Three years ago in September my second daughter was diagnosed with cancer.
At 10 weeks old.
I remember thinking that her pediatrician was surely kidding. I remember being thrust into a world that I had never even acknowledged existing. I remember pure fear.
At the time I had no idea that September was recognized as Childhood Cancer Awareness month. I surely didn't know that my daughter was one of the average 46 children diagnosed each day and I sure as hell would never have comprehended that she would someday be one of the average 7 children who die each day due to various cancers.
Now I know and its worse than you will ever allow yourself to imagine.
I could go on and on about how very much I miss my daughter. How unfair it is. How God became real in my tears. How painful it is to hold your daughter as she breathes her last breathe of air. How difficult it is to even get out of bed six mornings out of seven...
But I won't.
Because that gets us nowhere.
What I will do is to shamelessly ask you to give money. Give it to organizations that focus solely on pediatric cancers; research and treatments both. (May I suggest curechildhoodcancer.org) I'll ask you to learn about Donna, whose mother Mary Tyler Mom is blogging about the 31 months of Donnas treatment over at the Huffington Press throughout September. I'll ask you to not close your eyes to lives being lost. Mothers are no longer able to kiss and tuck little two year olds in bed, Daddies are no longer dancing with their second borns to bluegrass music and sisters are wondering just how to draw their family minus the little sister who should stand next to themselves.
This is reality. It's not a sad movie or only someone else's struggle. It's 46 children a day who will loose their hair while their families cope. It's seven children who will be damn strong but will not be able to overcome this beast.
My daughter is gone. I miss her dearly. And I know that she is only one of many beloved children who are gone too soon. When I think of the parents who will someday have to walk in my footsteps, I grow weak. It's a burden and fear and it will always haunt me.
Do it for my sweetest Piper, for Paxton, for Tyler, for Abby, for Mikiya, for Pyper, for Bo, for Ricky, for Merrill, for Reagan and for the others who fight no more.