Saturday, March 8, 2014

Message of Joy

I wrote a post on Tuesday evening March 4th. It was a sad post about how I was feeling like my strength was dwindling and was very fearful for what's to come in Philadelphia. I didn't post it because well, it depressed me and that's not what I think this journey through Ania's cancer is about. The fear of the unknown is scary sometimes. Yes, sometimes I feel my strength weakened. However, I've come to learn that I *think* this journey is meant to show me, to show my family, and to show Ania that despite a scary life threatening illness, there is joy in this world that cannot be diminished. Blindness in one eye can not take away joy- unless you let the fear of it drag you down. My sweet Ania, has no fear about her lack of vision. Therefore- her joy is still fully intact and it's not only intact- it's spreading!!!

The following day, March 5th (my dad's 60th birthday!! Happy Birthday!) was such an uplifting day. It started by spending my morning with the kids at a parent child class at The Chicago Waldorf school. Those classes are so beneficial- not just for the kids, but for me as well. The play-learning atmosphere is so pleasant and quite relaxing. I always leave feeling like I just left the spa- really! I room full of toddlers can be relaxing! Kellen always takes a nice long nap after and Ania rides the same zen-like wave as I do :) We come home and have snuggle time together. 

At 3:00pm I got a call from Rob Elgas of NBC Chicago. He said NBC wanted to come do a story about Ania- at 6:00pm that very night!! Mike and I had planned a little date night out so he had planned in coming home early anyways. Our date would have to be postponed - but for a once in a life time experience! Rob asked if Ania might paint for the camera but I said no guarantees since she's really only ever painted in front of me or her dad. I set up the canvas with the ballerina she had been working on the day before, set out her brushes and thought at the very least it would be a nice camera shot set up. Well... When Rob and his camera man showed up, Ania quickly warmed up to them. She was not afraid of the big camera or bright lights! I think Rob has some magical child voodoo powers because Ania was comfortable talking to him immediately! He knelt down to her level when he spoke to her which was nice because he is very tall! He asked her if she would like she show him how she paints. I held my breath and she happily replied "ok!"  and then ran to her easil, grabbed her apron and started talking about mixing colors to use for the ballerina's tutu. I have seen her paint many many times by now but even I stood back and was in awe of her confidence and joy in painting in front of these strangers! 

After she finished painting the ballerina's outfit, Rob asked if Ania would talk to him about her paintings. Their interaction was adorable as she talked about her special paintings, the colors she used and the subject matter. Her little tiny voice, so dainty, but confident and joyful again as she spoke with him!

If you have not seen the video, or just want to watch it again, here is the clip:

Video: NBC Dainty Warrior Story

Since this video aired on TV and online, Ania's art sales have boomed on her Dainty Warrior Etsy Site! In total, Ania has sold over 400 prints and any of the originals that we put up for sale. I have had to restock some items 2 or 3 times! People have sent so many kind messages to Ania and our family. Ania's art has been packaged and shipped all over the country! It fills my heart to know that Ania's joyful work has spread. As each order is filled, Ania will stick a butterfly sticker on each package. I think of that little butterfly as a messenger pigeon in a way- it carries Ania's message of joy onto someone else!
So thank you again to all who have been moved by our story. Thank you to all who have reached out with messages of love, support, & prayers. All who have purchased art in support of Ania, may your package filled with joy, symbolically carried on the wings of a little pink butterfly, find it's way safe and sound into your homes! 

God bless,


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