I try to find life lessons in everyday things for my kids. I try to help them connect what they see to who they can be. Now. Today. I did that twice this past weekend. I was able to connect others peoples fight and good deeds to them.. to us and to Unravel. .. I have to laugh though.. I tell myself I do it for them.. but honestly I know as I write I do it for me too.. To know the sacrifices we make by running Unravel are meaningful.. that there is a purpose to what we are doing.
We watched .. a bit obsessively the owner at my gym compete in something called the CrossFit games. I took a lot of playful ribbing for it. But the kids noticed. They got to observe some pretty amazing stuff. They don’t know numbers of weight and what heavy can mean. But they know hard work. They got to watch it happening..Athletes noticeably struggling.. wanting to give up. But not. They saw them pushing until they got to the end of a event and collapse. They felt the excitement of cheering on somebody else.. in rejoicing in that persons success.
I don’t do that often. I find myself more entrenched in the failures of pediatric cancer versus the successes in it. I want to get there. I want to whole heartedly cheer on those that land on upright.. often broken.. often battered.. But upright. I want to be able to cheer them on completely.
I can’t right now. .. I hate that about myself.
There was one competion that “our guy” finished but another guy was struggling to complete. He went back. To encourage him. To cheer him on. Wes had already beat him… already won his battle.. But he went back to be there with somebody still in the trenches.
The competitor seemed to appreciate it .. I don’t think I do that. I think I am still so angry over my loss.. that I cannot hear the encouragement of the survivors.
I don’t like that. I am not proud of that.
My boys got to watch this though. In a totally different arena then the one we live in right now. They got to see what it means to get down with somebody else struggling… even if you are out of the struggle. They got to see somebody accept that offering.
I don’t teach them that. I can’t teach them that right now. I am grateful I got to at least show them that in hopes a little bit of it absorbed into them
I always wanted to find a way to teach my kids to give back. To think outside themselves and be simply good people. I did it with Jennifer. . in ways I didn’t know until after she was already gone.. Or maybe she did it for me? Maybe she is the one who taught me.. showed me..
Eventually I thought I would be able to teach them to be philanthropic. But in time.. she was just 3 or 4 or 5 after all.. I had time and I had no ideas.
I was wrong. On all counts. She gives back now. Eternally through the microscopic pieces of her still fighting in a lab. Her donated tumor cells teaching.. giving so much.
So now its a huge component of what we are trying to do with Unravel. This summer we are building a team to to create the whole “Kidvocate,” like a advocate only better – its kids saving kids – section of Unravel. I am excited for it.
But I was wrong.. again.. Because we just need to give them the support, kids are already doing it! From donating their birthdays to Unravel to running a coin drive at their school. Kids are doing it. Only kids that knew Jennifer though.. so I thought how we needed to grow it. To bring more kids in.
I was wrong…yet again. I need to start giving these kids more credit!! I got a phone call. One of our best friends and current Secretary of our board was with her daughter at a hair cut place. A little girl was there. She was donating her hair. Renee went up to them and asked about it. To learn their why.
and so inspiring.
Jennifer. A little girl they had never met. But that little Isabella has come to know. She was doing it in honor of my Jennifer.
I swooped up my surviving daughter and we drove .. Just to say thank you.
She was quiet. She was beaming and I think she was really proud. I was too.
She is 6. Going into first grade. And she is making a difference. She made one to me. Like Wes did.. her and her mom turned back around when they could have just kept moving. They turned back to encourage and support us..
…me. Struggling to get up. .. to keep moving.. to keep fighting on.
Every single child that fights for and with Unravel.. they save other kids.. and they save me.
Afterwards Charlotte and I went to go get some cold yogurt. Just us girls. We watched the final days CrossFit competition on my cell phone and cheered together. A little personal no into yes for us girls. Random cold yogurt sharing right before dinner.
i learn so much jennifer
because of you
..until there is a cure..