by Katie Ouilette
WALLS, how wonderful it was to receive Ggaduation photos from our Bellingham, Washington, family as they attended great-grandson Landon’s graduation from Bellingham High School. There was Landon, dressed in his blue cap and gown, with his Aunt Donna, cousin Michelle and her children Kinley and Caden Wilhelm (I imagine Uncle Dean Ouilette or husband Jason Wilhelm were busy with their cameras). Oh, how proud we are of all. True, grandad Nick was in Maine and readying to return to Bellingham Yacht Sales and dad Danny was busy chauffeuring folks to Seattle airport, as his business had to come first.
Yes, WALLS and faithful readers, a column about ‘Mother knows best’ was written for this issue, but let’s make this a happy story. True, Landon’s mom did take him to the doctor he had, saying that she felt that the flu medication prescribed for him by the new doctor was not the cure. She was right! Yes, the former doctor wanted five-year old Landon at Seattle Children’s Hospital immediately. Off they went and Seattle Children’s was waiting for their arrival. Fortunately, at the hospital, a stem cell was taken and frozen before Landon was sent to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, in Memphis, Tennessee, where it was determined that Landon had unusual Wilm’s Cancer. Yes, and the Wilm’s specialist doctor was at St. Jude’s. So became the long cure. In fact, Landon was not only treated for Wilm’s Cancer, but he was treated to school days when he was of school age, so he missed little of his schooling … but for 12 years!
When, Landon was ‘free of Wilm’s Cancer’ he was sent back to Seattle Children’s for a stem-cell implant! It was then that dad Danny and Landon lived together in insolation for three months at Seattle Children’s Hospital!
Well, now you know ‘who’ that young man to whom my book, Two Birds in a Box, is dedicated and ‘why’ the dedication reads “To my great-grandson, Landon, and all children who are recuperating at children’s hospitals, waiting for their day to fly.” Well, Landon had his 19th birthday in January and on June 10 got his diploma. He has had a trip to wellness that few his age have experienced, but all who have had their graduations have been preparing for these years to fly. Yes, just as Momma Birds taught her babies to fly into their futures, may Landon’s experiences be an inspiration to you and remember that Mama knows best. Graduation is your beginning. Be happy and an inspiration as you begin the beginning of your life and the future.