January 23

Hello dear friends and family, 

Mom and dad went to radiation this morning at the usual 8:45 time. Mom continues to mention how bright and upbeat dad has been lately, which I have had difficulty locating in him. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I experience him as removed from his usual engaged, deep-thinking self. Though I still feel this to be the case, I did feel a sweet reminder of Old Ken today: he sent me a NYT article from today’s paper about the importance of reading, or “Reading Books is Fundamental” (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/23/opinion/blow-reading-books-is-fundamental.html?hpw&rref=opinion). 

When I got home, dad and Danny were sitting in the sun on our back porch. Something I love about Danny is that he easily locates how to make dad’s time more human. The two of them go out for coffee, clam chowder, and run silly other errands. As trifling as these may appear, these make a huge difference for dad. He has always been an individual, and really enjoys spending time on his own to process and move through different obstacles. Now, everything’s different, and I think he’s handling his inherent dependence on everyone else with enormous grace. 

I brought dad and Danny their regular In-n-out orders this afternoon. Throughout my life, dad predictably goes for a #1 with pickles and onions, coke no ice, large fries at least once a week. He mentioned how he was fixing for a good burger the other day, so this was an easy way for his needs to be met. It made a big difference! He told me that this burger was the highlight of his day. That and the new coffee machine that has been his latest fixation. 

As is obvious to anyone who’s reading this blog, my dad is not the healthiest eater. Carol, mom, and I are finding ways to put more nutrients into his diet, but that can be tough when all he is up to eating are cookies and burgers. One must find the balance between indulging dad in what makes him happy and free, and giving him healthy enough food to keep him strong and feeling good. 

Dad’s energy was pretty high today, though he did head to bed for the night around 3:30. Tomorrow we’ll get his beard trimmed. 

Looking forward to seeing Bob Wilkie and Dave Haas tomorrow!

With love,
Mikaela

PS: I have a proposition for all interested: I registered for the San Francisco marathon this upcoming July. There are half marathon and marathon distances offered in this race, and I am sort of thinking it could be a cool, Ken-like goal for his crew to consider tackling. I know dad has always found the sweetness in the struggle, and I want to do this race as a way to feel close to him. Let me know if you’re interested – Robbie and I are signed up, and the Atherton house will be open for all participating runners. 

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