Nossos sentimentos mais profundos para os pais, familiares e amigos de Super-T.


Me: Hank, can you come here?

Hank: Sure, my mama.

Me: Sit down, please.

Hank: You know the lady at my school, Dona Rosa? She is always at the door when we leave?

Me: Yes.

Hank: She saw you at the health center with Papa and she asked what was wrong with you and if you were okay. She saw how you walk.

Me: Oh, I didn’t see her. I would have said,”hello.”

Hank: I told her your back was sick. That is what I tell people when they ask. A lot of people ask about you. I don’t mind.

Me: Well, thank you for being my PR representative. You can also say that I have artrite (arthritis).

Hank: But she wouldn’t know what that means.

Me: Adults know what that means, but your explanation is fine. Hank, there is something I need to tell you.

Hank: Yes?

Me: You remember that boy you helped raise money for to go to New York for cancer treatment?

Hank: Of course, Super-T. He is going to love New York. I told my whole class that I had been to New York, but I was little so I don’t remember, but he will remember and he will love it.

Me: (sad smiling) Super-T didn’t make it to New York, buddy.

Hank: Oh, does he need more money? My class raised €82. We can raise more. I have my savings.

Me: (getting emotional) Super-T doesn’t need the treatment anymore, buddy. He passed away today.

Hank: (crestfallen)

Me: He was very brave and so were his parents and whole family and he fought so very hard, but the body is fragile and cancer is the worst and takes the very best of people. (pause) Now he is off on his next journey and isn’t sick anymore.

Hank: (upset)

Me: Four years is a short life, but he had a very special life and we will keep his parents, his family and friends in our hearts.

Hank: He did his best.

Me: (throwing my arms around him) Yes, he did and his best was awesome and funny and brave and important.

Hank: Can I tell my friends and my teacher?

Me: Of course you may.

Hank: (his head falling on to my shoulder) He would have loved New York. He was so excited.

Me: (weeping) Would you like to read the notícias (news)? There is a very nice video of Super T being Super T.

Hank: Yes, please.

Rest in Awesome, Super-T.



Sometimes You Just Need Your Mama


Ms. Molly MaGoo, asleep in her high chair.  You can find more snaps of our daily life on Instagram.  Us the #conversationswithhank or find us @joyhanford

I have notoriously excluded photos of my kids on this blog, but here is a rare exception: Ms. Molly MaGoo, asleep in her high chair a few minutes before this conversation. You can find snaps of our daily life on Instagram. Use the #conversationswithhank or find us @joyhanford


Molly: (waking up alone at the table having fallen asleep in her high chair) MaaaaMA!

Me: (reading to Hank in my big bed)

Hank: (vaulting into action) Oh no, my mana (sister) needs me.

Me: Go go go! (gingerly getting up)

Hank: Mana? It’s okay, brothers coming.

Molly: (crying) Mamoooo (brother).

Pai: (lifting Molly into his arms) Pois, Amália, Pronto. Já esta. (It’s alright, Molly.  It’s done.)

Hank: Papa, can you carry Amália over to the couch I can hold her like mama does.

Me: (entering the room with our book)

Molly: (crying, struggling away from Hank) Mama!

Me: Hank, do not be offended, but I think Ms. MaGoo just needs her mama for a bit.

Hank: Perfectly fine.  Don’t worry, I get it.  I totally understand.

Me: (handing off the book to Pai) Come here, lovie.

Molly: (calmer) Mama. (clinging like a monkey)

Me: Can you open the book to the marked page and hand it to me? I think Molly would also like to go to Hogwarts.

Pai: Here you are. (kissing the tops of Molly and Hank’s heads)

Hank: Can I snuggle, too?

Me: What kind of silly question is that? Find a spot.

Hank: (grinning, joins the snuggle pile)

Me: (balancing baby, book and boy I return all three of us to Hogwarts.)




Medical Files, Hogwarts and The Bickersons


The Bickersons, My dads pet name for Alfredo and I

The Bickersons, My dad’s pet name for Alfredo and I


Me: (busying myself about the house at bedtime) Alfredo, have you seen my medical folder?

Alfredo: It’s in the drawer where it always lives.

Me: (looking again, facepalm) Any closer and it would have bit me… Jeesh, Hanford. Okay, right… Hank, are you ready to go to Hogwarts?

Hank: Yes, Mama, why do you need your medical file? Do you have another doctors appointment?

Me: (distracted, hustling about) Nothing gets past you, my dear.

Hank: Is it with the specialist?

Me: Nope, it is with our médica família (family doctor). I need her to schedule some physical therapy for me and I need to see a nutritionist and I have a medication question and I don’t want to wait until July. (grabbing Harry Potter) My bed or yours?

Hank: Your bed, please.

Me: (leaving the room) Right you are.

Hank: (close behind) So you aren’t any worse, are you?

Me: (climbing into bed) Well, my darling that is the positive; I am not any worse, but I am not any better either. It has been a solid year since all this began and I cannot sit idle by and let one more day come to an end without fighting back.


Me: I have been a very good patient and listened to the Rheumatologist and the Auto-Immune Specialist but if I have to sit in this apartment one more day without actively fighting these diseases I will loose my mind. And since they don’t want me to do any unsupervised activities, but agree that I should keep moving I am going to a professional to help me with my walking and hopefully to help me hold my pens and brushes study again.

Hank: You have really missed drawing and painting.

Me: Truth. (opening our book)

Hank: So your appointment is in the morning?

Me: Yup.

Hank: So I will remember when you and papa start fighting.

Me: Excuse me? (putting down our book)

Hank: You and papa always fight a little about doctors appointments and specialists appointments and things. It’s normal and totally fine.

Me: Whoa, it… well….

Hank: You have explained it before, mama. You are the chefe da família (head of the family) and papa is also the chefe da família (head of the family) and that means that sometimes when a decision has to be made and you have different ideas you yell until one of you wins.

Me: (in utter hysterics)

Hank: (laughing too) It’s just the way our family works and you both love each other, but you yell to see who wins and then later you are kissing again so I know it is fine.

Me: (positively purple with laughter)

Hank: (giggling) What did I say?

Me: (trying to regain composure, wiping tears from my eyes) Oh honey, you spoke the god’s honest truth and there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone needs a mirror hung in front of their face from time to time. (deep cleaning breaths) Best thing ever. And you are sure you are okay with the yelling?

Hank: I mean I don’t love it, but it is how you work. There is a better choice but when you are a little stressed and someone has to win. It’s like sports I think.

Me: (regressing into hysterics, positively hyperventilating)

Hank: What did I say again?!? In sports people yell… WHHAAT?!

Me: No, you are right. Fighting for the alpha position in this family is a sporting event. (giggling) We should sell tickets. (chuckling)

Hank: (shaking his head at his silly mother)

Me: (deep breath) You know your Grandpa Snitch calls your Papa and I, The Bickersons. Apparently there was a radio show when he was a kid about two people that loved each other very much but they would bicker and argue their way through any household decision.

Hank: That is you and papa. Don’t worry, I will explain this all to Molly. You love each other, but someone has to win…

Me: (giggling) And we both put up a pretty good fight, right?

Hank: Yup. Now, can we go to Hogwarts, please?

Me: (sigh, cracking the spine) Chapter Seven, The Sorting Hat.