Category: childhood cancer

glittery birthday girl

I was never a fancy birthday mom.. Never did party favors or pinterest themed decorations. .. So its only natural that I agreed to having Unravel throw an entire gala on what should be her 10th birthday!! A party in her honor to rage against the beast that ripped her unwillingly and with a slow precision from our arms. So I might as well admit it.. I am scared.. That date. October 28th. It’s held such power over me for almost 10 years.  .. the date I became a mom.. The date I looked forward to for 6 years.. To celebrate the little girl that changed everything.. husband and wife.. turned forever.. mommy and daddy. . In one moment.. in one breath she did that.. And 6 years after those first exhilarating moments .. years of promise were stolen in a string of words and letters.. Cancer.. DIPG.. There is[…]

 It is warmth. It is joy. It is full.

I’ve always known .. well I guess not always since I never in my wildest fears imagined this being our life.. But since she was put on hospice care I knew our kids would each take their own paths on their grief journeys. I remember them teaching us how our kids would each re-live the loss of their sister as they hit new cognitive and emotional milestones.. So I’ve know it.. It should be no surprise .. but it always is. I share all of this now for them.. An addendum to my letter to them.. (shared here) for them to know what I know. We were recently talking about the girl I believe to our Jennifer’s best friend. How it was 11 years since her family said their final goodbye to her. We talked about what we could do to support Brecken’s family. It brought to the surface each[…]

six

Six. Never has a number had such power over me. Forever 6. My eldest child is eternally six years old.. Told on that birthday that she wouldn’t make it see seven. Her younger brother is 7.. and tomorrow her baby brother will also be 6. how? How is that even possible. Her bubbas.. I woke him this morning like I do the every morning before their birthdays.. Welcoming them to their final day of their current age. . But as I said the words .. ” Wake up to your last day of 5..” I felt a rush of cold through my veins. A cold and palpable fear. please help me keep him safe..  I’ve heard that military/police term of “watch your 6”.. and its resonated lately.. I had a feeling as to what it meant.. But I looked it up to be sure.. the defintion.. “6:00 is what lies[…]

the power of a memory

My mind often struggles to catch up with my reality. Most of the time Im not even aware of it. My daughter was here. Jennifer lived. And Jennifer died. Forever 6. The other day the kids played a joke on me. They all got in the car to go somewhere like they do everyday but when I walked over to buckle Bridgette in Jonathan was in her seat … the car erupted in giggles as I jumped back in confusion and surprise. I was laughing as I started to say Jennifer did that when she was your age.. It was like somebody ran across my stomach with a blade. The pain. Sharp. Immediate and shocking. He is 7. She is 6. Little brother older than big sister. Luckily I didn’t get the sentence out of my mouth and they were all too busy being proud of themselves to hear me.[…]

the gift of motherhood.

About 2 years ago I shared a piece of our life unconnected to childhood cancer. What I realized might have been the purest for them because of her.. Certainly the first. We placed 4 embryos for adoption (huh? Read here). These embryos turned children live in Texas, and when we found out we were having a MNO event there my first text was to their parents to see if they wanted to meet. They did. Mostly I was excited. Just to meet all of them. See them, Liz and Kevin and the kids, Sammy and Ethan. To just know what it was like to meet these genetic children .. my kids biological siblings that aren’t mine. Of course I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous too.. I was going into it not having a motherly pull towards these kids.. but what if that changed?? It didn’t. It actually[…]

belated and genuine thank you

When Jennifer was still here fighting and I started blogging I feel like everyday I had big realizations and break throughs.. After she died it was the same. I was constantly making huge deep connections within myself.. Now its rarer that it happens.. In part because its just harder to carve out this much needed time to sit and “talk” with myself.. And because maybe that’s another sign of my growth within this journey.. Not having the need to be making so many life defining or changing realizations.. But it happened recently.. and once they started I feel like its been happening a lot.. I have so much bottled up inside.. not so paitiently waiting for me to make the time to sit like this.. To take it out and look at it and begin to understand it. Texas. We recently went there for Unravel. .. I’ve always wanted to[…]

my question for you..

What does don’t be sorry be active mean? It means I know you are sorry I lost my daughter .. I know you are sorry she suffered.. I know you are sorry she is gone and sorry that maybe even you miss her too… But that sorry. Its not enough. Not enough because she is still fighting.. Her cells .. living and growing pieces of her.. they are fighting .. SHE is fighting but she needs help. Money. Awareness. Help to make both of those things happen. Sorry isn’t enough for Jennifer. And. And for your kids. Sorry isn’t enough for any of our kids. Sorry doesn’t stop the tragedy.. the death…the suffering from happening. It just protects your eyes.. unless.. . it get drops inside your own home and you simply cannot avert your eyes any longer. Let me pose this question. Would you do more? Would you do it[…]

earthquake country

I live in earthquake country.. I always have.. but now its more. Now I exist in it too.. I am always ready.. vigilant for any potential tremors. But that’s what makes them so scary .. you never know when they will hit.. Even when they start.. you just never know how high they will register on the Richter scale.. I already know. As my fingers hit the keyboard I already know .. this might be one of those posts I never publish.. Because I know whats eating at me. .. something I struggle too admit to myself .. let alone out loud.. My jealousy. My heartbreak in the middle of others joy. The birth of my niece. Yes of course seeing a healthy baby… of remembering what it was like to first have my Jennifer placed in my arms.. Of wanting so desperately to go back.. to get those years[…]

but Jennifer died..

I am struggling to find the balance. I write and I miss Jennifer so terribly.. I look through pictures to add them to my words. And I see how quickly and special my time with her was.. And I realize how quickly this time is passing me with my surviving kids.. but Jennifer died. Cancer stole her. It destroyed my family. And I know I have the ability to make a difference… The altruistic part of #forTHEMbecauseofher.   But I see pictures like this. . And I realize Charlotte has already outgrown putting her shoes on the wrong feet .. Time is passing. And I miss it. Because of work. Work I never wanted. Work I never planned on doing. I miss it. I miss them. but Jennifer died. Cancer stole her. It destroyed my family. And I know I have the ability to make a difference… So how do[…]

my friend Grief

Its February. Its here. This month that fills me with such dread.. Its here. And with her she brings my old friend.. Grief. True. Utter. Grief. Grief that hollows me out. This friend.  The one I can’t remember not knowing, yet somewhere along the line, I was able to put in some separation.. Able to call on her .. versus her calling on me.. With this month that friend is back. Holding my hands .. matching my every step. I feel like I am being slowly pushed towards an invisible line and everything in me is fighting against it.. I’m losing though. . Ive always lost to February. I find myself constantly crying. Every time I get in the car .. Even those times my mind feels blank or preoccupied .. the moment the door closes I feel that familiar prick and sting in my eyes.. Grief. She grabs my[…]

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