Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Make a Wish!

"Make a Wish! And this is the first time you can do it out loud and it will almost definitely come true!"

Those are the words the Make a Wish coordinator said to CJ when she came to meet with them this evening. Can you believe it worked out that they came tonight of all nights? It was scheduled for last week but got canceled when one of the wish coordinators got in a small car accident. So they rescheduled......for this Tuesday...tonight! CJ's 12th birthday. How cool is that?

They showed up with balloons and cupcakes for him in honor of his birthday. We sang to him for the first time today once they arrived. They sat with CJ and really helped him narrow down his wish. I won't announce here what it is yet because they still have to get it approved. But once we know for sure we will be sure to let everyone else know.

God is so kind. He orchestrates things in our lives even down to the very day. As I watched CJ work with the wish coordinator through all the different ideas, I couldn't help but begin to think it didn't really matter to me what he picked. I already got my wish! We were sitting there celebrating his 12th birthday with him. That was enough for me.

I will be honest and tell you the idea of Make a Wish used to scare me. I did not want to ever hear one of the nurses or child life specialists come in the room and mention Make a Wish because I was sure it would mean the end was in sight. I remember a mom who fell apart at the hospital when the social worker mentioned taking a Make a Wish trip. She thought her daughter was terminal by just hearing those words. I guess deep down I knew it did not mean that and I had accepted that CJ had a life threatening disease that could easily claim his life at anytime, but Make a Wish still evoked feelings in me I was not prepared for. Until now! What perfect timing.

Sunday we attended the celebration service for Mackenzie. I spoke and I was surprised, and yet not so surprised when CJ went up to the open microphone. People were sharing different things about Mackenzie or different things they would remember about her. I will share what CJ said because I truly thought it was profound.

Many people ask us how we do this. Many people avoid us because it is (in their words) "too painful". We had many people tell us they don't read this blog because it made them cry.
Listen to CJ's words spoken at Mackenzie's celebration of life service...

"When Mackenzie first passed away I was in a lot of pain. I told my dad I did not want to go through this anymore. I did not want to get close to another child only to lose them. Then my dad asked me, 'Was it worth it? Was it worth knowing Mackenzie?' And the answer is YES! It was so worth knowing her even with the pain of losing her."

So there you have it! That is why we do it. It is worth it! Yes it is painful but it is worth every ounce of pain and effort to know these amazing kids. To know these amazing families. To know these amazing people that work with them. To know these amazing volunteers that spend time helping the families or coordinating events or granting wishes. To know the amazing donors who give of themselves, their talents and their treasures for the sake of others. It's worth it.

If I could Make a Wish right now it would be that each of you would know it too.

Happy Birthday CJ.
Thank you for all the lessons you have taught me.
Thank you for reminding me it is worth it!


Anonymous said...

Happy birthday CJ! Wish we could be there to celebrate with you. We love you and miss you so much.

Uncle Shawn, Aunt Cara, and Josiah

the Grays said...

Sorry we missed it by a day, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY CJ!!!

Dawn, I read every blog entry and I cry every time whether it is good news or not. God has gifted you with a talent for writing so don't even think about stopping! We miss you guys and pray for your family regularly.

Wendy Whitlow said...

Hey CJ...Happy Belated Birthday!!! I know it had to be special because it was a celebration of you! I was so happy to see you last month. Keep smiling and keep sharing.

You too Dawn! I can't wait for us to have another chatting session. And I still want you to find a time to join us on Friday night.

Your blog and how God uses you to share is so encouraging. xo


Anonymous said...

Thank you for continuing the blogs. It is amazing to hear and see God at work. His timing in sending "make a wish" on CJ's birthday is another reminder "He sees us and He cares about every detail in our lives"....love it!
Happy 12th birthday CJ!

-kim (boca raton)

Anonymous said...

Hope that you had a wonderful birthday CJ.
From JMJ where Uncle Shawn used to work!

Anonymous said...


I am so so sorry we missed CJ's 12th birthday. He looks just amazing in the new pics, he is shining again!!! Your last post is so true, I hate it when I hear, they lost their child to cancer, the real truth is that their child was won by God and lives eternally because of his love, but the reality is that the earthly loss hurts and we miss them terribly and it scares us for our own children in the same boat. I love your family, absolutely love you all. I hope Mackenzie's celebration was just precious, she was such a precious girl with an amazing family and I know you guys were like family to her. None of us know the reason of why God doesn't just wipe childhood cancer off the earth, but I suspect it has something to do with how many people may have come closer to God because of Mackenzie's struggle. Just like the cd's that we were given at the Lighthouse last summer, suffering is a megaphone for God. Public suffering is a megaphone for God's word, God's love, faith in God and the everlasting. Mackenzie's suffering was a megaphone to show everyone of us what is really important is knowing and loving and accepting God, he cured her cancer, he did but in a way we are incapable of understanding. Someday we will gain that knowledge. God cares, God loves, God can, God does. Tell Korey, CJ, Alibrandi and Chris that we all said hi! Tell Brett that Tomgirl said hi! I wish we could see you all at the Lighthouse again, we will miss you terribly. Love and prayers always Dawn, Happy Birthday wonderful CJ!!!

The Hedrick's
Kim, Wade, Truman and Greyson


Anonymous said...

Hi Honey

I am really happy about the Make A Wish. I know how certain words and phrases can set you into a tale spin. Make a Wish, Stage IV, Hospice, Pallative care, metastasis, all of them. Then we study our way into all of them, meet others that have passed through them and realize they are not all death sentences. Some are Words that will help ease a load, lend a hand and bring smiles to faces. Words to let you know you are not the trail blazer, someone has walked before you there and can guide you a little.

I wish you could get a copy of one of CJ's many speaking engagements and put it up on the blog for everyone to see how motivational, positive, and encouraging CJ is to others.

Papa was in the backyard sick this morning and I wish I could come with a "word" that describes him. Its more than resilient, more than courageous, more than fragile but strong. He takes a tea, sits in the chair with the heat on to recover and then starts planning more fun activities. He does not give in and let the cancer take over his brain like its trying to take over his body. I really understand this past year and four months how mentally strong he is. He takes lots of punches to the gut but gets up every time. I'm proud of him. I wish that I was half as strong as he is.

I miss you guys a lot and our good talks and just lounging together but neither one of us have lounging time right now. I was thinking what I would want from Make A Wish and what came to my mind was that you are caring for and loving Jerri and Jackie is caring for and loving Travis and it really makes my life so bearable. If I had to worry every night about those 2 right now I know I couldn't do it. I don't thank you two girls enough but I know part (a big part) of why you took these jobs on was to help me out and don't ever for a minute think I don't hold you guys up for doing that for me. You two girls have come to my rescue emotionally and I know physically if I need it too.

I also realize that having another birthday with Enzo is a wish come true. Enzo was in such bad shape on his last birthday that I know it is a gift from God that he has recovered and is enjoying himself for this birthday. It will be a Wish come true for him to sit with his brothers and Carlos on the night of his birthday and I know he'll cry with happiness. Cancer does bring your emotions to your sleeves.

I love you and please remember that always.


Anonymous said...

Happy belated Birthday CJ!

Your family is so very special! We're very blessed to know you and be able to read and share with you all. May God continue using you for His glory!


Viguie Family