2nd Annual Paddle-Out & Celebration of Life

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As the end of the year approaches, so does December 28th, the one year anniversary of my dad’s passing. Although the pain of loss feels particularly heavy, each new day reminds me that this is a time for gratitude, reflection and celebration.

My dad always wished to be remembered not by how he died, but by how he lived — and last December, my dad earned his wish when we all gathered at the ocean, cheered as a golden San Diego sun dipped below the horizon, and said goodbye to our beloved Loren Nancarrow.

Since that extraordinary night at the beach, we all have lost many more local heroes including Jerry Coleman, Tony Gwynn, and Larry Himmel…we’ve lost mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, siblings, children, and friends, further reminding us that each day is gift. So as our family celebrates my dad’s life, we also want to honor and celebrate ​the lives of your loved ones who have passed, as we believe that love is truly what it is all about. Let’s LOVE and celebrate together.

We invite you to join us in celebrating the lives of our loved ones…

WHAT: Community Paddle-Out & Celebration of Life

WHEN: Sunday, December 28, 2014 @ 4:00pm

WHERE: Seaside Reef (South Cardiff State Beach)

WHO: All of San Diego (you don’t have to paddle out to celebrate!)

​BRING: Photos of loved ones, candles, a flower or two to share, and/or musical instruments to play and share.​ (Per State Parks: Parking is $10.00 per vehicle).

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Good Grief

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Originally posted on Hannah Jane Nancarrow:

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
― Charles M. Schulz

GOOD GRIEF! It feels like all the saddest things happen during the holidays. It feels like loved ones pass away. It feels like friends quarrel. It feels like families hold grudges. It feels like spouses are unfaithful. It feels like lives are uprooted. It feels like grief always makes its move during the holidays.

And when grief moves in, we don’t feel like sitting around a dinner table together. We don’t feel like playing games or singing songs. We don’t feel like lighting candles, hanging twinkle lights, or baking cookies. Instead, we lie awake with worry, alternating crying into our pillows and plotting escape or revenge, or just mustering the strength to reach over to your laptop to post some cryptic Facebook status, and wallow in the comments of concerned, inquisitive e-friends.

Then (when we’re done with the wallowing and such) we tap into our loving…

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Lily Loved Cookies

Originally posted on Hannah Jane Nancarrow:

Lily loved cookies. Lily also loved burying her cookies in the garden, then digging them up the moment she suspected she had been discovered. She loved hot sunny days and cold rainy nights. She loved cuddling and trips to the park. But most of all, Lily loved cookies.
Lily loved to be held. She loved the feeling of being in our arms, squeezed tight against our chests. She loved sleeping by the fireplace and going for rides in the truck. She loved playing soccer with rolled up socks and her favorite blue toy. But most of all, Lily loved cookies.
Lily loved to bark. She loved to bark upstairs and down, in the garage and by door, and anywhere people could hear her. She loved sunbathing on the patio and laying at our feet. She loved growling at the vacuum and sitting shotgun in the car. She loved chicken and…

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For All The Warriors

Originally posted on Hannah Jane Nancarrow:

This month, I had the incredible honor of delivering the keynote speeches at two Relay for Life events. I’m new to Relay and, honestly, I was blown away. I was blown away by the commitment and passion, and by the awe-inspiring expressions of love.

I just thought I’d share one of my speeches with you. Whether you’re a survivor, a caregiver, or someone who has been touched by cancer in some way, this one is for you. This one is for all the warriors…


I have to admit, I don’t really feel worthy to stand up here and speak. I don’t feel worthy because I can’t tell you anything you don’t already know about cancer, loss or survivorship. In fact, most all of you know significantly more about surviving than I do. So instead I’ll tell you something that all of us know too well: cancer sucks.

But the way I see it each of us…

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Go On, Love Each Other

Originally posted on Hannah Jane Nancarrow:

It’s been at almost 10 years since we were all in a room together. It doesn’t matter. The years melt away and it’s just like it was. I flash back to memories of three little girls selling eggs on the street corner, riding horses up old dirt roads, and growing together on our familiies’ little rural farms.
Now here the three of us are again. This time, gathered around a hospital room, seated beside Taylor’s bed — which brings me back to other, rawer memories of IVs and latex gloves, bottles of pills and of the sickness that stole my dad.
Taylor is powerful and extraordinary, and she has that sparkle in her eyes that makes me hopeful that this too shall pass — but I am careful to also acknowledge the message within the mess. The message being that life is precious and life is fleeting.
My sweet friend…

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Even Pest Control

Originally posted on Hannah Jane Nancarrow:

I always expected to miss my Dad. I expected to miss his “dad jokes” and his subsequent full-bellied laughs. I expected to miss seeing his name pop up on my phone and hearing his voice on the other end. I expected to miss his gourmet cooking and the contented look he got as he sang along to Bob Dylan. I expected to miss the feeling I got when he’d put his arms around me, kiss my head and whisper “I love you, Kiddo.” And I really expected to miss his incomparable way with words and his sage advice on life. Somehow, amid all my other expectations, there are some things I never expected to miss; things like…pest control. Yes, I really miss my Dad’s pest control skills.

This new way of missing my dad came to me just as I drifted off to sleep last night. I heard a faint, but unmistakeable, high-pitched buzzing. I…

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Wishing

Originally posted on Hannah Jane Nancarrow:

One of my favorite people in the whole wide world is a 14-year-old-girl (let’s call her “L”). “L” makes me feel special. She tells me I’m pretty. She tells me she wishes she were “classically pretty”.  She tells me she wishes her teeth were whiter. She tells me she wishes her hair was longer. She tells me she wishes she was thinner.

When I was her age, I wished a lot too. When I was her age, I wished I was somebody else.

I wished I was somebody pretty. Somebody with thinner thighs, bigger boobs and longer hair. Somebody with clearer skin, whiter teeth and, preferably, blue eyes. I wished I was somebody with style. Somebody who wore size zero jeans and who could share clothes with friends. Somebody who won “best dressed” and never wore the same thing twice. I wished I was somebody who all the guys liked. Somebody who won homecoming queen and who was asked to the prom…

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