The Kofford Family relocates to Colorado after 40 years as Californians. In December of 2007, Grandma Lorraine is diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. Sadly, she passed away on Dec. 26th, 2008 after a year long courageous battle. Follow our journey as we keep Lorraine's memory alive, and as we learn to appreciate that each day we are given, is a gift to be enjoyed!

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
~Maria Robertson

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mission Accomplished!

It was a dark and stormy night. The plane jumped and shimmied its way onto the runway. I arrived by the cover of darkness into Oakland, California. The rain came down in gusts, and my driver waited patiently circling the area. I was hidden under a long coat and hood, blending into the crowd, hoping no one would notice me, as my mystery visit had begun!

My driver, Paul, escorted me on the 30 minute drive through rain and traffic. We pulled into his driveway, and I ran inside hoping no one recognized the silhouette hidden under the coat. Inside, my presence would be known, so no secrecy would be necessary here. I received lots of hugs and hellos at my ‘safe house’ before the next leg of my journey. (Thank you DeClercq Family!)

Onto the covert mission…my driver leaves me at a mystery location. I watch my phone for the signal from my partner in crime (Thank you David!) that it is safe for me to enter…the time has come…I sneak inside and view a sea of faces…at last, the face I have flown 900 miles to see is before me…”HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHARLENE!”

Here are the Wileys! Ryan is on the left and he is 10 years old. Charlene sits beside him, (but I won't reveal her age!) and Megan, who is Ashlyn's BEST FRIEND in all the world is 6 years old. My partner in crime on this mission is Charlene's husband David, and we won't say his age either! hee hee

We enjoyed a wonderful surprise dinner at Hana Japan in Dublin! We loved watching our personal chef prepare all the food before us, and we got all caught up on the latest in our lives over dinner. I don't think Charlene and I ever took a was constant chit chatting and we enjoyed every minute of it together! Charlene and I have been best friends for years now, and when we see one another it is just like not a single day has passed! Talking , laughing, and of course lots of tears when we say, "goodbye" are now a part of our long distance friendship. Long distance or not, this friend will always be such a special part of my life!

David was a big help in arranging for me to fly in on my covert birthday mission! We were planing for months and scheming on how best to surprise Charlene! David had planned a whirlwind weekend for us girls that was full of fun!

David has a special place in our hearts for many reasons, but the best reason that Kyle will never forget took place many years ago. Kyle got his finger stuck in a plastic airplane. We had a 10 in. flying toy plane that had an opening just right for a small finger. Kyle managed to get his finger stuck in this whole when he was about 3 years old or so. It was around 10 p.m. and Tom was away that weekend. I couldn't get his little finger out, and didn't know what to do. Kyle was of course frantic, screaming and crying, and I had no idea to what to do. So I called our neighbors, hoping they wouldn't mind the intrusion so late at night, and guess who saved the day? David! He ever so patiently sawed away at the little wing on the plane, and 15 minutes later, Kyle was free! It didn't matter to David that it was 10 at night, but it sure mattered to us! His kindness helped Kyle and I during our evening of need and we will never forget it! :-)

Of course over the years, the Wiley's have been a BIG part of our lives. From family trips to Yosemite, Marine World..(there is a good story for another time!) to bringing us dinners when we sick, to hospital visits, carpooling, and caring for kids, they are there in ANY time of need. It's funny how some people are just "there" when you need them, before you can even ask. They show up ready to serve, help, and care, and the Wiley's are one of those families!

Our kids grew up together being next door neighbors for 9 years, and we have such fond memories of the boys climbing their log cabin houses to see one another over the fence! Charlene and I shared recipes over the fence, cups of sugar, and plenty of chit chatting! Our husbands shared tools, discussed BBQ tips, and we all enjoyed those years in our lives as neighbors! As our little daughers grew up, they too became the closest of friends! I know not having Megan in Ashlyn's daily life, has been one of the hardest parts of moving to a new state. I know it has one been one of the hardest for me!

I am determined not to let this family ever get away I see many more visits and surprise trips in our future! It is so nice to make new friends, but there is nothing like seeing a face that has been etched in your memory for years. What a wonderful weekend I had with the Wiley's, celebrating Charlene, and spending time together!!!

Megan showing me her fun Christmas toys so I could take lots of picutres to show Ashlyn when I returned home. Ashlyn was so upset she couldn't come with me on this trip, but I got lots of hugs from Megan to take back to her! The Wiley's children are just as sweet in person as they look here!

Ryan playing the clarinet for me during our 'sleep-over' on Sat. night! You played beautifully Ryan and I hope you will make a tape for me as you sounded so professional!

Thank you again for such a wonderful weekend! BIG thanks for allowing me to stay over, and for treating me like I were royalty in your home! I had a fantastic time...and will be planning my return...who knows the day or the time that Denise will show up on your doorstep... :-)


Wileys said...

Denise, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw you walk into that crowded room. It was my best birthday ever!!! Thank you for all the planning to make it so special!
Your kind words mean so much!!!!! We too have so many wonderful memories of our times spent with all of you! Thank you Koffords for your love and friendship over the years!!! You will always be a very special part of our lives!!!!

The Wileys

Lorri said...

Love it..."It was a dark and stormy night!" Perfect start! I'm so happy you got to do a California trip! Can't wait til I can too! Love, Lorri

Beth said...

Hi Denise and Family!

I've enjoyed hearing about your fun trips to California and the Rocky Mountains. Tom, I really enjoyed your photos. It was so good to see all of you out and about - and, Lorraine, it was so good to talk with you last week. Ashlyn, you keep up the good work in practicing the piano. You have very good hand position - your fingers look like little, prancing ponies! Perfect. I'm really looking forward to hearing both you and Kyle play.

Enjoy today and may it be a 4-star day for each one of you!!!!

Beth :o)