Friday, April 01, 2016

I am Lucky. I am Grateful.

I can’t imagine what anyone goes through when a close loved one has cancer.

I can’t imagine what a parent goes through when their child has cancer or any terminal illness or that matter.

I’m at a total loss to understand what that is like.

Every night, I pray to God to keep my child safe and healthy. That is all I want. It doesn’t keep me up at night worrying because I know sometimes you have no control of those two things; safe and healthy. I’m not asking for the world.

About a year ago I came to hear about a young girl in my town who has cancer; she’s 9 years old. She was doing well and then the cancer came back for the third time. People rallied all around town. They put up signs (similar to the politician yard signs) to show their support for her and her family. I started following her updates on Facebook to see how she was doing. Every day as I drove around town, I would see the signs everywhere and think of her and they made me smile. Sometimes, I’d see the signs and cry worried for her and her family. I’d cry not being able to understand what they were going through or feeling so helpless; nothing I could do will help her or any child with cancer for that matter. Helpless. Sad for her and her family. Thankful my children are healthy.

I’ve never met this family or this little girl. But every day I see those signs or I see updates; they are on my mind constantly.

The way they are bravely facing this challenge blows my mind. Her mother is so eloquent and so strong. The little girl has this smile that lights up on my screen as if she has conquered the world. And I think she has. I’m in my thirties and still can’t figure out life but she, at nine years old, didn’t have a choice. She grew up fast and with all that I’ve read about her plus photos I’ve seen, she has figured it out. This family, bravely going where I’ve never been before, and doing it with such grace. I admire them. I grieve for them. I pray for them.

Most importantly, I’m thankful for them. Because every day when my healthy children wake up, I know how blessed I am. Maybe I had a rough day, maybe my kids aren’t listening, maybe they were driving me crazy. But I have them and they are healthy. I am so Goddamn lucky. I am so thankful to that family for always reminding me how lucky I am.

I hope all the signs around town stay up forever as a reminder to everyone how lucky we are and how important the life of that little girl is. She and her family have touched my heart in more ways than one.

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