But this summer, it's hard to let go of for many reasons. I am constantly reflecting back on what I learned. Or I should say, what God taught me through our circumstances.
One of which, God has clearly shown me over and over He puts people in our path to love us and support us and encourage us.
I've been meaning to post about a very special event that took place this summer. An event that I had nothing to do with, except it had everything to do with us.
An event about people. Love. Community. Support. Childhood cancer.
Two days after Naomi's diagnosis I received a Facebook message from the owner of The Green Nursery, an amazing local (and online) baby boutique. She said she wanted to do a fundraiser for us.
At two days we didn't know a lot of details about Naomi, except that she had Neuroblastoma, the childhood cancer, and that she was going to have surgery. Yet, Abby (and her awesome husband, Scott) said, we are all in. We are helping you guys.
See, last year, Naomi "modeled" some of their cloth diapers for them. So they had a special place in their heart for her. And they are just fantastic people who love to love. They gathered up some other awesome, local companies who wanted to be apart of it. (KRC Catering, Venus Leah Photography, Pip and Bean Capes, and Blissful Transition Doula Services)
Naomi, about 17 months, March 2012.
So, we showed up for the event on July 1. And we were blown away by the support.
Custom made super hero capes by Pip and Bean (also local, but can be found on Etsy!) The design was completely inspired by Naomi--while at Riley the scan room had hot air balloons that lit up on the ceiling for Naomi to watch during the scan, it was a great distracter for her, while she had to lay very still. (The owner of Pip and Bean, Alyssa showed up at our home two days after Naomi's diagnosis with custom made capes for each of my children. I mean, seriously.)
There was a free super hero photo booth by Venus Leah Photography (who also so graciously took our family pictures at the beach the day before Naomi's surgery)
So many people from the community came out to support us.
We were humbled by the love we received.
Free entertainment by Kid Koozey and Octopus Ink
Probably my favorite moment of the event was being able to recognize a family that truly is a hero. A little boy from our community, named Peyton, recently went to be with Jesus after a year battle with a brain tumor. His beautiful legacy, that he created in his short five years of life, will live on, especially through his twin brother and most recently born little sister (as of today!). You can learn more about Peyton on his Facebook page, Peyton's Angels. It was a true privilege to be able to put a cape on Peyton's brother, Stillman. I was incredibly touched that the family came out to show their support to us as well. Now that's true community.
Because we are all in this together. We feel each other's burdens. We encourage. And say, it's going to be okay. Or here's a shoulder to cry on. And when the blessings come in, we then pay-it-forward and bless others. With all the hard in the world, there is still a lot of love. And that is what we are going to continue to spread.
So thankful for this event that shined a light on childhood cancer and how a community can come together and do something about it. I've also been inspired by the event to get more involved in childhood cancer awareness. I'm now volunteering to be a family resource at a local treatment center, so I can encourage families as we have been so encouraged ourselves.
Childhood cancer can't take love away. That's for sure.