This summer continued to be difficult as Ben finished his radiation treatments, but Dana did her best to keep us busy and concentrating on the good parts in our life. This summer, Dana has really blossomed. She loved gymnastics class (for which she got the medal), and is thrilled to be alive. She has transformed herself into a little girl - no more babies living with us! And Dana did her job well. We've been so busy, the summer flew by. Ben went to Johns Hopkins to get radiation treatment, and as of mid-august, he is finally finished! His cancer is in remission, and there are no more treatments planned. It is taking some getting used to, but we are attempting to get back to our life - with lots more swimming, biking, and walking in the woods.
We did manage to have some fun this summer. The three of us had a wonderful city day to celebrate mother's day. And our town had a great little July 4th parade. We couldn't resist decorating our tandem bicycle and joining the fun.
Dana continues to love going in things. At Passover, she played baby Moses in our little play. And she jumps in the laundry basket whenever she gets the chance. She even got our friends Norman and Sabrina to carry her around. She's been finding that baskets with wheels are even more fun! She got her friends Ben-o and Kyle into her red wagon for a ride.
Allison's parents visited, and Mel and Dana had lots of fun together - with Dana showing off as usual.
Dana loves the pussy cats. She's always hugging, squeezing or sleeping on them. Here's Dana with Tria (top), Pete (left) and Shana (right).
Unfortunately, Tria has been sick for some time now and we finally had to put him down. Ben had him for fourteen years since he was a baby. It was an extremely sad tme and difficult decision, but Tria had a wonderful life, and it was time. Tria may look like a cat, but I always thought of him as part panther. He was sleek and muscular, and loved the great outdoors like no other cat I've known. Throughout his life, he would disappear for weeks at a time going on some adventure or another. I was always convinced he was gone, but then one day, he would just stroll back in the house as if had had never been gone and ask for dinner - which he devoured. At the same time, he was also one of the most affectionate cats I have known, always sleeping on my neck and purring so loudly we'd have to shoo him away to get some sleep ourselves! So it was all the more difficult to see him losing his strength and luster. I will miss him for a long time.
Dana's enthusiasm for animals is not restricted to cats. She loves all kinds of animals, and insists on us regularly taking her to the zoo. We also visited a farm where she happily played in the fields.
In August, we all went to Ben's family country house in the Berkshires. It was an especially nice few days because Ben's childhood friends who live nearby also were there. So it was a kind of second family reunion. We picked blueberries and baked pies, went on walks, swam at the cold dammed river, and played with balsawood airplanes. All in all, a wonderful time.
Lest the casual reader of this picturelog incorrectly surmise that our lives consist of nothing other than fun, travel, and visiting, here is a picture of our real life. Dana screaming on her blaring ice cream truck with her baby and several dozen other toys exploded through the house - with Pete & Shana looking on. This picture doesn't show parents up since 6am (now that Dana has figured out how to get out of her bed) slipping on strategically placed toys trying to get the theme song from Elmo's World out of our heads. It doesn't show the two weeks of mail that Ben hasn't even had time to open yet, the hundreds of unanswered email messages awaiting our return from vacation, the rush to sign up Dana for the next gymnastics class, and all the other wonderful, but exhausting things keeping us running in place like every other happy parents of a 2 and a half year old. Thank goodness Dana is in our lives. We couldn't imagine it without her.
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All text and photos Copyright (c) 2001 Ben Bederson