WOW, Steve and I are back in France after a five week visit to Southern California to see our kids and precious grandsons Isaac and Oliver.
This time I left for America healthy and returned to France healthy TG. On the previous two such trips, I returned to France very ill. So I believe that I have broken the cycle and will continue to be healthy and stay healthy, especially while traveling back and forth to Southern California a few times a year.
It is safe to say that “Max is Back”!! I am finally feeling back to myself after two years of not being well. It has been a year since I finished my six-month course of chemotherapy and four months since I fully recuperated from a lung infection that I contracted on our October 2018 visit to Southern California.
I am very happy to say that the results from all of my recent tests, scans, exams and blood tests show that I am in “Full Remission”!!
I got my life back!! It is like an earthquake. (I am from California and was brought up experiencing them throughout my life – in fact there was a substantial one in June while we were in California). You make it through the initial earthquake and it is not until afterwards that you realize what happened and could have happened. Then you feel a bit shaky wondering when the aftershocks are going to hit. However, I continue to think positive and live in the now, enjoying and appreciating every moment. I am grateful and thankful for all of the blessings in my life. I live every day to the fullest, love many people and laugh a lot. I look to touch peoples’ lives in a positive way and to make a difference in the world. That keeps me going.
It is amazing how fast time goes by and how fast babies grow and change. We were actually watching our grandsons growing up right in front of us.
They say that “Home is where the Heart is” Well my heart is at home with my kids and grandsons. So for me going “Home” is when I arrive in Southern California.
So many exciting things happened on our five week visit with our family:
Our grandson Isaac began pre-school shortly after we arrived. He goes three mornings a week. It was hard to let go and accept the fact that he is growing up so fast and no longer a baby – he is a toddler now.
On June 18th we celebrated Isaac’s 3 year birthday. Bubbie and Papa(Steve & I)took him for breakfast for home made pancakes at a special restaurant near our house called Flappy Jack’s. Isaac enjoyed a plate of pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse with chocolate chips and whipped cream for the eyes and mouth.
We had a birthday party at the house on the Saturday before Isaac’s “Actual” Birthday (Isaac’s words!). You can see by the photos that is was a fun filled day with all of the family and friends.
There was Papa time with Isaac as he learned French from books that we brought for him from France. He is doing so well and learning new words all of the time.
Bubbie Time with Isaac consists of playing on the floor with his cars, monster trucks and other toys with wheels. We had story time –
Isaac loves to have stories read to him – and then there is bath time. He also loves to go shopping with Bubbie and Papa to Costco, Trader Joe’s and Target. It’s the everyday things that I like most and miss the most – out to dinner with the family,
homemade meals together, shopping, going to the park, special time with each of them and babysitting.
Isaac took Swimming Lessons for two weeks and Bubbie and Papa got to go watch him learning to swim.
We spent time with Oliver playing on the floor with his baby toys and watching him learning to crawl.
He practiced rocking back and forth on both hands and legs for a few weeks and then all of a sudden he put his legs into full gear and took off crawling all over the place. Then there was no stopping him.
We were there to celebrate 4th of July. You can see USA Flags everywhere.
Bubbie and Papa took Isaac to a Car Museum.
Needless to say that he loved every minute of it, walking up and down the rows of race cars and antique cars and big engines too.
We had a beautiful day out with Joshua & Lupe. They took us to The Huntington Library Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens near Pasadena. We walked for hours through the many gardens, all from different parts of the world. Mid-day we stopped in at the food court and had some drinks and snacks.
After a wonderful day, we took them for a delicious dinner at a Japanese Dumpling Restaurant.
We were able to squeeze in a visit with Steve’s Mom. We picked her up in Arizona and drove her back to California to stay with us for a few days. Steve’s brother Scott & sister-in-law Patty drove down from Northern California. It was nice to have the family together for the day.
My hematologist in France says that I can go back and forth to Southern California as long as I pace myself. I take that very seriously and considering everything that I have been through with my health, I am not taking any chances. That means that I take a rest when Isaac & Oliver take their nap, I eat sensibly and healthy, I get my 8 hours of sleep every night and I spend 90% of the time with the kids and grand kids at home and limit myself to spending 10% of the time with our friends. Most of them come to us and to see our family and then we go out to eat in our area. Otherwise we would be schlepping all over Southern California to see all of our friends. They are all so respectful, caring and understanding of my situation.
Steve and I live a good life in France. We have lots of good friends that we spend time with eating, drinking wine and traveling around France together. However, there is nothing that compares to “Being Home with Our Kids & Grand Kids”.
Dorothy says it best in the Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home”.
We spend a great deal of quality time and share many special moments with Jonathan, Liz, Isaac & Oliver and Joshua & Lupe. I believe that a picture is worth a thousand words so I have shared with you my favorites of this visit to Southern California.