Friday, December 9, 2011

Hold On To Every Moment

Christmas always makes me nostalgic and misty, but this year I am especially thoughtful.

A couple of years ago I cam across a blogger who called herself SupahMommy. I thought she was hilarious. And real.

Fast forward a couple of months to where I find out she and I live in the same city! Weird.

As I read her blog I got to know a friend of hers. Her name: Julie. Julie's son Jaden was battling Neuroblastoma. A deadly disease. He was only 2 years old at the time.

I could only read so much at a time because I would cry so much.

Then...come to find out, Julie was from the same town that I now live in and lived only one community away. Wild. What a small world.

I messaged Julie on Facebook to tell her that if her family ever needed anything, to let me know.

She responded back even though she had no idea who I was.

That was in July of 2010.

It was only about a year ago (I think?) that I found out Julie had Neuroblastoma too.

Not only was she watching her little baby struggle with this awful, painful disease, but she was doing so while suffering with it as well.

It seemed like whenever Jaden would rally, Julie would struggle and vice versa.

This month, it was decided to move Julie to hospice. She pased away this week.

She was 36.

She left behind parents, siblings, cousins, TONS of friends...and the saddest of all, a loving, supportive husband and 2 little boys. Jaden is now 4 and his brother is a little older.

And because I am who I am, I torment myself by thinking about things like; did Jaden and Joey ask Santa for their mommy to get better? Were they with her when she passed? Will they remember her when she was healthy and smiled?

And then I think about how awful this must have been for Julie. I cannot even imagine (and I can't because it would easily send me over the edge) what it would be like as a mom to KNOW that I will not see my kids grow up. Not be there for them when they wake up scared at night. Not be there when they get hurt and want nothing but mommy. Not see the milestones; kindergarten, junior high, first date, prom, graduation, college, weddings. Miss the simple things like that amazing smile that only your baby can give you. Hear "I love you, Mommy" or kiss their snotty little lips.

I'm bawling just typing this.

I really, really do try to live every moment to the fullest and hold on to each memory because I know this time will fly. That's exhausting. To always focus on the Here and Now is tough. I was just laying in bed the other day looking at a collage of pictures on my wall. They were taken just yesterday, I swear, but somehow in that time, R & L had aged 4 years. E was just an infant only a week old in these pictures.

Where did it go?

The gist of this post isn't to depress you...although I'm sure I've done a pretty good job of that. Instead, I just want to remind myself and all of you to hold on to every precious second. Even the bad ones where you're SURE you won't make it through another minute of fighting, whining, complaining, and tantrums. Because I know no matter how stressed I am...Julie would have given ANYTHING to have even 5 minutes more with her babies.

Julie & Jaden
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