Alex This is Your Life…So Far (Part 2)
This is the Second and Final part to the previous post…
“Alex, this is your life…Our first guest should be a familiar voice from high school.”
Back in early December I received a package from my high school friend, Andrea, who was a fellow “drama geek” (yes, I was a “drama geek”…but all the hot girls were in drama…so lay off…yes, I’m saying that I had ulterior motives for being a “drama geek”…you didn’t realize I was so shallow did you? it all worked out though…have you seen my wife? I’ll just point out what I said at our wedding reception, “Thanks for coming to my induction into the hot wives club”). In the package was a letter from Andrea and several self-made “get well” cards that as it turns out were from her sunday school kids. I wanted to share a couple excerpts from the letter she sent
“I think growing up together in Auburn bonds us in a very unique way and I often think fondly of the time we spent together in Fouhy’s (our drama teacher was Mr. “Fouhy” as in “Hong Kong -“Phooey”) plays. I know those experiences helped to shape me into the person I am today. I am so thankful and you are such a large part of that, I hope you know that. Your sense of humor and laugh are things that mark my memories of high school and I so appreciate those memories.”
“Enclosed are a few cards that my Sunday school students wanted to send you. They are a group of 5th and 6th graders and I shared some of your blog with them to talk about faith and prayer. Of course they were totally taken with how “cool” you are. I hope reading their cards reminds you how your spirit touches those outside your circle and how much we are all praying for you. We are all connected with each other in more ways than we realize.”
Special thanks to all the “kids” from Andrea’s sunday school class who sent the cards. They definitely made me feel better and I was very touched by them and Andrea’s letter. When I was up north I got to see Andrea and reconnect with both her and her sister, Lisa, whom I was also very close with in high school.
“Alex, our next guest is both a familiar voice from high school and your college years”
When word first spread about what was going on with me, I received a lot of encouraging messages from my college roommate Jared and his wife, Beka, who at the time I had never met. Jared is one of the funniest guys I’ve ever known, but I lost contact with him after college. When we were roommates in the dorms (at the University of Washington) my freshman year, everyone on our same floor, loved playing one another in online video games (this is when that whole craze first became popular…and possible…as broadband wasn’t fast enough before then), and Jared was one of those guys that would get really into his video game playing (let’s just say he was very vocal). One time I secretly recorded him playing and took the recording and turned it into a techno song. In my humble opinion, if Youtube was around then, Jared would be a viral sensation…it was that funny.
Jared and Beka sent us a care package early on and it was right before then that I stumbled across their blog www.theanardis.com. After I read it, I learned that there was definitely a feeling of solidarity that they were feeling towards Amy and I. Right after Beka gave birth to their first baby, Anthony, almost 3 years ago, she woke up and couldn’t feel her legs. The doctors told her that it was probably still because of the drugs and waited until the next morning when she still couldn’t feel her legs to do some further investigation. Beka had an MRI and the doctors discovered that there was actually a tumor pressing up against her spinal chord. She then went and had an immediate surgery where they were able to remove the tumor but to this day she still hasn’t regained feeling in her legs. They’re about to have their second child, a girl, any day now and Beka and Jared’s attitude has become a total inspiration to us even though she has had to be in the wheelchair for three years now. They brought us on board the “hope train” with them and it’s the best ride there is, no matter your circumstances.
I am so grateful to have reconnected with Jared and been able to get to know his beautiful family. Their care package was great and filled with lots of love and words of encouragement and even had little things that Jared had remembered about me, like my love for Sour Patch Kids (which Amy and I share) and “Would You Rather?” books. It also had a comfy blanket that Amy and I and the Moms all fight over.
“Alex, for our next segment, we just want to show you, how much the Pacific Northwest misses you.”
Several of us in the Moore family have birthdays in the month of January. My birthday is the 14th which fell on a Saturday this year. It was just before I needed to head back down to Los Angeles so we decided as a family that it would be great to have something for a few friends and family to come to and celebrate. I threw something up on Facebook, only expecting 12-15 people to come (I’m not being falsely modest here), but we ended up having almost 40 people come, including my father-in-law “Pops” and my good buddy “Timmay” who both flew up from SoCal to spend the weekend with me. I was super excited to show them the Seattle area. We checked out the Experience Music Project which had a Nirvana and Grunge exhibit (which was right up our alley). They also had an exhibit all about the movie “Avatar” (also right up our alley). Before that, I took them to Dicks, the local greasy spoon in Seattle. Dicks is my favorite restaurant by far and is not only a source of fond memories in college but also of my dad. He loved to stop by Dicks to get a shake every time we were in the Seattle area. Timmay and I also checked out the top of the Space Needle (it was freezing!). The next day it snowed but that didn’t stop us from showing them the “touristy” version of Seattle. I took them to the Pike Place Market where they saw some fish throwing, the famous “Gum Wall”, and the original Starbucks. We had lunch at Lowell’s in the market which has a stunning view of the waterfront. After that we had to go back to Queen Anne which wasn’t going to be the easiest thing considering that it was snowing and Queen Anne is home to some of the steepest hills in Seattle. After a little creativity we were able to get back up and meet everyone at Via Tribunali (a cool restaurant that specializes in Napolitano Pizzas) to celebrate my birthday.
Here’s a little vid of me at the “Avatar” Exhibit at the EMP.
I was very humbled by the turnout of the party. It definitely felt like the after party to my own personal episode of “This is Your Life” as I would turn one way and see lots of family, then turn slightly to my left and see friends from growing up in Auburn, then turn to my right and see a ton of good college friends. At the same time I was getting happy birthday text messages and Facebook messages from people from all parts of my life. It was definitely a special and unforgettable day and it seemed to spill into the next day as we headed down to Auburn, making a couple very important stops (first at “U-Dub” campus where I went to college, then at the grave of Jimi Hendrix) along the way. I got to show Timmay and Pops the house I grew up in and see my nieces Hannah and Emma and nephew Daniel one last time (and of course my brother Nate and sister-in-law Cami) before taking off the next day for Los Angeles. Although I was very excited to get back to see Amy…It was bittersweet to leave the Northwest as I could literally feel her (the Northwest) giving me a goodbye kiss with a cool breeze that I felt right when I entered the Sea-Tac airport. It was as if she (the Northwest) was saying to me, “Alex, this is your life…so far…and we couldn’t be prouder of you (we emphasize “so far” because we know that you still have plenty of years left).” I certainly felt this in the way I was able to reconnect with old friends and family. I also got to go through old photo albums when I was at home and it brought back so many memories. Looking back was something I’ve never been able to really do until now and it feels good knowing that those “that knew me when” are all on the “hope train” with me as I move forward with a new appreciation for my life and those in it. The other thing I noticed as we left Auburn on our way to the airport is that it no longer smells like s***, which is what I was hoping would happen in a figurative sense with this trip (I guess it kinda makes sense though since there is no longer a dairy farm on the outskirts).
Prayer request: Clear Scan for my MRI on Feb. 22nd.