After 5 days of sitting with my son as he had chemo that merged into a weekend where he was feeling way beyond miserable, it was time for a break. Bryon needed some time alone and I needed to step away from cancer and oncology, and focus on something different. 

I arrived in California the Saturday before Bryon started his chemo. I went to church with Bryon and Amber (Bryon’s sweet, sweet girlfriend) and met a lovely woman named Joy. She was raised in the South and has a sister who lives near Charlotte. She approached me and we talked about Cheerwine and pimento cheese and, of course, Bryon. I gave her my card and later on she texted me to check in to see how we were all doing. She made an offer, “If you need time away, let me know”. 

I took her up on it. Joy came and picked me up on Monday, took me to lunch and we chatted away about our lives. Joy is an artist too. She told me about being a screen writer and director of the Sugar Gang movies as well as the Mandie movies (that is so cool!!). Joy also paints and she took me to see what she was working on. Let me just say, the girl is good!

Then she took me to Eaton Canyon. We went on a short hike and she told me about watching out for rattle snakes as we walked down the jeep-sized dirt path. As we walked over a bridge, I looked out and there was a pair of sneakers hanging from a tree. I took a picture and wondered how and who put those sneakers in the top of that tree so far off the ground.

My new friend pointed down to the shallow creek and told me that it was unusual that there was water in the stream. “It doesn’t happen often,” she said. We walked further down the dirt path and made our way down to the creek.  It was lovely there. I pulled out my phone and took some more pictures. I took note of a speckled stone and Joy reached down and collected it for me.

It was a good day. Here are some pictures — I thought I would share them with you.

This is my break from my son’s cancer.