The Traveling Party

Meet More Diane

In just a few weeks time, I will be traveling to Venice, Italy with My Amazing Mama, who’s fighting a rare terminal brain cancer, along with our sweet, healing service dog Abby. Given that Mama’s condition requires full-time caregiving, traveling abroad alone was a daunting goal. We were determined to go NO MATTER WHAT, but we knew it would be more manageable (particularly in case of emergency) to have another loved one along.

Mother’s Day: Mama Jude, Abby, Me and More Diane (L-R)

We’re blessed to have Mama Jude’s childhood friend Diane, whom we call More Diane, join our special trip.

When I was 3, about when I first got the nickname Nosy Parker, Diane was my teacher at my beloved Bay Area Jewish preschool where my classmates called her Morah Diane (Morah is teacher in Hebrew). Since I joined the class later in the year, I heard “more” and so the name More Diane stuck (it’s also cute since she’s such a tiny woman). More Diane has been there for every graduation from 5th grade through college ― she’s family ― and so it is extra special to share this experience with her.

Diane and Jude as young girls

Mama Jude and More Diane have been friends since they were 3 years old and are like sisters. Their lifelong friendship is apparent is their private giggles, and we were honored to celebrate Pesach and Mother’s Day (photo above) with their immediate family this year ― a foodie’s dream as Diane’s daughter Lisa is a master chef, cake decorator and papercuts artist extraordinaire.

Diane and Jude’s families were friends ― the mothers were active B’nai Brith women ― and the two women’s lifelong friendship was even featured in a San Jose Mercury News spread some years ago. Diane and Jude have not yet had the opportunity to travel together, but they have loved dressing up in costumes together over the years. Now the two are packing for the trip of a lifetime.

More Diane presenting the quilt she made for Mama Jude

Wonderfully, preparing for this special trip has breathed new life into Mama Jude; she earnestly practices her Italian and gathers travel items. We are so thrilled that it is all coming together (though I confess I’m still nervous). It’s just now starting to feel real. We’ve got wonderful airline tickets thanks to the kindness of top flight expert SuperFlyer at FlightFox ― a real mensch; we’ve secured the Perfect Venetian Home for Mama’s needs, and we’re completely blown away by the encouragement and tremendous support we’ve received from loved ones and strangers. I’m almost done packing, but breaking from packing to party!

Today we are hosting our big “Screw Brain Cancer, We’re Going to Venice, Italy” Buon Viaggio BBQ Celebration and More Diane will be a guest of honor! We look forward to celebrating this special trip with our friends and will continue to blog about our adventures!

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9 thoughts on “The Traveling Party

  1. My husband and I have been following your mother's Venice adventures over the years and then after some detective work we flowed thru onto your site and have been following the sad and difficult updates. We are feeling such joy and anticipation for you both on your next trip back to Venice (we totally "get" exactly what your Mother loves about the place too). You have been such an inspiration as a caregiver to her and we look forward to hearing about your return to Venice. The apartment sounds absolutely perfect so have a wonderful time. We will be thinking of you and say a prayer.

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