This is going to be the most personal blog I ever post. I don’t relish in talking about myself and to be honest, I just don’t like exposing myself to the public. But I thought I would take the risk, in hopes of bringing awareness to this worthwhile cause.
A little history…
My parents, like many, divorced when I was young. My dad remarried a wonderful woman. She became the mother to my two youngest brothers. I was grown by the time, Shane, my youngest brother was born. My dad and I never did have a good relationship, and now in my adult life, it’s safe to say we don’t have one at all. No pity is needed since in all reality this is for the best. The only thing I really regret is not getting to know my brothers. Mikel and I are slowly getting to know each other as adults, and for this I am truly thankful. Shane and I, well, that is a sad story.
See, we got to know each other through secret phone call when he was in the hospital at Children’s being treated for leukemia. He was thirteen when he was diagnosed. For a little over three years he battled. When he was in the hospital, and when he was feeling up to talking, he would call me. The calls were never enough for me. I wanted to see him, but at the time that just wasn’t a possibility. Neither of us wanted to make matters worse for those we loved.
He grew up a lot within those hospital walls. More than he should have had too. During our talks I learned how much he cared and worried for his mom. I learned how much he liked electronics and that he wanted to be an electrical engineer like my husband. Shane was like a typical teenager in many ways. He liked music, cars, video games and just wanted to enjoy life. He did for as long as he had.
When the time came for him to leave this world, he insisted to my dad that he wanted me visit. She’s my sister. I want to see her. I did, the weekend of Mother’s Day 2006. Shane passed on June 2, 2006. I miss him dearly, even though I know he is in a much better place. On that last trip he made one simple request when we were alone, Please take care of Mom. I made him that one promise. We, both knew it was going to be more than difficult for her. And for the first time, I realized he knew the distance I had kept from them would be the strength to help his mom through all that was promising to come. His mom and I are close to this day and I can’t imagine my life without her in it.
Shane had told me about the some of the nurses and the doctors that cared for him. He knew they were doing all they could to save his life and they did it with a smile and humor to brighten his days. I thank them for that. It is because of Shane I am supporting this walk. And I will continue to support it in one fashion or another. This year is the first walk in St. Louis and a friend of mine from high school, Tonya Greshem will be walking with her daughter, Kinleigh. Kinleigh was diagnosed with cancer when she was eight months old. Today she is four!
I will be at the walk signing copies of Torn Hearts and donating the proceeds to Kinleigh’s Cause. All of the donations collected with go toward research for Children’s Hospital. Please, take the time to view the following link on the right side of this blog, and consider donating to this most worthwhile cause. It goes without saying it is near and dear to my heart.
If you happen to be in the area, please, stop by, say hello and cheer on the walkers.