21

Mia would have been twelve years old this year. How tall and beautiful she would be! I can almost picture her in my mind and yet, I can't. She will have been gone for three years. How can that be - I know I have to stop torturing myself and just stop counting. One minute without her is too much.

Andrew is such a wonderful boy and so happy, but our family is broken. He lost his constant playmate and companion. When we go out as a family, he has no one with whom to run or share the kid stuff. The world constantly reminds us that our family should be four. There are four burgers to a pack, vacation packages for two adults and two children, a table for four at a restaurant. I almost want to stop them when they whisk away the fourth place setting. We love to go to Disney but we are without our princess. I don't have my little 'mini me'.

Someone once told me that it is like hitting a brick wall. Imagine riding along on a smooth, straight road. It is a beautiful, sunny day and you can clearly see all your hopes and dreams ahead of you on the horizon. Suddenly, without warning, a brick wall appears right in front of you. There is no time to stop or swerve. You crash.

After a while you can put your broken pieces back together again. But a very important piece is gone. You can still travel, but without this vital part, your trip is no longer smooth and easy. We can never travel as we did before. We can never see those same hopes and dreams through the smoke and dust of the crash. We can never go down that same road again because the wall is there.

We must find a different road. The wall has forced us down a road that we never intended to go. This new road is bumpier and more difficult to navigate. But we have to go forward, there is no turning back. We have to find new hopes and dreams and set a different destination.

We will always be broken. I have figured out that the pain never goes away or even lessens. We just must become strong enough to live with it.

We used to end our nighttime prayers with - "and thank you for a wonderful day." That has changed. We still try to find something to be thankful for every day. We have good days and some are even great. But no day will ever be wonderful again without our Mia.

Mia's Updates

Learn about what an inspiration Mia has been and the incredible strength she has shown during her treatment.

Family News

Our family has kept us strong during this time of trouble. Here we share what our lives are like while we help Mia battle her cancer.

Reflections

Helping our daughter fight this thing is hard. Here you can read our personal observations on the situation.