Just a reminder of what I'm doing here each Sunday. I have found myself constantly challenged to write the kind of blog that I really dream of and to be able to be open and honest about my life and feelings. So in an effort to keep pushing myself to try harder and meet my goal, I'm writing each Sunday about a blog that inspires me for various reasons.
About 6 months ago, the family of Stella Joy was featured in Lost and Found and Connections Abound (LFCA), a wonderful wrap up that Mel puts together of the goings on in the ALI community. Stella's moms (Mishi and Aimee) sadly found out that their 3 year old had an inoperable and untreatable brain tumor that would eventually, in the not so distant future, take the life of their spirited toddler. These kinds of stories always hit me hard. They get inside me and I can't stop thinking about them. I get a little overloaded by the emotions and heartache that could possibly be faced by someone in that situation. I think daily about how lucky I am to have hubby and Bean in my life. I know that this is an unfair world where they could be ripped away at any moment, and while I manage to put that out of my head most of the time, at least once a day I feel it. And I'm always thankful for that moment, that day that I have with them. I try not to take a second of it for granted. And then I have to put it out of my mind or I couldn't get through the day, thinking about how fragile it all is and how quickly it could all be gone.
So normally, because of this feeling and the way I internalize these things that are happening to other people, I try to avoid reading too much about situations like these. I know my limits. But when Stella's story was sitting in front of me, I couldn't help but be sucked in. I read about their past, their present, and what their dreams for the future had been. I cried, a lot. When I imagine myself getting this kind of news or being in this kind of a situation, I usually imagine one general reaction. The first part involves emptying my stomach and the second involves hiding under a rock and hoping it will all go away. Which brings me to why Mishi and Amiee inspire me so much. Not only are they facing the reality that I think is one of the most fearful to a parent, but they're sharing that journey with the world. And they aren't sugar coating it, if you even could. They are telling it how it is, talking about emotions and thoughts that I'm sure it would be easier in many ways to keep to themselves. They are putting themselves out there, completely raw for all of us, in the name of Stella. How can you not be inspired by that?
I want to change reality for them every time I read their blog (which is every day) and I shed tears for them often. But they have changed my life, and for that I can't help but be thankful. I just wish it didn't have to come at such a cost. They have made me appreciate every second more then I did before (which I never thought was possible), including those really difficult toddler moments that you just have no idea how to deal with at the time and then feel like you did it all wrong an hour later. And they've allowed the world to see that sometimes strength doesn't come in neat packages. Being strong in the face of such horrible circumstances doesn't always mean putting on a brave face and seeing the best in everyday. There is so much more depth, emotion, and reality that comes into it then that, but that doesn't mean that if you're facing difficult feelings everyday, and not always making it look neat and easy, that you aren't strong. Quite the contrary in my opinion. It takes a lot of strength to admit when you have ugly thoughts or overwhelming emotions. I have so much respect for these two women. In the way that their living their life, facing death, and talking to the world about it.