This has been a hard week. Hadley and my cousin Stevie shared so many anniversaries. So, this wasn't just me dreading 4 years of battling a tumor and the anniversary of Hadley's first surgery. April 19th of last year Stevie's body failed and she had to leave it behind. In case there are any of you out there that I haven't talked to about my cousin Stevie-she fought a brain tumor for 5 years although, like Hadley, she was battling it long before it was discovered. They had a long road to diagnosis as well. She was 19 when she died last year. Her birthday is the same week as Hadley's too. Stevie was never defined by her tumor. She was so much bigger than that. I don't know if she ever knew it, and it would never justify all the pain she endured...but, she used it to see even more beauty. She and her mom ministered to families in the hospital by delivering hospital room friendly and non perishable snacks/meals. She saw absolute perfection in children the rest of the world saw/see as broken. MY world was a better place because of Stevie. I used to love to watch Hadley sit and whisper to Stevie. There would be kids and people running, talking, laughing all around them and Stevie would take the time and have the patience to truly listen to what Hadley was trying to communicate. I honestly believe that even if Hadley didn't have a single word in her vocabulary Stevie would have understood her. It was amazing to me that Hadley always knew to go and talk to Stevie. She could listen and really hear. I would venture to say that part of it was the simple fact that they shared the frustration of not being heard...for different reasons...but the same end result. It meant so much to my mommy heart to know that there was someone other than me who was willing to take the time to REALLY hear Hadley.
I SO wish I had taken the time to REALLY hear Stevie. I know I missed out on a lot...and wish I could have given her the chance to be truly heard by one more person. =(
Despite the fact that this has been a crazy hard week I feel good. I am thankful for every day. I am sad. I ma scared. But, I am refusing to let that control me. I am really trying to take charge of my life and make it what I want it to be. It would be easier to just wallow and complain...but, we all deserve more than that. I feel obligated to honor life and live the best I can. I challenge you to do the same.
With Love and HOPE-