For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

May 20, 2013

Oh, Wow!

Winthrop Cancer Center for Kids is an incredible place.

You won't have a dry eye after watching this video, yet you won't see anyone who isn't smiling. I hope those of you who read will take a moment and think of all the little kids who experience more pain than many of us will suffer in a lifetime, and think, also, about the incredible people who are "there for them", "there for you" should you ever need them. And, they're all SMILING!
Mary and Ally
Just look at these two adorable little mugs. Don't they steal your heart? Mary's spirit shines through. I saw her smile and giggle as the doctor pretended to stretch her to make her taller and take things out of her ears...I got to hear her Mom (My Niece, Jenny), giggle in the background. Music to my ears. The tiny little girl who came to my house and played--all grown up, married, stoically taking care of such dire and important things every hour of her life--it breaks my heart. My sister's heart is breaking in half, too, not only for her granddaughter, but for her daughter. How frustrating that she wants to take away the pain from both and can't--that's not the way life works. She is the "little sister that I have always looked up to."
Ally is the unsung hero. Yes, she adores Mary and Mary adores her. My sister tells me that she takes Ally to the store to get a toy when Mary is at the hospital getting treatment. Ally will run and choose something and squeal, "Gramma, gramma, look! Mary would love this!" When Jenny wants to take her out for a special time of her own, she doesn't want to go unless Mary goes. She's a little doll, but she has not had an easy time of it either as cancer affects everyone in the family. She's one of Mary's fiercest protectors. They will not only be sisters for life, they will be best friends for life.

Recently Jenny wrote after a week of ups and downs that no one should have to bear:
For anyone who knows me knows I am a creature of habit. I have the same thing for breakfast every morning I have the same routine at work etc. So when Mary got sick it seemed like our world was turning upside down & inside out. It was hard to think I would ever be happy again...about anything. And then someone said something to me that changed the way I looked at Mary getting sick and life in general....."if nothing ever changed there would be no butterflies." That has stuck with me since. Mary you are my butterfly! Especially after days like today. ♥
Jenny is an incredibly brave person as is John, her husband. I hope that those of you who read my blog will take the time to watch the video not just for Mary but for all the children who are struggling. The more awareness there is, the better all the children with cancer will be. I had no idea how many, many ways on an hourly basis that this disease ravages families. Up one day and down the next--too many times to ever count. 

If you've gotten this far and have thought of this little family, thank you. It means a lot to me.

A Song From Uncle Rich (Eva Cassidy)

Isn't it a coincidence that a week or so after this post, a package arrived in the mail. My sister, Judy, sent a hot plate and coasters that each of the girls made. Given the song that Rich "sent" to the girls, what a shock to see that Mary had drawn a Rainbow over a little girl in--what else...a purple dress. I put them on what I call "Rich's Table". Both girls are wonderful artists. Because Ally's was a little darker in color, it was easier for me to get a really good picture of hers-naturally some of the flowers were purple, too. 


  1. Love the quote about change and butterflies. Thank you for this posting.

  2. Children are so amazing. There are so many lessons we need to learn from them. I loved the butterfly quote. Just wish that change didn't have to be so har for some folks. Sending love and hugs to the whole family.

  3. Thanks for sharing yet another amazing video. Keeping us posted on your nieces are so adorable and love that the little one is right there with her sister.
    Love the butterfly changes.

  4. This is really wonderful. We can all learn a lot from children about how to live our lives. Great post.

  5. You said that if I watch the video I probably won't have a dry eye. Reading this post I didn't have a dry eye!

    I am with Sandie. Children are so amazing. As I read this I am watching the horrible news about OK. They are interviewing many children. Many of the words these children say are words of hope! That is my prayer for your nieces is prayers of hope. Paul calls Jesus "our hope" - 1Ti 1:1.

  6. Thank you for reading, everyone. My understanding is that the chemo is not the worst of the treatment, although they changed it recently and it caused some problems, it's the steroids that Mary has to have once a month. It's painful and plays havoc on Mary's emotions.

    Paul and Marsha, I'm watching about the tornado, as well. In fact I'm looking at a picture of a little child being brought out of the rubble. Breaks my heart. One of the officials just made a plea for financial assistance from all of us--through the Red Cross and he named a couple of other charities. He said "things" though well intentioned don't help in a situation such as they are experiencing. I remember the one that hit a mile from here in the 90s (flew right over our house)--you can't imagine what the devastation is unless you see it in person. It always amazes me how people find the hope that they do. There's an incredible video of a little dog climbing out of the rubble to get to it's owner, and older woman, who miraculously survived. There was nothing left around her.

  7. I am so touched by Mary's story - and Jenny's. Thank you for sharing them with us. That butterfly quote is so true, and sometimes painfully so.


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