Saturday, February 28, 2009


Maybe it's manipulation. It's hard to tell. I got my oldest to finally "trim" his beard and cut his hair. I've been asking for a long time for him to do this. I know his father would not have approved of how he looked...Todd was always very particular with his beard and mustache and hair, and always well-groomed. Anyway, tonight I did it. I asked my son to do it for my anniversary, in honor of his father, but for me (tears helped as well).

He looks great, but why do I feel guilty? At least Todd is happy.

Friday, February 27, 2009

21st wedding anniversary

yep. today is our anniversary. it would have been our 21st.

Happy Anniversary, hon (at least it's happy for one of us). missing you more than ever...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Night Out! (without kids!!!)

Yes, believe it or not, tonight I went out without the children. Just me. Where did I go? I went to the mall to meet a friend. Wait, it gets better. My friend had to work tonight, so I went to "hang out" with her in the candy store in the mall. Hey, I learned how to work the Icee machine! I even helped hand out pretzels and collect money! We were laughing thinking of how different our nights out, away from the children, have changed.

Tonight was good, though. We shared things that we could only share with each other. We laughed through our tears. We never pictured our lives to be like they are, but here we are....hanging out in a candy store at the mall!

Kimmie isn't just a friend, though; she's family. She knew me before I knew Todd, knew me when I met and married Todd, and was here with us when Todd died. In fact, she is the one who told me. She didn't have to say anything. I was in another room when she came down the hall. Our eyes met, and I knew. We've gone through so much together, laughed together, and cried together.

Tonight was good. Thank you, Kimmie, for a night out without the kids! (and for the pretzels and candy!) I love you.

On the way home I heard "Every Time I Hear Your Name" again and cried. I've learned over the years how to drive amazingly well with tear-clouded vision.

Finally got over that song of ours; stopped chasin' little red sports cars,
To check the license plates and I quit drivin' by your place.
Back makin' the rounds at our old haunts: Honky Tonks, restaurants.
And seein' some of our old friends: it feels good to dance again.
And I can finally smell your perfume and not look around the room for you.
And I can walk right by your picture in a frame and not feel a thing.

But when I hear your name,
I feel rain fallin' right out of the blue sky.
And it's the fifth of May, and I'm right there starin' in your eyes.
And nothin's changed, and we're still same.
And I get lost in the innocence of a first kiss,
And I'm hangin' on to every word rollin' off of your lips:
And that's all it takes, and I'm in that place,
Every time I hear your name.

And when the conversation turns to you,
I get caught in a "you were the only one for me",
Kinda thought, and your face is all that I see.
I know I can't go back but I still go back.
And there we are, parked down by the riverside,
And I'm in your arms about to make love for the first time,
And that's all it takes, and I'm in that place,
Every time I hear your name.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Memorial Website Re-do

I've been working on a new "Todd J Radle Memorial" website. Lots of work. Lots of memories. Lots of tears. I miss that guy, but I am so thankful for God's strength and provision and guidance over these years. It's hard to believe that we're coming up on 4 years; most days it feels like yesterday.

Todd J Radle Memorial

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

National Institutes of Health

Remembering Todd's major surgery and last months of struggle battling cancer, I am thanking God for NIH (National Institutes of Health) and all the many, many incredible nurses, doctors, surgeons, and specialists there. I can still see so many of their faces and even hear some voices from the time we spent there. What a remarkable place! If you've never heard of NIH, it is a government-funded research hospital for cancer patients, where they conduct clinical studies and provide special care for these special patients. We were introduced to world reknown scientists and doctors there. We talked with some of the best surgeons in the world, all because Todd's doctor pushed so hard to get him into one of these studies, and of course because of God's direction and intervention in allowing us these privileges. We know it was God who led us there, and we often thanked Him for this awesome experience.

It's difficult to stay for any extended period at NIH. All the patients are battling cancer. Many of the clinical trials have unexpected and expected side-effects that can be devastating to endure. Many survive. Many don't. If you are there for any length of time, you begin to see familiar faces, make new friends, and form a unique bond with patients and visitors alike. During one of Todd's stays at NIH, he had a roommate, Charlie, who left an impression that I will not soon forget. Charlie was 17 years old, had a great smile, loved his family and girlfriend, and knew the pain of cancer. He was going through a clinical trial, the same one Todd was going to take, and literally fighting for his life. It was difficult to watch. It was difficult to hear the moans. They eventually stopped the trial prematurely, against Charlie's wishes. Charlie was a fighter. Yet we never once heard him complain or even question. He had a contagious laugh, and he was always encouraging everyone around him. Always hopeful, always cheerful...Charlie was by far the best room mate Todd ever had (in any hospital). For many, cancer cannot be stopped, and Charlie passed away in October of 2005.

NIH opened our eyes to a whole different world. Cancer sucks. I hate it. But tonight I am thankful for NIH and for the many who work there caring for these cancer patients. Tonight I am again thanking God for the National Institutes of Health and for Charlie.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I want a puppy!

After seeing this picture my brother sent and holding a friend's puppy this week, I think I have puppy fever!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Esther's Story

I've been studying the story of Esther for the 4 and 5 year old Sunday School class, and I'm repeatedly reminded of how God can use us/her when we continue to trust matter what. Esther's faith was amazing. I'm learning so much, and I thought this was one of those familiar, easy-to-tell Bible stories! It will be a challenge to express these things to four and five year olds, but I'm looking forward, again, to how God will work out those details this Sunday.

The story of Esther was Todd's favorite. He loved that book in the Bible and was fascinated with the story. He talked often about it. After his surgery, unfortunately his thinking had changed and many times this would make him appear almost childlike in his requests and questions. When our pastor came to visit him one time, he asked Todd what passage of Scripture was Todd's favorite, so that he could read it for him (Todd had lost part of his vision from a stroke he suffered during surgery). Todd immediately said, "Esther!" Our pastor asked what part of Esther, and Todd said the whole thing! I felt so badly for our pastor, who spent nearly 45 minutes reading to Todd that precious story. Todd was so thankful. I was thankful for our pastor's willingness to sit and read the entire book of Esther to Todd that day. A neat memory, and one I will always cherish.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I love snow. It's so quiet, peaceful, and pure. Well, until the kids and the dog get into it. But anyway, I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!