In November, 2012, my life changed forever. God gave me the most precious little girl grandbaby and she was named Sadie Caroline. She has the most beautiful eyes, double dimples, big smile, and blonde hair and gave us so much joy. In an instant our joy turned to worry and distress - she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer - Acute Myeloid Leukemia which presented itself in her central nervous system. Sadie was 16 months old.
We prayed and loved on her and were courageous by her bedside for six weeks, and then the cancer took her away from us. As you can imagine, we have struggled so as to how this could have happened to her and to us. She was perfect and we loved her so.
During my whole life I have found peace in the Serenity Prayer because I know it is just a losing battle to fight against the inevitable or to try to change something that is not possible to change, and I should not spend my energy on such things. When I was called and told that Sadie was sick, I searched for something to hold onto, something that might make me strong as I was called to do things and face things I had never done or faced before. I had a necklace in my shop with a charm on it with a cross and the words "God Grant Me Serenity". I have worn it every single day since that day. I guess I may never put it away, because I can reach up and touch it when I am troubled, and it reminds me that God is with me and will help me.
I have had many conversations with friends and acquaintances since our loss of our sweet Sadie, and many chances to explain how I could still be standing and moving forward with many, many things and smiling and finding joy in my days. It is hard to explain, except for the fact that God has given me the strength, insight and wisdom to make healthy choices and to seek and find serenity through Him.
In talking with a friend the other day who also is going through a tough time of her own as she has found out that her daughter and also her little toddler grandaughter have been diagnosed with Lyme disease, I heard myself say, "I wouldn't change anything!". I do that - when I am talking about Sadie many times - I hear myself say something that doesn't compute when I think about it later and I have to think about it and determine why or how I could say that. Especially, this one - because I would give my own life if we could just have Sadie back.
In reflecting on the fact that I said, and I heard it come out of my mouth, "I wouldn't change anything", I have determined that God has given me those words and thoughts and has allowed me to heal to a point where I do realize that IF I cannot change the fact that I have lost Sadie in this world, that I will focus on those things I can change. He gave me wisdom and a way to move forward. I still have my wonderful daughter, Amber, and her husband, Tim, and my precious grandson, Eli (who is the sunshine in all of our lives), my mother, and a wonderful husband. I have my faith, my church family, my shop, my charity work in memory of Sadie, many friends, my health, this beautiful environment where I live and work, and on and on. I have so many blessings - so, I know I can't change what happened to Sadie, but I can change how I live the rest of my days.
I will live facing the Sunshine every day and share joy with others. I will not dwell on the past - I will look toward the future and expect it to be bright and beautiful. And I will give thanks to God for being with me every day, holding me up when I want to fall down, giving me strength to say and do what I can to help others, sending me people in my life who love me, sending me people in my life who need me, and just helping me be joyful.
People say they don't know how I do it - I have had a lot of help! And each person that God sends me keeps me on this positive journey I call my life. A special thanks to all of those people and those to come for helping me understand how I can and must keep on this positive journey.
If you have an interest in helping with making crochet hats and prayer shawls for the Crochet for Cancer chapter I have established in memory of Sadie, please "like" our facebook page and get all the details: www.facebook.com/sadiesunshinechapter
Also, my daughter has established a foundation in Sadie's name to help spread her smiles to those who need them. It can be found at www.shineonsadie.com
There are many opportunities to serve in Sadie's memory that will benefit many - her smiles continue to live on in the lives of others through these charities.