Sunday, January 18, 2015

January 18 - Dear Nicholas Sparks

Dear Mr. Sparks,

Last night I went to a dear friend's milestone birthday party. 

Susan is a very special person, very kind and compassionate and it was an honor to be included on her special night.   Her amazing husband surprised her with an incredibly beautiful formal dinner in the wine cellar of a popular 5-start restaurant in Raleigh.  Surrounded by 3 of their kids (2 who flew in from NYC), family and friends... there was so much love in that room for my friend and such a celebration that she was born.  Everyone deserves to be celebrated and loved that much. 

Yesterday happened to be the 35th birthday of my sister, Debra.  She wasn't here to celebrate because cancer took her at 22 years old.   That played heavily on my mind, worrying about my mom and my sister's kids yesterday.  It doesn't get any easier as time marches on.

Shane's birthday is in 10 days.  The countdown has begun for that sad day as it does every year so that plays on my mind too right now.

Every day I post all the birthdays and angelversaries for our cherubs on our Facebook page.  Some days it's just a couple of children, sometimes it's 2 dozen for that day.   All the names of all our kids and those 2 dates... births and deaths.   Every day as I post that list I know there are parents who began crying before they even got out of bed because they are grieving instead of celebrating. 

Today, Brad and Amy, are grieving their daughter, Liviana, who would be 7 today.  She beat CDH but then lost her battle to MLD at 5 years old.   She was one of the first cherubs who participated in our Save the Cherubs posters campaign.   This poster was made before she died, before she was even diagnosed with MLD. 

Livi's mom is in Italy with her 4 younger siblings (3 at home with dad here in the States) as her baby sister fights MLD and her little brother undergoes testing to see if his is still in remission.   They should be celebrating Livi's birthday today.

So many of our cherubs never had even one birthday.  Not a party, not a smashed cake, not toys and balloons.  A celebration that we have every year and even want to forget as we get older is something so precious and unattainable to so many born with CDH. 

So today's letter is about birthdays.   The hope of them, because they are not promised to any of us.   That someday, all of these children celebrate every year with their families here on earth.   That every one of them reaches 30, 50, 80 and that their last birthdays are as old men and women, surrounded by their loved ones and their memories and many, many blessings.

Dawn M. Torrence Williamson
Thankful to be growing older

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