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  • I was planning to take a little break from Cowbird for the week, as I was feeling a bit “reflected out”, and thought I’d just spend a week living my life, without feeling the need to reflect on it, as well. O.K., well I made it 4 days. I’ve just gotten into such a habit of doing this, it’s hard to not write. So, I’ll give myself a B- for effort, and maybe next time, I’ll actually make it a week!

    I just wanted to share an update on my Grand-Niece, Noelle, who we spent a week with several weeks ago, shortly after she’d been diagnosed with “Wilms”, a form of cancer which commonly occurs in young children. The tumor on her abdomen was so large, she was not able to eat much. She’d be hungry, but after a few small bites of anything, she’d be full. The tumor was huge. Well, after several weeks of aggressive chemo treatments, the good news is, her appetitite is back in spades, and she’s eating like a horse. The tumor appears to be shrinking, which is what the hope has been. All in all, she’s handling everything amazingly well, and is getting used to (as used to as you can get with such things) with some of the new routines that have become a part of her life.

    As her hair began to fall out from the treatments, the decision was made to shave her head. In solidarity, Mom and Dad also shaved theirs, and Pop-Pop (aka, Honey Bunnie #1) got a buzz cut. The outpouring of love and support from the community has been overwhelming. There have been two fundraisers, to help the family out through their trials (they’re still unable to return to their home, which had an oil leak so bad they had to evacuate it, 4 days after Noelle’s diagnosis).

    We drove up for one of the fundraisers, last Friday. It was amazing. An entire bar and restaurant were filled with members of the community who turned out in support of the family. We bought some 50-50 raffle tickets, and Kathy won – a $55 Gift Certificate for a Tattoo! (Kathy is not really into tattoos). She gave it to a niece who had a great idea for a tattoo, and would actually use it. Meanwhile, someone else won a mirror that they weren’t particularly enamored with, which Kathy had admired, and so we wound up leaving with a very colorful mirror! We had a fun time, and just to be there, to see how the communiity showed out for this little girl and her family, was worth the 4 hour trip up (Friday night DC area traffic) and the 2 ½ hour trip back.

    Seeing this all play out has been another demonstration, to me, of the incredible power of the human spirit. People really amaze me. The way we respond to what life throws at us says so much about who we are. The way this family, and their community, have responded to the tragedy that befell this sweet, little girl is simply one of the most heartwarming stories I have experienced.

    I just had to share this update and reflection. Maybe I’ll go back to my “hiatus”, now…if I can!
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