No words.

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Sometimes there are just no words that really express how I feel. Since I was a little girl I’ve always been overly empathetic towards others. My family says it’s a blessing but it feels like a curse sometimes. It’s hard for me to look at the struggles of others. I internalize them and make them my own. As a child, I wept every time I encountered a stray dog or any other animal lying on the side of the road (ok, I still do this). I would tear up when my family went to Wendy’s and I saw an elderly gentleman sitting by himself with no family to talk to.

Some things never change. As a mom, my capacity to care has only deepened. And sometimes it hurts badly. That said, I realize my hurt doesn’t even begin to compare to what others are going through.

There is a guy I know, Jake, who lost his dad when I was in first grade. His dad was only in his 30’s and developed a rare brain tumor. It was surreal and my young heart had trouble grasping the reality of the situation. How could this happen? Why did this happen? Despite my questions, I knew one thing for sure: there surely could be nothing worse on this earth than losing your parent.

Only I was wrong. There is something worse. And that’s losing your child. Through some cruel twist of fate, this same guy is now dealing with that situation. His 2 yr old son developed a brain tumor and is currently spending his last hours on this earth. Jake and his wife are holding their perfect, beautiful little boy in their arms while he slips away. His life. His joy. His laughter. Gone.

What do you say in a moment like this? What do you do?

I get angry. Then I cry. Then I pray. I hold my son tighter than ever. And I think of what I might be able to do to help in some tiny way. Fortunately, there are other people already taking action to try to help.

If you feel led to help, here’s a link to help with funding the expenses the Brown family are encountering during this unbearable time. https://www.facebook.com/PrayersForCaden/app_18015191938

And to stop this pain from happening to other children and their families, my dear friend Lindsey is out there raising money for St. Jude’s. Their work is so vitally important. Not only are they improving the lives of those dealing with cancer, they’re doing important research and desperately looking for a way to a cure so this doesn’t have to happen again. Consider it an investment in the best we have to offer this world: our children. http://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/Heroes/Heroes?px=2232548&pg=personal&fr_id=4960

Finally, I just wanted to mention this: 2 weeks ago Caden’s family was trying to get him well enough so they could go on a trip through the Make A Wish Foundation. They knew that the cancer was not going away and so they were preparing for a dream trip in which their family could make memories to last a lifetime. It was not meant to be and within the course of 24 hrs that dream was gone. But it still exists for families like them. My friend Liz is raising money for Give Kids the World, and organization that provides free vacations in Orlando for families like Caden’s. Oh, how I wish they could have gone to a place like this! If you’re interested in giving to help other families achieve that dream, the link is https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/LizGrigat/wdwmarathonweekend2014

I hate asking for money. I hate asking for favors. I’m totally uncomfortable and out of my element. I would’ve sucked at a career in sales. But if this post inspires just one person to donate just $1 to one of the links above, it’ll be worth it. In the meantime I’ll be praying for Caden, his family and all others like him in this battle for life.

Fly high, little angel.

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