It has been much too long since we’ve had a chance to connect. We miss you and want to tell you all about our happenings recently. Before we get to that though and without any further adieu…
Today is Emmy’s 3rd Birthday!!!!!
Three years ago today our sweet little ladybug came into this world, a calm and peaceful planned C-section at the Vail hospital; relaxing music was playing, everyone was composed and before we knew it, this newly minted little girl was in our arms. A far cry from the frantic, stressful race to the operating table that preceded her brother Ewan’s abrupt and ungraceful entrance into the world. It was pretty darn nice.
As you know, shortly after that welcome into the world, Emmy was not well and was soon diagnosed with pediatric cancer. The two birthdays that followed were both heavily overshadowed by her condition and the unbelievably taxing treatment process she was going through. Each time we celebrated, they were always happy occasions with the best intentions but they never seemed to have the resonate with full effect that a birthday should. Overshadowed by the big, looming elephant in the room.
Your birthday, especially when you are young, is an occasion to celebrated with gusto! You should dance and sing and jump for joy from sun up, through well after sun down. You’re alive in this crazy, beautiful world and damnit, that is something to celebrate. That’s hard to do when you feel like crap though. Even if you’re the type of person who’s brilliantly glowing personality is barely contained by your earthly body, it’s still hard to muster it up when everything hurts, aches, throbs and has you so nauseous you just want to puke all over your presents.
Part of what can get you through that is your toughness, both mental and physical. The ability to power through, despite the odds and survive on sheer will alone. Not everyone has this. Some learn it through life’s experiences, gleaned from a seemingly never-ending series of challenging situations. Others posses it from the moment they are born. It could be genetics, DNA passed down from long gone generations of tough customers. A higher power perhaps, bestowing upon the chosen, a set of life skills to conquer immense hardship. Or maybe it’s just the luck of the draw; forces of nature combining and offering the occasional beautiful gift out of the infinite chaos in the aether. Whatever the case may be, Emmy has been fortunate enough to have been offered a type of mental and physical toughness, rarely seen by anyone her age and often lacking in most full grown adults. It is this ability to push well beyond the accepted norms of tolerances that has helped her get to where she is today.
The other thing that has helped immeasurably is her age. Being diagnosed at just 5 months old and only being out of treatment for the last 9 months has left her not knowing anything different. On one hand, that truth makes our hearts hurt deeply, pondering the sadness attached to a statement like that. On the other though, it really should be considered a blessing in disguise. When all of the shit that we collectively went through for 2 years has been her baseline and has been perceived by her as “normal”, then every day we are out of that world and just being us, living our lives and doing “new normal” stuff, then that day is the best day ever. Every day that has passed since her last radiation session, her last caustic chemo treatment, her last port access, her last surgery is a day where life is getting better and better. Even if its a regular day where we don’t go anywhere or do anything other than lay around being lumps, that day is a wonderful day.
Simply because we have it.
So, long story short: this birthday, her third in this wild world of ours, will be her first to celebrate without any interference from that “old” normal life and all its trappings. This birthday, she gets to celebrate however she wants, feeling the very best that she has every felt in her three, very long years. Dance like everyone is watching Emmy, you’ve earned every goofy little step!
As a bit of a birthday gift but more as a gift for being a fierce little warrior on this perilous journey, Emmy has fortunate enough to have been accepted into the Make a Wish program. Her wish (helped along by her handlers and entourage) is to go to the beach! So this spring, after we get through a crazy winter run of producing festivals, we will be getting on a plane and flying to sunny Southern California for 6 days of Emmy/Ewan oriented actives including but not limited to: DisneyLand, Legoland, the San Diego Zoo and hopefully some serious beach time! She often fancies herself as a pint-size Disney princess so getting to meet the real girls from our cherished Disney classics, is about the most perfect thing for her. She squeals of delight that will be coming out of that little girl with likely be heard for miles. Can’t wait to film it and share it with you all!
We must mention how thankful we are to the fine folks at the Make a Wish organization. The joy that they are bringing to kids who are going through some of the darkest journeys that life has to offer, is immense and unbelievably impactful. Not just for the kids either, the gifts they give resonate through entire households of people living that same life, caring for a sick child and sometimes living in a very, very dark place mentally. It is so much more than just a trip, or the meeting of someone special; it’s a bright beacon of hope and encouragement for those who so desperately need it. Thank you Make a Wish, for everything you do and thank you for helping us give Emmy something so big and excellent to look forward to!
Before we get to that though, we are going to celebrate our little ladybug tonight and who she is. Its time for dinner, cake, balloons and presents (sans puke)!
We love you all. Thanks as always for sharing this journey with us. You’ve seen us through the darkest of hours and now, you are with us once again with us for one of the brightest.
Thankful for you.