Bad things happen to good people. What do you say when you find out a friend has been given a cancer diagnosis for her baby daughter? What can you do? How is it supposed to feel? These are questions that have been swirling in my head, ever since finding out my friend’s daughter is sick. I saw the Facebook post asking for prayers and I saw that they were (checked in) at a children’s hospital, and I knew something was very wrong. But, just the day before I saw the cute photo of her little girl playfully enjoying a sweet dessert, while out with the family.
All those quotes and sayings of how quickly life can take a turn and change for better (or worse), or that life is a gift and you only live once…
When I eventually got word of what had happened to turn their world upside down, I was speechless. They had to see a pediatric oncologist, that’s all I needed to hear. I believe that I am a good friend to a lot of people and I want to be the friend who is always available to lend an ear, a hand or a shoulder to cry on, but for the first time I didn’t know quite what to say. I kept my response brief, letting her know that I am thinking of her and her family, they are in my prayers and should they need anything, I am here.
Thankfully, they are loved with a huge network of family and friends, there is no shortage of prayers, support or well-wishes, and I am simply in awe of their composure, bravery and grace in what will be a very emotional and tough road ahead. However, there’s still a feeling inside me that wishes there was more I can do, instead of simply being inspired by their display of positivity and faith… And so, I decided I would write a letter to my friend and share it here on my blog.
My heart goes out to you and your family. I keep sitting here and thinking how difficult it must be, to learn your newly turned 2 daughter has tumors in her body. I remember when you prayed for her and you were doubtful you would be able to have a second child, and now here you are with 3, still on maternity leave from the birth of your third blessing.
You have always inspired me in ways you probably never knew. I’m so glad to have met you in college, not only do we share the same cultural background, but we pursued the same major and have remained good friends to this day. From traveling together to setting out on this journey of life, finding work in different states, we’ve always managed to only be a phone call away. We have shared so many good times together, a few not so good too, but what stands out to me is your smile, your infectious personality and positive attitude. I have witnessed you working hard to create a career for yourself, persevering to be with the love of your life and now fighting to have the family you always wanted.
I think it’s a combination of the fact that I am a fellow mommy, but also that you are a special friend to me. My heart is broken, I’m hurting for you and your little girl. I can’t begin to imagine the range of emotions you feel, and the countless thoughts crossing your mind, heart and spirit. And I know now is not the time for you to comfort anyone else…
I promise to keep your baby and your family in my prayers. I will send texts of support. I will like, love and comment on posts, because I know you and your husband say it’s those little things that mean so much. I will listen if you need my ear.
But you must know that even in this short time that everything has happened and while you and your family continue to process the tremendous weight that’s been placed on your shoulders, I am already learning so much from you. Cherish your loved ones. Enjoy each moment we share with our children. Be brave, don’t be afraid to ask for prayers, support and love, that it’s okay to let others know what you’re going through.
I know that God is on your side. You are so strong and you need me to be strong too. Know that you are loved and you have a prayer warrior in me. Love you girl.