To my friends and family back on the East Coast….

beach loveI had lots of ideas this year to make this toy drive a big success. However, in light of what is going on back East, I’ll put those thoughts aside until next year. I realize that this toy drive will probably not be the most successful, but that’s okay. We’ll still have the toy drive. Whatever we collect, we’ll still be able to do something special for the children because the hard truth is that for some of the children, it will be their last Christmas. This update is not asking for you to donate.

This update is for my friends and family back East. Some of them that I’ve known for a long time, some of them we became friends through the carepage and I’ve never seen them face to face. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I know it’s a devastating time right now and you are probably still in shock. I know that some people were more affected than others, but you will be okay. I know some people lost their homes. We lost our home too back in New Jersey, not in the same way, but all the same it was devastating. Jonathan was in the hospital with his 2nd cancer Choriocarcinoma and he was dying. At the same time we were being forced out of the house and trying to pack up and move. We had planned to move, but at the end of the school year. However, I know that life’s best plans don’t always go the way it should and that there are a lot of curve balls that will be sent your way. Life is definitely not fair. I’ll be the first to tell you that. There is no magic to say that the bad people in life who commit murder or hurt people will get all the cancers and illnesses. There is no magic equation to say that if you have to have a tragedy in your life, that you will only be hit once. When we moved to Colorado, Jonathan was dying. The day that Ruth the hospice nurse came out to teach me how to draw up all of Jonathan’s IV bags, the air conditioner was broken and it was a hot July day. We had our belongings in cardboard boxes and I remember buying a dining room table on Craigslist for $10 and all of us sitting on cardboard boxes to eat dinner. However, we’ve rebuilt and all of that is just material stuff. You can rebuild those material things slowly. Family and friends, the people in your life are the most important things.

There are definitely lots of things in life that money can’t buy. Sometimes I’ll see something funny on TV and laugh, you know, one of those really good laughs where your stomach hurts. Then after I’ll think to myself, what am I doing. I don’t have my son Jonathan anymore. How could anything be so funny? You know the human spirit is a funny thing. Deep down inside all of us, there is a little light. Some of us may not even know that it’s there, but there will come a time when something happens and you have to look deep into yourself. My friends ask me how I do it. How I live day to day. I really don’t know the answer other than that I’ve been forced to do so. The human spirit is strong and resilient and in everyone of us, there is some fight and you just don’t give up.

They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. My message to my family and friends is that anything materialistic that you’ve lost, you can rebuild. It will definitely take lots of time, but in the end it’s just materialistic stuff. Those of you that were affected more deeply, you need to stay strong. If looking at the future is too hard, then do what I did. Take it day by day. If that’s too much, then take it hour by hour or minute by minute. Remember to look within yourself and see the light. Don’t give up. You have friends and family who care about you.

Love, Lisa

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