Last week, on Friday, June 17th, Amelia turned five. On the outside looking in, it may not seem like a big deal. Lots of kids turn 5. (Although, most parents agree that the birthday of their own children is always a big deal!) For Ben and I, its been an important event. She was the first of our children to reach that age, although Wayland should have turned 5. Actually he should be gearing up to turn 8 in a few months, but he never made it. He never turned 5. So, since his passing, Amelia's birthday was another one of those surreal moments. A moment where I reflect and think, how the F%#@ (pardon me, I'm normally not one to cuss, but there are just some moments...) did life turn out like this? We grieve our loss again. We miss Wayland and can't help but wonder what would it be like if he was here. It was also an important celebration for us. We have a child who has lived to be healthy past the age of four. That is a huge blessing. As much as I'd like to think it is our right to see our child grow up to be a healthy and successful adult, I know it is not our right; hope yes, but not our right. I am so grateful for a healthy pregnancy and for Amelia's health, but I am no longer a mother that thinks, "It could never happen to me!" I am now a mother that thinks, "Its happened before, why can't it happen again?" Therefore, our small celebrations, like Amelia's birthday, really mean a lot.
Ben and I like to watch Feherty. He's hysterical, but we also love the intimate and real interviews that he does with professional golfers. Its pretty cool to see who they really are, not just the typically calm and collected golfer we see on tv. Anyway, his interview with Rory Mcllory aired this week, which we watched. Ben and I are fans, he seems to be a pretty cool guy. After watching his interview, we weren't disappointed. He really is a humble, genuine person as well as an amazing golfer. One part of the interview struck me. Feherty asked him how he was affected by his big loss at the Masters a few years back. Rory shared that he is grateful for the experience and wouldn't change it because it has helped him to be the successful golfer he is today. That is a pretty humble and very professional response. I hate the tough times, but it really seems to be true that we grow the most after going through an intense failure or tragedy. I overall have accepted the loss of Wayland for myself but there are many times that I feel that it is so wrong and unfair that Amelia has to grow up with out Wayland. I am still really, really angry about it, but I also know that it is something that has to be accepted. Even though I despise that Amelia has to celebrate the rest of her birthdays without her big brother, I also want to learn to trust that Amelia is going to become the person she is meant to be without Wayland. She has to, as I guess she has no other choice.
Amelia's birthday was also a cause for celebration because we are so grateful for her. She is very sweet and very strong willed and without her, life just wouldn't be the same. She teaches me so much day in and day out. She makes life fun and exciting and I love to see her grow and overcome the obstacles she faces. Also, as we come across more and more people affected by DIPG, I realize that I can't take for granted that Wayland has siblings. There are many families affected by childhood cancer who don't or can't have other children. The loss of an only child must be even more excruciating than the loss of one of your children. I may never be able to fully accept the timeline of my adult life, but I know that I am grateful for the gift Amelia and our unborn child are to us.
I also want to share that as Ben and I continue our fight for a cure, the Wayland Villars DIPG Foundation presents a Paint and Sip Event. We enjoyed the Wine and Canvas in 2014 so much, we decided to give it another try. It will take place Thursday, July 21st at the Lochaven Clubhouse in Noblesville, IN. The time of the Event is 6:30-10pm. Heavy Appetizers will be provided by Indy Fresh and the wine is generously provided again by Matt Cole. Price is $55 or $50/person when purchasing a table of 6. Sarah Mattingly of The Creative Corner will provide the paint instruction. We are so excited for the event! We hope you can join us. Registration is now open on our website. Stay tuned for the art piece Sarah will be teaching the night of our event! Buy your tickets now: http://www.waylandswarriors.com/#!shop/f2wdn
Love from Indy,
Amber, always Wayland's Mommy