Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Broken Heart

It was Sunday night and we were just saying goodbye to a friend that was visiting us from our church back in California. I dropped Erin off at her hotel and I start heading home. During the drive home I get a call from Acacia that her cat Tiger Lilly is having a hard time breathing and her tongue is dark purple. All this is happening at about 11pm. I get home and Shelly and Acacia grab Tiger and wisk her off to the animal hospital. They seem to be gone forever. I start to worry and call them to get an update. Shelly tells me that they took an X-ray and it shows that Tiger is only able to use 10% of her lungs. She apparently has some sort of infection and because of her previous injury it is making it worse. For those of you that follow our blog you may remember when Tiger had her ribs broken and her heart was bruised. Evidently somebody had kicked her really hard. Shelly calls me back to tell me that the Vets will keep her and do whatever it takes to keep her alive. Shelly and Acacia finally arrive home around midnight and Acacia is off to bed. We get a call about an hour later that Tiger had died. My heart sank. This is the 3rd cat that has died in the short time that we've been here. In the morning I took the girls to school without telling them that Tiger has gone to heaven. Just as a side note, Shelly left that morning to go to Nepal for a week. She was very hesitant to leave due to the circumstances. I assured her that it would be ok and that I would handle it. When I picked the girls up from school I had a very heavy heart. I sat at a bench in the school playground and told my little girl that her cat went up to heaven. She immediately started crying and I held her in my arms and started crying too. I wasn't crying so much for the cat, rather I was crying that my little girl's heart was breaking once again. The girls have a tendency to gravitate to their Mom when something like this happens. I think maybe Shelly leaving and myself having to deal with this alone was not a coincidence. I think God has some hand in this to create a deeper bond between my daughter and myself.

Acacia asked if we could bury Tiger next to Love Bug in the front yard. She held Tiger one last time and we dug the hole together.

As a way of saying goodbye I had the girls write a note saying what they felt about Tiger Lilly. Acacia's drawing of a broken heart just about broke my heart.

We covered the box that held Tiger and had a little funeral ceremony.

Anna and I both wrote a note to Tiger to send up to heaven.

Acacia standing on Tiger's grave site to pack down the earth.

We attached all of our notes to Tiger on the hot air lantern to be sent to heaven.

As the hot air lantern floats up we say our last goodbyes.

I am so sorry honey that Tiger had to leave this world. I know she meant a lot to you and that you will miss her deeply.

I love you more than all the stars in the sky sweetie!

Love Dad

Monday, March 16, 2009

Burma Fun Run/Walk 5k

This T shirt says it all. This fundraiser for the displaced people of Burma was organized by the "Free Burma Rangers". The Free Burma Rangers (FBR)are based in Thailand and have teams that go into Burma to bring in aid, supplies and provide training. To learn more about FBR go to www.freeburmarangers.org. They do fantastic much needed work and could use your support. The Burma Fun Run has been held several years to raise support and awareness for the people of Burma. Burma is one of the most repressed countries on Earth. The Fun Run was on Saturday morning and it seemed like the entire expat/missionary community was in full force. Unfortunately, this time of year in Thailand and in Chiang Mai especially the farmers burn their trash and crops and the pollution is horrendous. Not great for running!

Acacia pondering what to buy from the handicraft table. She ended up buying Mommy a nice handmade purse.

Acacia posing the event's MC. The MC said she was going to run, but her shoes were hurting her feet. Whatever!

The whole group rallying around the event organizer Dave Eubanks. Dave said a word of thanks for all the support and love and he finished off with a prayer to the people of Burma.

Ready, Set, GO!!!!!!!!

I turned out to be a walker instead of a runner. I just got over a sinus infection and the pollution was horrible. Not to mention I was lugging around a big camera.

Run.....run lass.....run like the wind.... Anna you are going the wrong way. You silly girl!

Shelly and her friend Monica in the back of the picture to the left pushing a stroller. We thought Anna might get tired after about 10 feet so we brought the stroller to control the whining factor.

Acacia and Anna have a rest after all the festivities.

Acacia on the far right competing in the under 10year olds dash to the finish. Good job honey!!

Afterwards all the kids got a treat. We visited and talked with friends and then went out for nice big breakfast.

Please pray for the people of Burma and keep them in your thoughts.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Chiang Mai flower festival

Every February Chiang Mai blossoms with its annual Flower festival. The center of the city is full of parade floats made entirely out of flowers, seeds and other natural ingredients. The floats are pretty detailed. Many hours were spent putting it all together.

Of course no Thai event is complete without a sprawling market with food stalls and people hawking their wares. Anybody need a pair of sunglasses?

Beauty and the Beast! Along with the market and the beautiful flower floats comes the trash. I just liked the juxtaposition of the two.

It was cute watching this man trying to photograph his son on the float. Like most kids he couldn't keep still. I wonder if he ever got off a sharp photo. Kids and animals are the hardest things to photograph.

This is the moat that surrounds the city center. The water looks nice,but don't let it fool you. You would get quite sick if you went into the water, its a little dirty!

A young Thai examining the intricacies of the flower float. Very impressive.

It is very similar to going to the Rose Parade for those of you that have done that.

One thing is for sure in Thailand is that you will never go hungry. Food stalls are everywhere. I love this place!!!

Color abounds. you can buy anything here too.

A row of "tuk tuks" to shuttle you on your way.