I spent the last four days at a conference in New Orleans for work.
I'm hosting a Twitter party on Wednesday.
Jamie and I are discussing what to have for dinner.
Max is complaining about doing homework.
And Libby and Tony are spending what may be their very last week with their daughter, Jennifer.
I haven't written about Jennifer, and her mom, Libby, because I haven't been able to put the words together.
I sit at my keyboard, full of words, but can't see to type through the tears that invariably come.
Libby and I have been friends for years. We met online, as so many friends do now, and I immediately adored her for her straightforward honesty and humor. She and her husband, Tony, lost several pregnancies, and our message board friends rejoiced when finally, FINALLY, the world shone on them and they adopted their glitter girl, Jennifer, in 2007.
We rejoiced again when Libby announced a miracle pregnancy, and her first son was born. Then another, then Charlotte, less than a year ago. Their sweet Jennifer, the one who, “made [them] Mommy and Daddy instead of Libby and Tony” a loving and perfect big sister to her little brothers and new baby sister.
Then October came, and on Jennifer's sixth birthday. ON HER BIRTHDAY, they received the news no parent can imagine.
The words that came: Rare. Inoperable. Brain Stem. DIPG. Radiation. Nine months. Maybe two years.
This sweet, beautiful girl, so wanted, so loved, was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive brain cancer that will take her life, and she hasn't even gotten nine months. She has barely gotten three.
I am angry.
I feel helpless and angry and want to kick some ass and fix this for them, and I can't.
I don't understand how I can go on Facebook and people are still posting memes and complaining about commercials and the entire world hasn't screeched to a halt, holding their breath in prayer for the Kranz family.
We keep living, because we have to, but I can't wrap my mind around it.
Libby talks about after. I can hardly even fathom what MY life will be… after. Will I be a better mom to Max, because I knew Jennifer? I think I might. I'll aim to be more patient, get less irritated so quickly. More grateful for every moment, for every breath. Because every day is a gift.
I warned Max yesterday, after reading Libby's latest post, that he should expect lots of hugs and kisses from me. “But why, Mommy? I know you love me, you don't have to kiss me all the time.” But I can't tell him why. I can't tell him they're for me, not him. Just in case.
Because even if I'm angry and broken, we have to go on loving.
How you can help the Kranz family: Visit Jennifer's website at Love4JLK.org, make a tax-deductible donation if you can, read Libby's incredible words, watch and share Libby's plea, say a prayer, love your family, be kind to one another.
Our mom's group is also organizing a silent auction to be held on Feb. 22; proceeds will go to the Kranz family. If you're interested in donating for the auction, please contact me on my Facebook page. All donations are tax deductible.