Finding one small blessing each day.

Rockstar Ronan and beauty in the world September 7, 2012

One of the things I’ve talked about since this blog began is Rockstar Ronan, the beautiful little boy who died last year of neuroblastoma.  In fact, his mom’s blog is one of the things that got me onto WordPress in the first place.  I followed his journey daily, and then when he died, I cried along with the hundreds of other followers that have lived his story through his mama’s words.   I still check in on his mama’s blog occasionally, and I follow The Ronan Thompson Foundation on facebook.

This morning, I awoke to the most beautiful posting on facebook.  Tonight there is a special TV telethon airing that is dedicated to raising cancer awareness and funds for cancer research.  It is called Stand Up To Cancer and there are countless celebrities that will be performing during this telethon.  But… a huge lump wells up in my throat as I type this… Taylor Swift has written a new song, just for baby Ronan.  She titled it “Ronan” and she is singing it tonight on the telethon, for the first time ever.  For that sweet baby boy.  For his grieving mama. For his brothers that lost their sibling.  For all the hundreds of thousands of children who fight the disgusting monster in the night known as cancer.  For everyone.

You can find the article about the telethon and Taylor Swift here.

His mom said once that when this was all over, she was going to do something big.  Something HUGE.  Like get Pearl Jam in concert.  I’m summarizing here; it was something about Pearl Jam and I’m not taking the time to go scour the blog to find out specifically what she said.  It’s irrelevant.  The point is, MY GOD, look what she’s done.  Her beautiful baby boy is creating MAD AWARENESS.  His name will forever be known.  His story will forever bring awareness.

Thank you, Taylor Swift, and bless you, for being such an angel.

And Maya, if you’re reading this, Don’t Stop Believing.  

My heart is heavy, and full, with love today.  There is so much good in this world.


Sending some love to the Chili Peppers July 30, 2011

I am so excited to be able to post again! I was so busy with school and my home repairs (uggh) that I could never find time to sit down and post. I am delighted to be back!

The other thing I would say is that I’m also excited to be on “the lookout” for blessings again. When I am actively writing this blog, I’m always paying more attention to what’s going on around me so that I can find something fun or good to write about.

Today’s blessing is awesome. So as you know, pediatric cancer is kinda my cause. I am always trying to raise awareness of it so that somehow, someday, we can stop this ugly beast. Well anyway, there is the woman known on Facebook (and elsewhere, I guess) as The Blanket Fairy. Her thing is that she likes to make these super soft blankets that she sends to kiddos who are diagnosed with cancer. I actually have had the best of intentions and plan to send her some homemade blankets here soon… but that’s another story.

There is a boy by the name of Nick out there, who is 14 years old. Nick has cancer and has been very ill recently. His number one favorite band in the whole world is the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Blanket Fairy sent out a plea on Facebook for people to send some cards or other things to cheer Nick up. One thing led to another, and the Blanket Fairy decided to see if she could get Chad Smith, the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers to call this boy. She posted on her Facebook page requesting all of her friends post a request on Chad’s page, and needless to say, after a few hours, Chad not only responded but came back saying that if Nick lived in California, there was a concert this week and he could come backstage and meet everyone. Unfortunately, Nick lives clear across the country, so instead, they set up a call with ALL the members of the band. Within 24 hours, Nick got a telephone call from his favorite band and spent over a half an hour on the phone with them. His mom said that “it was the best night of his life!” Nick posted on his CaringBridge site about it and said “I feel better today and I hope to feel even better tomorrow. I know I’m going to be alright.”

It brings tears to my eyes just to share it. Thank you, Red Hot Chili Peppers, for taking the time to contact a boy and make a difference in his life. And thank you to the Blanket Fairy for working so hard to make it happen. People can be so beautiful sometimes.


Don’t Stop Believing May 11, 2011

Filed under: Signs — hiddenblessing @ 10:24 pm
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Most of you know that my inspiration behind this blog was little Ronan and his amazingly inspiring mom and their fight against neuroblastoma. Ronan lost his fight this week, and although I don’t even know this little guy, my heart broke for Ronan’s mom and their family. She writes beautifully, and she touches her readers… you couldn’t help but be sucked into her story. I hope that someday when she finds the strength again, she’ll publish her story in it’s entirety, but for the moment, she’s still astonishing her readers with her insight and grace as she gets through these days.

Mostly what I wanted to tell you about, though, was that she posted today that she has heard the song “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey repeatedly since little Ronan died earlier this week. She believes that this is a little sign from her boy, to never stop believing in him. And I believe in her. What’s really interesting about all of this is that strangely enough, I too heard the song on my way home from work the night that she posted that he was gone (I hadn’t seen the post yet). I don’t know what made me pay attention to it, but I did, and my thoughts drifted somewhere along the lines of the fact that it was a Journey song and just the other week my Marvelous Nikki was going to sell a Journey t-shirt at our garage sale. Minor, mindless thoughts, but I thought about it enough that I remember it.

So then Ronan’s mom posts about how she’s hearing this song everywhere, and a few of her blog readers have posted the same thing in their comments to her. And then tonight, James on American Idol sings… you guessed it… Don’t Stop Believing. All I could do was smile — little Ronan! — and think about the thousands of people his story has touched (literally). And then think about what I was saying in my last post about all the funny little coincidences, signs and gentle nudgings that the universe sends our way… this week has just been insanely full of them.

So my friends – tonight I want to leave you with this message that I really believe comes from somewhere other than where you and I are today…. don’t stop believing. Don’t stop believing in messages, in signs, in dreams… in hope, in inspiration, in a new start. In the ability to conquer unbeatable odds, in the ability to change the world around you. Don’t stop believing in the power of love and laughter and faith. There is a beautiful day waiting for us tomorrow.

Peace and blessings and love to you tonight. And if you have a little extra room in your prayers tonight, please pray for little Ronan to fly high with the angels and for his family to be at peace. Goodnight!


When I grow up May 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 9:51 pm
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Inspiring Quote on wall @Starbucks
Image found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/37676753@N08/


Do you ever feel like everything around you is just changing? I have been feeling these changes rolling over me like an ocean wave, and slowly but surely everything has been changing. All for the better, but it’s just so fascinating to realize. I think back about what I was thinking about and focused on just a mere few months ago, and it seems like everything has changed.

It started with Braden and Ronan. Braden, the sweet boy I’ve talked about whose race I went to a few weeks ago. And Ronan, whose mom’s blog inspired me to start this very one you are reading right now. Both of these innocent, darling children are fighting cancer right now and Braden is doing well right now. Ronan is not. I cry just reading his mom’s blog. It devastates me, floors me, and breaks my heart. I am disgusted that childhood cancers are not given more attention, more money, more notice. How are these babies dying every FOURTEEN HOURS and we haven’t done more? We can put a man on the moon, we can build entire fake cities to train our militaries, we can have FIFTY MILLION VOTERS on one night of American Idol, but we can only come up with two drugs to treat pediatric cancers in the last twenty years??? What if every single one of those voters donated one dollar to childhood cancer research, for just one night? In a matter of three hours, we would have fifty MILLION DOLLARS.

Ok, enough about that. I’m getting off subject. So these changes with me started with these two boys. I started following their stories, then I started commenting, and then I started this blog. And then I started volunteering, and then I quit smoking. And now I’ve started running. And then finally, I enrolled at a community college to take one class… one class towards my dream someday of being a nurse.

I’ve started researching schools, and realizing that my GPA all those years ago in college – when graduation was the only thing on my mind, not how successfully I got there – may actually prevent me from getting accepted into a university. That saddens me. I am an entirely different woman than I was when I was in college. I have zero doubt that my grades will be astronomically better now than they were then. The reasons for this are many; I understand how expensive it is. I also understand what it means to feel passionate about what I’m doing, and why. And I’m old enough now to actually KNOW what I want to be when I grow up.

I found out today that the students that get accepted into the program I am interested in have a typical GPA of 3.7. This means all A’s in college, with an occasional B thrown in. This means ZERO C’s and most certainly not that D that I got in Sign Language but didn’t bother to retake because I was so mad that I had a D in the first place. I could accept this at face value and move on, but I won’t. It might mean that I can’t get into THAT school, but it doesn’t change a thing. Because I have wanted to be a nurse, overwhelmingly so, for most of my adult life, and this desire strikes me every few years or so. But now I’ve realized the time has come to consider actually doing something about it, no matter how many years it might take me to do it. Because children like Ronan don’t have my whole lifetime to wait for help. So Chemistry 121, here I come. Wish me luck, my friends. I am filled with such HOPE and excitement about this!

Goodnight, friends. I hope that you are listening to your dreams tonight, and tomorrow, you have enough courage to do something about them. GPA’s be damned. I will be an amazing nurse someday.


HOPE walk April 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 7:20 pm
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Hittin' the pavement for the cure!

Today, I took two of my kiddo’s out to Braden’s Hope for Childhood Cancer walk. This was such an awesome event! Per the tallies preliminarily posted on Facebook, over 55 THOUSAND DOLLARS was raised today for pediatric cancer research. GO KANSAS CITY!! That is amazing!

Braden was who got me started, but since finding out about Braden and his family’s struggles, I have made pediatric cancers my personal mission. It is just heartbreaking to me that there are these kiddos, just like my own, who have to fight so hard to have all the things that my children have… that I had… that their mommies have to be scared of missing the little things… like their child’s first loose tooth. It has never occurred to me that I might miss that moment. I worry about stupid things, like missing my child’s first steps because I was at work. Missing PTO meetings because for some reason they are never held outside of business hours. But missing my child’s first loose tooth because I was scared he wouldn’t be here to lose it? I had never, ever, ever looked at it from that perspective. Thank God I never had to. And I pray every night for each of these babies, that they will be well and their mommies will never, ever, ever have to be scared about that again.

Did you know that most children with pediatric cancers are being treated with drugs that were created for adult cancers, TWENTY TO THIRTY YEARS AGO?? Pediatric cancers, plain and simply, are not researched like adult cancers. Only one (ONE!) new drug has been developed to treat pediatric cancer since 1980. There have been over 50 approved to fight adult cancers. I don’t know about you, but that fact disgusts me! I wish I was a billionnaire and I could buy a pharmaceutical company to develop these cures. Powerball, here I come!!

Tonight, I will hold my own babies close. I will play dominos and watch movies and eat popcorn. And I will say my prayers for Braden, and for Ronan, and for all the other families fighting this awful disease. And lastly, I will thank God for my healthy little ones.

Goodnight, dear friends! Hugs and blessings to you tonight!

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