We met in the park allmost every day for several months and I learned that she was a runner and that she did all her work-out at home and ran with a dobbel stroller because her youngest son, John, has a severe bleeding disorder and can`t go to childcare. He has a port in his chest and needs medication every two days. And just a small fever caused by bacterialinfection will send them directly to the ER (that is why she knew where we should go when Fredrik broke his arm and I guess she knows the name of everyone at the hospital..). Her oldest son, Jimmy is one year younger than Fredrik and one older than Teodor. They played together in the Park and we also visited them in their beautiful home. Jimmy learned some words in Norwegian and after a couple of months Fredrik could speak enough english to communicate with Jimmy.
She looks like a beautiful version of Sarah Jessica Parker
I started running in February and when I met Christine she gave me a brand new Garmin. She said she had a spare one, bur I think she did it to help me get going. For her running was lifesaving in a really difficult time when they found out that John was seriously ill. Now she runs a Marathon at least 4 times a year (correct me if I`m wrong Christine!) and in the weekdays she pushes now a single stroller because Jimmy goes to Kindergarten and during the weekend she can have here long runs alone in the woods and hills between Menlo Park and the Pacific ocean.
She gave us a lot of other stuff too, like toys, books, DVDs, a scooter and we borrowed inflatable matrassess so we didn't have to buy new ones.
Christine and little John
All the boys at the Orrs house
Jimmy, with his mothers eyes
And when we left I went over to give her some of the stuff back. She gave me a big glas of wine and it was the first time we talked for quite some time without my kids hanging in my trousers. It was a more important glass of wine than she knew, because right then I really needed a friend. We moved out of our appartment that day and a danish couple was supposed to buy all our furniture like we had done 6 months earlier. Yes, the coach was shabby, but what do you expect when you buy things third hand??? And it was an IKEA coach and the cover is replaceable. Well, they expected more and had just told us they wouldn't pay the prize that was in our agreement when I came over. Our choice was to take everything back (hallo!! we were leaving the country!!) or reduse the prize. We didn`t want to fight about this and wanted everybody to be happy. We payed the moving company and hardly made any money on the sale at all.
But the money was not that important. The way they turned up in our appartment when I was alone with the kids, not sending an sms or mail, not giving a hint on the phone. Not ready to compromize.
It felt so bad and so humiliating! It felt like a personal attack. I wrote a few words about this in the blog, but I never really got it out of my mind.
But then the glas of wine was served and I had a grown up conversation with someone that was not my husband or a cashier at Trader Joes. You made my day, Christine!
So thank you, Christine! For everything you did for us!
The best of luck with your running and with your family!
If you ever travell to Europe/Sweden to find your swedish genes you must contact us, but maybe more likely, we will come back visiting California and then I hope to see you all again.
And for other readers of this blog, and especially the runners, the magazine is for sale right know! The December number of Runners World with Christine on the cover :o) You can read about her story and their fight for a normal life with a child with a potentially mortal diseas.
You will find it at Narvesen on Oslo S or at the corner by Saga kino.
LØP OG KJØP! (run and buy ;o) )