Elephant Days

My name is Hadley and I’m writing a guest post for my mom’s blog.

When my mom got cancer, people told me to write in a journal and sometimes gave me books. Not my style. I prefer to sit in my room for an hour and think. One night when I was thinking I came up with something called “elephant days.”

This elephant sits in my room to remind me!

When my family and I lived in China we were lucky to be able to take trips to Indonesia and Thailand.  One time when we took a trip to Bali, it rained the whole week we were there.  Just when I started to get really tired of it, we saw something special.  A baby elephant and his person were swimming in the water.  It was so funny. Thus, elephant days.

Here’s how it works; a sunny day is a good day; a rainy day is a bad day (because you can’t go to the beach!) and an elephant day starts as a bad day but then turns good.

This is the way I feel about mom’s cancer – full of elephant days.

I had my ears pierced last week with my mom to celebrate. Now, that's an elephant day!

By the way, the opposite of elephant days are called sand-in-your-pants days.  These are days that start good but end not-so-good, like when my sister Emma got sand in her bathing suit bottoms another day at the beach.

Life is good and I keep looking out for elephants.

This is my mom and me with my grandma and my great-grandma Betty. I got to see her a few weeks before she died at 97! The best kind of Elephant Day!

-Hadley P.

(P.S. Mom has no more cancer!!!!!!!!!!!)

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  1. Dawn Weeman
    Posted September 20, 2010 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I love the idea of Elephant days. I think you’ve coined a new phrase. Just settling into a cloudy and wet morning at work and feeling so happy about your good news.

  2. Erika
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Hadley – What a wonderful post!!

    It seems like I’ve also had many Elephant Days and Sand in Your Pants Days as I’ve been watching your Mom battle the bad cells. The day she found out about her cancer was about the worst Sand in Your Pants Day EVER! But…I can also think of many Elephant Days – The day I got to make soup for everyone in Portland, the day this summer that all the cousins got to spend the night in the fort on the spit, the day we had our Hoyt family reunion and especially the day Kerri had her surgery and the doctors said she was cancer free. It’s been a lot of work but having all those Elephant Days sure made it better.

    Thanks for sharing. We miss you :)

  3. lori
    Posted September 13, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Permalink


    My mom has cancer too (well, your mom doesn’t anymore–woohoo!) I was feeling really sad until I talked to her on the phone yesterday and we were talking about when I was probably around your age and I would go shopping with my friend and her mom. My friend and I would act really goofy and loud at the mall and I’d come home and tell my mom about it. Yesterday she admitted to me that she used to think, “Gosh, I hope they don’t see anyone I know!” This made me laugh and laugh thinking that my MOM had been embarrassed of ME! I got off the phone with a smile on my face. Definitely an elephant day.

    You’re a great writer and such a great daughter! I’m so happy that you’re having lots and lots of elephant days!

  4. Posted September 10, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Hads, you are a treasure. I love you and am so proud of your strength and optimism, and also for the many smiles and hugs you’ve offered your Mama these past few months. Here’s to sharing many Elephant AND Sand-In-Your-Pants days together, at our round tables over tea…

    Love you!

  5. grandfarter
    Posted September 10, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Hads, I am proud to be related to you. Wish I had the ability to write like you do.Your mom is good, so’s your dad, but they’re old and good is expected of them. You are fresh and young and haven’t had time to develop such remarkable skills.
    Don’t stop now. I volunteer to be your practice subject. Write to me. The old fashioned way, with pen and paper. I DON’T DO ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION, unless it’s your mom’s post. Peace on you sweety, and thanks for being tough for your ma. P.DeW

  6. Allison, Danny's Sis
    Posted September 10, 2010 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Dear Hadley,
    You made me laugh…you made me cry! You are such a great writer even though you prefer not to express yourself that way! I am so happy for your mom. She’s one amazing lady! I hope it is okay with you, but I would love to share your kinds of “days” with my third grade students. I think we can all relate to those kinds of days.

    I hope you and the family will have a ton of sunny days! And give your mom a big hug from me. :)

  7. Erin
    Posted September 10, 2010 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Hadley- you are a great writer! I agree, I would like to use “elephant days” and “sand in your pants days” to describe my days as well. I think you are on to something! I am going to teach them to Adam as well. :) You are a very smart, beautiful girl, and I am also very very happy your mom is cancer free! We hope to visit you soon in Portland! Xoxoxo

  8. Anna C
    Posted September 10, 2010 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Elephant Days and Sand in Your Pants Days. I love this and if you don’t mind, Hadley, I would like to use your words to describe my days too. xo

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