Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Polar Bear Swim

At the end of January, Tina and I invited some close friends to participate in a memorial or sorts for Peter in honor of his birthday. Since Peter loved both swimming and polar bears, we decided to jump into the freezing-cold pool (okay, we heated it to 65 degrees) and eat cake afterward! The atmosphere was magical, and we appreciated the enthusiastic participation; we only wish we could have invited more folks. I hope you enjoy the pictures of the cake (made and decorated by Tina at the Cake Stand where she works) and some pics of us in the pool.

Some people have asked me about the title of this blog, so here's my explanation. Peter's fantasy about surfing a polar bear down an avalanche made me think about what that polar bear symbolized for me. I didn't like thinking about the polar bear as the tumor; although big and potentially frightening, Peter thought such a trip would be thrilling. I then began thinking about Peter's fantasy polar bear as symbolic of Peter's journey with cancer, and now that Peter's journey is complete, we now have to make peace with it. Maybe one day one of us who remains will mount that polar bear ourselves and see where he takes us, but for now, we simply need to live with it and learn from it. I guess the polar bear represents the grief and the wonder that remains for us as a family; we can sit in a corner and cower, or we can cautiously approach it and with outstretched hands, learn the valuable lessons it can teach us.


Kathy said...

Thank you for that explanation.

I love the idea of organizing a polar bear swim in your pool, and the cake is awesome, you've inspired me to try something similar.

Blessings on your family.

Betsy said...

What a wonderful idea! Your family inspires me. And Tina, GORGEOUS CAKE!!!

Rich said...

What a wonderful tribute to Peter, it looks like a great time was had by all. What a beautiful looking cake Tina made.

Thank you so much for explaining what the title of this blog meant, you have such a beautiful way of putting things into words.

Please know I think of Peter and all of your family each day. I will never ever forget Peter or any of these brave hereos or their families.

With Love,

Rich ~Angel Matthew's Dad~
DIPG Parent

cyndi/mom/nana said...

What an awesome way to pay tribute to Peter and what brave "Polar Bears" you all are to dive into the cold waters. The cake is beautiful and I can only imagine that Peter was most definitely near by to witness it all. Take care of each other.