April 18th, 2013
It’s four months today… four months since we lost Kennedy to childhood cancer.
I didn’t realize that when I made arrangements for my lunch today with Pam, Kennedy’s mother.
I wanted to talk with her and see for my own eyes, how she was coming along. I wanted to somehow be there for her. I wanted to have lunch and share some of our plans and the ways we want to continue to help families, such as Kennedy’s, who face these wicked battles.
Despite hardly knowing each other, I feel a closeness and love for her, she says she loves me, too. I imagine this feeling comes from a kindredness that us mothers share. Our children had brought us together – my son, the young boy who shaves his head to help kids – and her daughter battling osteogenic sarcoma, one of the kids who needed help.
Was it by design that our paths should cross? Had it already be scripted out back in 2009, when Jack first picked up that book that inspired him to take action?
I don’t have the answers.
My eyes see the world as a fascinating web of interactions – made up of minuscule moments – each one connecting us to the next small step of our journey. These moments can lead us to unbelievable opportunities, but only if you allow yourself to be moved.
Only if you allow yourself to say “YES” and to open your heart and send out to the universe the smallest gesture of kindness. One act of kindness can have a ripple effect. An effect you didn’t know could be possible. I know this, I live it with my son. His act of kindness brought us to Kennedy. To Pam.
I think of Pam and Kennedy often, daily in fact, and Jack does too. Each time I see Jack’s iPod light up I see Kennedy’s face. You see, Jack has a picture of Kennedy as his iPod wallpaper. In a way, he still gets to see her smile every day.
Lunch today was a delight. Pam looked wonderful. She talked about Kennedy, grateful she can talk about her without crying. She is grateful for her gift that was Kennedy and for the time she was given.
She’s learning a new way to live. She knows nothing could fill the space that Kennedy lived, and still lives in.
We are blessed in our journey to help make the world a better place. We are blessed to have known Kennedy “the Warrior”. We are a blessed family to have children who care not only for themselves, but about the world in which they live.
I know Kennedy is watching over her loved ones and I’m sure she is checking in on Jack, too.
Pam told me she respected Jack and his efforts, but we knew this. We knew it when we saw Kennedy last year before the shave. She was at the clinic and we ran into her and Pam, both of them with their beautiful smiles – greeting US so cheerfully. Amazing. But more amazing was when Kennedy handed Jack a $20 bill for the shave. That I’ll never forget – her helping us!
We will continue our efforts until there is no longer a need. But, EVERY DAY, 46 children in our country will be diagnosed with some form of childhood cancer. Each one of these precious children are a son, a daughter, a sister, a brother, a friend.
46 families will have their world turned upside down in ways I cannot even contemplate, and pray daily I will never have to. Our efforts will cease when that number reaches zero.
Hug the ones you love – every day – that is all!