Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reisterstown, Maryland
I've thought about this for a long time, how to explain decisions and desires on my part towards who I chose to support in the vast arena of cancer research. The American Cancer Society is a wonderful organization that does great things for many, including families with children battling the disease, but as far as helping research pediatric cancer, only three percent is allocated towards pediatric cancer research. I don't know if anyone realizes how many different types of pediatric cancers there are.
I have for a long time wished there would be some way to have the equivalency of a Susan G. Komen type of organization to stimulate the awareness that leads to the support needed for the type of research we need to help children. It's too late for our precious daughter, but it's not for others. Every person reading these words could find themselves on this journey one day. I believe in being proactive but am forced to be reactive due to our circumstances. The desire to create an umbrella for research for pediatric cancer is a very complicated subject. It's like having the idea of a universal form of currency...it's just something that does not seem feasible or could ever happen. Each country wants to be represented in their own way and wants their currency to receive the most attention and have the most value. In addition, each country's needs and purposes concerning their currency may differ from all the other countries. That is how I explain why there are thousands of wonderful organizations and foundations named after the children who fought and died so bravely. But for me, personally, I have to find one that helps me deal with the pain of our loss, and the fear I carry of other families going through exactly what we did. That is why you will hear me speak of the Pablove Foundation often. Pablo and Sicily were cancer soul mates...they were a couple of blessed children who ended up with the shortest end of the straw where their cancer diagnosis were concerned.
Some people have the strength, abilities, connections and drive to make changes in the world...changes that some one like me wants so much to see in my life time. Pablo's daddy and mommy, Jeff and Jo Ann, are two such people who can do just that and that is why I so strongly want to see the Pablove Foundation be one of those names that becomes synonymous with pediatric cancer research, among other things. As I have said before, I am not a salesperson, but when something means a lot to me, I will be persistent. I could turn into an insurance sales woman...I'm selling the possibility of life insurance for other people's children. Life insurance in the form of cancer research. I know that sounds a little crazy, but isn't that what discoveries in science and medicine are...insurance that life will continue because findings allow for us to continue living?
I'm jumping down off my soap box now. Thank you for letting me practice rallying the troops for a minute. For my sanity and my healing, I need to
I knew last Monday, being Memorial Day, would not be easy. It wasn't. It's still such a raw experience visiting the small patch of earth our daughter's little body is buried under. Seeing all the sweet things that family members and strangers alike have left there really affects me. Some items we know who left, while others we haven't a clue. Each one is special and meaningful. My parents, Sicily's Grandma and Grandpa Parker, drove up to be with us at the cemetery as well as Aunt Bett. We all brought colorful flowers and butterflies to decorate her piece of the earth. Her grave is hard to miss and not easily mistaken for another, that's for sure. We stayed the night in Wellington and Patrick and I visited the local monument company to start discussing the plans for the grave stone. I had an idea or two in my head, but once I sat down and saw a picture of a white angel kneeling as she held onto a black heart on one side, I was completely drawn to it. I just felt like that was what should be there for Sicily. It's what I want to see when I go visit her. Since she is buried between the plots that Patrick and I have for ourselves, we had already decided to go ahead and purchase a stone large enough to cover all three. The angel and heart is actually meant to cover two plots so we are supposed to be able to add two more black hearts on either side of the main one and all will be set on one base. The stones have to come from overseas so it may take four to five months before it can be put in place. The price tag was quite a shocker, too, but it will be worth it. This is the last thing we will ever buy for our little girl. It's hard not to think of this money as money we should have used to buy her a car, or help pay for her college education or her wedding. I have to get past that. That is why we have to get what feels right for her, no matter the cost! She deserves it!
So, after all of that, the week just continued to weigh me down. I still feel God's presence and am comforted by Him. I can only imagine how horrible this all would be if I didn't ask Him to help me get through it. I will say that as time goes by, for some reason, and maybe this is just the phase of grieving that I am at, it seems to be getting harder and not easier. I have been disheartened a little as I recently read on some other angel's sites that I have followed since our own journey began that their parents, too, have not felt this pain getting any easier. Being the some what non-conformist that I occasionally claim to be, I want to break out of this box...this confinement that keeps me swimming in the sadness of my own tears. The tears just won't stop. I'm to the point that I want them to, at least for awhile. But rest assured that I am still capable of experiencing happiness. My life is not completely void of it. If it was I would have to chalk that up to selfishness. I cannot NOT be happy when I am blessed to share my life with the wonderful people that I do, my husband and our three kids. The sadness just seems to like to hang around more that I wished it would. I may dance the two-step for quite some time...two steps forward and one step back. As long as I can gain a little ground every once in a while, I know I will get through this.
Thanks for continuing on our journey. God Bless!