week to see my two daughters and their families. I have 6 grandkids up there. It was a wonderful week and I enjoying seeing everyone and playing with my grandkids. It was hard to leave them.
As I write this, I’m feeling a little down and thinking about the past too much. I’m listening to bachata and salsa music to lift my spirits some. I’m looking for a part time job to help me earn some money quickly to rebuild my travel fund. I have a couple of new countries that I would like to visit in 2017. I’m also planning to send some photos and a book proposal letter to the mayor of Cali, Colombia. I would like to do a book on Siloé, the most dangerous barrio in Cali. I’ve spent about 3 years photographing there. I would like people to see my photos of the people there. They show a place where there are a lot of good people trying to get by. Most people in Cali that don’t live there are afraid to go there. It has a bad reputation. I have a lot of very good friends there by now. I know it’s dangerous, but, on the other hand, so is Chicago and many other places.
The photo above shows my sister, Karen, and her husband, Bob, dancing at the wedding reception for their son, Matthew, and his wife, Giny, several years ago.