Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dallas - August 2012

As I mentioned in my last post, Marino and I went to Dallas last week to visit my brother. You may remember from other posts (I visited by myself in December and March) that my brother is battling cancer. I wish I could say this battle was over, but this cancer is very aggressive and continues to multiply throughout his body. He has stopped chemo and started hospice this week.

I really wanted he and Marino to spend some time together, although, unfortunately, Brendan has limited use of his arms, hands, and difficulty to speaking, so it was a bit of a challenge...Marino kept asking "Uncle Brendan, can you play Transformers with me?" and Brendan, truly, physically, cannot play. It broke my heart because if Brendan was healthy, he and Marino would have a blast together. They both love cars, motorcycles, aliens, etc. Marino definitely also did not understand the permanence of Brendan's condition. Each day, he'd ask "Uncle Brendan, are you STILL sick?!" Regardless of his current limitations, we all love Brendan and I'm so glad we got a chance to spend time together. My mom was visiting last week, too, so it was nice for all of us to be together.

Here's Brendan and Holly, my mom and Marino.
I am fortunate to have some friends with kids Marino's age in Dallas, so we were able to arrange some playdates with friends while we were there.

We spent a really great afternoon at an indoor safari/playplace with my college friend Daniela. We hadn't seen each other since we graduated, but it was really great to see her and meet her gorgeous kids: Kiara, Soleil and baby EJ.

These 3 got along great and in no time had made up some "school" game where Kiara (on the left) was the teacher. Are those girls gorgeous, or what? Such sweethearts!

So adorable!!

Marino is still talking about his new friends and the fun we had!

We then had dinner with my friend Aria and her baby Grant. I know, she's gorgeous! She's also a oncology nutritionist, so she has lots of insight on what Brendan is experiencing.

We sent this picture to Daddy that night. Marino won this ball out a claw machine at the playplace. I was impressed!
We also met up with our friends Amie, Taylor, Baby Luke, Jaime and Annalise at the Galleria in Dallas. They have a very fun playplace on the 3rd floor - Marino had a blast running around and jumping off of the soft play structures.

Here's a picture of Taylor and Marino (and some green giraffe legs).
Both Taylor and Annalise are much more shy than Marino, but as you can see, they eventually warmed up to him.
Holly and I took Marino to see Paranorman
She and I enjoyed it. Marino said he thought it was scary, but I think it was more confusing for him than it was scary. He literally asked me a question about the movie every 45 seconds.

Here he is riding a ATV after the movie.
We saw my dad a couple days later and when he saw this movie poster, he launched into a dramatic explanation of the movie.
While it is hard to see Brendan in so much pain, it was still wonderful to see him. We love him so much and think of him constantly and hope and pray for his healing.

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