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The last we heard from Allie was from the floor of the Dubai International Airport.

Then complete radio silence for 24 hours as she traveled through Kenya, Zambia and Malawi.

Our kids were all born in France.

We’ve traveled the world.

Didn’t matter.

Biting our nails…as our kids were spread out from somewhere deep in Africa, to a steep mountain bike trail in Durango, and then a cold, radiation table up in Denver.

The next morning Allie’s host family (Laurel’s, rather adventuresome, dear high school friend from Ivory Coast Academy) emailed Laurel with, “We have Allie!”

Heavy sigh of relief.

Not so.

The attached photo was of some other girl.

Not ours.

Laurel’s heart skipped a few beats.

Minutes later…

A new photo came through with “our” Allie, both thumbs up, a sloppy, jet-lagged, silly grin on her face, and the caption, “Just kidding!”

Yeah, she made it safe; and appears will enjoy much prank and laughter during this African adventure.

Teddy’s radiation chapter in this journey has come to completion. He stamped his painted handprint against the therapy wall to seal the deal…like so many others who had preceded him.

Chest port’s been removed as well.

He had chosen to “walk” to the operating room (no gurney), “without” mom and dad, and got up onto the operating table according to his own good will and strength.

He then woke up from surgery stating emphatically, “I was born ready. I’ve got places to go and people to see!”

The tumor has swollen from the radiation slowly shutting down his neurological highway.

Side effects less than pleasant.

Pumping him with steroids to decrease the pressure…

…hoping that everything returns to normal.

We head back up the Gun Barrel to Denver in three weeks for a neuro-exam; then three weeks later for the first MRI.

We’ll have a better idea then if it worked.

Back home on the ranch, it’s cod in truffle oil; sea salt and cracked pepper…and cousin Justin who tends to break out in uncontrollable, hilarious laughter at a moment’s notice.

He’s taking a breather here in the mountains from Texas A&M for spring break.

Spooked a herd of elk at sunset on my bike.

Crackling fire in the stove.

Just missing Allie, but thrilled she’s helping sick kiddos in a clinic somewhere on the other side of the world. Earlier today she accompanied a local doctor to a youth group of kids inflicted with HIV and impaired hearing.

I’m sure it forever changed her life, as she knows it.

So grateful.

Ever living in the moment…

Steve, Teddy’s Dad

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Joy Imel
By Joy Imel
Thought of "born ready" Teddy and all of you today, and stopped by Caring Bridge to check in. When I've seen Laurel at AHS, I've wanted to say something or do something helpful or meaningful, but hesitate - considering that maybe just getting out and doing your normal thing sometimes takes heroic effort, and perhaps the need not to talk with people who don't know you well, yet who care. You are in my thoughts.
Joy Imel
By Joy Imel
Thinking of "born ready" Teddy, and all of you. Whenever I see Laurel, I want to say something or do something, and hesitate - considering that maybe just getting out and doing your normal thing must sometimes take heroic effort, and perhaps the need for a break from questions from folks who don't know you well, yet who care. I want you to know you're in my thoughts. I hope Teddy's body is catching up with his incredible spirit.