I know you are probably expecting something witty or cute that will make you laugh and possibly strike a chord with you if you’re a Mom. Maybe you’re expecting something a little deeper and more thoughtful, as I tend to post when it’s all building up inside me. Writing is a release: once I get the words out, just the way they should be, I see things so much more clearly.
This is not one of those posts, although clarity is certainly prompting me to write about this.
You know how we do that thing, even if we’re not bad people, even if we don’t mean to… that thing where when we know someone is suffering or dealing with something harsh and unimaginable? And we ignore it? Like it’s not happening? Not because we don’t care. I think, personally, that it’s because the idea of being where they are scares us so much that we become like little children, helpless in our state of “it will go away if I pretend it isn’t there”. But it doesn’t. And it won’t. I’ve done it. I feel ashamed, but I’ve done it before, because reality is difficult when it isn’t candy-coated and sweet, no matter how much of a glass-half-full kind of person one may be. And I tend to be that way most of the time, or at least I’d like to think I am.
By now you know that I have seven children. Seven beautiful babies (no matter how big they may get) whom I would give my life for. Fight off wolves for. That is what motherhood is. The worst we have dealt with are accidents where a child has turned that horrific shade of grey and stopped breathing and you wonder if they will regain consciousness and breathe again (and they did, all four of them, each time), and Celiac Disease. If you’re going to have an auto-immune disorder, that is the one to have. Just remove the gluten, wait a few months, heal your villi, feel better, and you are like Superman minus the kryptonite: good as new.
In October of 2012, someone I knew got the worst news of her life: her daughter, her baby girl, had acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It’s funny how it hits home when a child that was just at your husband’s 50th birthday party in PJs with feet on them a few short months ago is facing a couple of years of chemo and repeated trips to Halifax when she should be having fun and savouring being four…
It could be our child. It could be your child. It may someday be one of our children. There are so many kids dealing with cancer right now it is insane. And here on PEI, it means life stops for trips back and forth to Halifax, to the IWK. It’s not like where I grew up in Montreal where everything is… right there. Not at all. And it’s a struggle.
Which brings me to the point of this post. An afternoon of painting will be happening next month, for children 10 & under, followed by an online auction of their artwork for a week until a silent auction evening takes places, bringing the bidding along even further. The proceeds will be split between the QEH Pediatric Oncology & Ambulatory Care Department and the IWK’s Hematology & Oncology Department. This is the second annual event, with the first one splitting the funds between these two departments and the family of the little girl I mentioned earlier.
Wherever you are as you read this, you can follow the events and bid online. You can also make a direct donation to Childhood Cancer Awareness and Fundraising. All the information needed is found on their Facebook page, as well as details for both the painting event and the auction.
Please have a look. If you live on the island, come out and join us if you can. Maybe you hate being faced with such things. Maybe they scare you. Cancer scares me, that’s for sure. But it’s a reality. Perhaps my family will be lucky enough to never have to deal with it, though my husband has–his first wife passed away in 1996 at age 34 because of breast cancer. It’s a reality.
I cried at the last fundraiser. I hate crying in public. But I did–how could I not? Two amazing women putting this whole thing together, and raising so much because they cared. That’s something we all need to do a little more of: care.
I will end this here, and hope you’ll take a look at their Facebook page. Perhaps I’ll see you next month.
That would be nice. Really nice…