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Friday, January 20, 2012

The Storm Rages On

This week our weather may have made national headlines. It was raining like it usually does during Oregon winters, and it didn't want to stop.
Just last month we may have broken a record for the least amount of rain in December, but 3 inches poured down in the last week. That left several feet on the mountain ranges east and west of the Willamette valley where skiing must have been great. Just about a week ago there was some more fresh snow and we saw snow on the valley floor for the first time this year, but it didn't last long. The freezing level rose back up so high that the highest ski resorts on Mt. Hood even saw rain. That's when the flood gates opened and 8 inches poured down over Salem in less than 3 days. If anyone experienced the devastation back in 1996, then 2012 brought back a lot of memories. One memory I have was when I lived in Vancouver, Wa right above Klienline lakes which were twin lakes on each side of I-5. The Salmon Creek flowed around both lakes and was small enough to cross almost anywhere on foot. In 96' the creek filled up so fast from rain and snow melt that it breached the east lake and flood the park on the west side. My house was just above the west side and a friend and I wanted to go down and see the damage. It was very wet and I knew I would find my self up past my knees, so I put on my wet suit on that I used to go boogie boarding with. We went to the park and we were standing under a covered area with concrete and tables. Just then as the water was rushing over the concrete pad, the pad gave way that my friend Nathan was standing on and he started to go into the rushing water. I reacted quickly thanks to the fact that I didn't mind getting wet and reached out to grab him. It all seems like a dream still, but I think I saved his life that day.  I use to like water a lot, but now I don't take any risks like I use to, but I did go looking around today to see some flooding.

Tonight I was thinking about how that Willamette river that goes through Salem and Portland was not at its highest level until a day after it stopped raining. The city of Salem and Turner were flooding well before the Willamette crested today but another wave of destruction was looming. This all paints a picture of what happened tonight in my home because of the way cancer has been like a storm. Lately since my son Lincoln has been on steriods he has needed every other minute of our time. Just when we think we have him comfortable and we can catch a breath, another wave of water comes over us. We have learned to fight the current and keep afloat, but tonight I feel like the river crested when my daughter felt overwhelmed by what was happening. As we were trying to help Lincoln and meet his moment to moment needs to keep him from breaking down for the next 20 minutes, Emma disappeared into her room. When Lincoln was finally distracted playing my iPod I went into her room and found her crying. I knew right then that her heart was breaking. She has had some trouble making friends at school and she felt very alone as we were trying to sustain Lincoln's needs. At that moment I felt like I had drown in the flood that started July 1st. I hate cancer with a passion and I know a lot of people that do too. We fight for our children every minute of every day and we don't want to waste a moment making memories, but sometimes we are overtaken by the storm that rages on.

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