Today ended rough. We’ve been sort of on a high lately – with all kinds of fun things happening with Catch Some Air, as well as being able to take a vacation and do more since Kristine has been feeling better (which I will update about later, but right now I have something else on my mind). Today, the crappiness of this whole cancer thing hit me hard again.
The day started out great. Kristine had her spinal tap and then some chemo – all went well. We saw a bunch of our nurse friends, doctors, and some of our little heroes - always a highlight. After the 2.5 hour drive home, I was scrolling through my feed and found that one of our kids had passed this morning. I haven’t cried so hard in a while. I hadn’t even met this little hero yet, but sweet Lily had the same diagnosis as my sister, and was treated at the same hospital. I think about and pray for all these kids a lot – and thus, consider them ‘my kids’. I followed Lily's story on social media and hoped our schedules would match up soon so I could meet that sweet face – I guess it will just have to wait awhile longer.
I knew stuff like this was bound to happen because of the nature of what we’re doing…but gosh…I don’t think one can ever be ready for it. Hearing the news wacked me like a ton of bricks, and it touches close to home. As some of you may know, cancer stole my older brother back in 2003 and then there’s my little sister who is fighting it now. I know what it’s like losing someone to this. But even so, I can’t imagine what it’s like as a parent to lose a child. My heart breaks for Lily's parents, for her sister, for all who had the honor of knowing her. I feel for them because I know it’s never quite the same - and family events always feel like someone is missing. I still don’t know why things like this happen. I do know that heaven is richer, and the world is a better place - and will continue to be a better place because of what that little girl brought to it.
Still, this rips my heart, and I hate the injustice of it all. I’m so done with cancer stealing things – people, joy, hope, time, energy, happiness etc. Personally, that is a big part of the reason I’ve been sticking with my sister through her whole treatment process and why I started Catch Some Air with her. We will keep fighting the best we know how: by staying happy, staying positive, staying hopeful, connecting with people, and hopefully passing that along to others who are fighting too. Life is short. Live it to the fullest, dream big, and more than anything - love those around you with everything you have. The most important thing in life we can do and be is love. Honestly, nothing else even matters.
Lily, you’ve caught a little too much air for my liking, but I know you’re having a blast up there now. Say hi to my bro for me – I’m sure he’ll teach you some tricks on those new fancy wings of yours.
Please keep this family in your prayers. #LilyStrong
Brianna (the sister)
Update: After her passing, Lily's parents started the Lily Chiquet Strength Foundation to bring more awareness and funding for pediatric cancer. They are an amazing family. Please check it out here: www.lilychiquetfoundation.org
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