Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sojourn To Santa Cruz

Look what beating the tar out of cancer looks like. Have you ever seen a bigger smile?

My brother Glenn, has been beating cancer like a drum, alright. Like a big 'ol steel drum, down to the ground.

For over six months he was diligent in his diet and embraced the power of positive thinking.

The tumultuous cancer ride had its ups and downs. Sometimes the road led to bumpy one way streets, U turns and dead ends. At the stop sign, Glenn said YES.

He said YES to everything for many months. That was his mantra. That's his mantra today. Sometimes I get text messages from him that simply say the word YES.

Not long ago he had another surgery, to see if the cancer had spread any further.

He asked the Doc, Am I cancer free? The answer was YES.

I drove up the coast from SLO to Santa Cruz. The Eddie Money Band was playing on the beach for one of the Free Friday Night Bands on the Boardwalk shows. I hadn't seen Glenn since Christmas at my house. I actually made my traveling plans around this concert, because to be honest, I thought this might be my last chance to see him in action. The last time I would get to see him wail on the drums. The last time I would get to hear Eddie say, "here he is on the drums, Mr. Shakin' himself, Glenny Symmonds". At the time, when he was going through the-not-so-fun treatment every single Monday, I wasn't so sure he'd have the strength and the spirit to keep on keepin' on. But he did. And he does. And he continues to hold on to all the good stuff he's learned through the journey. He hasn't forgotten what was, and what could have been.

When I got to the Boardwalk, I made my way through the sand, through the chairs, the towels and blankets spread out, and the thousands of fans waiting to hear "Take Me Home Tonight." The sun was shining, the surfers were hanging ten and as I climbed up the stairs backstage laughing and jabbering with Tami, I heard my brother say, "I hear her!"

You can tell from the photos that Glenn and I are close. That we're a year apart in age. You can tell from the photos that we're brother and sister and that we like each other. I think you can see on our faces, the joy that we find in life. I'm ecstatic that he's cancer free.

Do I need to tell you how much fun the concert was? How entertaining and charismatic Eddie Money was? How many T-shirts Tami sold that night? How many fans this band has? How many loyal fans and friends came out to see my brother and wish him well? How many beach balls were thrown on stage and broken drumsticks tossed out to the crowd?

Do I need to mention how many smiles lit up the place? A million. Like the stars in that Santa Cruz sky.




**And, one last note to Glenn and Tami-Whami:

I forgive you, for sneaking off to the beach the morning after to watch the sun come up with Starbucks coffee,


********all photos taken by Glenn's main squeeze Tami @ Tami Landrum Photography********

A special thank you, to her. For coming into our lives.




  1. SUCH GREAT NEWS!!! How wonderful for Glenn. This makes me so happy for him and also for you. I can tell by those pics how close you both are to one another.

    this is such magNIFicent news!!
    to face the prognosis and then come out on top, laughing and smiling and saying YES.

    you two are quite beautiful together.
    but, let's face it: he belongs with tami, even with starbucks in hand, even with the sun rising....

    happy you, red dirt: you've got one sweet smile.


  3. I love your smile. It is so nice to know you come from a family of big beautiful smiles.

  4. Yes! oh, yes!!

    Blessings to Glenn & Tami!

  5. I am beaming!!!
    beyond words

    love love loved this

    love and light