Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reisterstown, Maryland
Thursday, May 20, 2010 11:24 AM, CDT
We are still living one second, one minute, one hour and one day at a time. I guess that is what you would call survival mode. I have so much in me to write but just haven't had the time frame to be able to accomplish it. I will. Patience is the virtue I am constantly trying to chase down but have yet to keep it in my grasp for long period of time. God is still working and molding me in that area, among others.
Today, I needed to sit down more than anything to write about, or more accurately, plead for action to do one simple and easy task. Please go to www.doodle4google.com and vote for Kaylie McFerrin's entry in Region 8 (under Regional Finalists). Without rambling incoherently I will try to convey why this means the world to me and many others.
Google sponsors a contest for the temporary redesign of their famous logo. Kaylie, who is the older sister of a little girl named Emma, with whom we met her and her mom in Oklahoma City at the pediatric oncology clinic a few months after Sicily's diagnosis. Emma, like Sicily, had been diagnosed with Wilm's tumor just a month after Sicily and our meeting in the clinic that day could be considered a fluke, but in our eyes, it was God's doing and all part of His timing. Emma's mom, Alicia, and I became part of a network of parents online who shared information and support with one another on our journey with Wilm's. Many families, like Emma's, had siblings involved in following the journeys of other children during their battles. Emma's sister, Kaylie, did just that with Sicily. So when her third grade teacher assigned her class to enter Google's redesign contest, what she did came straight from her heart. She watched first hand what her little sister had to endure as she battled cancer, and she was along for the journey as Sicily did, as well. She was affected very much by Sicily's terminal diagnosis and subsequent death and was moved beyond her feelings into action. She redesigned Google's logo to reflect her desire to become a chemist and find a “Forever Cure” for cancer. This is more than just a contest for this nine-year-old girl...sure the thought of prizes is alluring and motivating to an extent, but Kaylie sees beyond those to what this does for the platform of pediatric cancer and the need for a cure! The thought gives me goosebumps that it may take the actions and desires of a child to bring this cause to the forefront.
As adults, we can stomp our feet and wear the soles out on our shoes as we pound the pavement...we can speak and plead for funds until our voices are hoarse and weak...we can punch buttons on phones and computer keyboards until carpal tunnel and arthritis stiffens our movements...but all that could change if this little girl could win this simple contest. Her drive and ambition to communicate the need for more pediatric cancer research could be heard nation wide. The contest rules only allow one vote per household computer. We, fortunately, are a household with more than one computer so I will be placing more than one vote. We need as many people as possible to vote for her entry and let her artwork and accompanying essay say what we need it to say. As you can see, this has me very excited and keyed up.
Once again, it gives Sicily's life meaning, as well as all of the precious children that died before her because of this dreaded disease. I don't ask people to do things like this very often. I'm not a very good salesperson and prefer not to be pushy...hence the “bad salesperson” description, but when I feel so strong as I do about this, I will clear my voice and firmly put in my request. This whole story has many details and one day, maybe when I actually sit myself down long enough to write the book I so desperately want to write, I will be able to share how incredible God is for allowing so many people be so important and vital to my life! Please check out Kaylie's entry and the story behind it and pass the word so we can help her make a difference!
Again, I can't thank everyone enough for all the love, support, encouragement and actions that have been given and expressed on our behalf. We are still very behind on our formal thank you notes and please forgive us if you don't receive one in a timely manner. Please know that no one has been overlooked on purpose. It has been an overwhelming task, I admit, and we are doing the best that we can. I can't express enough how much we appreciate everything!
Last weekend we were able to hear Sicily's name read as the first scholarship was awarded in her memory at the Wellington High School graduation ceremony in Kansas. I did not even try to hide my tears that flowed both from the deep emotion I was feeling along with the pride. Our goal is that a scholarship will be awarded until at least the year that she would have been a graduating high school senior (the year 2023) and so far we are close to having that be a reality. The only prerequisite we have placed on the recipient be that they are pursuing a degree in the medical field or some aspect of healthcare.
Also, a first last weekend, was our visit to Sicily's graveside since the day she was laid to rest. It was so much harder than I even fathomed it would be. I had to fight the desire to fall down on my hands and knees and start digging the rain softened ground with my bare hands to dig my own grave. On Saturday I was there along side Isabella and we were by ourselves. She was so sweet and supportive as she held my hand as I stood in front of the still noticeable unearthed rectangle shaped patch of soil. Patrick had gone earlier with Elias, his mom and two of his sisters while Isabella and I were running an errand. He reported feeling the same way. It is so hard imagining her being there. I know it is not her anymore, but it was the last thing that belonged to her while she was here on earth.
I still struggle with the thoughts I have to myself and the title I now carry as a mom who lost her daughter. But then I start to think about that word, “Lost,” and what it exactly means. In a sense, I did not “lose” Sicily. I know where she is now...I know exactly who she is with and I know she is cancer-free and happy! I also know where her physical earthly vehicle is...I can drive directly to it in a cemetery. She is six feet under ground in a pretty white box with pink satin lining and is only feet away from her Grandpa Zeka. So to say I “lost” her is not truly accurate. I lost her physically living beside me for the rest of my life, but once she graduated from high school, who knows how far away from me she may have decided to physically be. I haven't lost the sound of her voice or the vision of her spunky movements as I am able to pop in a DVD and watch her silly dance moves and goofy antics whenever I want or need to. True, it is not the same as having her here and watching her grow into the amazing young woman I know she was bound to be, but I can't help but struggle with the thought of admitting that she is “lost” to me. I know in the future I will still catch myself saying that phrase and using that terminology, but I know that God will continue to remind me that she is with Him and since she can't be with me, there is no place on earth I'd rather her be! I know, as well, that she is indeed an angel. I have proof that I will share someday, but rest assured, she is guarding many who loved her...whether she knew you personally or not, she is making her rounds and will forever!
I could continue to write all day once I get my typing fingers and over thinking mind in sync, but I need to do some other things. I'm not going to stop writing for some time so just keep checking back in every once in awhile, if you can. I will hopefully figure out how I want to start my book writing process soon, but in the meantime, some chapters are still being written. I'm kind of waiting for God to give me the sign He is ready for me to begin. I just need to remember to keep my eyes open so I can see it when it comes.
Love to you all and may many blessings flow!