April 29, 2009


Emma, Howard Lee, Chole & Sophia, April 11, 2009, Fresno, CA


16 Responses to “Welcome”

  1. Benoit & Mari Says:

    Greetings from Browns Valley in the Yuba foothills!

    To begin with, congratulations on setting up this wonderful forum. What a great idea! We’ve been meaning to write to you, but this really had the power to persuade us to actually do it. So, thank you for that! And thank you also for giving us the opportunity to blog, which we had never done before either. (Live and learn.) By the way, we agree with another respondent: more photos would be nice.

    It’s been a long time since we last saw you——or Howard for that matter, but he has done a good job of keeping us informed of the ups and downs of his mother’s challenge. So, although you didn’t realize it, you have been in our hearts and thoughts for all this time.

    We were amused to find out that you, too, enjoy watching NCIS. We will forever remember Howard telling us in the earlier days of our friendship that he thought the two of us “tree-hugging lefties” probably had more in common with you guys than with him!!! For us, that instantly created a special connection with you, which the distance between us unfortunately prevented us from further exploring.

    Not only do we find the many written descriptions of Chole’s life-embracing character collected here revealing, but also we see them echoed in her beautiful artwork, which, together with Howard, we had fun making World-Wide-Web-ready.

    We wish you all the best and hope for good news next time we check for updates.

  2. cholesquilt Says:

    Great idea, Lydia! Please submit your stories to the post “The Cholita Chronicles” (rather than replying back here in the “Welcome” post), so that we can keep them together for easy reference!

  3. Lydia Avina-Drayer Says:

    I totally love this blogging thing and can’t imagine why I haven’t done it before. Leave it to Cholita to introduce me to yet another favorite thing, big sister has always been a role model. I’m signing on daily and seeing posts by people Chole has fondly mentioned over the years and it’s so cool to get to know her circle of friends this way. I’m assuming you each have a favorite Cholita story and I would love to hear it. Some of my favorite childhood memories are from when Chole would phone my mom and ask if she could pick up Rebecca and me for an outing. She was already taking the world by storm by then but Rebecca and I were just snotty kids. You’d think Chole would have had better ways to spend her time and money but no, she’d come pick us up (was it a blue Corvair?) and off we’d go for an adventure. Once, we were supposed to go see the premeire showing of Disney’s Jungle Book but thanks to Chole’s sense of direction, which is pretty much non-existant, we wound up at a carnival instead. See, that was the great thing about Chole’s outings. You never were quite sure where you’d wind up and most of the time it wasn’t where you originally set out to go, but you were sure to have a great time because you were with Chole. I’ve tried to follow that same “Cholita” philosophy ever since because hey, why not enjoy where you are and who you’re with?

  4. Adriana Says:

    Good Evening Chole & Howard,
    My beautiful friend Flor shared the link to your blog with me and although I, like many of the others, have never blogged before I felt the desire to give this one a try and say hello to the two of you and let you know that I am thinking of you both. I did not realize how grown your lovely grandaughters are! I could hardly believe it was them when I saw the photo of the 4 of you. We love you Chole and you are in my prayers always. Congratulations on such a wonderful friend. Although I have never met Mary, she sounds like an amazing friend. You are lucky to have her, and I agree with all of the awsome and oh so truthful things she described about you Cholita! XOXO

  5. Flor Romero Says:

    Hello Chole and Howard:

    What beautiful pix of the girls. I especially love the one of the two of you looking back…it truly caught the essence of “Chole and Howard”! I am sending all my positive thoughts your way and sending prayers up so that the blessing may come down to you and the family. My mother also sends her love. We are here if you ever need us!

    Con much amor y carino,

  6. Hi Everyone,
    This is from Judy, Howard’s sister. Thanks to everyone who made this blog possible. It is wonderful to read all of the comments, and to feel the support and love all around Chole and Howard. I know some of you better than others, but I feel close to all of you through this common bond of caring for Chole and Howard. For me, Spiritual is… as Spiritual does… And through their actions Howard and Chole are about the most spiritual people I know. So to the question Is there a God? I would say I see God in and through Howard and Chole. I see God in and through this blog, for God is Love and that is what I see. Chole and Howard, you are in my prayers and thoughts daily. Love you more than these few words can express!

    I heard a rumor that someone was going to help co-ordinate all of those who would like to be of help in some way. Gary and I certainly want to be in this circle of support. Let us know! Love Judy

  7. Hi Everyone,

    Friday, May 1st: Chole is doing well and having long chats with both me and her mom. We brought down Mexican bread and she is enjoying it. She has hooked on watching NCIS and we do this daily. Her refrigerator and freezer is overwhelmed with the generosity of her friends. I would check with Howard before trying to add any more to it. Her neighbor Pat paid her a visit today and was very impressed with how good she looked. Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts! Talk to you all tomorrow.

  8. Vicki Benson Says:

    Hi Chole and Howard,
    Hope today is a good day!
    I had no idea your granddaughter had gotten so big or that they were soo cute. What a lucky grandma! Enjoy the weekend with family.
    All my love,

  9. Roy Hagar Says:

    Thanks to Howard for his unfailing good spirits and optimistic POV through this trying and difficult time. And all our love to Chole for her tremendous courage and unfailing good humor in confronting her disease. To my mind, these are the ingredients of heroism, pure and simple. I know Chole will deny this, but her refusal to give up; to embrace and confront LIFE fully and tenaciously, is what defines HER life and legacy. This sustained display of courage defines her as much as anything else she has done in her life. I am humbled and inspired by this far more than any attempt to atribute anything she has done to “spirituality” religion or God. What we’re seeing here is the power of transcendant humanity in all its glory and greatness.

  10. Lydia Avina Drayer Says:

    I have a thought about Chole’s spirituality, which seems so evident to me though she has always questioned it. Mother Teresa confided in her spiritual confidant: “Jesus has a very special love for you,[But] as for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great, that I look and do not see, — Listen and do not hear — the tongue moves [in prayer] but does not speak … I want you to pray for me — that I let Him have [a] free hand.”

    I think God blesses us with certain special people, in whose presence we are made aware of His existence beyond a doubt. Chole is one of those rare individuals who graces the rest of us while suffering doubt themselves. A health care analogy would be the TB carrier who has none of the symptoms but spreads TB nonetheless…Chole is spritually very infectious and I am so grateful.

  11. Thanks for the opportunity to keep in touch through this media.
    Chole and Howard: your love and courage is such and inspiration to all of us. Know that you are always in our thoughts and prayers.

    What a beautiful picture of Chole, Howard and their granddaughters! Talk about love!

  12. Howard Fresno Says:

    Thanks to everyone for their response to Chole’s quilt of family and friends blog. I have never blogged before so this is a new experience. In fact I have never twittered, texted or even face booked.
    Chole had her weekly visit with Dr. Hackett this morning and he was in a very good mood. The two had a very involved discussion about the existence of God. Dr. Hackett was adamant about the fact that God exists. He went in to a long speech about the fact that he is a scientist and knows all about these things and he sees the proofs daily. Chole reacted with some of her usual skepticism while I sat back and just listened. On occasion Chole & Tom used to see each other at the Newman Center and Chole mentioned that 20 years ago Mary Allen had arranged for a sacrament of healing for Chole at the Newman Center. I asked if that sacrament lasted a lifetime or did you need periodic updates. He said that it did not last a lifetime and it was definitly time for another service.
    As usual he gave her a big hug after his exam and Chole’s spirit were uplifted.
    On a functional note. We went over the schedule for next week and the MRI is Monday not Tuesday at 11:00 AM at St.Agony Hospital in Fresno. We will have the results on Thursday at her regular medical visit and the philosophical round table discussion.
    Howard Fresno

  13. 000mama Says:

    Howard let me know today that the MRI is next Tuesday. He or Howard Joseph will keep us up to date. Thanks to everyone for your participation

  14. Chuck and Sandy have all of the Jackson’s in our prayers. We are most appreciative of having the availability of this blog to keep in touch with our dear friends.

  15. Cindy Lopez Says:

    EPU is sending positive vibes and much love!

  16. Mary-Allen Macneil Says:

    I believe that today is the day that Chole will have her MRI to see if the Avastin has been helping. My recollection is that they would know the results in about a week.

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