I often tell my children, aside from being a mother....this is what I was called to do. My purpose, if you will.
I do recognize that I am not an expert, and I do recognize that I make mistakes, but one thing I know for sure, my heart is full of my "job".
Some days, my job is the most Magical job on Earth!
And then there are times, that my heart becomes so invested, I wish I could stop the clock.
That moment came, when I got a facebook message from Ollie's step-mother.
Let me step back for a moment:
It's funny how God brings things full circle sometimes.
You see, I have been following Ollie's story, because he is very near and dear to my friends Christen and Kayla.
Ollie is a cute little guy. Full of fun and spunk.
And everytime they mentioned him, it was a story...something Ollie did.
Imagine the depth of my heart-sink, when Jenni messaged me to say "Ollie has been placed on Hospice, and he wants nothing more than a trip to Walt Disney World. Can you help us?"
Oh, please. Can I help you? I want to go with you, and carry your pain, so that you can only have sweet moments.
YES! I would be MORE than honored.
So, we began scurrying a few details together, and working out the logistics.
By the end of the day, I had spoken with Dad, Grandmother, Aunts and then moved on to Guest Services at Walt Disney World, Concierge Relations and more.
A few days later....
I went to visit Ollie and his dad, Anthony, and Jenni.
Ollie asked me to show him on the Magic Kingdom map just exactly where he could meet Buzz Lightyear....And I did!
I brought a few fun prizes for him and one was a "swirly straw" with Buzz on it. With his lips stained from his red drink, He asked me to replace his boring hospital straw with the exciting swirly one....and I did.
He asked me to tell him a little bit more about the park, and how far he would have to go, and I did.
He knew he might tire easily, but he knew of a few things that were on his 'must-do' list ;)
In that moment, it was just me and that cute little guy, and he wasn't a child with Cancer, he was a child with a dream. A dream of Magical Moments just ahead!
I dreamed it with him.
Within just a few days, they were on their journey.
You can read Meredith's blogpost here.
I will not take credit for the VIP Tour Guide, as someone graciously purchased that for Ollie and his family, and I know it made every single moment even more intimate and endearing.
And so here we are today:
(Rob, Christen, me and Charming, post-memorial: we may or may not have puffy eyes)
I went to Ollie's Memorial yesterday.
Christen and I were going together, and in his sweet fashion, my Charming didn't think twice when I told him we were going, he said "then I will go too"
He knew his support was needed, although I insisted it wasn't.
They spoke of his moments at Walt Disney World, they spoke of his heart to serve others, they spoke of his kind spirit, and they spoke of their grief.
My heart ached for them.
My tears flowed for them.
I could only wish that a mother and father would never have to experience this pain. The depth of this pain hurts me, to even try to imagine.
They offered up ways to help, by donating to the following organizations:
Please consider donating in Ollie's Memory or in Kayla's honor. I know their families would be thankful to have your help in the search of a cure for childhood cancer.
St Baldrick's Foundation
Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation
American Childhood Cancer Organization
And so, as we left there yesterday, we were all a little somber, and we went to dinner and we talked about Cancer and we talked about other things.
But as I went to bed last night, I prayed that God would comfort their blank stare today.
That God would pick their feet up, when their burden is so heavy they can't take their own step.
And, in truth, I thanked God for my job.
And for the reminder yesterday, as I imagine they looked out into that sea of people, knowing they probably saw no one, because their eyes were blurred with tears.... I wasn't their travel planner. I was their friend.
And my job isn't a job, as some may see it. My job is an investment in the lives of other families.
Everyone doesn't choose me to help them. And that's ok. God sends the perfect families at the perfect moment. I need them and they need me.
Oh what did I do to deserve such a blessing.
I am ever thankful today.
So, cheers to sweet Ollie! I hope he is singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" with the Heavenly choir...
To Infinity and Beyond!