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Monday, December 26, 2016

Kaiser Family: Rivers and Roads

Chris has worked in the ER with the same "family" for 14 years now. He started as a Tech, worked through nursing school, has been an RN and now enjoys his charge RN position.

Through the years we have often referred to his work friends as our Kaiser Family. I have been so fortunate to become friends with many of these awesome folks as well.

A few weeks ago our friend Jen passed away. She was only 40 and we will miss her so. We had some fun through the years- she was a great gal to be around- always laughing and joking. After she passed I poured through our photo library and collected some of my favorite memories through the years.

I just can't stop listening to Rivers and Roads by the Head and Heart...
You can listen to it Here. It's been on repeat while crafting this post.

Here are some of the lyrics:

A year from now, we'll all be gone
All our friends will move away
And they're going to better places
But our friends will be gone away.

Nothing is as it has been
And I miss your face like hell
And I guess it's just as well
But I miss your face like hell.

Been talking bout the way things change
And my family lives in a different state
And if you don't know what to make of this
Then we will not relate.

Rivers and roads
Rivers and roads
Rivers 'til I reach you
Then we will not relate
Rivers and roads


This was the first Kaiser Christmas party we went to, and Jen is the third from the left. We boogied our booties off and she was pregnant at the time.



I am so SO sad that this photo was blurry. I think it was from a film camera. But these guys in tank tops, a mullet wig, and a porta potty? It was an epic white trash party hosted by the queen Cheecha, Robin!

A few years later we hosted "The Maine Event" at our house: a party, silent auction, and show of support for the Maine family after Evan, at one year old, was diagnosed with cancer.

We could not have put this event on without the help of our awesome Kaiser Family. Rob drove the Rhino (borrowed from a friend!) and I believe he had a bum foot at the time as well.




We drew a crowd of close to 60 at the height- Kaiser family, friends, and related family members gathered to support this sweet family.



I still get teary thinking of how many cars filled up our field, how many folks brought food, dessert, love, and auction items.



This gorgeous gal sold me her road bike, then a few years later we celebrated her first baby at Patti's house!


We've braved Sand Mountain with Patty and Mandy (involving motor toys and also snowboarding down the mountain!), and another time with Randy and Dan. 


Once the boys were able to travel a bit we took them to the bay and enjoyed a great hike and two nights away from it all with the Maine family.



Jen R's baby shower in Roseville.




Owen visiting Evan at treatment


Tracy, Owen's "Cool" auntie. (she lived in Cool. And she's cool.)


We miss Trissy!



Softball game with Corral.



Thanksgiving at Dee's.


Making Evan smile!




These women are some of my favorites!









Chris P's breaking bad party- I pulled the parent shift and Chris got to go enjoy all the fun!


Pismo with the Avery's



Another great Thanksgiving at Dee's.
Dee, Sandy, Kristin


These two lovebirds James and Robin



Skills!


Love these guys!
 
Crispy (Chris P came to see O after his surgery and gift him his first Chiver shirt and some mustaches (worn quite well by Arabelle!)
Randy and Dan came to the hospital during Owen's last surgery. Sometimes you just need a shoulder to sleep on. They camped in our trailer with me for the night, we ate sushi and shared laughs.


Dee loving on Ara
 
The support we've felt from our Kaiser family through the years has been so touching words can't even come close to describing the love. Owen visits the ER once a year or less and is treated like a celebrity. He was there last week (social visit) and he said "How does everyone know my name?"







Owen has also gained some friends from this awesome deal! Sebastian and he love Super Cross!
 

 
I ran into these hearts at a breast cancer run 2 years ago.
 

I ran into Jen last Spring at a run I was doing with my sister. It was so great to see her and one of her best friends Jen. They were quite a running pair, she was giving me tips on how to jump from the 10K to the half, then up to the marathon level.

These were taken at last year's Kaiser Christmas Party. It was the last time I saw Jen. We had (as usual) another fun time dancing the night away.
  
It gets pretty wild, it's like a wedding: dinner, games, drinks, dancing, DJ.


This summer we recruited a few Kaiser peeps and went to Cisco Grove camping for a few nights!

    
  

Christmas party 2016 Chris and hotties Louanne and Heather


Great & gorgeous company-Inspiring women to say the least!


This crew!


I am so very happy that Chris his time away from us with such awesome folks. Our lives have been enriched with all of the relationships we've gained through him working at Kaiser. Two of my closest friends have been

Jen was a ray of light, and I have to say we only saw each other 1-2 times per year.  The silly thing was we were always at a party or event with dancing and so that is where most of my memories of her lie. She was really interested in functional nutrition/medicine and had reached out to me multiple times this past year.

I can't stop thinking about her family, her sons, all of those she touched. She will be missed.

There have been weddings, funerals, surgeries, babies, and celebrations big and small within this community~and this crew continues to step up, time and time again.

So. Blessed.


(There have been many awesome times, but due to lack of photos or inability to wrangle them all they may not be presented here!)