Monday, June 4, 2012

One Month From Today

Sarah, Grandpa & Grandma after kindergarden graduation.
Wow it has been a while. Seems I can't start a blog anymore without that opener. So many times I intend to put my thoughts into words, and for some reason or another I get distracted! Wednesday my little Sarah "graduated" from Kindergarten. It was a short, casual, yet lovely event held in her classroom. As the parents watched a cute video of the class highlights from the year, and Moms and Dads got a little teary eyed, I reflected on the year with Sarah and how much she has changed and grown, but then my thoughts led to Sophie and the past four and half years we have been living without her, and how much we never got to experience...deep breaths followed as I wondered what I have missed...more than I can begin to imagine I am sure. 

Usually I try to prepare myself ahead of time when I know a "hard day" is coming. And most of the time I do okay. However, it is usually the days leading up to, or the days after that are so hard. You would think I would know that by now. Guess there isn't a way to be strong all the time. Of course Tuesday night before going to bed, we had to pick out the perfect dress to wear. Sarah tried on a few before easily deciding she wanted to wear one of Sophie's. (Since Sophie was so big from the steroids, she was wearing some things that were size 6x or 7 and now finally fit Sarah even five years later.) Sadly this will be the last of the clothes that we will have to pass on to Sarah as she will soon be a size that Sophie never got to be! The dress she chose was one that Sophie picked out for her fourth birthday. Sophie loved that white dress and wore it many times on the Disney Cruise. Weird, just a weird feeling I got seeing Sarah wear that dress and a feeling that can't be described unless you have been there. I have hanging in Sarah's closet, the purple outfit Sophie wore on her last day here on Earth. I don't know how I will feel if and when Sarah wants to wear that one....still almost 5 years after her death, these are the things I think about on a daily basis.

Even though we don't hear the "How are you doing?" question as often, as life seems to have moved on around us, we stop and pause frequently to realize we will never be the same. Our life goes on and it is good in many ways, but we realize that the life we really want, will not be given to us on this Earth.

In one month from today, we will be "celebrating" Sophie's birthday with "The Race", the "Birthday Bash and Dash". Of course I'd give anything to have Sophie here. Having the simple (although, not knowing what I know now, I would think it was the hard ) task of planning a child's ninth birthday is something I still long for. I wish for those days when I thought it was hard to have two kids and to keep up with all that raising them involves. Don't get me wrong, I know that taking care of, and worrying about kids is hard work, yet I also truly know the sense of the word "hard" as I help to plan the birthday for my first born who is no longer with us.

As we plan the race for the fifth time, I do feel very blessed. Things are coming along and we are excited to see the fruits of our labor. New this year is the option to "run in spirit". I know many of our supporters are not local, so this year we added the option for supporters to register and do their run on their own time, in their own place. If you register by June 17, we will send you a race t-shirt. Or if you live locally but can't be at the race on the 4th, you can still pick up your shirt at our packet pick up.

One thing we are in need of this year is a DJ. Our good friend Joe Gardner of Simply Sound and Lighting who has donated his services the past three years, is unable to be with us this year because of personal issues. We will miss Joe greatly and appreciate his past help. If you know of a DJ who would be willing to donate their time and talent, please email me at

Of course our main goal again this year is fundraising. Raising money for our foundation is our main goal. It helps us do what we do. I want to say thanks to those of you who have already created your fundraising page and have been helping us try to get to our goal of $50,000! We appreciate your efforts so very much. If you plan on attending, or even if you don't, you can still create a page. If all of our readers raised just $20, it would make a huge difference. But if you would rather donate, you can do that too at

As an incentive to our fundraisers that raise a minimum of $100 we will be giving each an exclusive dry fit shirt, as well as an entry into a drawing for one of two iPod shuffles. If you want to do something to help, here is your chance! Again, we are so grateful to those of who you help us in this way.

Additionally, if you are local, we are still looking for volunteers to help at The Race. This year our volunteer coordinator Tru Pace has created an online sign up, so you can pick the job that you like the best. Even if you have never volunteered before, we are happy to have you. Everyone is welcome and greatly appreciated. Here is the link to sign up.

We are still looking for corporate sponsors, as well as donations of items to be used in our raffles and auction. If you, or anyone you know has something to offer, please share the website with them. You will find our sponsorship forms along the left hand side of the website after you click on the events tab on the main page. Any type of basket you can think of, sporting tickets, cedar point tickets, sports memorabilia, gift cards, services...we will take anything! We thank you for helping us with this.

We are excited to be offering a packet pick up at the All American BBQ in Avon Lake on Friday June 29. The event will be held at Veteran's Park from 4:00 to sunset. We will take late registrations there as well, but you save $5 and get a guaranteed t shirt if you register by June 17. So don't delay!

On the home front, things are good. It still amazes me how fast time goes by. This time last year I was about to give birth to little Marie. She turns 1 on June 13, and I can literally say, "Where has the time gone?" We love her and can't imagine life without her. She is growing so fast, just as I knew she would. And it is so fun to see her with Sarah. Marie adores her. I am sure you know I would have to say that I can't think of sisters without thinking of Sophie and all that Sarah missed out on before Marie's arrival. We still talk about Sophie all the time and have been showing little Marie pictures of her. I still find it hard to respond when people see me out with the girls and say, "Two girls eh?" "No," I think, "three girls, just one is in heaven..." but sometimes even I don't feel strong enough to explain.

I hope to see you on the 4th, and if I do, know that it will be one of those days that I have programmed myself to be "strong". I will tell you I am good and doing okay, and maybe I really will be, because if it's like every other year, I will have Sophie giving me the strength to honor her memory by "Racing towards freedom from pediatric brain cancer."

 Until next time, Emily

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