From the moment the pregnancy test was positive, I had a feeling I was carrying a girl. Just knew it although I didn't really admit it out loud in case I was wrong. Sure enough, little girl she was!
Every parent has dreams and aspirations for their child. Every parent also knows their child will face difficult times and challenges. Never in my wildest dreams did I think Ania would face such a hurdle so soon in her life. I also never imagined that she would teach me so much and inspire me as much as she does as early in life as she has. She is my hero and I practically forget what life was like before she grew in my belly and came into my world. I am so thankful- and in a strange way, I appreciate the trial we face right now- not that I want her to be sick- believe me- I just appreciate the strength I've seen in Ania, in myself and our family that we might not have known otherwise. The blessing of community I've felt while facing this trial is remarkable. I suppose it's because nobody likes cancer. Nobody deserves cancer and especially a child. Cancer sucks- but it reminds us of our mortality- just like our birthday does. A gift of another year. Another year older and wiser and blessed to be alive!
My dear Ania is another year older today. We are so thankful for that! When she turned one, two and three, of course they were sweet birthday celebrations. Year four however, is by far the sweetest. It's not just a celebration, it's a soon-to-be VICTORY we celebrate. By the end of this summer, chemotherapy will be done. By the time she has her fifth birthday, the doctor appointments will hopefully have dwindled a bit. She will have her practically perfect prothetic eye. Some major milestones will be crossed in this next year!
I had the privilege of watching my daughter dance outside tonight at a summer concert in Millennium Park. You'd think people were there to see her because she creates her own stage by her presence. Out there, far back on the lawn while a concert was going on stage, she shined! Like the day she was born, I am so overwhelmed by her beauty tonight- from the top of her head, to the tips of her fingers and toes- she just oozes grace! I am completely gushing about my girl but I couldn't be any more proud of her! Happy Birthday Ania!