The Crays have had quite a year! Mom is still working on a research team to improve patient care in pediatric hospitals. Dad is still an avid volunteer at St. Christopher’s and is now training to be a Spanish medical interpreter. He is taking a class four times a week and likens himself to Rodney Dangerfield from Back To School.
David, Rebecca, and Michaela weathered Hurricane Ian down in Florida, even if their house didn’t. I pointed out to him that this was the second time he has been unhoused in his lifetime, due to house fires and hurricanes. Oddly enough, he didn’t seem to find that observation especially constructive...anyhow, this letter serves to say that whoever has a hex on David: It was funny at first, but it’s probably time to let him be… The good news is that he and the family have resettled in Cape Coral and are enjoying a house which hasn’t, to our knowledge, ever endured a storm surge. Michaela loves the new digs and enjoys running from room to room, distributing Kongs to the two family dogs
As for me, I’ve been rollicking through my “mid-youth crisis”. If anyone hasn’t tried looking for a new job and a house at the same time, I highly recommend it. It’s a frustrating yet effective way to build character, kind of like shoving bamboo rods under your fingernails. I think I have enough character now though, so if anyone wants to give me a house or a job in public relations, I’m all ears.
However, the real tough part of this year was having to say goodbye to Nanny Cray. She passed peacefully in April. She had that extraordinarily rare ability to love everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) and it was a privilege to be her granddaughter. Her absence is palpable and will be for a very long time.
On the upswing, I’ve just passed my two year anniversary with my boyfriend, Lambi. I must say, he’s quite the catch. He has a wonderful sense of humor, gets along with my parents, and is what I call a tall drink of water! Plus, he’s a veterinary technician, so he knows how to handle my biting fits. Reading this back, I know it’s going to bother him that I listed his sense of humor before his looks (“What are you trying to say, MISSY??”) But I’m going to leave it like that because I enjoy making him uncomfortable.
I would also like to call attention to the fact that he’s Greek. When people learn that, they always ask the same three questions:
- Does he come from a big family?
- Is it just like My Big Fat Greek Wedding?
- Did you know they’re making a third My Big Fat Greek Wedding?
To those questions, I say:
- Very much so, and they’re the best!
- Yes, (in fact, that was how he described his family prior to me meeting them) minus the exclusivity of non-Greeks and the Windex thing.
- Of course they are.
It’s been a challenging but ultimately good year, not the least of all because my health has been fantastic! There was a time where I was continually contacting my doctor’s office, to the point where I felt a restraining order would have been perfectly fair. Nowadays when I see my care team I say, “How are you guys? I miss you all! How about a chest X-ray for old time’s sake?”
With that said, we are still looking for new ways to treat, and God willing, cure cystic fibrosis. Right now, all that’s standing between me and my old life is a single medication. What’s more, there are many CF patients who don’t even have that. We’re still throwing ourselves into the search for a cure, and any help you can offer will help in this fight.
Click on the link below to donate:
For anyone who wants to donate by check, please make them payable to the "Cystic Fibrosis Foundation" and send to us at: Team Cray, 143 Brentwood Terrace, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
Let’s go win!
Love you all,
Mara and the Crays