This experience has showed me the goodness in people. We are so grateful for all the love and prayers, the monetary support and meals being delivered to my men folk back home. I am trying really hard to help JLK see how lucky we are and to teach her to find ways to pay it forward. Its hard to do though since I catch myself wondering why? I am no longer raising her to be a productive adult or a good wife. I want to give her only yeses. It has been brought up that maybe we should send her back to kindergarten after treatment. As a way for her to know she is ok and not be scared that we aren’t making her go. Not gonna happen though, both since I am selfish and I cant imagine not being with her….(that make me pause knowing I am going to be forced into that silent distance) and I dont think she is thrown off kilter by not going, it was too new to her life.

However I am known for being pretty cheap, a bit of a coupon clipper…but we have been eating out and I actually bought her a frivolous purchase. I think that may have thrown her. Its a seat pet. A ridiculous info-mercial toy for her seat belt. She wanted one for a long time and had been having a bad day and she saw it and I got it for her. She loved it…but soon wanted another info-mercial toy.  And she has been hounding me for it. I realized this was the thing that was throwing her. She was testing me probably without knowing it. She needs me to say no for her to feel safe. And I realized just because I know our time is being cut short I cant quit parenting her. So I got us right back on track. We bought that second info-mercial toy. For a little girl whose name we pulled off a Christmas tree.

We talked about how lucky we have always been to be able to provide presents under the tree for her. And asked her to think about how she might feel if she woke up to no presents..And she practiced what she thinks the girls reaction will be when she opens the gift. We talked about that no matter how hard things seem she can always find a way to help somebody else out. And I reminded her how many people she has around us that are proud of her and helping us out. She tried her best to get me to get her one and I wasnt positive she had gotten any of the good feeling that comes from doing for others until this morning when she asked to go make teddy bears for her brothers. My sister had talked to Jennifer about going to Build a Bear to make presents a little bit ago. And today before her radiation it is what she asked to go do. Throughout today she never asked to get something for herself. I think she found a true joy in making something for her siblings. We had only been planning on making them for her brothers, but on the way she asked if she could make one for her sister too. We said yes. This is something they can love and cuddle. When Jonathan falls and needs a hug from sissy he can run to his bear and squeeze it. Nicholas can snuggle it in the night and for Charlotte she will know how her sister always thought of her. Jennifer was so proud to be putting all of this together. IMG_2715It was my moment to watch her experience giving life the only way a 6yr old can. She even got to put a heart in each one. A gift from her for them for always. It was a really fun time for us to be together, she was so happy. It was very bittersweet for me though…She thinks she is just being a good sister. I know this will be one of the only tangible ties my kids have to their big sister. She has helped change all their diapers and give them first foods…She welcomed each one home from the hospital with cards and kisses…She is their leader and helper. I hope these animals serve as a reminder to always take care of each other…the way Jennifer does for them. I want them to never ever forget her and the way she loves them. And then they asked if we wanted to add in sound. My first true Libby reaction was how much and no. But I asked if it could be her voice. Yes. IMG_2716

So she gave each animal a message from her to share with each of her siblings. I watched a little but then it became too much for me and I had to leave the store to compose myself. Auntie stayed with her and I hope that time was a gift for my sister to share with her niece. How am I going to make it without her with me? We are doing so much together and I am getting even more attached (how is that even possible?) everyday of treatment. She leans on me now before they tell her too to get her sleepy meds. Its her least favorite thing but she doesn’t complain she doesn’t let the fear take over. She just leans in and I talk and she breathes. (I love that sound of her breathing)  We hold hands automatically now. We share jokes and giggles and so many little moments throughout our day. Though I think my body shields me from really feeling the pain…it allows me in this moment sitting here writing to swell with pride. That feeling inside of love and joy that balloons up when thinking of her smile and silly eye rolls at me. She is growing up and changing through this experience…maturing so quickly.

There was a time I wasn’t sure I would get to experience that feeling. A time when I wasn’t sure if we would ever be parents. A time here at the same hospital thinking this had to be the worst thing to go through…I drive by that building everyday and I remember….

She is my little girl and calls me mommy still.


I will never be her mom but live forever only knowing myself as her mommy.

12 Responses to “gift”

  1. Just sending love, prayers, and strength to you and your family. I hope that you find the strength you need in the coming months and years. Hug her and make memories. So many people are supporting you, crying over the unfairness of it all, and lifting you all up in prayer. Keep on fighting…and sharing.

  2. You are such an amazing mommy Libby. Jennifer is very lucky to have you. My heart aches for you all. I hope and pray Jennifer will beat the odds. I pray for a cure for cancer.

  3. All my love for all of you. Thank you for sharing with us. You have always been so open and giving of yourself Libby and I hope you know how much you and your family mean to me and so many others. That is our gift and we are blessed by it.

    With love, Baidra

  4. Have you explored the teachings of the Gerson Institute? I have no direct experience with them, but it’s something to look at. They offer alternative solutions yo treating cancer and have had some amazing results.

  5. I am stunned. What a beautiful gift for your children, to have those bears to hold and cuddle, and for Jennifer to have put so much thought into each one. You are an amazing mommy, Libby.

  6. You are doing the best you can Libs, and you are an amazing mom. Of course JLK is just as amazing, thinking of her littles–and that is because of YOU!!! I KNOW nothing can be said to make it all better, just know you are loved and thought of daily… i’m here my friend…

  7. You are simply amazing, my friend. You are exactly what Jennifer needs to walk this journey and still feel secure and happy and loved. <3 You're just amazing. We are sending our love to JLK through treatment this week.

  8. Absolutely beautiful. I love that she’s made those bears. What a precious gift to her siblings. Whether you realize it or not, you’re doing things for your boys and Charlotte that they will cherish forever. I know in past posts, you’ve worried over what kind of mom you might be after…but you’re already on a road to give them exactly what they need. You’re going to be amazing for them. You ARE amazing for her. Don’t worry about that. This entry shows that not only are you available for Jennifer in the here and now, you’re also there for your boys and the baby in the future.

  9. My heart hurts for you Libby. However I am SO happy for these sweet memories you are making with Jennifer, and the special time your getting with her.

  10. Looking back and re-reading this today, I see that you are doing exactly what you instructed her to do- giving to others when all you want is to do something for yourself.

    I hope that her siblings love those toys.

    Love and prayers….

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