Kristie Sharp Williams
We built our house in 2004 and moved in over Labor Day weekend that year. There is a high countertop, like a breakfast bar, that sticks out into a high-traffic walkway, but we’ve never
had any chairs under it. Abbey was two-years-old when we moved in. She would run from our family room straight through the kitchen under the corner of this countertop and never notice it. Eli came along and would also run straight underneath and never notice. Caleb, the same, run full tilt and never notice.
I can remember the painful, gradual awareness of the existence of the corner of this countertop as they each slowly grew.
Eventually, instead of running underneath, they began to lean their head away as they ran by instead of under. The countertop corner had always been there, but as it intruded into their lives, they had to adjust their routine as they continued running from the family room through the kitchen.
Today is the first day of childhood cancer awareness month. In September 2011, Eli was
playing football. He was not an athletic kid, but was a big guy. He was so big that when he had to weigh in before each game the coaches worried that even one pound would knock him out of that age group. He was not particularly skilled, and was too passive, but he listened to his coaches, didn’t complain, and was willing to at least try to do what was asked of him. I thought, with some good coaching, this just might be his thing. He might could actually be an offensive lineman one day. The cancer would have been present that month. He was a sick little boy, but no one could have known it. It's hard not to feel like I've been duped in some cruel way into having hopes and dreams for him during those days.
This is our seventh childhood cancer awareness month, 14 years in this house with that
countertop. Having been not just touched, but tortured by childhood cancer made me aware of more than just the evil itself. Sure, like the kids running into the corner of that countertop a couple of times, I painfully learned cancer existed even though it had always been out there. But, because I was made aware of childhood cancer, I also became aware of genuine and boundless kindness, which I don’t think I would have noticed otherwise. I became aware of the plight of others. I became aware of mortality. I became aware of the devil as a predator. I became truly aware of God as our Designer, Creator, and Father. I became aware that this world was temporary…. thankfully, temporary. I
became aware of the individual pilgrimage, and I became truly aware of Heaven. I knew in a general sense of all these things, but it wasn’t until childhood cancer that I was truly aware. I think that “enlightenment” is one of the ways that God takes what the devil deals and turns it into something beneficial.
Please, join me this month in finding ways to highlight childhood cancer, and share something that will help others notice. Our foundation is getting ready for Superhero Fun Day coming up September 8th, our biggest event. Preparation has been requiring quite a bit of my attention, but thankfully, we have an awesome group of volunteers without whom the event would not happen. I have also still been looking for a job and had an interview this past week, so crossing my fingers for that one.
The most fun thing over the last couple of weeks that I have not shared in this group is the
purchase of a 2004 Mustang Mystichrome SVT Cobra convertible with the “Terminator” engine and only 29,000 miles on it. Google it; it’s fun. We had been just kind of keeping an eye out for a red convertible ’14 GT for me, but no real committed looking because Vic
made no real commitment to purchasing if we found one. So, I didn’t have time to waste looking for something he wasn’t going to act on. Then I had a meeting that was held at the local Harley-Davidson shop. I came home and told Vic that I was thinking about taking their free motorcycle lessons. A motorcycle would probably be cheaper than the Mustang I wanted, and certainly easy to store in a cram-packed garage. It wasn’t long after, that low and behold, Vic found the “perfect” mustang for me. I was shocked when he sent me a picture of something that was not at all what I was looking for, but somehow he felt it was “perfect.” And, it was right here in Athens, and suddenly he was willing to make an offer on something. Shock. I read about the car, and sure I could definitely appreciate it for what it was, so long story short, I loved it, couldn’t deny how neat it would be to own something so unique. So, we went for it, and so did McClary Ford. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to going with Vic in Eli’s car to some shows.
Thank you for sharing about Eli and childhood cancer, so that his life continues to impact others.