When your child dies from cancer, you focus moment to moment. You might have been told it was coming, but you didn't believe it.
You wonder if you can I bear to move the sneakers away from the backdoor where she always kicked them off. What about facing the grocery aisle with the favorite Del-Dixie baby dill pickles or green, NOT PURPLE, Gatorade?
Moment to moment turns into day to day. Can I face Mother's Day? What about Halloween with no costumes? How do you work up to putting the Christmas ornaments on the tree?
You heal and you grow and you love your child who isn't there. Then one day you read that the average age of a child lost to cancer is 8. Erin almost made it to 12!
You also read what that means. 71 YEARS OF LOST LIFE WHEN A CHILD DIES OF CANCER.
So here I sit on Erin's 17th birthday, no longer struggling with the moment to moment or even the day to day, but wondering what we lost over the last five years--classes, friends, drivers' ed, soccer, prom. And wondering even more what the world lost by her missing the next six and a half decades.
Folks, we have to do better. We can't just go throwing decades of life away, when there is a chance to invest in more effective treatments, and it would cost much less than many of the things we currently spend on as a nation. #StepUp.