Monday night Nikki and I met up with the rest of the “Children’s Fight for Life” committee to present the check to the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at PCH and it was amazing! Here’s the check:
Can you see that…??? $100,300!! How amazing in that?! Everyone was so happy to see the large amount on the check and all of those at the Center were more than thankful. It really feels so good to be able to give that amount of money to the clinic since this place was our second home for so very long. The clinic is filled with honest love and there is nothing better than that. Of course, the slew of treatment that Jack went through also has to do with his amazing outcome, but we wouldn’t have been able to get through it without these people.
My friend, Angie, owns Yogurtology at Arrowhead (20241 N.67th Ave Ste A-7, Glendale, Arizona) and she announced today that she will be selling Jack’s “Stronger Than Cancer” shirts at her store and every time you wear your new shirt in to get yogurt, you get 20% off! So if you live in the Glendale area…head over to Yogurtology and get your shirt, have a tasty treat, and give Angie a hug and tell her how amazing she is for all she does for her community. She really is amazing!
So I was running around this morning with Braden trying to get some last minute Christmas things done. I have been so busy lately and have had so much on my mind that I haven’t stopped to enjoy the little things…like running errands with just Braden and being able to soak up that time with him while I can. We were at Target and I was getting a few gifts for the kids and was in the game aisle. Another mom and dad were in the same row looking at something for their daughter. The dad picked up a game and goes, “Oh, I bet she will like this one!” The mom replied, “I am sure she will, but are you ACTUALLY going to PLAY it with her? That’s the real question.” Dad says, “Well it’s only for 2 players so it could only take, what, 10 minutes to play?” Mom, “Probably.” Dad, “Well then I can handle that.” Are you flipping kidding me?! I wanted to bonk their two heads together and ask them what their problem was! How could you say something like that?? How could you NOT want to spend that time playing a game with your daughter? A little peeved with their conversation, I took a deep breath, kissed Braden on the head, told him I loved him, and accidentally elbowed the dad on the way out. (Not really, but I should have.)
We walked in to Barnes and Noble and I instantly felt better. There is something about a book store…I could have stayed in there for hours. Now Braden, he isn’t as big of a fan as I am! If you know him at all, he talks a lot…and he talks very loud, so a bookstore isn’t the best place for him but we still managed to get a few things accomplished while we were there. Like I said, my mind, as well as most of ours this time of the year, has been all over the place. I was going through a big checklist in my head while I was driving home, Braden was pretending to be a choo-choo train (loudly!) when all of the sudden, the song “Ronan” by Taylor Swift came on the radio. I have never heard it on the radio before and have only listented to it once with Jack since we heard it and downloaded it at the Stand Up to Cancer event. I instantly got the chills and then noticed that Braden was totally silent. He sat there and said, “Wisten Mom” with his little hand up to his ear. We sat in silent for the couple of minutes that the song played as I drove and as tears streamed down my face. That song is so powerful and even more so since we knew Ronan and Maya while he was being treated at PCH. I “wistened” to the song and can only imagine how Ronan’s family feels every day, but especially around the holidays. The song was over and Braden went back to acting like a train and I started thinking about all the things that I am so thankful for and that I don’t even realize…like Braden’s choo choo sound. It’s loud. It’s more like a high pitch scream rather than an actual “choo choo” and I will admit that there are times when I am driving and totally tune it out (it’s what mom’s do!). I started thinking of where I would be if I could never hear that noise again or how I would be if I never heard Jack say, “Well actually Mom…I was going to remind that you are wrong.” or hear the little cough on the monitor in the middle of the night that woke me up just as I feel asleep and left me lying awake for hours. All of these little things that are actually the big things in life. The little things are what we need to listen to, remember, write down, record so you always have them. We need to take time during this time of year, and really all year, to take a deep breath and “wisten” to what’s going on around you and embrace it. We are lucky. We are so lucky to have both of our boys here with us.
I started this post yesterday and didn’t finish it. Today, a horrific act of violance was committed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Conneticut. A man is responsible for killing 20 children and 6 adults, which includes his mother. This is something that will never be explained or justified. These little, innocent, beautiful children were robbed of their lives and their families will somehow have to learn to live without them. I cannot imagine what the pain is like for them. I cannot imagine what it was like in that school and what the children who survived actually witnessed. I wanted nothing more to run to Jack’s school today and pull him out of school early but I fought it with everything in me. Instead I arrived at his school a bit earlier than normal and waited to see his famous bright neon green Vans backpack come through the door. I have laughed with other parents and teachers that we can literally see his backpack from a mile away and today I was so thankful for that. I couldn’t even see his body, but I saw his bag and I have never been so relieved.
Like I was originally posting yesterday, try and take time to soak up your days. Soak up the moments that will soon be just memories. Learn to laugh more, love harder, live better, play more, leave the electronics alone for a bit and pay attention to what is really happening around you. You never know when life will change…through cancer or a sudden tragedy.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those effected by today’s horrific event.