Sunset in the Coconino National Forest, looking northeast toward Sedona, AZ, 4/17/15

Sunday, February 14, 2010

In Memory of Elise

It's been over 16 months since Elise's death and I still think of her every day.  She loved the outdoors and camping ... so, it seems natural to remember her as I prepare for this trip.   For those who don't know, Elise was my daughter who passed 8 months after going to the emergency room with brain cancer. 

I'm also remembering Elise today because of a happy Valentine's Day memory.  Seven years ago I got a phone call from her with great news.  She and Cameron were pregnant!   I was so excited to be a Gramma.  And, as Jasper grew, so did my pride in Elise as a wonderful mother.  

Suanne (me) and Jasper on Tiger Mountain ('07).  I love being a Gramma ...
and I loved being the mother of the mother who took this picture.

Elise and Jasper on top of an old stump during our
last camping trip before her diagnosis. (Aug 07)

One of Elise's last wishes was to make happy memories with her family
 on a trip to Yellowstone National Park ... and she did. (June 08)

Van with a queen bed and teardrop trailer with a full bed
 for our trip with Elise to Yellowstone.
Sunset at Missouri Headwaters SP. (June 08)

This is one of my favorite pictures that Elise took ('05?).  She was on a hike
 with Jasper and her friend Jorj near the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River.
She loved the moss and so do I.   It's the picture I use for
the background on my desktop ... so peaceful.

Elise would think it was pretty cool that her newly retired mama was going on this cross-country adventure.  And I trust that this journey, among the nation's most amazing natural wonders, will be salve for my soul as I learn to live the rest of my life without her.

American Brain Tumor Association:
Seattle Brain Cancer Walk:


  1. What a nice tribute to your daughter, Suanne--I love the tranquil moss picture, too.


  2. Oh Suanne, I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter. I just don't know how or if I'd cope with something like this.

    Thank you for a lovely blog and some great ideas and reasons NOT to sell my little Mercury Tracer... maybe it will be fine for on the road adventures!

  3. Your blog is very inspiring.
    Michelle Ress and Cathy Smyre

  4. Suanne, I have just recently found your blog and I am enjoying reading about you and your trips in your Prius RV. I am so sorry about your beautiful daughter. May God Bless You and all the family. Linda

  5. I was Google Image searching "Smoky Mountain Bear" when I stumbled on your blog. Then I found I wore away over an hour just enjoying your interesting postings. It wasn't until I read THIS part of your blog that I even realized you were a woman! That just seems to make the loss of your daughter harder for me to read. I'm very sorry for your loss. I hope this adventure of yours is providing some solace as you make new memories to wrap around your earlier ones. Take care out there. By the way...I enjoy your photo explanations. Nicely done.

  6. Suanne, I stumbled upon your blog in search of travel info about Texas for a piece I'm writing. I'm deeply touched by your tribute to your daughter, Elise. I hope you find joy and comfort in your travels. Thank you for sharing your adventure with us.

  7. Suanne, let us know how are you doing. Still traveling? How is that grandbaby?

    1. Yes, I'm still traveling part-time. I'll take off again in November. Elise's son Jasper is doing well. He turned 11 this year and is already taller than me! He's a smart, kind and sensitive young man. Thanks for checking out my blog.

  8. It's now 2018 and I hope you are well. Haven't noticed anything new since December 2017. Never have I lost a child but have lost 3 siblings to cancer. My brother to brain which like your daughter happened so quick. Just 7 months. A sister to bladder and a sister to kidney. Now 2 more brothers have bladder cancer, one brother with prostate and a niece with colon. One sister and another brother have had skin. I can't imagine loosing a child. It hurts to have lost siblings this way and have others that battle. Our family has been told we have Lynch Syndrome which links ALL these cancers (though only one was genetically tested). Being the youngest of 12 it has been very difficult. I also find the outdoors very healing and enjoy traveling to National Parks and other points of interest. It was something our parents did with us. Guess camping and fishing was cheap and entertaining for so such a large group. We were blessed. The last 2 years I made various short trips with grandchildren, nieces and nephews so they can get a taste of how enjoyable it can be. My husband keeps the home fires burning. He's such a home body but would never keep me from enjoying the travel and knows how healing it can be. Haven't been brave enough to try it alone but have followed your blog so that when that day happens I will be well advised. Thanks for the inspiration. I hear your name a lot in the videos I've seen. Hope you are doing well!

    1. I am doing well, thank you. Thanks for commenting, too. I'm so sorry for your losses. Lynch Syndrome is a tough one. Over a year ago I found out that several close relatives on Elise's paternal side also have tested positive for Lynch. So, chances are Elise probably inherited it. I sure hope you take the opportunity to do what you love as you can. In the meantime, the best to you. Suanne


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