Greetings to all our family and friends,
What a year this has been! For those of you who I’ve been out of touch with recently, I apologize but think you will understand. I was diagnosed with a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in June. After many tests, I started my treatments and feel confident that I will do very well in the future but it has not been easy. Thankfully, mine is a very indolent form and responds well to a new drug called Rituxan. I also have a great medical team and have gotten incredible support from my family and friends—which I will forever be grateful for. Rory and I are both very optimistic about the future but it has been an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Despite everything, we look forward to a happy and healthy 2008!
There have been many good events this year as well. Our kids both started their senior years in school this fall. Jill is finishing up at UCSB and is anxious to apply to law school. She worked very hard this past summer taking the LSAT prep class prior to the exam this past September. She also plans to take one year off after graduation and work full-time before applying for the fall of 2009. In the meantime, she’s having fun checking out various programs in California and across the country. She moved into a cute house in Goleta last June with three other roommates and has had a great time with them. I have a feeling it will be bittersweet for her to graduate even though she’s very excited about her future plans. She has had a wonderful four years at UCSB.
Cody is a senior in high school and has also had a great year. He transferred back to Davis High from DaVinci and has really enjoyed it. DaVinci was a good experience for him but he missed his friends, most of who were still at Davis High. He has been very busy working on college applications this fall (the bane of senior parents), but is finally finished! He is very much looking forward to college next year too. Like Jill, I know he will also miss his high school friends. He had a wonderful experience this past summer going to France for three weeks with three of his high school friends. He spent a week in Paris and two weeks in Brittany (Bretagne). It was nerve-wracking for all of us parents to let the boys go but we also saw it as a huge growth opportunity. Cody gained so much self-confidence learning how to manage things on his own while there. It was a great prerequisite for college! He also recently got a ‘real’ job working in a fast food place (Hawaiian BBQ) across from UCD and loves it, despite the constant onslaught of students!
Howard family reunion picture from a composite of 4 pictures, measuring 6311 by 1888 pixels (70 by 21 inches at full size). You can pan and zoom to see all the details. Zoomify instructions: The Viewer has a toolbar of zoom and pan buttons. The Viewer also supports direct mouse dragging to navigate an image. And the Zoomify Viewer supports common keystrokes including the arrow keys for panning and the Shift and Control keys for zooming in and out. The controls may not show up in Firefox version 2. If you are having trouble in Firefox, reopen this page in Internet Explorer.
Rory and I traveled to Chapel Hill (south of Nashville) in Tennessee for my Mom’s family reunion in July. (Cody spent the week in Santa Barbara at ‘Camp Jill’ and had a great time too.) It was so wonderful to see my aunts, uncles and cousins—some of whom I haven’t seen in many years (or even met) as well as meet other Howard relatives. My aunt and uncle worked very hard to organize the reunion at Henry Horton State Park, near by their home. It was a beautiful location and the weather was perfect all week! We had fun doing additional sightseeing (and shopping) in the area after the reunion was over and really enjoyed it.
Rory continues working at UCOP in Oakland as executive director of medical services, which has its challenges for him, the commute being only one. He still travels extensively (I hope to join him occasionally once Cody starts college) but enjoys it. He has been my greatest source of strength and support while navigating my way through all my health issues. I’m a lucky woman.
As 2007 draws to a close, have a wonderful holiday and healthy, happy 2008!!
Love, Beth, Rory, Jill and Cody