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Tribute to our Chen.....

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

As of today, the countdown to the tribute to our beloved Claudia 'Chenheart' in Santa Barbara is a week away. If there is anything you would like me to say, a funny or warm experience you remember, please message me with it, or post it here....I will carry it with me when I go. 

As of now, it's just Vicki Hilton and I...but I have a car (Saturn Aura) that sits 4 comfortably, 5 with one straddling the hump in the back, 6 or 7 if you don't mind the trunk....so let me know....*smile*

There will be a traditional 'paddle out' ceremony, according to her daughter.  I am honored to represent the Kindreds at this time.  When googling this ceremony, I cam across a comment left by a native Hawaiian.....

"Please, we are gifted with life, as we go on we remember all of our loved ones that cant enjoy the gift we (with) us. They would be so happy as we go down the right road"


Hugs, Kathi

CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

Thank you for doing this.  I wish so much that I could be there! 

I personally would want her family to know what a presence Claudia was here.  I have so many memories. 

I loved her "Welcome to Hogwarts" for newbies--so warm  and welcoming and it captured perfectly the solitude many of us feel when dealing with the Big C.

Her many, many perfectly coined expressions such as, "We do what we have to do, so we can do what we want to do."--I wish I could remember them all. 

Her genuine warmth that unified us all.

Her generosity demonstrated in activities such as the ornament exchange.

Her practical advice, always given with a spoonful of sugar and a dollop of humor, such as her Power Pudding recipe for constipation.

There were times that we disagreed on subjects, but Claudia was always respectful and made me feel my opinion was valued.

With Claudia's passing, we lost a glue on the message board that will be hard to replace.  Rest in peace sweet Claudia!


New Flower
Posts: 4299
Joined: Aug 2009

I PM you and sent e-mail as well

Christmas Girl's picture
Christmas Girl
Posts: 3691
Joined: Apr 2009

With thanks for dear Cat (Vicki Hilton), too. Thank you both for representing, in person, all of us here - Kindred Spirits - at Chen's memorial service next Saturday. I will also attend, even if only via my thoughts and heart.

CC already covered many of Chen's most meaningfully memorable attributes and mantras. I'll add: "Be stronger than, not angry at."

(Over these past few weeks, have repeated that to myself... over and over...)

She was, indeed, a sort of 'glue' that held us together. I recall occasionally referring to her, long ago, as our 'unofficial spiritual leader'... To me, and very many of us, our 50-Foot Woman was uniquely special. Chen, of course, would have none of that. Absolutely viewed herself has no more 'special' than anyone else. Her humble nature caused me, and others, to admire and cherish her even more.

I will forever love and remember her.

How many times have I typed out these words: We honor those gone before us by living our lives as best we can, with gratitude for each day. I do not know... Each time, I hope I'll never need to again.

Thanks, again, Kathi. (((Hugs)))

Kindest regards, 12/25


missrenee's picture
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

For me, it was Chen's positivity and encouragement that really helped.  She always saw the bright side--even in the darkest hours.  I will be with you ladies in spirit, sending my positive energy and love.

Hugs, Renee

1surfermom's picture
Posts: 367
Joined: Mar 2009

Thank you Kathi and Cat  for honoring our Chen. I would so love to join you, but my youngest son is having his High School orientation that day. He was in fourth grade when I was diagnosed and now he will be a Freshman in high school. Claudia had the ability to reach out and calm our fears. Personally I remember two "Chenisms". The first was an eloquent and beautiful writing she wrote to me just before my surgery it meant so much to me. I also remember when I lost a tooth while on chemo and wanted to cancel a trip I had planned to Disneyland beacuse I was feeling so self conscious about being bald and toothless. Chen told me to suck it up and go .She also said that most of the people at Disneyland would  care less what I looked like and if she remembered correctly there were plenty of weird looking people there. I decided to take her advice, and she was absolutley right. Thank you again. Love Surf

creampuff91344's picture
Posts: 989
Joined: Nov 2008

Thank you so much for representing all of the Kindred Spirits at Chen's memorial.  Like everyone else, I wish I could be there in person, but you two are perfect representatives for us all.  I am still trying to get past Chen's no longer being there to post her wonderful inspirational messages.  She was definitely my rock when it came to being there when i neded advice, or just to chat.  There are so many on the Boards that are helpful, and everyone has their own strength.  I guess when it came to Chen, she was kind of like the "teacher".  We will all be there with you next Saturday, and know the two of you will definitely be our representatives.  Let us know how things go, and we will definitely be looking forward to hearing about her sendoff by her beloved Reggie.  Being Native American myself, I know how important these formal events are to those who were in her inner circle, and knowing that part of our group will be part of this is such an honor.  Hugs to you both, and hugs to all Kindred Spirits that will be thinking of our lost Chen on that day.  Judy

VickiSam's picture
Posts: 9085
Joined: Aug 2009

to 'play it forward', no matter how small the gesture may be.   This is one thing that Claudia, my hummingbird thought me and I will FOREVER be grateful to her.

I also know that true definition of the phase 'Kindred Spirits' - ...  another GIANT Thank you to Chen my dear sweet Hummingbird.


Vicki Sam





GreeneyedGirl's picture
Posts: 1077
Joined: Sep 2008

Kathi & Cat, thank you for standing in for all of us here who will be there via you two (and our thoughts on that day). 

Chen appreciated the little things in life so passionately ~ coffee brewing for example. I sent her and Reggie some wonderful coffee roasted from a small town at the foothills of Mt. Rainier here in Washinton State (coffee drinking capitol of the U.S?). She shared how they both enjoyed not only drinking the coffee, but the wafting aroma of it brewing (it filled the room) prior to the first sip. So, as we brew our coffee each morning, I am reminded of that moment Chen, Reggie and I shared~tho we have never met in person~just simply kindred spirits~

~blessings, Melanie

VickiSam's picture
Posts: 9085
Joined: Aug 2009

"THE CANCER TREE" was conceived through love and heartfelt encouragement, survivor to survivor. With poems written between two cancer survivors, trust was born and a friendship developed. If you have cancer, you're not a victim, you are a survivor! As long as you have breath, regardless of your diagnosis, you are still surviving.


For those of us sitting in Cancer's Big Tree
the decision to climb up was not worry-free
But new growth was nurtured by warm, loving hands
the roots of the tree anchored deep in the land
Up high in these limbs we are strangely secure
where we once felt unsteady, we feel strong, we feel sure
~~Claudia (chenheart) XOXO

I caught a branch and climbed that tree
and wished YOU were sitting there high up with me
I caught another limb with my other hand,
and twirled to the trunk, and then shimmied down
I thought, if Chen tried doing what I just did,
I hope she wouldn't fall
Then I remembered, if she really tried
and she missed that branch
I'd just reach out and catch her...that's all!
~~Love ya,
Ceezhar (Brenda)

The branch you held onto while climbing that tree,
was already filled with the essence of me
I watched as you climbed, could you not feel my smile?
I knew you were worried, it felt like a mile!
The blossoms that cushioned you bounced back in shape,
and fragranced the air, as you mimicked an ape!
I know we could both have made this climb alone
but to make it together...seeds of trust have been sown!

A seed, you say? Yes, we planted it together
I'll bet it will grow, bloom, and last forever
No hoe or spade, to keep it alive,
unnecessary things aren't needed to survive
Only understanding, a shoulder, and bits of love
will make a small sprout grow high up above

So sprouts we were, when the "C" visits came,
now giant oaks we've become, with cancer to blame
But wait, look up there, and down all around,
at the branches with survivors, and new sprouts on the ground
I see that they're growing, with help from each other...
a hug, a word, we're all sister and brother
See, there's that hand that caught us, and made our climb eased,
it's big, it's gentle, Oh Chen...it's God, and He knows about this disease!
~~Ceezhar XXOO

Copyright 2004 by
Claudia Cable & Brenda C. Corbin

Be Stronger Than, Not Angry At

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