April 21, 2004 - "Abigail" by Jenn Borjeson
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"When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another." ~Helen Keller
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So many of our readers can relate to this story by Jenn. As we each serve in groups such as Angels2TheHeart, Chemo Angels, and other groups where we might become attached to people with illnesses and can sometimes lose them, we all do this because like Jenn, we feel that if there is the tiniest difference that can be made, how can we not? Be sure to email Jenn about this heartfelt and beautiful story!
by Jenn Borjeson
It's been over a month since she died, yet every time I visit her website or look at the framed picture of her in my bedroom, I cry. Abby was the same age as my daughter, Cassidy. When she turned 8 last year, she decided she was too grown up to be called "Abby" and insisted that she be called "Abigail" - how precious and insightful of her. She never did get a chance to grow up into that young woman, Abigail.
I never met Abby. She was a featured child on Make A Child Smile (www.makeachildsmile.org) and she had cancer - Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, to be exact. She was diagnosed in August of 2000. She went into remission quickly, but relapsed in November of 2001. After fighting valiantly for more than 2 years, Abigail seemed to be the picture of health in January of 2004. Things went downhill quickly, though, and on March 12, 2004, this incredible little girl lost her battle with the cancer beast. I followed her CaringBridge site daily, never giving up hope that Abigail would be one of the ones who would beat it. Her parents are phenomenal people - even while they were experiencing the worst thing a parent can possibly experience, they took the time to update her site and let those of us who love her from afar know what was going on. I remember on the day that she died, I just sat at my computer stunned. I burst into tears and just sobbed for hours. Cassidy had written to Abby several times, as well, and I had to tell her of her sweet friend's passing. We just held each other and cried.
How do you explain a relationship with someone you've never met? I'm a ChemoAngel, I'm an Angel2theHeart, I've been sending mail to sick kids for over 3 years now. I've developed relationships with so many wonderful people and my life has been enriched in ways I can't even begin to describe. However, it can also be very difficult. It's so hard to grieve and mourn someone who is thousands of miles away - it's so hard to not be able to say goodbye.
As I visit CaringBridge sites, most have links to other children's sites - the links just never end. Some days it's just too much, I just have to get off the computer and go hug my children. I just hate cancer, I hate it with all of my being and soul. It is simply not fair that there are endless numbers of children (and adults) suffering from this terrible monster. Medical treatments have come such a long way in the past 30 years or so, but not enough. Never enough until EVERY child can be completely cured. I long to see the day when there is no need for the wonderful organizations for which I am a part of... no need to offer support and encouragement to those who fight cancer every day of their lives. For now, though, I'll continue to play my very small part and hope that somehow, somewhere, what I do makes at least a little tiny bit of difference in someone's life. If I can bring a smile to one child's face, one child who is going through chemotherapy or radiation, one child who wasn't able to get out of bed today due to the after-effects of the treatments that are supposed to make them better... if I can make them forget, even for a second, how awful they feel.... if I can do this, how can I not?
Jenn Borjeson copyright 2004
Jenn Borjeson lives in Massachusetts with her husband, 2 children, 2 cats and guinea pig. She is a freelance writer, rubber-stamp artist, Stampin' Up! demonstrator who also works part-time outside the home and still doesn't know what she wants to be when she "grows up". She loves to spend her "free time" sending encouraging mail to those who need it through wonderful programs such as Angel2theHeart and ChemoAngels.
The Letter Box:
First, my most sincere sympathy on the loss of your Erin. But, you have written this tribute for Erin beautifully. Isn't God awesome in answering our prayers! A powerful story that uplifted me this morning!
Sandy Olmsted's article, "His Mysterious Ways" was one of the most moving stories I've ever read. The beautiful combination of love for a daughter with the purple flowers blooming in her memory was truly inspiring. I read the story with tears in my eyes and felt profoundly grateful for the love of God which "will not let us go." Thanks and blessings, meg Mary-Ellen Grisham
I read your story this morning and it has stayed with me all day. Thank you for sharing this miracle with our 2theheart family. God bless, Geena
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