Stop the Pity Party

I’m the first to admit I fall into the dreaded pity party trap on occasion.  Woe is me.  My life is so tough.  Blah, blah, blah.

One thing snaps me out of that in an instant.

A call from my friend Lee.

Lee and Mark are our next door neighbors.  And to say they are amazing people is an understatement.  You see, last spring their entire world was completely changed in an instant when their then 7 year old daughter, Nat,  was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Then came the confirmation… the words that no parent wants to hear:  “We’re sorry, but it’s malignant”

I was in shock when I heard.  Little Nat used to regularly come over and visit, spending time sitting on my front porch with me, cooing over how much she loved Vista.  Could this same little girl that made me laugh and smile really have brain cancer?  Really?

But instead of falling into the pity party, their family banded together and fought.  The challenges they faced would fill this entire page.  And yet they smiled.  They laughed.  And they did what they could to stay positive.

A year later, Nat is finally out of the hospital and starting back at school.  But it’s not over.  You don’t have multiple brain surgeries, radiation, chemo, and a million other drugs without after effects.  But I have never, ever, once heard Nat complain.  She is confident she’s getting better and that confidence is infectious.

Now that they’re home, instead of just returning to regular life (as regular as life can be after a traumatic, life changing event like that), they’ve decided to put themselves out there and do what they can to give back.

They spend their weekends at fundraising events for the Children’s Hosptial and Ronald McDonald House, and speak to raise awareness about childhood cancer.  They put themselves out there to support others going through this in the hopes that, one day,  no one will ever have to go through this again.

How can I possibly feel bad about anything in my life, when I have friends like this living next door?

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15 Responses to Stop the Pity Party

  • Bridget says:

    Heartbreaking and inspirational all at once…
    .-= Bridget´s last blog ..To My Child’s Teacher – Part II =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    It really is. She’s such a strong little girl.

  • Lu says:

    wow Jenn. What a strong and inspiring little girl.
    .-= Lu´s last blog ..Follow Friday =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    She truly is. I’m always amazed that she can keep a smile on her face.

  • Ashlee says:

    What an amazing little girl!! She’s beautiful inside and out!!!
    .-= Ashlee´s last blog ..How MY 4 year old’s mind works….. =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    It’s sometimes hard to watch her, knowing what she used to be like. But she is so resilient. I don’t know how she stays so positive.

  • becky says:

    wow what a story. and you know sometimes i need to be reminded about how hard other people have it. it’s easy to be in our own bubble where things seem hard. and then when you think about someone losing their child to cancer…makes me appreciate every time i have to wake up in the middle of the night with my baby. because at least she’s healthy. and here. thanks for posting this!
    .-= becky´s last blog ..My New Normal =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    And that’s exactly it. We need to remember to look outside ourselves sometimes and see the big picture to be reminded how lucky we truly are.

  • That is inspiring! Thanks for sharing her story with all of us.
    .-= Kim @ Beautiful Wreck´s last blog ..No Evidence of Disease & CD Giveaway =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    Thanks Kim. She really does remind me to be thankful for what I have.

  • Beth says:

    Thanks for sharing! It is truly amazing how resilient children are.
    .-= Beth´s last blog ..Cancer Schmancer =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    It is and I’m so thankful they are. I know you understand what the family’s going through, better than most. When ever I see you post pictures of Ezra with his big beautiful smile, it reminds me of how Nat always has a smile on her face too.

  • Amanda says:

    Hoping that this weekend is hopeful and profitable for the Ronald McDonald house! It’s amazing people that have the most to be devastated about turn around and do the most amazing things for others.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Okay…So Today Really Was Hard =-.

  • Vixen says:

    What an inspirational tale. You are blessed to have such strong neighbors! It is important to always remember to savor what we have. We support RM House too, cooking dinner when we can. We stayed there for a week when Ladybug was born and I honestly don’t know how we could have gotten through all that if we didn’t have a place to stay so close to the NICU.
    .-= Vixen´s last blog ..I’m Ready, Are You Ready? =-.

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