Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Yucky Little Monster

I wrote this poem two days after Emma was taken to Memphis.  Some of you may have read it before, but it is something that I hold dear, so I thought I would share it here!

By: Katie Clark, for Emma Clark
In Honor of Dr. Scott Howard

A yucky little monster went floating through the air
I swallowed him by accident, quite unaware.

I didn’t see him in there, he’s a sneaky little guy,
Hiding every time I laughed and every time I cried.

Then that yucky little monster went and did what he does best.
He grew and grew and grew, getting bigger in my chest.

He made me really sick, he took away my fun,
But I will have the last laugh when the day is done!

You see, I met a superhero who knows just what to do.
Fighting little monsters is his favorite thing to do.

So we will fight the monster, and one day we will win.
Good bye little monster.  Don’t come back again!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Time is a tricky thing.  We always think it will be there for us, but in truth, time waits for no man.

I thought I had time with Emma.  I haven't said this too often, but before Emma was diagnosed, I KNEW something was wrong with her.  Even when her doctor said it wasn't anything serious, I mean it when I say I literally KNEW that it was.  I just figured I had time, I would bring her back again and again until we got our answers.

But I didn't have time.  Cancer wasn't waiting for me to get my ducks in a row.  Her tumor didn't slow its growth until I was ready to deal with it.

I learned my lesson there, so today when we get the opportunity to do something fun with our kids, we take it.  When we get the opportunity to serve, we do it.  That opportunity might not be there tomorrow, or truthfully, we might not be here tomorrow to take it. 

I don't want any regrets...at least not where time is concerned.

What about you?  Has something happened in your life to show you that time is one of your greatest assets?

Time Is  by Henry Van Dyke
Time is
Too Slow for those who Wait,
Too Swift for those who Fear,
Too Long for those who Grieve,
Too Short for those who Rejoice;
But for those who Love,
Time is not.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We're Home!

Wow.  That is the best word that I can think of to describe our trip to "The Lighthouse".  This group of loving, caring people pampered us, catered to us, prayed with us, and played with us.  We had (in Emma's words) "the best time ever"!

Each day began at 8am with breakfast, then moved on to "Morning Watch", a daily devotion time.  After that, the kids split up into groups and the parents had a type of group therapy.  We were actually kind of leery of this part.  We didn't want to sit with a group of strangers and talk about our feelings.  Guess what?  That turned out to be our favorite part!  Being with these brave and strong parents, who were fighting the same montsters as us, helped us so much.  It was enlightening, and we found new strength and wisdom.

My favorite thing that was said was from one of the dads.  He said that we are the lucky ones.  Most parents, he said, have to teach their kids about their math homework, or their spelling homework, and they complain about that.

We get to teach our kids about LIVING!  We are showing them how to fight, how to be strong, how to cope and move on, how to be happy in spite of the bad.  We are the lucky ones.  I loved this!

Another parent said that she feels like her life is too big.  I definitely feel like that sometimes, too.  How can I handle all of these big things?  But knowing that I am not alone in this helps more than I can say.

After this we had lunch each day, and then free time (which we spent at the beach!).  In the evening we had supper, and then some type of group activity.  On the last night there was a talent show.  Emma and Ashlyn were sooooo cute!

Overall the trip was a success, and we definitely plan on attending next year.  Thank you for sharing it with us!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lighthouse Family Retreats

Soon we will be heading to a beach in Florida for a cancer family retreat, hosted by Lighthouse Family Retreats.  We have heard great things from other families who have attended  these retreats, and we are hoping to bring back some awesome reports ourselves!  So here is this month's charity highlight.

Who: Lighthouse Family Retreats

Mission: to serve families living through childhood cancer by helping them to laugh, restore family relationships and find hope in God.

What They Do: Lighthouse Family Retreat hosts beach retreats for families affected by childhood cancer.  They endeavor to provide some momentary normalcy in the midst of the chaos. Kids just being kids: playing in the sand; laughing in the sun; and enjoy a vacation as if maybe for just a week cancer has all but disappeared.

Refer A Family: Know a family facing pediatric cancer?  Part of a family facing pediatric cancer?  You can apply for a retreat here

Donate: All of the retreats are run by volunteers, and on donated money.  If you would like to help further Lighthouse's mission, you can learn more about volunteering or donating here .

We will be back next week...hopefully with pictures!