I stepped onto the elevator…my hands trembling beneath the Styrofoam plates that held two giant pieces of take-home cake. This isn’t real. This can’t be real. This is not what leaving the birthday celebration of a child looks like. I’m not at a park, my children are not by my side, I’ve endured no small talk. I've only even met this child once before today but she feels a part of me. She IS a part of me. As the elevator lulls along I’m flashing back on my last hours…weaving in and out of the seas of people huddled around the hospital bed of their daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin. This girl is so many things to so many people. I hid behind my camera breathing through every single click…doing my best to seem invisible while capturing the heart wrenching beauty that consumed the room. It was a birthday party but it was not her birthday. Not even close. That is not a day she will see. Her body will not be here to carry her to the next age. But that family…that family will carry her in their hearts for the rest of their lives.
There is never a better time than now. Celebrate, love, forgive, dance, breathe, sing, play…do it all today. I have been putting off sharing the work I have been doing with the masses, I have been putting off writing…I’m not sure why…fear I suppose. Fear that I don’t actually know what I’m doing, that it won’t be good enough, that I won’t be enough. But if yesterday reassured me of anything it is that this work is not about me. It is about these families and the children they have been fortunate enough to love. I’m setting the fear down. I’m showing up for them. And that will be enough.