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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Our Hearts Go Out to Mudslide Families Here in Washington State

Dear Friends,

We cannot include a photograph, nor any video in this post and know you understand why.

I am writing because we have been asked, since we just moved North of Seattle, whether or not we were involved in the catastrophic mudslide that took place here last weekend. Fortunately, we are safe and sound, though not so far away. It's been a struggle whether or not to post anything here about it, to include any footage of Buddy the dog being pulled alive from the rubble, but it is just too heartbreaking.

We know the area well from summers spent camping and hiking, and frozen winters spent snowshoeing beneath a full moon amidst the Silence of Trees. We have so many happy memories of a place that no longer exists.

Along with continuing human losses, there have been a few miracles, some family pets found still alive even though their own families perished. I don't know what to say. We just moved north, out of Seattle last month, to be closer to nature. Nearly every morning looking out my window a pair of bald eagles, wings outspread long and broad, ride thermals higher and higher in broadening loops above land and sea. It is quiet except for the sound of rain, wind, rustling of trees, and snow-covered peaks of the Olympic Mountain Range just smiling back at us from above evergreen tree-tops.

Although we were not there in the mudslide, we were all there and remain so because…how can anyone not feel affected by such catastrophic, tragic losses; even First Responders and volunteers now showing signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder…so friends, although we are O.K. please send love, prayers, and whatever feels comforting to those who have lost so much and still await news of the many missing. We have seen stories of three rescued dogs and the guinea pigs and I rejoice when a miracle family pet is discovered alive amidst the tragic rubble, yes they are being found, and there's always hope more will be...

A few weeks ago my heart stopped beating. I was fortunate to already be at the hospital, received CPR, and now we have some clues: two rare genetic mutations that attack the heart and many functions of the body and brain plus a possible auto-immune disease. Thank you, Ms. A, for recognizing in my symptoms this rare disease which neither I nor my physician had ever even heard of before! My weight now hovers at 100 lbs. even though with pain medication I am now able to eat, but physical therapists refuse to come anymore because there simply is not enough muscle mass to work with as weight and strength continue their downward spiral. I remain in the excellent Transitions-to-Hospice Program.

Good news is hoping we find an expert or expert team with extensive experience treating this rare defect…a dear friend has been caring for me and is training to become one of my two "official caregivers" and the guinea pigs love her kids! I am no longer snowshoeing beneath full moons, now nearly bed-bound or in a wheelchair, too weak much of the time to even stand up on my own. But, at least we are all together, the piggies and I, we finally have a real home, are loved and cared for by many, and POI cleans their homes on weekends. We are slowly adjusting, living simply, grateful for all we have, and grieving for those who have lost everything and nearly everyone: It's too close to home, but then, the entire world is our home so let's celebrate life: L'Chaim, and offer what comfort we can to those who grieve.

Thank you for asking if we are O.K.

chana and the PigZ


  1. Praying for those effected by the mudslide, the lost airliner... and you!

  2. Ditto. So glad to see your post. I so hope your new home can nourish your soul while the doctors figure out how to ease your body. Way to go Ms. A.! Too bad Michael had to discover the rare mutation the hard way. Prayers for the poor souls of the mudslide. Hugs for you, POI and the piggies.

  3. wonderful .... you are all okay ..... :-)))
    with love ingrid and the meeris and co. .....

  4. Thank you all, HI INGRID AND MEERIS IN BAVARIA!!! Thanks, Ms. A, Marifan…lurkers, feelin' the love, healing in the Love :)