August 21, 2018
Mark's sister Stephanie and I passed the anniversary of Mark's death together in Germany where she lives and works. We had just gotten back from a tour of Turkey in Mark's memory.
Mark so loved to travel. If you've read the early blog entries you may recall that Mark was near or past his 3 months to live prognosis and we were living in Bangkok so he could get his chemotherapy and radiation. I noticed he seemed quite depressed. Who wouldn't be if they had outlived their expiration date stamped on their medical record. Not one to assume, I asked him why he seemed depressed. "Well Mom, I'm never going to get to travel again." Without hesitation I asked; "Where would you like to go?" His reply was "Amsterdam." I immediately got on the computer and got us plane reservations to Amsterdam. There was a small problem in that all the rooms in Amsterdam were booked for the queens silver anniversary on the throne. I had a genealogist friend in Eden Germany who had a nephew in Amsterdam. The nephew got us the last two rooms in Amsterdam. Mark looked like my grandpa. He looked very sick but a few visits to the coffee shops and smoking special weed, he perked up, started eating and drinking beer with me and flirting with the girls and wanting to go to art galleries. Don't underestimate the power of weed. We ended up going by train to Germany and our Emden genealogist friend Heinrich and his wife Elke picking us up and took us to the home of relatives coming down from my great grandfather's brother. Ironically Mark recovered from stage 4 cancer but our friend Heinrich so robust at the time got cancer and died. This is so sad. It's real easy to hate the word cancer and cancer itself. Heinrich is sorely missed as is now Mark who died years after Heinrich.
On July 2, 2018 A Computer Room dedicated to Mark Richardson - we went to Reynosa Mexico to the Ramon Mario Bahena Rodriguez (RMBR) school and dedicated a computer room. It is named for Mark Richardson. Mark would love this honor and the fact that his memorial fund supplies books, bookcases, back packs and other needed items to the school. Anyone who wants to donate can write a check to the Rotary Club of Austin University Area (RCAUA) and mail it to the Rotary Club of Austin University Area c/o Ron Lantz, 9517 Ketona Cove, Austin, Tx 78759. Please mention on the check that it is for the Mark Richardson memorial fund. It can be a small check. It is tax deductible. Just be recognized as honoring Mark for all his struggles with cancer and the effects of chemo and radiation for the rest of his life. When he was treated at Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, ports were not in use. He was stuck with needles many times each of the many days he went to the hospital. He was so sick we had to carry bags in the taxis for when he had to volmit. He was very sick. Most of us would have stopped treatment and accepted our expiration stamp. I had friends who did this, but not Mark. Whatever it took to beat cancer, he was going to do it.