Amazing Abby and beyond…

Sometimes we get the chance to be a part of something important and powerful, something that comes together and is meant to be. I love it when it happens… it helps remind me of the importance of this work. I get to stand in the presence of families who are and have lived through some extremely difficult times. It is a gift to get to be there in those moments…

Yesterday, after months of planning and looking forward to, Abby Sayles took her last Chemotherapy pill. Abby, a 5 year old kindergartener, was diagnosed with Leukemia approximately 2 ½ years ago and has undergone countless procedures, spinal taps, poison drugs and extremely hard times. It has impacted every part of her daily routine and family. Imagine appointments, hospital stays, fear, managing a family and enough pills for a lifetime… and that is just the beginning. Abby’s normal has been anything BUT ‘normal’. Though, even without the difficult, Abby is beyond ‘normal’ and ordinary… that girl is extraordinary.

abby-ribbon

So many see that lovely girl for the journey she has travelled these past few years, but I see her differently. I don’t see her as a Cancer kid, even though she rocked her bald head and tiara when I first met her. I see that girl for her spirit and her energy. Her ability to say no and stand up for what she wants… though that will not always be a fun trait imagine what a skill that will be in her grown years. I see a future that will change the world, as a chef or a doctor or a nurse or a janitor. God made her for something big. I was asked yesterday if Abby reminded me of my daughter Madeline… I answered honestly- Not at all. Madeline has a totally different and powerful energy. Madeline had a peace, an old soul kind of energy. Madeline had the most compassionate heart, and I am sure it would have taken Madeline as long as it has taken me to build the ability to ‘no’. Abby will move mountains and reach goals, that are just for her to do. Seeing her dance boldly in front of EVERYONE and bring others into her dance… seeing her watch a dancer as she performed her dance ‘just for Abby’… and after all that watching her as she took her last Chemo pill, a sip of water and then jumped up and down with 100 people right there- remind me of how we are all made the way we should be. Madeline for her job, Abby for hers…

Last night was one of those nights that remind me of my job in all of this… connecting. A Best Day Ever that just comes together and is smooth and beautiful, is the product of some good connecting. People are awesome… they really are. I love when I can connect great people to roles that they can help me create Best Day Evers. I know it feels great to use my skills and others to help a family really enjoy their time when life is really difficult. I am in awe of the generosity of many people and businesses, it reassures me of our jobs here. Last night, Abby’s Best Day Ever was a product of amazing people- businesses. So many go to stand around Abby and witness her milestone in her cancer journey- the celebration of entering her new normal… and that wasn’t possible without people that gifted time, space and skills. I stressed for weeks about a place to have this party, Abby’s mom wanted it outside and it was October… something that felt like home. I searched for places big enough… it is a hard find. One day I had this thought… I knew it was a long shot… but I called Liberty Ridge. The owner was awesome and very excited to work on this with us… I knew my brain’s idea had come from The Big Guy. So we had a start… then I secured catering from Century House (they are always kind to our families)… and I had a few details to finish up. Elizabeth Fox Photography and a cake from Corleen Wilson Cakes… all amazing people with great skills that stepped up and offered their gift- their service. I got my dancer to prep for Abby’s dance, and she rocked it. I spent a lot of time worrying about the.perfect.favor. I wanted something the guests would keep and remember, but I felt like I didn’t want a photo. I kept coming back to a drawing of Abby. I woke up one morning with the image in my brain- so I bugged my graphic artist friend, Greg. I sent him a picture of Abby on her first day of Kindergarten, I told him I could see her holding pink balloons and letting go of the gold ones. I thought that the symbolism would be a great reminder and the image would be a great memory.

mm-bde

I love how ALL.OF.IT.TURNED.OUT… it was a Best Day (night) Ever. Renee, Abby’s mom, told me she doesn’t know how to thank me. I told her it isn’t me, and I know in me that it isn’t. I am just the connector. I stood in that room with an amazing staff that spoiled our Best Day Ever family and we all stood together with our love and gifts and hope for Abby. I am just the loud lady who helps make the phone calls, emails and connections- the rest is the best people ever. I am glad we were entrusted with the honor of capturing and sharing Abby’s Last Chemo. I am honored to share that moment and this milestone… I pray that she uses her big gifts to change this, to share this and to enjoy her life BIG.

I also want to thank the ones that come along for the ride… I know I tend to be a rollercoaster of ‘adventures’… like help me pick up a cake (ps it has a tower…) and mixing up dates… I am grateful for the ones who join me in my pile of adventures and the lack of organization or shall we say trust in the outcome?

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One thought on “Amazing Abby and beyond…

  1. i am so happy that abby has made it through this horrible path. i am so sad that she had to endure it all. i lost a young nephew to cancer and i know that it takes a village to help to keep the family and patient afloat. thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do – beth

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