Monday, December 5, 2011

The Heart of Christmas

Sometimes you just can't help it. There are those movies that just draw you in, without needing to be big blockbuster hits. Without needing to pay an obscene amount of money to watch it in the movie theater.

Let's go back a little bit. Last holiday season,  a song entered my life, but being we were still so numb from the loss we had literally just faced, it didn't hit me as hardly as it has this year. Literally one week ago, driving to my weekly doctors appointment the song jumped back into my memory. No reminder. No reason. I just began telling my husband about the song. He reminded me that I shared the song with him last Christmas. I honestly couldn't remember sharing it. I hardly remembered it myself. In that moment, whether he already had heard it or not, I needed to hear it again. Myself.

And for the first time I watched the official music video. The music video that shares glimpses into the journey a family faced as their son thirteen month old son battled Leukemia. As my husband drove down the freeway I tried my very hardest to hold back the tears I knew were unevitable.

Saturday evening in watching ABC Family's 25days of Christmas, a commercial came on the tv adverstising a movie premier on a completely different channel. A channel I had never even heard of. (Did you know they officially have a Christmas movie channel?) GMC. I set it up to record Sunday, December 4th, and had forgotten all about it until late last night.

A touching yet heartbreaking story of a family who fights with all of their might to keep their son alive, yet when they reach the point of "letting go" realize that sweet little boy, Dax, isn't going to live to see "one last Christmas." A community follows by example when Dax's daddy goes out of his way to make sure Dax got to see, his very last Christmas.

It was an overwhelming story. But I sobbed uncontrollably through the entire movie. That of which I have never, ever, done before. But it was so real. The Locke family were blessed with more time with Dax, than we were given with Savannah, but the story of their stay at St. Jude's Children's Hospital, was exactly, in almost every detail if you were to replace a toddler with a newborn, what our experience was like at UC Davis. And every moment spent watching this family put their lives on hold to be there fighting for their son, took me back to every moment spent fighting for our daughter.

When the doctors had tried everything they possibly could to help save Dax, they sent the family home to spend their final weeks with him. And like I already mentioned, October 2009, Dax got to see Christmas with the childhood delight we either remember from our own childhood, or have witnessed in our own children.

All so badly, with our very Christmas tree illuminated and decorated in the living room, it brought me to a heavy heart. How I wish so badly, Savannah could have witnessed for a second the magic of Christmas. Whether it have been in December or in her eight day visit in August. But before family and friends even had a moment to wrap their minds around what was happening, Savannah was gone.

There are so many amazing families out there. Who have fought so hard and selflessly for their babies.

Since Dax passed, his mommy and daddy have welcomed their own rainbow baby into their lives.  And continue to raise 1.7million dollars to fund St. Judes Children's Hospital for an entire day. In honor of the baby boy that left their lives too soon.

This Christmas, if your heart calls you to do so, or you are looking for a way to make a difference, please consider making even the smallest donation to St. Judes. Because I know, as a mother, what it feels like for a hospital to give their everything to someone who means more to you than they will ever possibly know.

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