with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Telling Maureen About Dahni

On a personal note, I couldn’t sleep last night, going over and over how hard it was to tell my friend, Maureen, about Dahni’s death. A lot of emotion I’d kept under control was bubbling out around the edges. I miss his presence so much – he was everywhere in our lives all the time. Brent understood and when he came to bed, he held me tight and giggled. I asked him why he was laughing and he told me that he was laughing about how much he loved me. Confused, I wanted more, so he explained how incredible our love was. How it was still such a surprise how big it was, and how deep. He started talking about how we met and some of our earliest intimate moments together and how overwhelming those "feelings" were for him. He’d never really been touched by someone, a back massage or holding hands and such, and how he relished every second experiencing all these new sensations of just having someone near. And how incredible it still felt, over ten years later, to still feel that jumble of emotion every time we touched. It is comforting and exciting at the same time.

Brent and I have been through so much, it amazes me how intimately he knows me, understanding what I need and what I don’t, even before I do. He has been a brick through all of this, suffering along with me, giving me space when I need it and crowding me with love when I need that. We’ve made his "coming home" time even more special. I sit on the floor and he sits in his desk chair at the kitchen table and we talk for at least 30 minutes, covering all the minutia of his day and then mine. I love his favorite phrase about his work: "I spent the day grinding water." With all the game playing and negotiating involved in his engineering work, getting the different groups to cooperate to get the simplest of things done which become complicated within the game, there are a lot of days when he really feels like he is spinning his wheels in the sand, going nowhere. But I love the phrase "grinding water". No matter how hard you work at it, it is still water when you are done.

I am the luckiest lady in the world to have such a passionate and understanding husband. Honestly!

Wow, avoiding confrontation with loss can make a person really productive. I’ve just finished two weeks of hard work to completely revise our entire web site. While the surface cosmetic changes have been few, a little moving around of the logo and cleaning up of the left menu, under the hood I’ve made dramatic changes.

In an attempt to make this site even more accessible, while moving forward with current web standards – and making future improvements and changes to the site even easier – I’ve done away with the restrictive presentation format using tables. There is a lot of information on the Internet about how to do this process, fully embracing the power of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to handle the presentation and layout of a web page, so I’ll avoid a lot of babble about it here. But I will say that it was a lot easier than I thought, once I got a handle on the process. The time consuming part came as I checked EVERY page of the almost 400 web pages on my site to make sure that all those global search and replaces of code did what they were supposed to do, and to remove a lot of the tables within tables and clean up the formatting.

The results? These pages should load tremendously faster and be able to be viewed easily on must about any kind of machine and browser. I’ve also made great improvements to our web page design when it is printed, AND when viewed with a handheld computer. Go on, print a page and see the difference.

I still have a bit of work to do to clean up the few data tables I have left that honestly, don’t need to be in tables, and cleaning up the Gallery display of our images. I will probably let all my creative juices flow on those pages for a change, instead of using the simple, clean look of the rest of these pages. Stay tuned for color and creativity there!

Tel Aviv, Israel

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