Friday, October 5, 2012



So Annalise told me that she organized something on Instagram where she asked all of her friends to wear purple today in honor of Isabella.  She got a really nice response, and I’m really proud of her to do that.  So if you’re on Instagram, check out #IsabellasPurpleFriday to see all the pictures.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Waterbugs and Dragonflies

21It’s difficult to try and describe death and the transition from life to death to children.  Julianne found the parable below which beautifully describes this.  We read it to Isabella and the kids on the night she died, and I also read it at Isabella’s funeral mass.  As I mentioned at the mass, the story has provided us comfort and hopefully, it does so for you.

As a side note, today we went to visit Isabella’s grave.  While we were there, we saw a bunch of dragonflies flying around, and I couldn’t help but think of this story.

Waterbugs and Dragonflies

by Doris Stickney

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in a while one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about with its friends. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily, it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.

“Look!” said one of the water bugs to another. “One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you suppose she is going?” Up, up, up it went slowly. Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn’t return. “That’s funny!” said one water bug to another. “Wasn’t she happy here?” asked a second water bug. “Where do you suppose she went?” wondered a third. No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled.

Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered its friends together. “I have an idea. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why.” “We promise,” they said solemnly.

One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broken through the surface of the water, and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.

When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn’t believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings. The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above
the water. He had become a dragonfly.

Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by, the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were, scurrying about, just as he had been doing some time before. Then the dragonfly remembered the promise: “The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why.”

Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water. “I can’t return!” he said in dismay. “At least I tried, but I can’t keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I’ll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they’ll understand what happened to me, and where I went.” And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Sea of Color to Bid Farewell

Julianne and I are extremely grateful and humbled by the incredible turnout that we had for Isabella’s wake and funeral.  We had visitors from all over the country come by to say their final goodbyes to our sunshine girl.  We were standing and greeting visitors at the wake from start to finish (over four hours!), and although our feet and backs ached afterwards, it was well worth speaking with everyone.

We are also glad that we asked everyone to dress in bright colors because it was really neat to see the sea of color at both the wake and the funeral mass.  I’m sure Isabella was looking down and appreciated the colors that we all wore – so much so that Isabella treated us to a double rainbow yesterday!

double_rainbowIsabella treats us to a double rainbow at the Marvin family picnic on 9/30/12

For those of you that missed the services, here are a couple pictures and a video of the lantern launch that we did at the cemetery to honor Isabella.

P1080736We handed out these butterflies to all the visitors
P1080747Isabella was surrounded by lots of pretty colors and flowers
P1080749Nathaniel sits and watches Isabella’s video.  We also had a bunch of posters with pictures of Isabella throughout her life.
P1080754We displayed these two pictures of Isabella.  One was when she was bald and going through treatments and the other while she was in remission.
P1080755Isabella’s art work greets the kids at the children’s sign in table.
P1080800Our family poses for one last time with Isabella.
P1080806Isabella being brought into the church before the funeral.
P1080823Annalise says farewell to Isabella, Hunger Games style!
P1080816Friends and family lay their flowers on Isabella’s casket.
P1080848We spruced up Isabella’s temporary marker with some extra flowers.

Special thanks to the Catino family for getting us the lanterns on such short notice!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Do You Have Pictures of Isabella?

If you do, please click the link below to upload them to a shared folder that I created.  These photos can be from this weeks services or from anytime.  I’m sure there are plenty of photos of Isabella that we haven’t seen and we’d love to see them.