Rachel Peres's Journal
Written Mar 7, 2013 9:57am by Rob Peres
Our good friend Meredith posted this old Facebook post from Rachel on her Birthday yesterday. As I re-read it I could not help to hear her voice... enjoy!
From FB on Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 9:25pm
25 Things about me, none of them very interesting by Rachel Brant Peres
1. I am terrible with faces. I wouldn’t recognize the UPS guy that I saw every single day if I saw him out of uniform at the grocery store. I never introduce myself to people because I’ve usually met them already, or sometimes might even know them well. I need to watch movies with another person who can tell me if that is the same guy from the last scene in a different outfit.
2. I lived in Alaska for 4 years and I could not see Russia. I once cross country skied to school.
3. Partially because I am an Air Force brat, I have lived in 9 different cities in five states and two countries.
4. I love the sound and smell of the ocean. It’s like soul candy.
5. My favorite place to be is under water, but I prefer it when not wearing cement shoes.
6. I like to work for start-ups where I wear multiple hats so I don’t get bored doing any one task or job. Thus, I am currently and usually unemployed (laid off for the 7th time since I graduated from college).
7. I like to write. It’s the one thing I know I am good at. Some day the stars may smile on me and my kids will leave me alone long enough to write a book. Until then, I’ll write press releases, web copy, marketing brochures, and resumes.
8. I have been married for 8.5 years, I have 2 kids (Evan is almost 4 and Kate is 18 months), 2 cats, 1 sink full of dishes, and 7 loads of laundry to do at any given time.
9. I am 5 foot 10 inches tall. Taller than most of you without my heels, which I never wear anymore since at my advanced age it’s now better to feel good than to look good, dahling.
10. I finally found out that the only thing I have in common with my biological father is that we both hate mushrooms.
11. I am a firm believer in karma and Murphy’s Law. Perhaps they’re conflicting spiritual positions.
12. I always overtip. A dollar has a much different value to you than to your waitress. It’s only one-quarter of a venti latte to you but to your server it’s a validation. People who are nice to you but are not nice to wait staff are not very nice people. I once dumped a longtime boyfriend over his refusal to tip a waiter who told him they were out of cheese.
13. I believe that you can tell a lot about a person by seeing how well they tip, if they wear seatbelts, and if they use turn signals. These are indicators of someone who respects themselves and others, and used to be my litmus test for dating.
14. For the most part, I am always sarcastic so you should never take anything I say seriously since I’m usually kidding.
15. My dream job would be a television reviewer for Entertainment Weekly. Or a travel writer who got to go all over the world on someone else’s budget and review their accommodations. Or heiress. That would be a good job.
16. I am conversational in German and Spanish, as long as the conversation involves ordering a beer or bumming a cigarette. I am long-winded in English.
17. I studied abroad in Vienna, where I lived in a flat with a hausfrau and went to school and traveled all over Europe every weekend. It was the most amazing 4 months of my life.
18. In my previous life, I was a marketing professional in the high-tech field. Now I am a full-time mom whose managers are younger than me (by about 32 years), less educated, more demanding than any boss I ever had, make me work nights and weekends with no vacations, and not only don’t pay well, but I have to pay them. Nevertheless, my kids are an amazing gift.
19. I have a terrible memory. If I mention a memory of childhood to my mom, she will tell me that it never happened. I can’t remember major incidents from 3rd grade, 8th grade, high school, or even college.
20. If I were in a band, I would name it Schadenfreude (which in German means happy bummer. It’s essentially the act of laughing when your friend runs through a glass door, and the reason that Funniest Home Videos has been on the air for 20 years.)
21. I recently realized that I am a perfectionist, and that perfectionism leads to procrastination which leads to purgatory. That is why it took me four days to write my 25 things list.
22. Things I love include John Irving, bacon, filet mignon, brie, TV, People magazine, my baby’s cute little waddling butt, my son’s amazing eyelashes, and my husband’s uncanny ability to call who the murderer is 10 minutes into the show.
23. I used to be obsessed with the Ouija board and have had several bizarre experiences with it.
24. I love indie music. I hate hearing the same stuff on the radio 10 times a day.
25. I did my senior thesis in college on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and my research was quoted by a national publication.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Written Mar 6, 2013 11:25am by Rob Peres
Happy Birthday Rachel! We miss you so much. The kids and I talk about you every day and wish you were still here with us so we could wrap our arms around you in a giant family bear hug with lots of kisses to go around for everyone.
You should have turned 40 today. As I was driving to work this morning I was imagining how we would have spent the day...? I am damn sure a party would have been in order (likely a surprise) with all of your friends attending. You would have been celebrating 20 months in remission as well which would have gotten us so much closer to the big milestone we were all praying for (2 years). We would go to Kyoto Palace for a meal and we would sing Happy Birthday to you while eating your favorite Angel Food cake that your mom baked. The kids would be begging to blow out the candles and we would let them. I would hold you close and tell you how much I love you (over and over and over...).
Today, the only thing that has changed is that you are no longer in remission and Leukemia stole her beautiful life from us.
Today we will honor Rachel's memory by doing everything we can to celebrate. We have reservations at Kyoto Palce for dinner. Linda has baked her amazing Angel Food cake ("Angel" Food seems very appropriate). The kids will blow out her candles and we will share stories and memories that will fill a little bit of the huge void left behind as a result of her death. Please pray for us today and do everything you can to take a moment out of your day to do something in her honor (even if it's just telling your kids you love them). Life is too short so enjoy the time you have with those you love. Celebrate Rachel's memory as she would never want anyone to be sad. She is still here with us even if we can't touch her or hear her voice. She would be extremely pleased to know that she is 39 years old forever!
She is also 100% forever and so are we.
Written Feb 12, 2013 4:53pm by Rob Peres
No emotional updates today. I'd like to post one tomorrow in recognition of four months since Rachel's passing. One thing I would like to do outside of the normal update is to sincerely thank everyone for all of thier tremendous support during this journey (yes - I'm still lagging on my thank you cards). I visited a good friend of mine recently who suggested that many of Rachel's dedicated readers may be interested to hear how we have been using the funds that were so generously donated to her memorial and to help out my family as we adjust to life without her.
I wanted to provide a few updates to let you know your generousity has been put to good use. So many people contributed money and it has done so much to help us "not worry" about some of the financial expenses associated with Rachel's death. For example, did you know an average sized obituary in the San Jose Mercury News can easily go over $1,000? I think that is borderline abuse, but, we still wanted to get the mesage out in the Bay Area's largest newspaper. We used some of the memorial funds to pay for the funeral expenses; cremation, ceremony, obituary,etc.. We also made two large contributions to LLS and Be The Match in Rachel's honor. We have also set up two long term memorials in Davis that we are very excited about. The first one is donating a new hand-carved sea turtle that will display Rachel's name to the Delta Breeze Carousel located in Central Park in Davis, CA. I have posted a picture of the work in progress in the photo section of this website for those of you who are interested. Our kids used to ride this carousel and Rachel and I used to enjoy going to the Farmers Market in Davis on Saturday's whenever we would visit. It means a lot to us to be able to help the city replace one of the animals and have a lasting memorial of Rachel in such a special place to us: Here is a link with a picture of the carousel: http://daviswiki.org/The_Flying_Carousel_of_the_Delta_Breeze.
We have also recently used some of the funds to pay for a park bench dedication in Northstar Park in Davis overlooking the duck pond and playground where we spent so much time with our family and just across from the soccer feilds where Rachel played so many games growing up in Davis. There will be a plaque on the bench with Rachel's name and the quote from Winnie the Pooh author A. A Milne, “If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever." It's a beautiful spot and less than a five minute walk from Linda's house. I will be sure to post pictures once the bench is in place hopefully within the next few months. We also used some of the funds to take the kids on the Disney trip in December which was a great time and very healing for all of us being in such a magical place together. Rachel really wanted to get one last trip in with the kids at the end to Disneyland and unfortunately she was just to weak to do it. As the kids reminded me when I tried to convince them that Hawaii was a better option, "Mommy promised!" We definitely felt her presence throughout the trip.
I am in sales and I have been fortunate to be able to provide a comfortable living for my family up till now. That said a large chunk of my income comes from commissions and there are a lot of peaks and valleys associated with the cash flow. In today's economy the valleys definitely outnumber the peaks. One huge thing I was able to do is to finally refinance my home. We purchased in 2007 and have been stuck with a very high rate since that time due to the loss of equity we experienced after the housing market collapsed. Using a combination of good timing (rising market in SJ) and use of some of the funds to buy back a bit of equity we were able to complete a refinance down to a respectable 3.625% (down from nearly 7%) that will save have us a lot of money and make raising my kids in this house much easier. I spoke to Rachel about moving somewhere else should she die in order to be closer to family to help out with the kids - she really wanted us to stay here and live in this house. I can't imagine being anywhere else. Her presence is everywhere from the roses she cared for to the polka-dots she hand painted on Katie's walls. This means so much to be able to have a mangeable mortgage that will give me the financial flexibility I may need to care for the kids. You guys are the best! I can never thank you all enough. This is a long overdue Thank you to you all. I hope that by sharing what your support has provided for Rachel's memorial and our family that you can understand how much it really, really means to us! Your love and support has had such a huge impact!
We love you all!
Rachel would100% love being represented as a sea turtle!