Visit Rebekah's Page to get updates, read messages and send messages to Rebekah and her family through comments. This is a public "diary" of a family whose little girl started a battle with inoperable cancer in April 2005. In December 2007 our house burned down. And in September 2009 Mommy was diagnosed with a terminal disease (a genetic form of ALS) that took her to Heaven in July, 2011, leaving Daddy and two young girls to make it on their own. Over several years of ups and downs, you will get into our hearts, minds and souls as we share joys and sorrows. It can sometimes be very difficult to read. We hope it is also uplifting. Please find joy in what you read here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Memorial Service on Youtube

Many have asked about the video of mommy's memorial service. I have put it up on youtube for you to see if you would like. Because of youtube limitations on length it is in multiple (7 plus 1) parts. There is a slide show that was shown at the service but it is hard to see there so I have put the slide show up separately as well.

You should be able to find all of the parts on youtube by searching for my youtube account name "adamsesq" or embedded below:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Slide Show


Monday, August 29, 2011

Mommy Is With Us

Sarah has always liked rainbows. She has drawn them for mommy a lot and before mommy died Sarah talked with her counselor about how rainbows reminded her of mommy. Mommy and I talked with the girls and we all decided that every time we see a rainbow we will think of mommy and know that she is with us.

Yesterday late afternoon I was sitting on the couch trying to recoup from an exhausting weekend with mommy's memorial service, church, shopping, etc. I looked up on the dinning room ceiling and this is what I saw:

I called the girls in and asked them to look up. "MOMMY!" they exclaimed. We sat holding each other and wept. To the bare eye it looked like a standard rainbow. Now as I look at the photo I see it's more than that, it's actually heart shaped. It may be a bit weird, but I could "feel" her presence as well.

I do recognize God's hand in natural things but this was more than that. As I "investigated" I realized it was far more. I traced the light back to the kitchen window and yes, there was a crystal vase in that window - a vase that has not been moved in quite some time yet we have never seen that before. "OK, seasons and sun angle change" I said to myself and I looked further. I looked to where the sun would have to be and realized the barn and a tree would be blocking the sun from that angle. Yes it was happening, but no there was not a purely natural explanation for it. I do, however, know how it happened. Thank you God. Thank you mommy.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Memorial Service Day

Mommy wrote this to the girls. I think, on this day, it is for all of us:

Dear Rebekah and Sarah,

I know that this is a sad time for you. I wish I could take all your sadness and pain away, but unfortunately I can't. But I promise you that it will get better. As time goes on, you won't cry so much and you won't think about Mommy as often. That doesn't mean that you love me any less and I look forward to the day when you don't have to cry about Mommy.

You can help Daddy and each other to not feel so sad and they can help you too. Other people who love you and me will be sad too. God didn't make Mommy sick, it is Satan (who is sometimes called the Devil) who caused Mommy to be sick. Mommy chose to continue to trust in God and lean on Him for strength, comfort and hope. God is good all the time.

Mommy isn't with you where you can give me kisses or tell me about your day or read me stories. But you can look up into the sky and talk to me. I will be watching you from heaven. Mommy misses you very much and I know that you miss me too. Keep all the wonderful memories of the time we spent together and the fun times we have had. Remember that Mommy is in heaven which is beautiful place and where I get to be with God and Jesus. Mommy doesn't have any more pain and I can walk and talk and sing and dance and I don't have to be in bed all the time. I will never stop loving you! When you get really sad you can get your heart blanket that Mommy made for you and wrap it around you and think about Mommy giving you a big hug.

I enjoyed baking with you. You always enjoyed baking cookies or cakes or breads with Mommy. Do you remember the time when we made cookies for the soldier who was fighting to keep our country free? He was very thankful for the cookies and for our thoughtfulness. Sometimes you even helped bake birthday cakes.

We have had so much fun camping together! We camped by the beach, and on the mountain and in the forest and even at our house. We have camped with family and we have camped with groups including the travelers where you got to help walk the doggies, Candlelighters Family Camp where you had buddies, Camp Agape, several different church camps and nafa with all of the adopted kids.

We have gone to the zoo, omsi and the children's museum. Do you remember going to the zoo at night with Katherine and Grace and their parents when we saw all the Christmas lights and rode on the train to see even more lights? Afterwards we went to a restaurant for a warm me up snack.

Keep learning about God and Jesus and one day a long time from now it will be time for you to come to heaven to be with Jesus, God and Mommy. You can always talk to Daddy about your feelings or anything that you want to talk about. And you can talk to Jesus any time you want to and ask him anything you want or tell him what you are thinking or how you are feeling. You can look up to the sky and talk to Mommy.

I love you with all my heart,


Monday, August 22, 2011

Please Remember Frances' Service

Please remember Frances' Memorial Service this Saturday. I have a recurring nightmare of no one showing up.

We are asking everyone that knew her to write something out to put in a book to the girls about who their mommy was and what she meant to you. We will have some paper to do that at the service but it would be nice if you could think about it ahead of time and have it written out. If you can't be there, would you please be so kind as to still participate in that part.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Memorial Service, Saturday, August 27th

Frances' Memorial Service is scheduled for Saturday, August 27th 2011 at 10:00 AM at Laurel Community Church, where daddy grew up and mommy and daddy where married. There will be a short coffee and tea reception afterward at the church. Please bring your memories and, if you can, something special about their mommy to leave with the girls.
For example a note or letter telling them a special story about their mommy.

Click Here for Directions To The Church

Please refrain from sending flowers that will soon die. Instead please consider contributing to Rebekah's Trust for her on going medical needs (not tax deductible) or to one of several charities (tax deductible) that Frances has chosen: FJC / The Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative; The ALS Association Oregon and SW Washington Chapter; or University of Miami Advancement Division, Dr. Michael Benatar's Familial ALS Research.
Details for these organizations are below.


Rebekah C. Adams Irrevocable Trust, Molly E. Mickley, Trustee
3305 SE Grant Street, Portland, Oregon 97214

The ALS Association Oregon and SW Washington Chapter
700 NE Multnomah St., Suite 870, Portland, OR 97232 Click "Donate" along the top banner.
In Memory of Frances Adams.

University of Miami Advancement Division
Post Office Box 248073, Coral Gables, Florida 33124
Please include a letter indicating that the donation is in memory of Frances Adams for Dr. Michael Benatar's Familial ALS Research.

FJC / The Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative
17 Bethea, Ossining, NY 10562-1620
Please indicated that it is for Ewing's Sarcoma research.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Good Day, A Frustrating Day

This morning we woke up, had a fun breakfast with some special "mommy debbie" pancakes (which are pancake made into letters of the girls names:)

We also did some bike riding around our circle. Daddy was able to get a bit of work done while the girls rode.

Around noon we headed to Prineville to see relatives and had a good day with cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. Folks we don't get to see too often and we love it when we do.

We were also very frustrated today. I guess the only way to put it is that nothing hurts more than people letting you down after listening to them tell you how much they care about you. All around us people are saying "if you ever need anything let us know, we want to help..." Well, honestly I don't take that to heart any more and I let it go in one ear and out the other. Why? Because of days like today. We had some serious disappointment over here with the girls not getting to go horseback riding like they were invited to do and then later uninvited. Yes, things come up but its hard breaking little girls' hearts.

But even more so because Jenelle and Blair tried to put together a work party at our house today to clean things up and give us something nice to come home to. The last few months of Frances' life took everything out of us just to take care of the inside of the house. It was announced on my facebook to all my 337 "friends" (many of whom have often uttered those words described above.) It was announced to Jenelle's 276 friends. It was emailed to all the people in the last church we have been able to call our church before mommy got so bad that we couldn't go anymore. And who showed up? ONE person besides Jenelle and Blair. Thank you TRACE! It feels awfully lonely to ask for help from over 500 people and not have more than one show up.

But now maybe you will understand and forgive me when I just plain old don't believe you when you say "If you need anything..."

08/14/11 Edited To Add: Apparently a few of you have taken my frustrations expressed here personal. The odd thing to me is that I cannot imagine how anyone who actually has helped us could think that I was talking about them. Please let me clarify. My frustrations are only with those that utter those words that have become so difficult to hear "If you need anything..." and then disappear and will never help with anything.

There are A LOT of you that have helped and the vast majority of you have never offered those words, you have just helped. You are not the source of my frustrations. In fact, it's those like you that have made an unbearable situation bearable for us. I apologize to you if you somehow felt I was talking about you.

But the others, the only thing I have to suggest is if you don't mean the offer, don't make it. Repeatedly having people turn you down after offering "anything" is far worse than no offer being made in the first place.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Going Home. Or is it?

As we get closer to the end of our trip people have been asking about our plans to return to Banks. They've asked "When are you going home?" I don't know the answer for sure and I have come to the realization that I am somewhat avoiding it. Maybe a bit more than somewhat. I don't want to return and face what is there.

As I think about it I am pretty sure that we don't have a "home" anymore. The place we left is not home without mommy. It will be again, in a while, but right now I don't feel like we have a home.


Sunday, August 07, 2011

By God's Grace

It has been a long day, a very long day. It is now nearly 10pm and I haven't been at the computer since about 6am. Before I go check emails, facebook, etc. I want to tell you about how God worked in our lives today.

Our goal today was to go to church with friends (Cindy and Kasey Knight)about 90 minutes away. We got up with what I figured was about an hour to spare. I figured that hour would be eaten up somewhere before we got to our friends home. We were out the door, still with that hour to spare. About 30-40 minutes down the road things started to happen. Actually what started to happen was that I reached for my wallet as we were nearing the gas station and I realized it was not there. In fact it was back in the trailer. We had no money nor credit cards. We didn't have time to go back and get it and still make it on time. And worst of all, we didn't have enough fuel to make it to our friends house and back to the trailer.

It was then that I remembered the gift card pouch. A few really nice people have given us some gift cards and we had those in the truck. Looking through them I found a $25.00 card to Shell which just happened (Godincidence) to be the station that we pulled into. The $25.00 bought 6 gallons which was just enough to make it so we could finish our trip for the day. God does provide and He used some of you to do it.

We made it to Cindy and Kasey's with that same hour to spare. From there they took us on a boat ride across Lake Chelan and then a several block hike to their church. Free coffee and Kasey bought the girls each a cookie made for a nice add on to breakfast. As we were getting to Cindy and Kasey's I was concerned about paying for lunch. My concerns were short lived when I found out that their church was honoring their pastor for 30 years of service and providing a full BBQ lunch. Not potluck, but everything provided. Free lunch! God does provide and he used a church body celebrating their well loved pastor to do it.

When planning this trip, just going to church with Cindy and Kasey was going to be a huge blessing. We thought maybe a little fellowship afterward and we'd be off. But they had another set of blessings in store for us. We spent the entire afternoon getting boat rides around beautiful Lake Chelan. The girls got to go tubing behind the boat as well as ride in their small pedal paddle boat. Daddy even got to take some time on a seadoo water bike. The girls also got to swimming in the lake with their life jackets on. Daddy even took one quick intentional swim and then another not so intentional when I tried to step onto a HUGE floating tube with Rebekah in my arms and missed. Rebekah and I both went into the water (her with her life jacket on.) She kind of freaked and first but all the way home that was all she would talk about; "Daddy and me go boom in the water." We were blessed beyond all measure to have the opportunity for such a day. THANK YOU CINDY AND KASEY!

As the afternoon got close to evening, and us still having a 90 minute drive home, we decided to head out. We had snacks in the truck to hold us over until we got back to the trailer for dinner. About 1/2 way home Sarah was asleep but Rebekah was complaining about being hungry. Guess what? There was a Subway right there AND we had a Subway gift card! Two lanes over and we were down the road to Subway. As we went in Sarah said she needed to use the potty and I walked back with her to make sure it was safe. As we walked into the bathroom Sarah said "I don't feel good" and threw up - in the toilet. Had we not decided to pull off and had the gift cards to do it, that would have been all over our new truck. I praise God for providing here again. I have such a problem with throw up that Frances used some of her last words to Sarah to tell her that daddy has a problem with throw up so if either of you get sick you might have to help daddy through it.

Rebekah and I shared a sandwich, Sarah decided not to eat and we headed out and made it home with more than enough fuel to be able to load up the trailer tomorrow morning and get back to our now favorite Shell station in this area. This time with a wallet. We got the girls to bed and I spent an hour or two packing things up in the truck, outside the trailer, and just getting ready to go in the morning. All of the timings have just worked out perfect and I can only thank God for such a full blessed day and still having time for everything else.

As I close, I do want to add that church was very hard for me. It was the first time I have been to church without mommy. Every song sung and every word preached was poignant and stung and I spent most of the service crying. I really didn't expect that at all but it needed done. During the BBQ afterward was the first time that I have told any strangers at all on this trip about loosing mommy. It just felt like a safe place. Thank you God.


Saturday, August 06, 2011

Apparently I'm Not A Good Mommy

We had a bit of a rough day today.

The morning was great with lots of riding around the campground, playing in the play room, looking at the streams, etc. We had lunch back in the trailer and then things went down hill.

I thought I'd spend just a few minutes seeing if I could get a wiring harness out from under the truck that I wanted to use to wire in some stuff in the bed. Those few minutes turned into two hours. The girls were patient but growing weary.

About the time we should have been starting dinner we decided to try and ride down to the lodge and get in a quick game of mini golf as we hadn't played that here yet and I don't know if we will get another chance. Upon leaving the ranger shack with the clubs a large german sheppard startled Rebekah and she tripped, sliding across the concrete and scraping herself up pretty good. I did my best to love on her and we tried to play a round. We got a few holes into it and Rebekah would not stop with the "I a little mad" and tears. I was still trying to love on her and reassure her as best I could. We even tried to look at the cool blood everywhere - didn't help. We gave up on the golf early.

She cried/sniffled all the way back to the trailer and I sat her down on the picnic table and loved some more. She kept saying she was mad. I asked her if she was mad at the dog, the steps or what? She said "I mad mommy not here." What I had been attributing to her normal mad at a situation was really SAD. And of course in hind sight it makes perfect sense as everybody wants mommy when they are hurting. Rebekah even told me she didn't want me, she wanted a new mommy...

I guess I'll never make a good mommy.



No, not Kansas and we are not in trouble.

Yesterday we visited nearby Leavenworth, Washington. A quaint little tourist village that they have turned into a German town. I've heard about it before but have never visited there. I thought it would be nice for several reasons. One, mommy was born in Germany and two, daddy and mommy spent a lot of time together travelling there in college.

Mainly because of these last two reasons it was quite an emotional day for me. I posted on Facebook that "it finally hit me." Everywhere I turned around there was a reminder of mommy or something we did together. I couldn't walk 50 feet without crying over something. Some might say I was an emotion wreck but really I was just emotional. The hardest part was explaining to the girls why I was crying this time. If something made me tear up, explaining it to them in words made me bawl. They were pretty good about it though.

We walked through gift shop after gift shop and they behaved wonderfully. Sarah really loved the things we saw with our family crest on them but mostly they enjoyed the toys. Neither of them quite grasped the German feel of the place. For lunch we ate at a little restaurant that featured, you guessed it, German cuisine. We all shared a sausage, kraut and potato sampler platter and potato pancakes. Rebekah didn't like the spicy mustard on the sausages but did like the stone ground one. Sarah liked the potato salad and the one sausage that was "like a hot dog."

We found another little bakery that served pretzels. Every day when I would go from where I was staying to mommy's school I would stop by a sidewalk pretzel vendor. Asking for a pretzel with butter and cheese were some of the first "street words" that learned in German. The pretzels here weren't like what I remember in Germany, but they were good. We all shared one:

As I didn't want to completely confuse the girls as to which culture we were in we left the German village and did the American thing - we went shopping at Costco and Walmart. Not much but a few little odds and ends. Costco mostly because I was going through withdrawals.

I learned a couple of things today. Sarah did better learning more things today on her bike if I just let her go and didn't try and "instruct" all the time. She was more willing to try things if I wasn't leering over her. She is doing SO great and rode all of the 3/4 mile to the lodge last night. She kept looking over her should waiting for daddy and Rebekah to catch up. The other thing that I learned is that Rebekah's battery on her quad doesn't last as long as I might want when going at a constant drain - like the 3/4 mile to the lodge and back... For the first time ever I was able to ride my bike along side the kids without having to pull them in a trailer and that was pretty cool.

I expected some dirty looks from some campers as Rebekah's quad with its plastic tires can be pretty noisy on the gravel but instead got nothing but approval and a few comments about how cool it was. Rebekah even stopped to show her quad to some young kids that ran out to see it. I am surprised at how young the folks are in this campground. Most of the time you see big expensive motor homes and a lot of old people in these parks. This one has a lot of young folks and families in tents and small trailers.

Tomorrow we are going to visit some friends on Lake Chelan and actually get to take a boat to church. That sounds really fun and the girls are looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to some adult conversation!

Finally I will leave you with one of the things that made me cry the most yesterday. I saw it in the first shop we walked into and just had to go back and get it before we left. I don't know where it will go, but it will find a special place in our home:


Thursday, August 04, 2011

New Campsite

We have moved to the eastern side of the mountains. I don't think I have ever been over Stevens (Stephens?) Pass before today. The truck did beautifully, keeping the speed limit of 60 up the entire slope and then almost not needing the brakes at all down the other side with its built in engine breaking. Up and over that pass at 17,000 lbs and we still got 9mpg which I don't think is too bad for what we were pulling.

The biggest news is that Sarah continues to ride. Today we went from "Daddy do I have to?" to "Daddy, can I go one more time PLEASE????" I actually sat out at the end of our site and cried watching her run up and down the lane on her bike. The hardest part for me is Rebekah needing to do one thing at one speed and Sarah another.

This is going to be interesting.


Wednesday, August 03, 2011


We spent most of the day today around the campground. We slept in a little bit and had pancakes and bacon and eggs for breakfast. The girls watched a few cartoons that mommy burned to disc for them long ago. I don't think they know mommy did those cartoons for them, but I do.

I spent a few hours this morning working.

We walked around the campground and walked out along the beach. The tide was low and we could walk out to some "islands" that we could see from our campsite. Sarah was afraid of walking on seaweed that had washed up on the shore. Rebekah had a hard time walking on the gravel. We spent most of the time today outside the club house. We never went in, but we played some shuffle board this morning and there was a great big grass hill out in front of it. Rebekah rode all around on her quad:

And Sarah spent the morning going up and down and up and down learning to balance her bike:
Youtube Link To Sarah Balancing

She had gotten so good at balancing that she didn't want to get off her bike at all. I had to force her back to the trailer to make some lunch. After lunch we put her pedals back on the bike and headed back to the hill. Things went down hill (pun intended) a bit and pedaling was a bit more difficult for her to master. There were a few crashes and A LOT of tears but we made it through. This evening we went for a walk after dinner and after some coaxing she brought her bike. She can ride if she wants to. Sometimes 10 feet. Sometimes 50-100 feet. Then she looses her confidence and stops. She may not be totally fluent at it but she is riding on two wheels!!!!

The girls both have the coarse cough that we have been passing around the house for a few months. "Day Time" cough medicine didn't do it last night so we made a quick trip to the closest grocery store and picked up at small $7.00 bottle of kiddo night time cough medicine. Compared to fighting with them to go to sleep last night, that $7.00 was money WELL spent. They both went out like lights tonight.

Yesterday we went down to Coupeville to see some family as well as some friends. When departing on this trip I wasn't sure we would want to spend too much time with others but we really wanted to see these folks. The girls found it to be a good divergence from just being with daddy.

God has a way of using others. I haven't been feeling very good about my abilities as a sole father. It was easy to be an okay daddy when mommy was there to pick up the slack and protect the kids from my failures. Now I'm scared. I told you the other day about the lady at the Teddy Bear Store saying something to me. Today I had a retired school teacher who we kept seeing around camp out of the blue say what a wonderful daddy I was - and thank me for it. And another lady we bumped into on the beach made a similar comment. All of these out of the blue with no reason to them at all. I mean who goes around telling a complete stranger that? But I guess God knew I needed to hear it.


Monday, August 01, 2011

Dear Mommy

Dear Mommy. We miss you. Not just a little bit, but all the way to our core. When the three of us are out doing something there is a big hole where we used to be whole. It seems odd to me, but I don't think you are missing us. I don't think that is possible being surrounded by the Glory of God. I am so happy for you and so sad at the same time.

I don't know if you are looking down upon us and you already know about our day, but I feel like I should tell you anyway.

Like usual, the first night in the trailer was a bit rough going to bed, and the girls were up early this morning. While they were watching some cartoons I started breakfast outside on the electric griddle. We had bacon, bagels and daddy eggs. Sarah wanted jelly on her bagel so Rebekah had to have it too. Sarah only ate one egg but Rebekah ate two and wanted a third; I told her no.

After breakfast we took the garbage out on our way to the mini golf course here at the campground. About the time we got to the second hole I realized that, like a bad daddy, I forgot to put suntan lotion on them or make them wear their hats. I decided to let them play through. Sarah did really well on her own and Rebekah needed some help. After 18 holes I finally got Rebekah to where she would stand right over the ball and hold the club in a somewhat normal fashion. It took a lot of work and a lot of patience but both girls made it through finishing all 18 holes. Rebekah especially was SO happy each time she got the ball in the cup that she would do her little jump up and dance. We got to bring home our golf balls so the girls have a couple more treasures.

We came back to the trailer and put on suntan lotion and grabbed their hats before heading into check out LaConner, the little fishing town close to where we are staying. We drove up and down the tiny little "main street" and found a little teddy bear store which we obviously couldn't pass up. The girls each wanted a Hello Kitty doll that they found that was colored in rainbows. I almost cried right then and there and told them we might be able to come back later. We then drove about 20 miles to Walmart to get a few things that were needed for the trailer.

Being about lunch time we drove back to LaConner and found a nice little seafood resturant out over the water. We ate outside on a deck with boats all around. The girls each shared an adult fish and chips and I had an oyster sandwich. It was all very very good. The girls made friends with EVERYBODY in the resturant as well as waived at every boat that went by. They even had the people at the tables on either side of us all waiving to the boats to try and get the occupants to waive back to us. While there they each had to use the bathroom - twice. Another first for me as I let them go in to the women's restroom by themselves. The first time, when we first got there, I stood right outside the door. The second time, when we were done with our meal, I watched the door vigilantly from our table. It took them a long time and I was starting to get worried by the time they finally came out. Sarah went right to our waitress and said "Excuse me, there is no toilet paper in one of the spots. But don't worry, I got some for my sister from the next spot." I feel like they grew up a little bit doing this on their own.

After eating we walked up and down the little street, going back into the teddy bear store. From the moment the girls saw those Hello Kitty Rainbow dolls I knew they were going to have them. I couldn't hold back the tears as I asked the girls in the store why I thought they were so special. They both equated the rainbows to you and asked right away if they could sleep with them so it would be like sleeping with mommy. I had stopped crying and was doing okay until the lady at the store said "Thank you for coming back. You are a really good daddy." I don't know why she said that, but it made me cry as we walked out.

Back in the campground the girls wanted to go play on the play ground. Rebekah rode her Dora Quad and Sarah "rode" her bicycle with the pedals taken off so she can ride it like a Skoot. You should have seen her mommy, doing so well. After a short while she was even getting to where she could go 5-10 feet with her feet up. And more important, she really liked it and wanted to ride more and more and more. Neither Sarah nor Rebekah could understand why I was crying but Sarah joined me when I told her that I was sad that mommy didn't get to see her ride on two wheels but that you were so proud of her.

They had a lot of fun on the playground too:

It was sand and you know how I feel about sand. But I did okay and literally trudged through it. When we got back we had to clean sand out of everything. We even went down on the rocky beach for a short walk. While down at the beach we found a "whole" crab shell. We talked about how that crab shell was like your body after you died. Just a shell with all the good parts inside gone away.

We came back and had a delicious, although not too nutritious meal of hot dogs on the BBQ and potato chips. They seemed to really like them:

As soon as we were done, Sarah went and "rode" her bike a few more times.

We then came inside and did showers in the trailer. I did okay. No one cried and they are all clean. That is the first time that I have helped them bathe since they were tiny babies. It only took about 20-30 minutes to get both of them through, dressed and ready for bed. They were both in bed by about 7:30. The trailer is full of James and the Giant Peach playing for them to go to sleep too and here I am talking with you.

It's been rough but also good. We've now made it more than 24 hours on our own. Some times it has been rough and I may have been frustrated but I haven't lost my patience yet. We'll make it mommy, we'll make it. We love you.