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Childhood Cancer, Podcast

Evelyn’s Story: Heather Roy on Grief, Gratitude & Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare 

Meet Evelyn Faye Roy, a beautiful little girl from Calgary, Alberta, who loved music and dancing and art and books and Star Wars and her friends and family, whose light was blazingly bright and whose life on earth was heartbreakingly short.  Evelyn was 11 years old when she died of neuroblastoma in February 2020. This is a conversation about every parent’s worst nightmare, but it’s also so much more than that. It’s about finding a…

Grief

#25: Holding On 

Early in the summer I dreamt my son was dying. My perfect, beautiful boy. I was helpless, aware even in my subconscious that this was too much. My own desperation jolted me awake. I opened my eyes and heard myself saying, “I cannot do this.” I blinked and looked around the dark room. My heart was pounding, my breath shallow and fast. “It’s ok,” I told myself. “It was a dream. He’s ok. He’s not…

Hope, Love

#24: 40 

Dear Chris, Today you are 40 years old. Two years ago I didn’t know if we’d make it to this day. If we did, I thought with certainty, life would look so different for us, full of wheelchairs and breathing machines and all sorts of medical devices keeping you alive. But here you are today, at your favorite place in the world, driving the boat and diving off the dock, throwing footballs to the kids…

Family, Parenting

#23: For Dad 

In this week’s episode of Sorry, I’m Sad I talked with Kate Fagan about her book, All the Colors Came Out, which is about the relationship between a father and a daughter. Kate’s book resonated with me on so many levels, but since it’s Father’s Day, it really made me think about my dad. My dad is a retired farmer, and I’m the youngest of three girls. He was and is everything a “girl dad”…

Caregiving, Family, Motherhood

#22: Searching for Myself 

Yesterday morning I sat in the sliver of sun that streams into one corner of my living room. I wanted to read, drink my coffee, feel the warmth on my face. I wanted to take deep breaths and center myself for the day ahead. I wanted time and space to still my busy mind, so I sat down, pulled a blanket over my legs, took a sip of my coffee, opened my book, exhaled and…

Grief, Parenting

#21: The Littlest One 

One night recently, she cried out for me. She doesn’t do that much anymore, but earlier that night, when I’d tucked her in and softly sung, “You are my sunshine,” in her ear, she’d cried. “What’s wrong lovey?” I’d asked. “I just started thinking about a sad thing,” she’d said. “Oh?” I ‘d asked. “What are you thinking about?” And with tears thick in her voice she’d said, “I’m thinking about when you will die.”…

Grief

#20: The Weight of Grief 

Last week a friend rang my doorbell for a walk. I opened the door, greeted her and stepped out into the cold January morning, my eyes squinting into the bright sunshine and my breath suspended in the air before me. She asked how I was. I answered with a sigh, “Oh, OK. How are you?” “I’m OK,” she said slowly, before adding, “Worried about you.” We started walking. I told her it had been a…

ALS, Gratitude

#19: Still Here 

The past few days, friends on social media started posting the first photo they took in 2020 and the last. Some were heartwarming — the friend whose first photo was of her pregnant belly, the last of her adorable baby boy. Others were silly, a play on the stresses of a hard year, and some heartbreaking — photos of people who started the year with someone they love and are ending it without them. I…

ALS, Grief, Resilience

#18: Falling Down, Rising Up 

Next week a surgeon will cut into my husband’s abdomen. He’ll put a tube down Chris’ nose and blow up his stomach like a balloon, and then he will slice through it and stick a tube from the outside in, blow up another little balloon in that tube so it doesn’t come out of Chris’ stomach, stitch around the opening in his skin, and, just like that, Chris will have a feeding tube. Next week…