From the Fall 2022 Bella Magazine newsletter:
These past few months have been a whirlwind for my family. Life has a way of just knocking you down sometimes and when this whirlwind swept through our home, it left us knocked down and exhausted. What do you do when this happens?
Honestly, sometimes it just seems like the easiest thing to do is just lay on the ground and cry (and also honestly, I did some of that). Ultimately, though, the better option is to get back up and show the troubles that they did not defeat you.
With her permission, I am sharing a little bit about my daughter. Three weeks before her wedding day, her fiancé walked out on her. This is a long story that could fill many pages of a book, but the bottom line is that he just wasn't able to be the man he needed to be for her. This alone would have been enough for us to fall apart, but adding to the destruction was the fact that my 24-year-old daughter had also discovered a large swollen lymph node on her neck that would not go away with antibiotics and in fact, has continued to grow. About two weeks after her fiancé left, she and her dad went for further tests at a local cancer clinic. She was given two options: one was an invasive surgery on her neck to remove the lump for biopsy and the other was to do a "watch and wait" protocol and monitor for growth and changes over the next few months. After consulting with my husband's oncologist as well as a couple of physician friends, she wisely decided to do the "watch and wait" protocol.
Through all of the whirlwind, I have had the incredible privilege of seeing my very brave and strong daughter rise above the ashes. She decided to get up and move forward and not allow the painful events of her life to totally destroy her. My own daughter is one of my heroes!
Her beautiful wedding gown was still hanging in the guest room at my home and I was going to sell it or donate it when she had a most inspired idea. She and I were in Mexico about to take a dinner cruise when she asked me if we could dye her dress blue so she could dress like a princess for some photos. Additionally, she determined that she could use this dress to be a princess and entertain kids with cancer. I turned that dress blue and we are scheduled for some fabulous photos. And I introduced her to Leia Hunt whose organization Leia's Kids is our featured organization this month.
I cannot wait to see my amazing daughter turn lemons into lemonade, wearing this beautiful dress.
And you know what? Not everything has been tragic. On another personal note from Casa Crews, my 22-year-old son was accepted into Officer Candidate School with the U.S. Navy where he will soon head to be a naval aviator. He will be flying high above the clouds at great speed and I will be down here praying and proud. Lastly, none of these events in our personal whirlwind have stopped us at Bell Asteri. We are so thankful for all that is on its way as we continue to highlight childhood cancer.