Friday, November 27, 2009

Benefit Concert...

I have said it before...I am continually amazed at the love and support shown from family, friends, and strangers. I truly appreciate all of the contributions made to the Sara Sullivan Memorial Fund from around the world.

A friend of the family has organized a benefit concert in Houston, with all proceeds going to Sara's Fund.

Here are the details...

Live Music by Runaway Sun (click below to hear their music)



AvantGarden
411 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77006

Friday, December 4 @ 8:00pm

$5.00 cover charge

If you are able, please come out and show your support.

Lauren, thank you for organizing this.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving...

Sara's family came to San Antonio to visit Chloe and me a few weekends ago. Though the initial emotions of them being back in our house were a little tough, we had a great weekend. As they pulled into the driveway, the GPS announced "Arriving at Aunt Sara and Uncle Brady's." This was not helpful to the emotions. On the way to San Antonio, Callie (Angie's youngest daughter) said, "Are we going to see Aunt Sara?" Everyone thought that she understood that Sara was in Heaven. Angie told her, "Callie, Aunt Sara lives in Heaven now." Callie responded, "Yeah, but she has been there long enough...it's time for her to come back." Tears flowed...

On Saturday, our squadron organized some "Holiday Jet Pictures" and Chloe enjoyed her first time in the cockpit.


After the jet pictures, we visited the San Antonio Zoo.

"Is everybody happy?!?"

On Sunday, we attended the grand opening of the Carl's Jr. in NW San Antonio. The Sara Sullivan Foundation was presented with a $500 donation from the "Making It Happen" Campaign. Thank you to Carl's Jr. and to everyone who came out to show your support.


The Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF) was the other recipient on Sunday, and I met some great people from their organization. I am now an honorary member of the ABCF and looking forward to getting involved and supporting their cause.

Chloe Grace was there, showing support for Team SaraSTRONG and her Momma.


Chloe started smiling this past week and she is getting cuter and cuter. I'm so thankful to have her in my life!

As the holiday season approaches, I know that there are going to be tough days ahead. When I signed up for our squadron holiday party and put '1' attendee, that was like a punch to the gut.

I am going to Houston for Thanksgiving to spend the holidays with my dad and brothers. As Thanksgiving approaches, I have found myself thinking of all that I have to be thankful for. Though there is lots of sadness in life right now, the "I am THANKFUL FOR..." list is very long and I am choosing to be joyful.

We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and I encourage you to take some time to reflect on all that you have to be thankful for. God Bless.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Making It Happen"

Last week, I was contacted by the "Making It Happen" Tour Team. The "Making It Happen" Campaign was created in 2008 by the parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's as their way to "give back" to the community.

There is a new Carl's Jr. opening in Leon Valley (NW San Antonio) and as part of the festivities, the "Making It Happen" Team has organized a week of benefits surrounding the grand opening of the new restaurant.

On Sunday, November 22, they are having a Breast Cancer Awareness Day and the Sara Sullivan Foundation will be one of the beneficiaries that day. If you would like to come out and show your support, we will be at Carl's Jr. on Sunday morning starting at 8:00am.

Carl's Jr.
7429 Bandera Road
Leon Valley, TX 78238

I was told that a "breakfast sampling" will be included for our guests. We hope to see you there.

Chloe - 10 weeks

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blooming and Seeing...

Following is a passage from Streams in the Desert...

November 9

Men will dwell again in his shade. He will flourish like the grain. He will blossom like a vine. --Hosea 14:7


The day ended with heavy showers, and the plants in my garden were beaten down by the pelting storm. I looked at one plant I had previously admired for its beauty and had loved for its delicate fragrance. After being exposed to the merciless storm, its flowers had dropped, all its petals were closed, and it appeared that its glory was gone. I thought to myself, "I suppose I will have to wait till next year to see those beautiful flowers again."


Yet the night passed, the sun shone again, and the morning brought strength to my favorite plant. The light looked at its flowers and the flowers looked at the light. There was contact and communion, and power passed into the flowers. They lifted their heads, opened their petals, regained their glory, and seemed more beautiful than before. I wondered how this took place - these feeble flowers coming into contact with something much stronger, and gaining strength!


I cannot explain exactly how we are able to receive the power to serve and to endure through communion with God, but I know it is a fact. Are you in danger of being crushed by a heavy and difficult trial? Then seek communion with Christ and you will receive strength and the power to be victorious, for God has promised, "I will strengthen you." --L.B. Cowman

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. -- Isaiah 41:10

As I thought about this passage, I was reminded how Sara and I were "ready for the storms." In a previous posting, I referenced the song called "Bring the Rain" by Mercy Me. Throughout the past year, the storms continued to rage, the rain continued to fall...but the sun always came out.

I also thought about how our yard looked when we moved into our house. The previous owners had moved out about a month prior, while San Antonio was in the midst of one of the worst droughts on record. Needless to say, our lawn and everything in the yard was completely DEAD upon our arrival.

After the first rain of the season, the yard still looked DEAD...and wet. However, as I looked out the window the following day, I was surprised to see a beautiful blooming plant with 100s of small purple flowers.

As I lay in bed last night, I thought about how Sara looked while she was in ICU on the ventilator. As her prognosis worsened, she was no longer receiving supplemental nutrition. When the brain stem compression occurred, her body immediately began to rid itself of all fluids. Her body was drying out as she was on the brink of death...similar to what the plants in our backyard were experiencing during the drought.

It took the rain and then the SUN, in order for the plants to be restored. The flowers bloomed and the sage was restored to its "full glory."

It took the raging storms and subsequently Sara seeing the SON in order to for her to be restored to her "full glory!"

As time goes by and things get a little easier, I think about the saying, "time heals all wounds." I am not sure I agree with that. I would say that "time makes wounds more bearable."

As the sun has come out after the raging storms, little Chloe is my "plant" that continues to bloom and blossom...and I am so thankful for her in my life. She truly helps to make the "wounds more bearable."


Next topic...SEEING.

Here is a letter that I received in the mail last week.

Dear Brady,


The San Antonio Eye Bank wishes to extend its appreciation to you for making the decision to donate the "Gift of Sight". Through the miracle of cornea transplantation, your wife's cornea donation has given sight to two people. Your compassion and desire to help others made this special gift possible.


Donating to help someone in need is a selfless act. To do so during a time of grief and mourning is truly humanitarian giving of the highest order. If it were not for donor families like you, we would not be able to restore sight to the thousands who wait in darkness for a cornea transplant.

Sincerely,

James Flores
San Antonio Eye Bank


My hope and prayer is that the two recipients of Sara's corneas will be able to "see the light" as Sara did, through her eyes...as if each day is a gift from God and that His love is all we need!

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." --John 8:12

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Two Months Old...

Chloe is 2 months old today, weighing in at 8.4 pounds. Here are some pictures from her most recent photo shoot (yesterday).


Dawn, THANK YOU for taking Chloe's pictures! http://web.me.com/dawnbraunphotography

Chloe got to experience her first airshow this weekend. She had a great time and enjoyed watching the airplanes. Her favorite part was the F-18 demo, which made LOTS of noise.

video
F-18 Demo

Utter Excitement to be at the Airshow

Chloe went to church for the first time this morning. She did good and I was happy to see that we could make it through an entire service quietly. She truly is a GREAT baby and I hope she continues to "behave" for the foreseeable future.

Church Clothes

In a previous post, I talked about Sara and I getting used to the "new normal" which our life had become (after her cancer diagnosis). I'm happy to say that as time passes, Chloe and I are getting used to our "new normal" and things are getting easier with each passing week. Thank you for your prayers and unending support.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Miscellaneous...

Here are some updated pictures of Chloe from the past week...

Sumo Baby

video

Happy Halloween

As most of you know, Sara and I thoroughly enjoyed our time in Japan. One of the reasons that we loved it there was because of the local families that we met. One such family is the Okuyamas. When Sara's mom was visiting us last September, Sara took her to a neighboring town of Misawa, called Towada City. In Towada City, they stopped at a small Cafe for some lunch. Sara was learning Japanese and attempted to speak to the shop owner in Japanese. Though Sara's Japanese skills were limited, and the owner's English skills were limited, Sara and Kaoru (cafe owner) had a great conversation. While in Japan, we learned that a smile transcends all language barriers (Sara was fluent). From this initial meeting developed an incredible friendship with the Okuyama Family.

Kimono
Gift from Momma Sato (Kaoru's mother)

Okuyama/Sato Dinner

Sara and Kaoru

Nori-san

Shou

When Sara and I left Japan, we encouraged some of our Air Force friends to keep up with the Okuyamas. They have done so and invited Nori, Kaoru, and Shou to Misawa Air Base on Halloween night to go trick-or-treating. When Kaoru asked Shou what he wanted to be for Halloween, he told her, "my best American friend, Brad Sullivan." I never anticipated someone dressing up like me for Halloween, but Shou did a great job (look closely at his name tag)...and I am honored.

"Mini-me"

Kaoru has a computer program that translates this blog into Japanese so she has been able to keep up with us since we left Japan. Okuyamas and Satos...WE MISS YOU!!!

On Sunday, Team SaraSTRONG had another showing at the Austin Komen Race for the Cure. Once again, the press took interest in Sara's story and interviewed us after the race (Chloe is getting famous).



video


I started back to work this week. I'm happy to be returning, but I have thoroughly enjoyed taking care of my daughter. She will be in great hands as I transition back to work. A friend of our family, Tracy, has offered to take care of Chloe. It's apparent that she loves Chloe as if she was her own child. For this, I will be forever grateful!

Thanks for checking up on us. Hope you like the pictures and videos. God Bless!