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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pray it Forward

Here is the thing.

I have really been bad at this whole blogging thing. I want to visit my friend's blog sites. You guys are all amazing.

I want to comment back on every comment I get. And I know I am no celebrity in the blog world, and my comments cannot compare to the comments I see on my much more "bloggy" friends sites. I have tried. I have failed.

But at least I acknowledge that am bad it. It's probably the same reason I have always sucked at writing thank you cards.

So I write about what's on my mind and perhaps its best if the chaos is left within my mind and home for now - it's not your burden to bear.

In the meantime, most of you have been following the journey of our neighbors and dear friends, the Carmicals, and their beloved son, Declan. When the Carmical family began this journey in late Winter of this year, Sherri tentatively opened her heart and mind to a community.

A community of people she did not know.

Primarily to let family and friends know what the Carmicals were dealing with on a day to day basis so that they didn't have to update friends and family on autopilot.

What nobody realized at that time was Sherri's amazing gift with words. And her unselfish ability, the same which dictates the joyous attitude she approaches her life, to share from her soul in the truest and and most honest way she knew how.

By just being . . . well. You know. Sherri.

That's all we needed to hear.

During a time of immense strain - just hearing Sherri's voice in her writing was so comforting for so many of us who know her, because it was completely her. No pretense. No editing. Just her emotions.

While Sherri was going through one of the hardest challenges a parent could have to face, she was giving comfort through her gift to her family. Her friends. A community of strangers.

Every single person prayed. And then they sent the blog to friends. And their friends prayed.

How we ALL prayed.

Stan and Grandma Carmical also played an enormous role on the Declans Journey blog. Along with Stan's siblings, who helped start the site, the facebook fan page. Every piece contributed was a personal window into the lives of an amazing family at a time of great uncertainty and anxiety.

Sherri never understood how powerful her writing could be - I think we are all still reeling from it and the knowledge that we have a writer in our midst who has the ability to encapsulate so much of what we do not yet know. In a way, Sherri & Stan have started a primer on how to cope with life when not much makes sense.

They have touched the hearts of many while still inspiring us to believe that despite their hurt, Sherri, Stan and their amazing family have been blessed with knowledge of what it means to parent an angel.

Declan touched more lives in his short time on earth than most adults will ever be able to claim. He leaves behind a family who embody grace, perseverance and most importantly . . . love.

He WAS loved.

He IS loved.

Many of you have written to me and asked if there is anything you can do. So, well - here goes.

Please continue to pay homage to my friends Sherri and Stan at If you have words of hope and encouragement, send it their way.

Keep praying for them. Keep praying for the families who have been touched by cancer. Pray for children who have been touched by this terrible disease. And all of their family. And all of their friends.

If you know friends who have been through what Stan and Sherri have, make sure that you connect them if you can, through the Facebook page or the blog.

Sherri and Stan will be focusing their efforts on helping with the fight towards pediatric cancer. Go tell them about your support. Commend them for their bravery. Keep visiting their site as they determine how they will make this a reality.

They may not respond to every single comment. How could they? (And trust me, Sherri's WAY BETTER at writing thank you notes than me). But they read them. They read every single word offered in love, hope and remembrance.

Most importantly, please continue to remember what Declan represents to all of us in the time we were blessed to have him.

Declan's Story will continue.

And it us up to all of us to ensure that we can tell the story and ensure that it means something.

Whether that means how you hear the cry of your child. Or handle the petty distractions at work.

How you forgive.

How you cope.

How you embrace your life.

How you move on from pain.

If you can, please send your love to Stan, Sherri and family on the Declan's Journey Facebook fan page. Not just today. Your support will mean so much if it continues past today.

Show the same love the Declan showed throughout his life in how you channel what you feel forward.

Love to all,

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. ~Norman Cousins

(Comments have been turned off. Please say a prayer instead and send words of your own love and wisdom to the Carmicals on the Facebook Page)

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