It is fast approaching. Brinley's year anniversary of diagnosis. 9/3/08. A date that will be etched in our minds and hearts forever. Has it really been a year? What has happened to us in a year? I was reading back through our blog and it has been very difficult to read about. I won't lie, this has been a terrible year. Yet, we are happier. How is that even possible? This year we:

- Cried more tears than we could ever have imagined
- Felt pain we didn't know existed
- Watched helplessly while our 2-year-old daugher took on a battle with cancer, a battle she is still in
- Looked into her terrified eyes as we held her down for so many procedures we lost count
- Watched them sedate her so many times for surgeries or LP's we lost count
- Met more doctors than we could keep track of
- Have been financially devastated
- Have spent hours on the phone with bill collectors, hospitals, doctors, etc.
- Watched our other children suffer from neglect that was unavoidable
All of which has been terrible. So why are we happier? This year we have also:
- Grabbed onto our family and held on as tight as we could, and have survived
- Seen miracles
- Learned how precious life really is
- Watched our children learn about compassion, lessons that cannot be taught except by experience
- Discovered who our true friends are
- Felt an outpouring of generosity that continues to leave us speechless
- Met people who want to make a difference in the world, and have made a difference in our little family.
- Met doctors and nurses we never would have even known existed
- Made new friendships with people we have never even met
- Come closer to Christ, learning to rely on him
- Discovered what is important in this life, and it is not money, or our house, or our clothes, or our status
- Formed bonds in our family that will never be broken, between husband and wife, parents and children, and sisters with sisters.
- Come to a understanding of trials, and why we have them, and how we grow from them

Can I say I am grateful for this trial yet? How could I possibly be grateful to have watched so much suffering from our little girl. No, not grateful for the trial. Just the lessons learned from it. Grateful for the blessings that come from it. Grateful that we have somewhere to turn in our trials, someone who will not leave us alone and will send us tender mercies when we are suffering. We won't have it be in vein, if she has to suffer, we WILL learn something.

I don't know how this strange anniversary will be, my emotions are running high. I am tearing up about anything and everything. Brinley's birthday is next week and I remember last year, how unsuspecting we were on her birthday. As we were celebrating, cancer was taking over her body. One short week later, our lives changed forever. I don't really know what to do on that day. Rejoice that she is doing so well? Cry for all she has been through? Be angry that we have to deal with childhood cancer? Or just make it another day and try not to think about it. How about a kicking cancer's butt party? Now that might work...


Julie Kohler said...

I LOVE the "kicking cancer's butt" party idea! She is really doing it, she looks so healthy and vibrant. Much improved from the short while ago when I first started reading your blog.I really admire the insight and strength you have. Our prayers are always with you.

Stacy said...

I like the kicking cancer butt party! I have been thinking about the year anniversary coming up too. I have just been so impressed with your strength through it all - seriously. I think from my perspective that you ALL have done amazingly well. You are all so positive. I like that. I admire that. I like that you try to keep things as normal as possible and that everyone adjusts and helps out. You guys are doing great. I love you guys and feel blessed to be a part of your family!

Lidia said...

We need to celebrate always for been able to tell the story and to have Brinley with us. And count so many blessings in between. I am so grateful for you Kristin and David, strong parents that led your ship true such storm. And done with a smile, for Brinley strong desire to figth, and be brave. For two wonderfol sister that help true, Jade and Taylor and for a litle angel that is alwys good to help. Gratefol us grandparents seen so many payer answer. We love you L&D

Kandice said...

I think the "kicking cancer's butt" is a great party idea! When you look at all you have been through the things you have gained are amazing! And Happy Birthday to Brinley!
And Kristin, you're right...We do need to meet! I'll let you know the next time Josh and I come down that way.

Anonymous said...

The Torres Family has a 'kicking cancer's butt " party everyday. Some are just more fun than others!!!(ok, some aren't fun at all)Let's take one over the top ;) LOL
All my Love & hugs xoxoxoxox
A Nancy

Anonymous said...

you are always in my mind.big hug to brin from me.
sophie from greece

Alissa said...

Well I just bawled my eyes out. You guys are so amazing!