Liv and I went prom dress shopping last Saturday. She had no idea what she wanted, but knew immediately what she didn’t like (zip it, please, I know). After trying on what seemed like three dozen dresses, she announced, “This one is fine, it’ll work.”
A Mom knows when her kid is settling (yes, again, I know). And while that dress looked okay, fit decently, and would have been fine, something was missing. I ran into the back room – the one which by that point welcomed me like The Hatch on LOST – to find the one. I was going to find it, because I knew it had to exist.
Exasperated, Liv grabbed the dress from behind the curtain and I sat down. And waited. And listened. And wondered. Nothing was happening, but I knew not to say a word. The boutique owner walked along the creaky hardwood floor to the front door, flipped the old-fashioned sign to CLOSED and then – out of that dressing room she came, beaming with the biggest, brightest smile any Mom could ever hope to see.
Better late than never, as I like to say. I know, I know, we ALL know… (It was a looong day, let me have this.)
The store takes what they call “once loved” wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, and prom dresses on consignment. I wasn’t about to point out the irony in their nomenclature, but I will be dropping off two once loved dresses later this week when I am there picking up that perfect prom dress find. And for those of you whispering right now, both are Liv’s.
When I confirmed with her that it was alright to ditch them, I also asked what she thought of my super sweet red lace c.1987 prom dress. “Think they’d want THIS once loved treasure?” It horrified her so much she had no comment, even though her mouth was hanging wide open.
My point is this. Time flies; yet, life is absolutely cyclical. Proms have existed for as long as any of us can remember, and so has cancer.
But thankfully and mercifully, both look vastly different than they did years ago.
In the last 50 years, survival rates for blood cancer patients have doubled, tripled and in some cases, even quadrupled as a result of research and innovation. We need to keep this trend on pace. We need to fight harder than ever. We need to never give up, because settling should never be an option.
Why would it be? Settling isn’t an answer, it’s merely a Band-Aid that keeps curling up on the ends, threatening to rip completely off the moment you stop trying to habitually and begrudgingly smooth it back down.
Our lives are a series of phases. And while our cyclical experiences are each unique, each differing in terms of joys and pains, triumphs and tragedies, we are all interconnected.
Woven in the beautiful tapestry of our lives are similar themes: childhood in all its magical innocence, adolescence in all its ugly confusion, early, impetuous twenties and all of their prideful “I got this!” proclamations…
This is an email we received last Friday from Mel, our Campaign Director:
It was great to see so many of you at last night’s Halfway Happy Hour! I’m really glad Caleb and his family were able to join us. Seth and Andrea have said time and time again how much they are inspired by each of you and your dedication to our mission and our cause.
This morning, Andrea sent me an email with the attached picture, which she calls “Caleb’s Phases of Leukemia.”
– Top left:
At Riley getting a blood transfusion to prepare for chemo
– Top right:
At Riley for his first chemotherapy treatment
– Bottom left:
Induction Phase, where he had to take steroids twice a day for a month. He couldn’t walk because he was so big and Seth & Andrea had to re-teach him how to walk.
– Bottom right:
3 months before his 2nd birthday he lost all his hair
She closed the email by saying, “2 years down, 15 months to go!”
This MWOY journey certainly isn’t always easy, but I think that’s enough to keep us all going…
Thanks for ALL you do – it can never be said enough!
Anything short of a cure is like walking into a high school gymnasium wearing the wrong dress on the arm of the wrong guy.
Refuse to settle.