Ringing the chimes...
Let me show you a true celebration of a Last.
I have found myself at Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Campus camera in hand not once, not twice, now three times capturing an event I knew nothing about. The ringing of the chimes. I have many people in my life at this very moment living with cancer. Some everyone knows about, some aren’t quite ready to share. All of that is okay. I myself have already had basal cell carcinoma removed once and I’m currently awaiting results from a biopsy I had done last week. Cancer in one way or another affects us all. When cancer takes hold of our children it becomes something much more. Here they are so young, so little. Their bodies so vulnerable. We sit and watch as these young babies have a strength, a resilience, we never knew existed. We sit and watch as they are given iv’s, ports, central lines. We wish we could do it for them. We wish we could take it upon ourselves. When they cry our insides scream and burn and weep all at the same time. But then they sip their starbucks, they grab their coloring books and crayons, their video game and they smile. So we smile, we pray to God, thank you for letting it pass again, and again, and again. We wait for the chemo to finish, for the radiation to complete and then we celebrate that Last round. The doctors and nurses who have been with them since the beginning, who now are more like a close family celebrate too. For they are happy they won’t be seeing this family next week. It will be a different family but they are happy it won’t be you, at least for a while. The brothers and sisters get out of school, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, close friends all come, for this celebration is huge. You’re going to see crazy hats, kazoos, balloons and gifts. These gifts aren’t just silly small gifts these gifts are personal. They are specifically chosen for this child by someone who now knows them almost as well as their parents do. See these doctors and nurses have seen these kids miserable, at their worst. They know what the secret thing is to sometimes make it all better. It’s all one of the most amazing things I’ve ever been asked to be a part of. There’s no make-up or fancy dresses. These are real people doing their real life on this day. This is raw, human, emotion. This is God showing us he is good all the time. We feel him carry us at our worst and we see him in us and those around us at our very best. Here is a celebration of the best kind documented and to be shared.
First up is #vivbugbrave Miss. Vivian and I met when she was 3 almost 4 during a family session her Aunt Sara booked with me. I’ve been taking her family photos ever since.She is now 6 she loves reading princess books and playing with her best friend Benny her little brother and Hopie her little sister. Vivi’s last Proton treatment and celebration was Monday October 1st 2018.
Next up is Mason. His little sister plays soccer with my Callie Jo. Mason is a 10th grader at Fairfield High School. He loves video games watching show choir and the Fairfield Indians football team. He is the sweetest most polite young man. Mason’s last radiation treatment and celebration was Monday November 12th 2018. Mason just lost his year long battle with cancer on Thursday May 23rd. Those who knew Mason are forever changed by his smile and presence in their life.
Last we have #BraveBlake. We have attended church with the Glover Family since the spring of 2012. Blakes dad and I went on a mission trip together last January to Peru. Blake is a freshman at Mason High school. She is a volleyball player and loves being with her church family. She is still searching for her favorite Starbucks drink, she loves spicy food! Her last chemo and celebration was Thursday May 16th 2019