I have rewritten this post three times. It’s very hard to find the right words when talking about childhood cancer. So I’ve decided I’m not going to. It’s enough for you to know that my childhood friend’s daughter Hazel has fought and is winning, winning, winning! But at the time of this session that I begged my friend to let me do, she was still deep in the trenches of her battle. I bet you could never guess looking at this session which one she might be. I have never seen so much love, friendship, joy, and happiness from anyone as I did from Hazel on this night. Hazel smiled, laughed, danced and twirled. She giggled with her sisters and snuggled with her family. She held my hand over and over again, walking and talking with me like old friends, even though she hadn’t ever met me before. She even invited me to lunch when I came back to Utah to visit at our shared favorite restaurant (and we did have lunch there a couple of months later!!). I was blown away.
So here’s to all the fighters out there. Here’s what hope and joy look like. Love you Hazel. Thank you for teaching me so much, and for loving a new friend.