It has been far too long since I last posted.
My brief update:
1. Gideon is doing beautifully with his chemo. He is doing so well that we were able to make his dosages higher.
2. Brody is adjusting to kindergarden and is even starting to LIKE it (he would much rather play with a ball outside than be inside anywhere).
3. Both boys are playing soccer. When Gideon was on steroids, get this, he scored 16 goals. No lie. 16. No wonder sports leagues are down on the 'roids. The following week, once Gideon was off of those meds, his number dropped to a respectable 1 goal while spending any extra time on the field staring at airplanes and chasing butterflies. He was back to the Gideon I know…
4. I adore my new job, and that is an understatement. I get a trillion hugs a day, I sing and dance all day long, and when I walk down the hall and past a first or second grader, I feel like a SUPERSTAR. Their faces light up in happy surprise/joy as they greet me, like they are so shocked to see me in the hall with them. They fill me up with so much love.
And now…. Emotional weekend. Here I go. I'm not sure how much I can type without breaking down. I will start with a CELEBRATION. Mattawan's first ever Kick-It event that raises money for CureSearch (childhood cancer research) raised more than $9,300.00. Our goal was $5,000! It was an absolutely beautiful day, and the kids had, pardon the pun, a ball. My favorite game from the day was the Early Elementary. The stands were FULL of spectators, but one section was made up entirely out of high schoolers. They cheered and hollered for those little ones until each one felt like a rockstar. They chanted each of their names and even did cheers (like the peeling banana one).
Then there was a moment in the early el game that made most parents in the stands cry. I know I did. Gideon was playing in the game, even though he won't be in Kindergarden until next year. He kicked the ball and started to run to 3rd base instead of 1st (he did that every time). One of my little students, Michael, got the ball and started running after Gideon. When he was one step away from tagging him, a light went on behind those brown eyes and he stopped. He started to slow motion run towards Gideon, allowed Gideon to get to first base, and then he tried to tag him, but "missed". I wish I had it on video. When it played out, it was just the most precious thing on this planet. To be six and to have such strong empathy… Oh. It was amazing.
I will post more pictures from the game SOON, I promise.
One of the things the students decided to do during Kick-it was to bring stuffed animals to donate to the Children's Hospital in Hailey Grace Brown's name. One of these bears was about the size of me in height, but wider. He was humungous. The same day as the kickball game (Saturday) was the day one of Gideon's chemo friends, Lacy Faber, went home from the hospital to spend her last few days with her family. After discussing it with the Mattawan students, we decided Lacy should have the biggest bear for the biggest bear hugs.
I went to her prayer vigil tonight and brought the bear. I didn't expect to go inside, I was going to drop the bear off at the steps and then take my candle and find an empty millimeter on the already full-of-loving-people lawn. The family ushered me in, instead. And there was Lacy in her daddy's arms, her mommy beside her, holding her as well. The priest next to mommy. Lacy was not awake. She was taking shallow breaths and I clung on to that massive teddy bear like by holding it tighter, this moment of togetherness for this family would last longer. The last time I saw Lacy was when she was playing instruments in the hallway of the clinic with Gideon and singing "Wheels on the Bus" with the music therapist. Such joy was in those eyes. And now, now… Now I remember why we won't stop fighting against this atrocity. This monster stealing our babies. Lacy's mommy, Mary, said, "Soon she'll be making music with angels," almost like she was trying to comfort me. Dear Lord, be with this precious family. Comfort the Fabers. Everyone who feels as helpless as I do, please pray for them.
We love you, Lacy.