Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Playing catch-up...again

Well I thought it would be a good time to post a bit of what's going on in our lives as I currently wait for Sofie to get through a couple hours of testing this morning.

Life continues to be a growth experience for both of us. We're getting used to our "new normal" and continuing to remember Debra in our thoughts and prayers. I've been channeling the creative part of Debra in some funny ways. Recently it was Book Character Day at Sofie's school. Since she has an obsession with animals, hamsters in particular this year, I set out to make her a hamster costume so she could be the main character from The World According to Humphrey, a charming book that her teacher read to the class earlier this school year. And when I say obsessed, I'm not far off the mark!! Ever since reading that first book(of the series of four) she's wanted a hamster. Life kept getting in the way though. Debra didn't want one while she was sick, then I didn't want one while we were making that transition and moving things in and out of the house. I promised Sofie that when life settled down, we'd get a hamster. She kept saying that won't be until summer!! Boy, she had no idea! Even though things aren't fully in there places, I decided to surprise her on Valentine's day and get her very own Humphrey. She was very clear that she wanted a girl hamster but wanted to name it Humphrey...the guy at the pet store got a kick out of that! So we're now the proud owners of the world's cutest hamster. I'll post pictures(of the hamster costume and the real thing) once I download them from my camera.

Other news in our life...Sofie is starting her first attempt at team sports this week. After watching a friend who plays every team sport at one of her basketball games this winter, I asked Sofie if there was any sport she'd like to try. She thought for a moment then replied, "Well soccer seems pretty easy. There's only two things you have to do...keep the ball from the other team and score." Well, there you have it, soccer in a nutshell! So we've signed up for Durham Girls Soccer League and start practice tonight...fingers crossed it doesn't rain. Most of the girls were on the team in the Fall, but I'm sure she'll catch up quickly. She knows a few of the team members from school, so she's not going into a totally unknown situation. I'm looking forward to being a soccer mom...and yes, I bought a minivan. Both mine and Debra's cars were getting high in miles, so I wanted a more reliable, comfortable car. I bought a Honda Odyssey which is both...I swear, sometimes I feel like I'm driving around in my living room! With all the kids in the neighborhood that we hang out with, it's come in handy to be able to schlep more than two kids around. We both love the car and I'm sure Debra is looking down on us and having a laugh about the minivan mom!

End of next week we head to San Francisco for Spring Break and to attend Debra's memorial service out there. I'll give a full report, if I'm able, for those of you unable to attend.

I'm certain there's been more that's happened in our lives but I can't think of it at this time. I'll try to periodically check in, but just know there will be no more daily postings for awhile!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Debra's San Francisco Memorial Information

Dear Friends,

Please gather with us to celebrate the incredible Debra Kent (and please feel free to forward this information with others):

Sunday, March 30th
The Meadow
National AIDS Memorial Grove (“the Grove”)
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA
Contemplation and Meditation from 10:00 am
Program promptly at 11:00 am

Reception in the Grove to follow


The inimitable Kile Ozier is responsible for the format of this event and has asked that if any of you might be able to help with the following resources and talented individuals he seeks for this special moment at the Grove, please let him know directly at

(a) donated/discounted florist/flower source

(b) pro bono musicians: strings, winds, percussion and soloists, duos, trios

(c) donated/discounted rentals such as chairs, tables, linens, a tent


The National AIDS Memorial Grove was close to Debra’s heart; it’s a beautiful space for solace and remembrance of many friends and family who we’ve lost over the years. Debra specifically requested that her memorial be held here, if possible. Many thanks to all the people who are helping to make it possible!

In honor of the many contributions made by Debra in her short life time, we are working with the Grove to install/inscribe something meaningful and lovely for all of us – and especially for her daughter Sofie - to visit and remember her for years to come. We are still working out the details with our friends at the Grove as to what exactly this will look like, but, in the meantime, we ask you to join us in contributing towards this installation/inscription with a donation to the National AIDS Memorial Grove in memory of Debra. We hope to announce more details about this at the celebration on March 30th.

Donations can be made payable to the National AIDS Memorial Grove and sent directly to them at:

P.O. Box 2270

San Francisco, CA 94126-2270

PLEASE include a note with your donation that your gift is in memory of Debra Kent, so it gets credited to this campaign.

If you prefer to make a gift online, please go to and click on the “DONATE NOW” button on the right hand side of your screen. You’ll be taken to a secure donation portal via, and there is a space to note that your gift is in memory of Debra.


PLEASE NOTE: JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park is closed to automobile traffic on Sundays. However, there are several other ways to get to the Grove; please visit their website here for more information (click on the “Getting to the Grove” option on the left for more info depending on your mode of transportation). There’s a pretty good map of Golden Gate Park here: - the AIDS Memorial Grove is #27 on this map, and the street names where the Grove intersects are Bowling Green and Middle Drive East (right across from the tennis courts).

There is free street parking in Golden Gate Park ; however, with JFK Drive closed, these spots may fill up early. Another suggestion is the parking lot at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, which is open to the public and not too far away from the Grove – please see #21 on the Golden Gate Park map referred to above. Here’s more details on that lot (from the de Young’s website):

Concourse Parking Facility: Parking for cars and bicycles is available in the Concourse parking facility. Access to the north entrance is from Fulton Street at 10th Avenue . Access to the south entrance is at Concourse Drive and Martin Luther King Drive inside the park. The Concourse parking facility is open seven days a week year-round and parking in the garage is encouraged.

Hours and rates: Weekends 7:30 a.m.–10 p.m. ($3.00/hour)

For more info please visit:

Thanks to everyone for your caring and support of Debra over these heartbreaking few years. We hope to see many of you in person on March 30th.

Brenda (and Kile and Kerry E.)