When people ask me what I do, they don’t know how to respond when I tell them I fight for increased awareness and funding for pediatric cancer. Yes, I lost a child. People look dumbfounded, don’t know what to say, or offer me those sad puppy eyes that say, “poor Sue.”
It’s the word “pediatric” that gets everyone. No one wants to hear about sick children, let alone ones who have cancer or have died. Few will ask any questions and most will say something along the lines of “good luck” and put on their running shoes. If they think I am humiliated, they don’t know me at all. I tell them with my words and with my eyes that I could not be prouder of my work or more blessed in my life.
I am blessed that I had Taylor for 16 years and that I can continue her legacy of helping children with cancer by running the non-profit organization she founded. While Taylor was fighting her own hideous battle, she took on the war for all children with cancer by tirelessly seeking to raise money for and awareness of the disease. Many look at me as if I am weird, lying, or somewhere in between because I use the word “blessed.”
I choose to live not as a victim, but one ready to celebrate life and its many joys at every moment. That’s not to deny that there are deep dark moments when my heart and soul beg to have her back. I lost a child and that grief will never die, but I will always celebrate life. Taylor taught me that.
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