i did this

Everything is different for us. Its not just that we lost our daughter we lost ourselves too. All the old rules have been re-written. And underneath that new writing there is always a ache.. the pain that we didn’t want things to change. No, honestly, we were all really happy with how things were.

But then our 6 year old got an oncologist. .. and then a headstone.

Jennifer. This was never supposed to happen.

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Everything is different. My kids cry and yell or act up. .. and I question how to handle it.. If I should simply give them a consequence or is it their grief manifesting itself. They lost the mom I once was.. the mom I should have been.  Unintended consequence of our battle with infertility. I really appreciated being a mom.

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A wife too. I was a really good homemaker. .. and I loved it. So much.

I am not the wife to Tony that I was. The one that handled all the household chores. Because now I have taken on 2 new hats.. Founder of a non-profit and grieving mom.. Both nearly full time jobs themselves. So the other things I used to do so well.. so flawlessly seem to fall by the wayside.

How much I miss our old weekends.. where we did chores and played outside.. When we were just a family with all the normal worries and concerns. Yard work and meals for the week. .. getting the last bit of laundry folded. There was never expired mayonnaise in the fridge and we never ran out of dryer sheets.

Til now.. Now I am gone helping with fundraisers by people that want to help Unravel..sharing our story and the truths..

5 parents join me in their own personal hell today..

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They don’t have to. But they do. 5 more mothers kiss their babies for the last time.. 5 more wives will hear their husbands cry in the middle of the night and never question why. Because their child is gone and..

…and because the money isn’t there to give those looking for a cure the time and freedom to actually do it. It doesn’t have to be this way.. But it is..

One cent of every donated dollar from American Cancer Society/Relay for Life and less than 4% of the governments cancer allocated funds ..

Where does the other money go? Well if you have followed this blog for awhile you might notice a change in one statistic.. That change happened due to the American Cancer Society. .. Not because they see the value in our kids lives.. in investing in the future generations… its because they invested in a study.. about the statistics. statistics?!?!

Thanks.

I know this now .. and I have to share all of this information.. But it does come at a cost. To me. To us. A cost I choose everyday… because I wish I had known the information and done something to save my daughter.

I let her die. I did this. We did this, those of us that didn’t do anything before.

I did this. Lack of action. Lack of outrage.

I didn’t protect her.

I avoided knowing the truth until I had no other choice. Until it was my daughter on the table and a woman in a white coat talking to me.

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…oh jennifer…

Can’t run from it any longer. But I can do something. I don’t know how far off we are from saving kids. I can’t wait for that day.. when I can close up shop and go back to just being a wife and mom. .. maybe even grandma.

Today though there is a need.  I can save other moms. From this horrific guilt. From this knowledge I now have.. That I could have tried to save her before it was already too late. I will do it.. one person at a time if need be.. I will do it.

I read books about bedtime and crying it out or co-sleeping. Books about raising siblings that get along and “pinned” new recipes to try. I never did what mattered though. I never made any impact on the number one killer of our kids behind accidents. ..

i am so sorry Jennifer

and jonathan

and nicholas

and charlotte

i failed all of you by failing her.

Really truly I failed all of us. My family.. and the other ones that have been touched since the day Jennifer was diagnosed.. over       14, 000 kids diagnosed with cancer in this country since she was just a little over a year ago. And I failed the ones yet to be impacted.

I am forever trapped in this world of personal persecution. Always feeling a need to pay penance and save other moms.. not just from the pain of losing their child.. but the guilt that comes with knowing i didn’t do what I could have to protect her.

Be better than me. Don’t just be sorry.. be active!

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…until there is a cure..

12 Responses to “i did this”

  1. You’ve taught me how to turn a no into a yes.
    That is a gift, from you because of her, that is the most incredible thing I have ever… I have no words. Thank you, Libby. You did this.

    Sending love every moment.

  2. You Libby, are so much more than you give yourself credit for tonight. So much more than just “better”. You are honoring Jennifer every day in a way that is much more than just magnificent….Tony and the kids see that….we ALL see that!!! #love4JLK #unravelcancer

  3. Mrs. Kranz

    I don’t even know what to type, but know that I am compelled to leave a comment. I happened upon your blog while reading about another little girl lost to this horrible disease. Your stories of your journey are completely captivating, leaving me sobbing for you, your family and my own fears. Jennifer just climbed right into my heart!

    You, have also given my child the gift of a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’, spending more time snuggling or just leaving the phone in the other room. Hannah and I are forever grateful!! I thought my biggest fear was the return of my Hodgkins Lymphoma and leaving my girl motherless, now I know that it could be worse than that! Is that selfish? Maybe.

    You and your family all need to grieve in your own different ways. Use your support system, the guilt can be paralyzing.

    Thoughts & Prayers
    Janeel James
    (Maryland)

  4. Thank you for opening my eyes to childhood cancer and the fact that such a small percentage of money goes to childhood cancer (which is digusting), making me be (or really try harder!) to be a better mom to my 2 small gifts, and appreciating life more. All of this because of your Jennifer!! What an amazing little girl and I know she is lovingly looking down on all you are doing in her name. Try not to be so hard on yourself…you are putting your family above all while still doing so much paving the way for a cure for this terrible monster! And Jennifer is guiding you in all you do!!

  5. Libby remember you were one person and although yes it only takes one person to start something it could not be done alone. Its so normal that if something doesn’t affect us personally we show little interest. You never knew it was going to happen to you like most of us we just don’t think about horrible things happening to us until it does. Don’t punish yourself for the past because you didn’t know but praise yourself for the future and all you are doing to find a cure. Someday things will change and no they wont be what they were before Jennifer lost her battle put there will be a sense of satisfaction knowing how much great work you have done to help find a cure for the monster that took away your Jennifer and so many other children. One day at a time Libby and in time things will be different and so much of this grief you are dealing with will be less and there will be a sense of satisfaction because of what you are doing now. As your children get older and understand I am sure they too someday will do their part for the sister they lost. Love you Libby for all your strength and determination to help find a cure!!!

  6. Hi Mrs. Kranz,

    I found your website while reading about another little one that lost their battle. I don’t know what to type but am compelled to type something…..but what? That I feel your pain through your words. That I appreciate you sharing your family’s story…..Jennifer has fluttered right into my heart. That talk is nothing and I will look for a way to make even a small difference.

    I do know that you and Jennifer have changed my child’s life. I play more, snuggle more and put the phone down more! Changing a ‘no’ to ‘yes’. I thought my biggest fear was a relapse of my Hodgkins Lymphoma, but now I know it could be much worse. And I will treasure every day!

    With warm thoughts and prayers,
    Janeel James
    (Maryland)

  7. Libby, you made me a better mom. You did that. You opened my eyes to this horrific disease and how there’s not enough funding for it. You did that. I want to do all I can because of you. Especially because of your Beautiful Jennifer. I also turn ‘nos’ into yes’ now because of you. Thankyou. Thankyou. We love you all. We love Jennifer so very much. All my love to you all today and everyday. Until there is a cure. #LOVE4JLK♡

  8. Libby. .. this breaks my heart. I hate to see you blame yourself. I echo the same sentiments as the previous comments. YOU have helped me turn a no into a yes because of Jennifer! You’ve reminded me about unconditional, amazing love and the amazing bond between mothers and daughters. To remember to fight for change and to remind me about those no’s into yes’ -I say her name a few times throughout the day- and I smile thinking of her beautiful face. Without even knowing her except through pictures and your words it is soooooooooooo clear how much she shines and that she’s an exceptional little girl! Libby. . You didn’t do this and I’ll stand along side you and fight for our children against the monsters in our world that did! I just can’t believe some of what I read. Just one example being the pharmaceutical companies don’t step up and pay for research etc etc because it’s NOT PROFITABLE enough for them! ??? WTH is that crap? ????????

  9. What a beautiful picture of you and Jennifer at the end of this post. Thank you for taking on the job of motivating all of us to do something about pediatric cancer. I know that at times it is very hard for you and your family to continue this fight. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for having known Jennifer and for knowing the Kranz family.

  10. I am so incredibly sorry that you are burning with such tortuous feelings every day. You don’t deserve that. You are a magnificent mum to all 4 of your children. I will do everything ì csn to make a cure happen. I promise you that. For all children because of your sweet Jennifer xxx

  11. You can’t blame yourself. You did everything possible to keep her healthy, with her celiac disease and all the healthy choices you made and guided her with. None of us predict cancer…it’s just not on our radar until it is.

    Thanks to your incredible advocacy, pediatric cancer is now on a lot of people’s radar and research is being funded, and progress is being made. You are part of that sea change and thousands of people thank you for the honesty on your blog which is bringing so much awareness.

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