Memories of an Angel

Today, November 9, 2016, is just an ordinary day for most.  But for us it is the 14th anniversary of Sarah earning her wings.   Can that be true?  Can it be 14 years?  It seems like 100, I feel like 100, but it also seems like it was just yesterday.   That day in 2002 had dawned so beautiful for a November morning and we had such great plans to spend the day together as a family.  Family; sometimes I question that.  Our family consisted of the four (4) of us and suddenly in a flash there were only three (3).  How did that happen; how did we go from a young girl just starting middle school who was never sick at all to a nine (9) month battle to save her life.   Sarah put up a great fight, never complaining and always smiling and still finding enough spunk to pick on her brother James.   I’ve always reflected on how it took nine (9) months for Sarah to be born and within nine (9) months of her diagnosis she was taken from us.  It’s unfair that our family unit was torn apart, so many “what if’s?” and so many experiences this daddy didn’t get to see with his little girl.  I also keep telling myself there must be a reason for all of this although after all these years I still can’t come up with an answer. 

I know Sarah is with us, in a different way, but she is with us; that’s what I try to believe.  I do believe she watches over James and protects him – I have to believe that.  Past that, I don’t know what I think or what I believe.  I used to be religious, 12 years of catholic school will do that to you, but I’ve questioned it all since the day Sarah died.  I had hope, I had faith, I had courage she would pull through but she didn’t and no almighty power could ever give me any reasonable explanation as to why a beautiful young girl who never did anything to anybody was taken from us.  Sarah only asked for one (1) thing; to live, and she wasn’t allowed to do that.  People tell us, even family, that we should “move on” we should “get over it” and for them I have words that cannot be published and a deep disgust in my heart for them.   If they walked in our shoes and buried their child I could almost guarantee they would never get out of bed.  WE do; we struggle through it, some days worse than others.  With deep grief there is never a day off, never a moment to not feel the loss.  It is real, it is painful and it never goes away!

Our Foundation, The Sarah Grace Foundation For Children With Cancer supports other children like Sarah struggling to survive.    On average 46 children are diagnosed with cancer every day – and fifteen (15) may not survive.  In the United States childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children. Our Sarah is one of these statistics and that keeps me very angry. 

So we remember today in quiet solitude the beautiful memories of a young girl who lost her life at the age of 12.  Sarah refused to give up and I hope in the end Sarah knew how much we loved her.  She is our strength and guiding light as we carry the torch of her mission to support children with cancer and make their lives a bit more bearable.  James is our shining star whose courage in donating a litre of bone marrow to his sister when he was only 10 deserves to be continuously recognized.  We are blessed to have James and he has kept us going and kept us laughing all these years.   So here’s to you Sarah and all the love and good times we shared.  Continue to strengthen us, guide us and watch over us.  Your “little brother” James is a grown man now and we know you watch over him; please continue to do so. 

We live a dream that Sarah is still here with us but she is not.  We live a dream that childhood cancer doesn’t exist, but it does.  We live a dream that we can make a difference for the children currently struggling for their lives; and we hope to do so.

Sarah, we hope you are at peace; Let the dream live on!


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