Thursday, April 25, 2013

Head for the Cure: May 11

What are you doing in the morning, Saturday, May 11?

If you're in North Texas, I hope you'll join us for Head for the Cure 5K!

You can walk the distance or run it. Or a combination of the two. You can show up to cheer for runners and walkers. Or just to say hello!

We've got a great team so far, and we'd love for you to join us!

If you can't make it but still would like to participate in finding a cure for brain cancer, you can donate to our team. So far we've raised $725! As Steve would say ... Yee-haw!

All money goes toward the Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative through the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and the Legacy Brain Foundation in North Texas. In two years, North Texas has raised over $350,000! Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this effort!

Use this link to register for the race and be sure to choose Run for Steve Damm when you choose your team!

Use this link to donate to the team.


Aunt Ami and Uncle Rich put together a team in memory of Steve for last month's race in Austin. Here's a photo of some of that group. Thank you, Run for Steve runners --21 strong in Central Texas! Woo hoo!

Doesn't the Steve/Fletch shirt (designed by Layne Smith) look great in green?!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


This week I turned 41. Though 40 is a big milestone, and friends last year made my whole birthday week an extravagant celebration, 41 is even more significant to me.

Our sweet Steve's body gave out a few weeks before he reached 41.

I hope you never catch me complaining about the privilege of celebrating another year.


When we were in Austin earlier this year for Cooper to attend Boy Scout merit badge college, Betty, Katie and I explored some fun shops on South Congress.

While I walked across the street to fetch some Hey Cupcake! cupcakes (home of the best carrot cake ever), Katie and Betty returned to one of my favorite shops, Tesoros Trading Co., and apparently chose all kinds of treasures. Jim & Betty gave them to me last Sunday when we celebrated together. And we ate delicious (& beautiful!) cake.


The night before my birthday, Katie quizzed me.

"What time do you go to bed?"

11 or 11:30

"When do you wake up?"

6 a.m.

You could see her mind active with plotting.

When I woke at 6 a.m., the kitchen table was set with pretty plates and napkins plus gifts (gifts acquired on multiple shopping trips with our dear friend Liz, who every year makes my birthday as over-the-top as Steve would have done). A "Happy Birthday" banner hung from the mantle.

I went into Katie's room. She was awake, awaiting my arrival and hollered, "Happy birthday!" 

"Katie," I said, "How did you set the table? It was empty when I went to bed!"

"Well, I woke up at 2 a.m., and I thought, 'This is too early,' so I prayed to God that He would wake me up at 5:30 and it worked! He woke me up at 5:38!"


After this tragic week -- Boston bombings, explosion in West, Texas -- I am even more thankful for the gifts of friendship, family, extravagant love and undeserved grace. 
At Steve's bench: Tyra, Katie & Cooper, April 21, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boots to fill?

In June 2006, when the only blog I kept was our family blog, the one Steve would later name "our happy blog," I posted a photo of almost-5-year-old Cooper.

He was playing in the family room. He had taken apart baby Katie's floor mat, building cubes and then a tower. And he put on his Daddy's boots.

Click here to see that photo, plus a chubby-cheeked baby Katie.

Fast-forward almost seven years: Cooper is now a den chief through Boy Scouts, which means he helps lead a Cub Scout den. He goes to their pack and den meetings, helps with planning, offers guidance to the younger Scouts and encourages them to continue on to Boy Scouts. This weekend, he gets to go to Cub World, a big festive camping weekend.

The theme is cowboys. He'll wear blue jeans, a plaid shirt and a straw cowboy hat. And he'll wear his Daddy's boots -- this time not for dress up. He actually fits those men's size 11 boots.

I can hear Steve now: "Yeehaw!"
Cooper in June 2006, age 4; Cooper in April 2013, age 11

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Heaven on earth

March 31, 2013
When Betty took this photo Easter Sunday morning, Uncle Jim gently corrected her for taking the photo with so much light behind us.

I think the image is just right. I love the bright light, I love our joy, I love those tulips -- my favorite flowers, I love that Cooper and Katie are so healthy.

And it brings to mind another photo, taken the morning of Steve's memorial service. Aunt Ami took this one.

Sept. 12, 2009
Oh, my heart. Look at how tiny our babies are. Seven-year-old Katie is now almost as tall as Cooper was then. And our now-11-year-old Cooper ... I'm reminded of Will Pry's words during the memorial service -- he's got his Daddy's long legs.

That 2009 photo reflects about 18 months of fitful sleep for me. By August 2009, I was surviving on about four hours pieced together each night. I hadn't had a haircut in who knows how long.

When Steve would allow himself to wonder aloud how I would manage our family without him, I would always tell him that I would be fine. And I wasn't just saying what I thought he'd want to hear. I instinctively knew that Cooper, Katie and I would be OK.

And somehow we are. Certainly not without stumbles and scares and doubt along the way.

I sometimes struggle with taking risks or making changes as the only adult in the house. I continue to rely on help from others. (I expect I always will.) I still don't get quite enough sleep. (But when I do sleep, it's solid, soul-restoring sleep.) Our lives will never be perfect. (Of course, we were never promised perfection.)

Overall, though, I'd say that the three of us are doing the best we can without Steve. And when I look at that Easter photo, I see little glimpses of heaven on earth.

Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
(Psalm 30:5)