Monday, October 18, 2010

October 18: A New Day +7 Part Two


Whew! It is late.... it's 1:32 am and I am just getting to the blog. We've been working through the night on material for the memorial that is now rapidly approaching! Due to the nature of entropy (the propensity for things to not go as expected in the universe), it took till this afternoon to get the location, minister, and musicians all on the same date and time. I had to put a bit more effort into locking everything down than I thought I would have to. This is the nature of what we humans call "hard." Aside from a describing a surface of something, there is no such thing as "hard." (I'm jumping right in this evening I guess!) There is only the amount of effort necessary to complete a task by the person completing it. When the effort is less than what we expected, we deem it "easy." When the task takes more energy/effort than we expect, we call it "hard." There are two variables in this equation that eliminate any action from being intrinsically hard or easy:

1) The person completing the task
2) Their expectation about the effort required to complete the task.

Change these, and you change the experience of the task. So, if you can't change #1, and you have to complete a task, increase your expectation of required effort. You will hit a magic mark where your expectation exceeds the effort put in, and you'll find yourself saying, "Hey, that was easy... which really means... that was easier than I expected."

Moving on...

We made some good headway with the memorial program. Music, readings, yougoogeleys, (again - watch Zoolander or at least look it up on for funny quotes)... it's coming along. We took the grandmas to the site of the memorial today, and they were excited about it.
Plus, our angel of a nurse, Renee, will be hosting the reception afterward! She lives all of a mile away from the Conservatory, and we came over today and witnessed just the most adorable home in Roseville. We are so fortunate to be surrounded by such generous friends.

Plus plus, we will have Rafi's dad, Brett, shooting HD video on a tripod for youtube! So, if you miss the webcast, it'll be up on youtube at some reasonable point after! I'll let you know, I promise! The webcast is also a "Go." I really hope it works.

We had a god day of (more) retail therapy today. It's an apartment full of shoppers, whattaya expect? I had to buy a suit for the memorial, and that was weird. I had to buy dress shoes as well as all mine are in CA still. That was a drag, but overall, the pain was much less, though the low energy persists. I feel a lot less pain in my chest than yesterday. I am grateful for that because I know that plenty of tough days are awaiting.

Okay, I am falling asleep at the desk. Gotta run. Look forward to feeling your presence on Wed. Much love to you all.

One day, Bella did say, "Yeah, I was born with this rare skin condition, but when they brought me home from the hospital, it went away."

God night.


  1. Thank you Tim for your constant updates, it is part of our daily ritual to sent a prayer for Bella and your family, and to read your blog. The letter to HCC was awesome. Church of the Foothills, Tustin also sends their love and prayers.

    Thank you for sharing Bella's service via the web and while we can't physically be there, we will be watching it online in some form.


    kristen and james

  2. Looking forward to being there with you all.... So glad you felt better yesterday. Thanks for the update. And Ali loved that fireman pole...we must have went down it 10 times! See you tomorrow.
    Much Love!

  3. heaveno!

    so thankful we'll be able to see the service tomorrow and participate in our own way. i know, as with everything else you did and continue to do for sweet bella, it will be inspired and inspiring!

    god bless y'all!
    w-s, nc

  4. Tim,
    Thank you for sharing with us the memorial of Bella.
    As I'm from Portugal's impossible to be physically present at the ceremony but I will do everything possible to monitor the internet.

    Every day I come here to read your words, they make me well ... make me believe that tomorrow will be better since we believe it.

    You are really incredible... Ang, Ali and Bella are very lucky to have you in their lives.

    You guys remain in my thoughts.

    A sweet kiss to you all.
    Sandra from Portugal

    PS: I forgot to tell you that I took the liberty of copying the picture of Bella for my blog(, I hope you do not mind.

  5. I'm glad that you'll have the memorial up on YouTube later... even though I'll be awake by then, it's probably not in my best interest to watch it live, (most likely) bawl my eyes out, then try and go straight to work. So yeah - I'll definitely watch it as soon as it's up and I'm not about to go work at 12 hour night shift...

  6. I'm glad things are falling in place! I'm excited for the YouTube post as I probably won't be able to sit down and watch the memorial online since that's when my girls will wake up...and 3 kids 3 and under don't like to watch anything but Noggin and Nick Jr :)

    Your comment about buying your suit brought me RIGHT back to a time when I was in MN in 2003. My brother, who was 28 at the time, had fallen from a loft in a cabin he was building. He spent a week in the ICU at North Memorial before they declared him brain dead. I was 26 and living in TX. Right after the accident my boyfriend (now husband) and I flew up there to be with him and my parents. After he passed away we had the 2 hour drive north to Brainerd, it was the weirdest thing leaving him at the hospital...seemingly alive since he was still hooked up to all the machines. He was an organ donor and he donated 5 organs that saved 4 peoples lives (what a gift!). On the drive home my family had to stop in St Cloud to go to the mall and find funeral clothes. Something NONE of us were expecting to have to do. I remember being with my mom at a store and telling the sales clerk that she just lost her son, and needed appropriate clothing for his services. Probably not the day the clerk at Lane Bryant had in mind.

    I can't relate how it feels to lose a child and hope I never ever (pray to God) EVER do. But I saw the anguish my parents went through in losing my brother. My mom has told me the pain is always as intense, she's just learned to deal with it in better ways. So time doesn't heal, but it sure can help.

    Sending love from Dallas

  7. Looking forward to being with you tomorrow. Not looking forward to the five hour drive with 2 kiddos and a teenager but I will take the opportunity to soak in the fall colors (what is left anyway).

    Sending my love to all and sweet kisses for Ali. (If you havent figured it out yet...yep this is how I am going to sign all of my comments) :)

    Denise WI

  8. Thank you for continuing to share with us your thoughts and feelings every day. And thank you for being willing to share Bella's memorial thru webcast and youtube. Although I plan on attending Bella's memorial here in CA, It will be great to feel like I'm there in MN as well.

    Lots of Love,
    Amber, Craig, Malorie(2 1/2), and Liam(9 mos.)
    The McLaughlin Family
    Moreno Valley, CA

  9. will we come to this site to watch the webcast? I'm not sure how all that works.

  10. I can't tell you how happy I am that you were able to work out the webcast AND that you will have it on youtube! I know it will be nothing short of amazing and I am looking forward to being there (via the web) with you all. Glad that Grandma and Nanny are there to be with you three during this time. Love the amount of shopping going on over there and I am sure you will look great in your new suit and shoes.
    Retail therapy is my favorite kind :)
    You guys are going to look so chic when you come home in all your new duds!
    Always in our thoughts and prayers.
    The Vanderbooms
    P.S. If there is anything we can do over at the Orange house to prep for you guys to come home, please let us know.

  11. Thank you so much for continuing to include us on this journey that so many hearts are now attached to permanently. I was on the Como Observatory website last night, and the layout/description of the Enchanted Gardens sounds absolutely reads:

    'The Enchanted Garden is a haven for the butterflies of Como Park....Come walk amongst the butterflies in this beautiful garden.'

    Wow...reading that I got BELLAFLIES in my heart...I can't wait for the day when she greets us all and tours us around on the streets of gold. I miss her so much, but I am thankful for the times we smiled together...nothing can ever take that away from me. May God's peace surround you, Ang & Ali, both emotionally and physically...thank you for your inspiration and thank you Bella for everything you are teaching us.
    with all our love,
    nicole b & family

  12. ps...per Sara's request #3 (from her blog) to wear fabulous socks 1x a week...I wore my fabulous socks from the CHOC Walk to bed last night...and I have another pair of fabulous socks on today (its POURING & thundering raing over here...which calls for boots & fabulous socks!)

  13. I have officially read this blog from the beginning. AMAZING story. Amazing live Bella lived, and still shares. Thank you for sharing your life, it touches people, so many who may not comment. There is a picture of you and Bella from January 9. It says it all, Bella looking straight into the hearts of so many, and you her daddy doing nothing but loving. Thank you for sharing.
    Peace tomorrow.
    Jessica, mommy to Alex RTS

  14. Thank you for sharing with us all your thoughts, feelings and shopping!
    Praying for strengh and a peaceful memorial.
    I hope it is not too difficult to connect to the webcast. I'm quite ignorant about computers ...
    Lots of love,

  15. Hi, sweet family...

    Wishing you a day tomorrow as special as the little girl whose life you will be celebrating. I know this will be an important step on your journey toward healing, and I just pray that you will be filled with the peace of the Father. Please know that those of us who have grown to adore Bella and her precious family will be enveloping you with our love.

    Blessings to you all!


    A friend in NC

  16. Still praying for you all. May you find comfort and peace during these hard days ahead. We all are keeping you in our thoughts.

  17. Thank You for continuing to share with all of us. I so wish I could be there, but will watch and be there in spirit.

    (I had a small scare last night and had to go to the ER (I am fine) I sat quietly in a curtained off area (alone) waiting for tests, tired and pretty darn scared. I was staring at nothing when I notice the BUTTERFLY shape on the curtain around my ares! I knew I would be just fine after that! I will tell you I looked and looked and told myself "You just want that shape to be a butterfly" But nomatter how I looked at the shape it was a butterfly!) Thank You Bella!

    Tina in NJ

  18. I remember buying a skirt for my dad's funeral. I was 21, I didn't know that I didn't have to buy socks and underwear for him to wear under his suit for the viewing. So I did. There are things you don't forget doing Tim, aren't there? I have such a pain in my heart as I read your words, while I am lifted and inspired by them in ways that make me feel like I can be a better person I still can't get past the unimaginable thought of how I'd find the strength to stand at a memorial for my child.

    I will so be with your family in spirit tomorrow, I will think of Bella everytime I see a butterfly. I will teach my daughter about perserverance and the will to fight regardless of what your 'odds' are and I will tell her about Bella.

    Kelly from Canada

  19. I miss writing to Miss Bella but I want you to know I am praying for your sweet family each day. Your dedication to your family is so wonderful and your love shines through. I LOVE to see the smiles on your faces through pictures. Through sorrow, we can find joy. You and your wife show us this. I am thrilled the service will be online. I will certainly be watching and blessed to see it.

  20. Tim and family,

    I can't imagine how hard it will be, waking up tomorrow to face a day that should never have been. And yet, you continue to share Bella with all of us! I am honored that you would find a way for "the rest of us" to join you as you celebrate your daughter.

    It was a perfect fall day in Colorado, and I thought of all of your descriptions of the trees in Minnesota. In the car, the kids and I like to find the most "beautiful" tree. We all have different ideas of what that looks like, describing the colors we like best. It's silly, really, because we start saying things like, "I liked the one back by the stop sign best," but I love being so present with them. I'm sure Ali is blessing you with moments like that, because it's a gift children share so freely.

    I heard a song today by Superchick, called "Still Here." I imagine that the place you are in might feel like this at times.... Here's a bit of the lyrics, if you haven't heard it:

    Cross through the night
    I looked down and lost my way my light
    Brought to my knees
    Though the dark surrounds it pulls me down
    I do not sink beneath

    Still here
    Staggering on
    Through the impossible
    We remain
    I can breathe one more day
    Still here
    Still fighting on
    All we have is today
    Find my way
    To the beauty of one more day
    Still here

    Hope fades away
    When tomorrow holds no promises today
    Then today I am set free
    For amidst the tears amongst the fear
    I find the joy to be

    Tim, you amaze me with your ability to find beauty in all of this. I can only guess that tomorrow's service will be a testament to your amazing love for Bella. I pray that you all find great strength in those around you, even the ones you can't see!

    Karen Steiner
    Denver, CO

  21. Tim,

    When I read your post about things being 'easy' and 'hard' and the adjustments one must make in order to give each their space, I was reminded of my elementary school days in Scotland approximately three million years ago. We had a teacher who, upon hearing us whispering 'This is hard', in quivering voices over some nasty maths problem or English conundrum, would say, 'This [maths/English problem] is not hard. It is DIFFICULT.'

    Then, with great gusto, she would whack us over the head with a ruler (not joking), and state triumphantly, 'Now, THAT was hard.'

    The mad teacher lady drew a strict and determined line between the abstract notion of 'difficult' and the solid physical presence of 'hard'.

    At the time I thought she was insane.

    Now I see that she was right. 'Hard' is for tables, slabs of granite and Himalayan mountains. 'Difficult' is for everything else.

    Whichever, we need all the words we can get to honour Bella and her family as tomorrow comes and goes.

    Tomorrow, Bella will move on another step. And it will indeed be 'hard', 'difficult' and/or any other adjective from the tough words dictionary.

    But I feel such joy, even during the troughs, from all of you Ringgolds and from all of the web friends who gather round you tonight in preparation for tomorrow.

    Wish I could one day have told Bella the story of the mad teacher lady. I have the feeling she'd have laughed.

    Tim, you and Bella and Ang and Ali have all taught me so much about the choices we are each given regarding the shape and colour and flavour (as it were) of our lives during moments of crisis. We have choices in the way those moments look.

    And tomorrow, I choose not to have a hard or a difficult day. I choose to honour your daughter, your beloved Bella, from the west coast of Canada, during what is promising to be a beautiful day. I shall shout from the rooftops in celebration of her short but rich and well-lived life. And I shall be happy. For all the gifts that she and you, her family, have brought to me, I shall be grateful.

    As the day of her remembrance celebration approaches, I send you every last ounce of fondness,


  22. Tim & family,,condolences from Graceville,Fl.I have been following,your blog for a short time,but Bella and your family have stolen my heart.I dont know much about webcasts,,how can I join in from my computer?I very much would love to view the memorial here from Florida tomorrow?I read your very inspiring posts every morning.My love,thoughts and prayers are with you all at this very difficult time.I have my box of tissues right next to my computer.

    Much love and hugs

  23. P.S>..thank you so much for sharing with us your journey.

    Much love..Margieann