Hi all . . . Jeff here. First of, let me just say that I wish I wasn't in Houston. The thing that's keeping me here is the same thing that has thrown so many lives into total upheaval. My mom could be at home helping to plan my sister's wedding instead of doing my laundry and driving me to get blood tests; my neighbors and friends could be relaxing with their families instead of shoveling my driveway and making dinners for us; my kids would have a mom and dad at home with them instead of far away for too long. It really sucks that I have to be in Houston.
BUT . . . having said that, I also have to say that this whole experience has given me many opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise. I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with Marc Schulte, a very good friend (and one of Aubrey's godfathers) who came to visit me in Houston from his home in Seattle. I have had the opportunity to reconnect with Kevin Gardner, one of my college roommates, and get to see what his life is like (and get to play with his very cute toddler son). I had the opportunity to eat lunch at PubFiction, a very hip and happening place owned by Jim Crable, one of my high school classmates. And I've had the opportunity to personally thank my old babysitter, Betty (Hanigan) and her husband, Stefano Costantini, for recommending Dr. Legha and helping us find the wonderful apartment where we are staying.
Being here, I also have met some amazing people, including Cathy Connors, the tireless and very generous president of the ND Club of Houston (and recently elected director of the national board of the Notre Dame Alumni Association!), and Jerry and Margaret Toomey, who have welcomed me, Kelly, my kids, and my mom into their car, their home, and their lives. We had a wonderful meal at Jerry and Margaret's last night, and it gave me a chance to feel like life was back to normal for a few hours instead of preoccupied by blood counts and biochemo side-effects. My mom said when she sees Jerry and Margaret at the airport, it's like she's seeing family. And for giving us that experience in this big city so far from home, I can't thank them enough.
So even though I wish I wasn't here and hate the reason for being here, life is still good in so many ways.