In the weeks before Grace made her journey to heaven, she had been thinking about summer. She had me draw many pictures and cards for her closest friends with pictures of water, swimming and smiling suns. One even said "Don't you wish it was summer?...I sure do!" She was fondly remembering the summer before when she went up the street to swim with Meghan and Delaney. So, as the summer begins and we embark on yet another season of change without her, it is difficult to get through mere minutes without thoughts leading back to her. I think of the dance recital she so eagerly anticipated. Her dance costume and shoes are hanging by the front door, reminding us of how excited and thrilled she was to get ready for the Showcase and to dance on stage. How she loved the feeling of performing with all of the "big girls"! Knowing that the Showcase is this weekend, it has been hard not to remember her excitement and fight the still-intense pain of heartache.
I realize that it has been a while since I've updated, the truth is that I have tried to write this many times recently and just haven't been able to complete my thoughts. So now there are a few things to share....
May was Brain Tumor Awareness Month and we had a Sarris candy bar sale to raise awareness of DIPG and pediatric brain tumors. Reflections Of Grace Foundation, with the help of Ashley Metz and a group of dedicated "candy salesmen" sold over 3,000 candy bars stickered with brain tumor facts and our foundation information. We made $1,200, and, more importantly, helped to raise awareness about brain tumors and DIPG. Thank you to everyone who helped and bought candy bars, especially to the top candy seller Cheryl Natale who sold 26 boxes at work and through her friends! Please continue to check the Reflections Of Grace website (www.reflectionsofgrace.org) for upcoming information as we continue the mission of helping families and children affected with pediatric brain cancer.
On July 4, 2009, we will travel to Avon Lake, Ohio, for the Smiles For Sophie Forever 2nd Annual Birthday Bash and Dash. The Quayles have become great friends to us and we encourage you to visit www.smilesforsophieforever.org for the details of the race. Emily and Marc brought their family and friends to our race in March and we are happy to share in their mission in memory of their daughter Sophie.
As my school year ended, I guess I overcame another personal hurdle. After not knowing just how I would get through the year with kindergarteners, I realized that the beautiful 5 and 6 year old faces that greeted me each morning were a motivation in my life. They made me smile on days that I thought I couldn't...they filled my heart with pride and joy as I watched them grow into readers and writers...they touched me deeply when they told me that they would miss me and that they loved kindergarten…
So, enjoy the long summer days with your families, watching for “night-light” bugs (that is what Grace called them), swimming, playing in the sun, taking time to simply relax and savor the moments you have been given together.
“A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance…”