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Forever in my Heart

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

I made my own Christmas gift tonight. Not because my family won’t, but because I knew what I wanted. I was shown a charm a long time ago by a friend who had one custom made. I had forgotten about it until this week. The charm goes on a necklace or a keychain and has a clear gemstone placed in the center of a heart. If you hold the gem to the light, you can see a picture of your loved one inside.

I ordered myself a keychain with a picture of Millie and Monkey sitting in my lap. It took so long for me to choose the ‘right’ photo. I would place one after another, wanting one that looked nice but had sweet memories attached. It’s not that professional photos don’t have memories, it’s just that they are so posed. “Smile…smile…smile”, sometimes whispered through clenched teeth and bribes. “Smile again and we will go get a piece of candy”—please tell me I am not the only parent who has ever offered that reward in exchange for a nice family photo.

Instead, I wanted to find an everyday shot because they have so many feelings. In every fiber of my being, I still feel her sitting on my lap each night. We cuddled up under her pink blanky, tucked monkey in beside bearie, and rocked. We sang, talked, kissing each other on the forehead and cheeks. She asked if she could ‘sleep in my chair’ really saying “Will you rock me to sleep?” Yes, that photo has so many memories attached. That was the one I wanted to hold in my heart forever.

As I looked through each photo it hit me again how crazy it feels to be ‘the ones’ that have to survive losing their child. I would still like to think, “It could never happen to us” yet now I know all too well—yes it could. That thought leaves me a little panicked sometimes as the kids drive out of the driveway. I know it can happen and I know for some families it happens more than once. It breaks my heart each time I hear of a parent losing multiple children. It makes me wonder how they survive and yet I’m sure it is no different than us. They have to take one breath after another, only getting through the next moment.

As deep as we are in the grief world and as far away from the cancer world now, I still find myself reading things on Neuroblastoma and shaking my head. Maybe this is where denial comes in. How could our girl have had such a small amount of NB in her body and still die? How can children have it throughout their body and live? I don’t know the answer to that. It dumbfounds me to this day. While it is true that I would have expected Millie to survive, I never want the other parents to think that I wish it had been their child instead. NO GOD FORBID! Never would I want another parent to go through loss. I’m just still blindsided how we went through it.

While reading about another child’s diagnosis, I found this statistic on the American Cancer Society’s website: 𝗦𝘂𝗿𝘃𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗹 𝗯𝘆 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗻’𝘀 𝗢𝗻𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗴𝘆 𝗚𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽 (𝗖𝗢𝗚) 𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗸 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽

~𝗟𝗼𝘄-𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗸 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽: 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗼𝘄-𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗸 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝟱-𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝘀𝘂𝗿𝘃𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗹 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝟵𝟱%.

~𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗲-𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗸 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽: 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗲-𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗸 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝟱-𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝘀𝘂𝗿𝘃𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗹 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝟵𝟬% 𝘁𝗼 𝟵𝟱%.

~𝗛𝗶𝗴𝗵-𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗸 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽: 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵-𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗸 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝟱-𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝘀𝘂𝗿𝘃𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗹 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝟱𝟬%.

Millie had High risk, stage 4 Neuroblastoma –a horrible kind to have.

She also had a MYCN amplification, better explained as: 𝗠𝗬𝗖𝗡 𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗰𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘄𝘁𝗵. 𝗔 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 𝗼𝗳 𝗠𝗬𝗖𝗡 (𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝟭𝟬 𝗰𝗼𝗽𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗲) 𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗱 𝗠𝗬𝗖𝗡 𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻. 𝗡𝗲𝘂𝗿𝗼𝗯𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗮 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗠𝗬𝗖𝗡 𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝘀 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁.

None of this really matters now. Millie’s battle is done, she has finished this earthly walk. Yet it still leaves me broken to think of NB growing in her tiny body. To remember how hard she fought and how helpless we were to fix it. Then I’m left with the thoughts that children get sick—mine did. I know they die—again, mine did.

The whys will never be known this side of heaven and maybe it won’t even matter when I get there. God may not reveal the why to this mystery because he doesn’t view life as we do. He views life as eternal. He views heaven as a reward. He views our earthly journey as a moment in time, a simple dot on our journey to forever with him.

For now, I believe Millie’s spirit is with him, healthy and whole. She is happy and joy filled, knowing no pain or sorrow.

She’s not an angel, though she is innocent and precious. Scripture doesn’t bear out that our loved ones become angels.

God did not choose this painful death for her. He didn’t need her in heaven for some mysterious reason, though he does desire that we each spend eternity with him (thus sending his son for our salvation).

He loves her, just as he loves each of us. He did not desert us in our sorrow. He is right here carrying us each day, giving us strength and renewing our joy.

How do you feel him carrying you through the sorrows of life?

~Telling Christ’s story {Because of Millie}

︵‿︵‿୨☆୧‿︵‿︵ ☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆ 。・:*:・゚★ I still believe in Millie’s Miracle ☆。・:*:・゚ Hebrews 11:1 。・:*:・゚☆ ︵‿︵‿୨☆୧‿︵‿︵ #MilliesMiracle #ChildhoodCancer #Neuroblastoma #MoreThan4 #Childloss #Forever3 #WithJesus #WhileWeAreWaiting #AGrievingMama #LifeAfterLoss #siblinggrief

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