Last night as I was lying in bed, aimlessly surfing the interwebs trying to calm my mind in preparation for sleep, I was reading a blog that led me to this blog about Stella Joy.
It was the blog chronicling the life of Stella and her two mommies and her new baby brother. Only the blog wasn’t about chronicling Stella’s life, it was about celebrating her life as it comes to an end. Stella has terminal cancer. This beautiful, curly, red-haired, blue-eyed baby is only 2.5 years old.
My heart broke as I tried to imagine what it would be like to have one of my children die on me. Then my heart stopped when I saw a picture of Stella smooshed between her two mommies. My brain kept on shouting no, no, no, and I frantically began clicking links on the blog trying to verify the identity of these mommies. And then it was there right in front of me. I know them. I know one of Stella’s mommies.
I first met Aimee back in 2005 or 2006 when she volunteered on the Board of an organization that I also sat on. We were delighted to have her join our team as she had a great camping background and still worked in camping. She was the director of operations at a summer camp for kids with cancer (oh, the brutal irony of that). Aimee is good number 82. Aimee was delightful to work with, so full of energy, gave so much to this organization, and I was sad to see her not renew her two year term.
We live in different cities and over the years have lost touch.
I was devastated to learn of this news last night, and I’m still devastated this morning. I cannot believe that they’re going to lose their baby. This is so uncomfortably close for me. I’m sorry that they’re living through this hell right now.
While I know this kind of thing happens everyday, it’s just chance that it’s happening to someone in my network. This could be my baby. This could be your baby.
Now that I know, it’s not something I can be silent about. I can’t just be a lurker on her blog. But how do you write that email to someone, how do you find the right words, to tell someone you just heard about their baby’s terminal illness? Acknowledging it is going to be hard, but not acknowledging it would be even worse.