What is every parent's worst notion? You know.
Sick kid. Cancer kid.
What a sacred duty to travel life with an ill child, making choices for them, preserving your sanity and strength so you can export them to your little one.
What can we do to help? Listen.
There are story tellers with beautiful voices, and Chicago Now has the blessing of hosting an extraordinary chorus of insight. Our shepherd in this rocky field is Mary Tyler Mom, also known as the extraordinary Sheila Quirke. Her baby daughter Donna traveled hard roads, with her family, the Childrens' (Lurie) community, and the breathless attention of all who shared her journey. Donna has been an angel since September 2011, but Sheila is never going to stop bringing her sweet goodness into the world.
Today we encircle this gifted writer via #donnaday. Sheila chose to light a candle for those who would follow her path. Hope is the fuel for this journey. Mary Tyler Mom's writing kindles the spark of Hope.
The choice to embrace Hope comes with an obligation to build the Hope upon something. Research. Support for families. Treatment for those with no options.
Therefore, I am glad to point you to this wonderful woman's world. It is far more complicated than most lives will ever be. And she is a far better writer than most of us could dream of being. Funny. Incisive. Generous. Honest. A gift to the universe.
Mostly, I want to urge you to to support Donna Day 2014. Not just by reading, but by doing something. It could be a call, a babysitting evening for overwhelmed parents, dinner, volunteering at the hospital or donating in any form highlighted on Mary Tyler Mom's page. All gestures of support are gifts- it may be the smallest offering, but it might arrive at the moment that hope is fading. Or a terrible reality looms.
Have you ever seen those contests where engineers build bridges out of toothpicks, then drive over them? You don't have to be the engineer, or the person who constructs the thing, but if you can provide a few slivers of wood, so to speak-you are part of a structure that can carry unbelievable weight.
Share her journeys. They will haunt you. Challenge you to live life facing forward. Make you a better, wiser person. How often does writing do that?
You can be there for her. And the other babies and Mommies walking in Donna's path. It is a higher calling.