As weird as this may sound, this post is probably the hardest one, or rather the one where I’m erasing, changing, wiping the whole screen clean again and again. I think it’s because I know that I am no expert, no mobilizer, and honestly trying to figure out how I can make a difference each day on a “big” or “small” scale. And I know I can never speak to any issue with the depth or knowledge or eloquence that so many others can. But even with these things I lack, I do feel like I should at least humbly try to convey what I’ve been thinking about.
May is Brain Cancer Awareness month. Did I know this two months ago? No, I didn’t. Did I know that brain cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in children? No, I didn’t. Did I realize that almost 700,000 people in the United States right now are living with a brain tumor and 140,000 of those cases are malignant? No, not that either.
But, the truth is, no matter if every single person was diagnosed with a certain disease or if only 30 per year are affected (like with Kai’s diagnosis of ATRT), when “it” – a disease, disaster, crime, accidents, anything – affects someone you love, then it changes everything.
Our world is so broken – there are so many causes, beliefs, disasters, research, you name it, to support. And so I think, for me right now, I just want to say let’s find a way to do something to get involved in LIFE. And I am using Kai as my inspiration. I think of Kai Kai who did life at about 117% and was curious, took risks, and didn’t hold back from loving anyone who came in his way, even if they were squirming out while he tried to grab their hand or give them a hug. I remember him asking me sometimes incredulously, “does he/she not like hugs?” like he couldn’t even believe this.
So for Brain Cancer Awareness Month, I am trying to figure out how to get more involved in life and would love if you would join me in whatever way makes sense for you. Maybe this starts with “small” things such as reaching out to a friend or even just picking up something a stranger dropped on the ground or waving hello or smiling. This means I’m going to try to overcome my social anxiety and get to know more people who I see every day but have been too shy or not known what to say and say yes to getting more involved in my local community.
In our journey with Kai, we all came together as a community and the world is better in many ways, just like in the story of the Brave Little Soul. So maybe it’s donating to the cause close to your heart, maybe it’s just even saying YES, and making the decision to get involved in life, whatever it is I want you to feel like you’re alive and if you need help, just ask.
If you do want to learn some more information about brain cancer or how to get involved in those efforts, my sister-in-law, Kai’s Aunt Caroline has a great post on her blog In Due Time. And also, please feel free to share in the comments or on the Pray for Kai page any of those causes or activities that you’re involved in that you’d like to bring awareness and/or invite others to participate.
And I think as we live life, how we are involved may look different but, I thought no matter what that might look like today, a little Kai Kai could be some good inspiration for life. I love you Kai Kai and miss you every second – thank you for bringing so much life and light into this world, thank you God for allowing me the privilege of loving him.