Monday, September 23, 2013

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

As September winds down I can't help but feel frustrated and a little sad.  September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  Just one month that is meant to support ALL of the childhood cancers.  Leukemia, Neuroblastoma, Lymphoma, Ewing sarcoma, Hodgkin disease, Retinoblastoma....and too many others.  And we are supposed to somehow bring awareness to all these cancers in a single month.  

October is coming soon.  And the country will focus on breast cancer awareness.  And that's fantastic!  People will dress in pink and wear pink ribbons and participate in pink runs and walks.  Football teams will wear pink jerseys.  I'm pretty sure the White House and the Empire State Building even have pink lights at some point.  And I'm thankful for the awareness.  Truly I am.  I know many women who are breast cancer survivors.  And it is because of all the steps that have been taken and the research and the early mammograms that they have survived.  And I am so, so thankful.

And yet, I can't help but wish that childhood cancer awareness was even half as important to others as breast cancer awareness is.  I wish that the White House had gold lights.  I wish that there was more money focused on childhood cancer research.  I wish that more children could be saved.

I know too many families whose children have fought this horrible disease.  I know too many families whose children have lost.  Their faces will never leave me.  Their amazing spirits will forever be a part of my life.  I'm thankful to have known them.  And as I look at Tyler and say a prayer of thanksgiving that he survived I can't help but think of those who did not.  And it breaks my heart a little bit every time.

So parents, kiss your children.  Hug them tight.  Say a prayer of gratitude that they are healthy and happy.  And pray that someday the focus on childhood cancer research will be greater.  Pray that more children can be saved.  Pray that these awful diseases aren't allowed to claim another child.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Dear Mom

Dear Mom-

Remember that time in the fourth grade when I was supposed to make an Indian village out of clay?  You stayed up until who knows when creating the perfect village.  I couldn't believe it the next morning.  You made a tee-pee.  You made a fire pit using little rocks and real ash.  You put tiny sticks for logs next to the fire pit.  You crafted a river out of aluminum foil and made a canoe out of clay.  You must have worked for hours and hours.  It was incredible.  I wish we had a picture.  I got an A+ and my teacher asked if she could keep it to use as an example for others.  I felt on top of the world.  And I'm pretty sure I didn't give you nearly enough credit.  

Remember that time in the fifth grade when I had to make a book labeling all of the steps of the scientific process?  Once again, you stayed up all night making the perfect book.  It had art work.  It had perfect handwriting.  It was neat and easy to follow.  And I got an A+.  I wish I still had it.  It was the best book in all of fifth grade, I'm sure of it.

Remember all the other projects you helped me with?  Eighth grade Science Fair comes to mind.  We worked so hard on that project and it paid off.  I got one of the top five awards for our city.  I was so proud.  

A few months ago I helped Emmalee make a turkey project for school.  She had to "dress" her turkey.  We decided on a Victorian bride.  She turned out lovely.  

Our little project took nearly four hours.  And I was wiped out.  I had blisters on my fingers from the glue gun.  There were pieces of purple turkey feathers all over the kitchen.  I failed to take the teacher's advice and got a bit carried away.  But it was so fun to work on something with my girl.  It was great to see her enthusiasm for our project.  It was all worth it when she thanked me for all my hard work when we were done.

Now I know why you worked so hard on all those projects.  Now I understand how much you enjoyed it.  I only hope I thanked you enough.  I hope I let you know how much you were appreciated.  Just in case I didn't, I wanted to say thank you.

I love you, Mom.  For this and countless other reasons!!  Happy Mother's Day!