Thursday, April 30, 2009


picture by Aiden...of Raymond and Karen
While in New Orleans I received a message via facebook from Raymond, someone I did not know  (had no idea who he was) that basically said hey if you're ever passing through I would really love to meet you.  Now..I'm a small young female traveling the country with 2 young boys... I didn't know Raymond at all and while I appreciate the offer from ANYONE I sat on the email and truthfully thought about how I could politely decline.  A couple of days went by and as I was leaving New Orleans en route to Houston, TX (in the night no less) I passed a sign saying the town Raymond  lived in was around 70 miles and thought oh crud...never emailed him back...SO I pulled out my phone and started typing the nicest decline I could muster up.  I received a response from Raymond about 35ish minutes later...which basically explained he was a fan of Katie's...but the part that hit the face and gut was the following:

Katie meant a lot to me on many levels. I was very upset when she passed away. I think God may have been looking out for me and "prepped" me for a loss as I had to experience one much greater than that of Katie (whom I had never met) but was a twelve year old son passed away on January 30 after becoming ill in June. 

This was February 25th...not even a month after this man lost his son.  In my gut I knew I should call only 10 miles away.  So I did...and thankfully Raymond guided me to a nearby McDonalds (for the kids sake and ours) where we met one another...shared our medical trauma stories...exchanged stories about our grief, but basically just related to one another...and had a very real, very human interaction.  It is everything I wanted the great is a moment in my life..simple as it may seem which I will always cherish and never soon forget.  There is something so magical about sharing yourself with another...about interacting in a real way...if even for a moment.  So while it may have been a risky thing to meet a stranger at night...I knew in my guts it was the right thing to I took a risk..and yet again it paid off.  
Thank you Raymond for being so bold and reaching out to me...I'm not sure how you carry on in this life with the burden of a loss of a child...but you inspired me on that night to continue to carry on with my head held high!  

Mardi Gras...and New Orleans

So I'm doing my best to CATCH up for the love of all that is good in this world..and there's soo much to catch up bear with me...I want to just post a couple of blogs about things we've done since I last talked about the trip...because I get asked all the time..and because I in re-reading past things I've written I realize just how much I forget about things we actually do in each wonderful city we've visited..and I can NOT lose these memories...SO HERE WE GO.  

Here's where I left New Orleans....YES I took the boys to Mardi Gras!  No I am not crazy.  I did a lot of looking into it..and if you steer clear of the crazy party streets Mardi Gras is SUPER DUPER family friendly...I mean lets think about it...tons and tons and tons of floats throwing beads and candy and toys...what kid wouldn't think this is the greatest thing on the boys were baffled..but totally dug it.  We had a great time getting to know our fellow mardi gra was amazing and the boys had a tremendous time.  We also totally lucked out..on the day of Mardi Gras we were walking about a side street..and it turned out said side street was where the floats went to park.  It was just me and the boys on this street...and the floats UNLOADED anything they had left onto our lone selves there..Aiden exclaimed WE ARE THE LUCKIEST PEOPLE ON EARTH!  It was hysterical...we enjoyed meeting the King of Mardi Gras and seeing all the floats and people up close and personal!

Our trip wasn't entirely about Mardi Gras...we had to go to Cafe Du Monde!!!  The birthplace of coffee in the U.S.  or at least legend says it as's a sort of mecca for a fellow coffee devotee such as myself so I had to make my my respects.  We blew powdered sugar all over each other..ON PURPOSE of ugly stares from some..laughter from others..but we had fun and ate well so what more can you ask for!?

A fun pic of Aiden enjoying the streets of New Orleans

Aiden happy with his Mardi Gras beads...Ko just enjoying being alive :D