With Love, to Chantel

I have a friend whose child is sick. She’s a momma warrior and was a grounding piece of my Love Army when I was going through treatment.

Today, she heads west like I did to brave a new chapter of treatment for her sweet son, Dax. I took an online detour on my way to write her a personal note on Facebook. I scrolled to Dax’s GoFundMe page and was nearly moved to tears to see that they had already exceeded their modest fundraising goal. What this means to me is that people from all over, from all walks of life, all genders, all religions, all political persuasions, and all ages found that thread of love in their life and plucked that line for this family. It isn’t hard to do, but people recognized the need for this family and they took a few minutes of their time sharing what they had in their pockets to fill a big hole in these parents’ hearts. 

As someone who has been on the receiving end of such generosity, I have a modicum of understanding what this may mean to them. It is my sincerest hope that as she watches those numbers rise, as the stream of cards and notes and gestures of love and support come cascading in around her, that this momma felt lifted up and fully supported. There will be days, I am sure, that she will want to collapse under the weight of it all. I don’t know of a pain more acute and tormenting than the pain of watching your child suffer. It is for these reasons, Chantel, that we send our love to you.

There are a thousand beautiful compliments I could lay at her feet. It is not enough to say that she is one of the good ones, but she truly is. She is a source of deep compassion, intelligence, commitment, love and light in this world to many, many people. She is often the person behind the front person, the person behind so many good movements and causes in our state. She is a trail blazer, a path maker, a person of quiet fiercesness that I find incredibly admirable. She is a true gift and the life she is making with her family is awesome.

If all this weren’t true, it would still be a heartbreaking journey to watch. Knowing how deeply good she is makes the sting even more biting. 

There isn’t a lot I have to offer right now but my words have always found their way to me in my time of need and they are what I have to share with you today. I want to offer you this, Chantel: know you are loved. I know the road is uncertain. It’s almost a worthless platitude to say it. But I know about uncertainty and the monsters that live in the shadows. I know what fear and sadness and anguish and loss of hope feel like. I know how exhausting bravery is, how strength never feels strong, how the grind of uncertainty can wear a person down.

I also know about love. I know about how waves of support will find you in the moments the well seems to have run dry. I know how little bread crumbs will keep appearing in front of you- pieces just big enough to keep you taking another step forward. I know people will give of themselves so you will have pieces of them to hold you together. I know love will find you, and for the most part, it will keep you safe. 

I know nothing can “fix” this, dear friend. But I know there will be enough to help you survive it. 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again here: lean in to love. Do not be harsh on yourself when moments of fear or sadness find you. We will be here to catch you when you fall. There is no shame in the pain and there is no limit on the love and generosity we have in our hearts for you. 

I know bravery will find you. Not bravery in the way that makes you shut it all out, but bravery in the way you let it all in. I believe you already have what you need to take this on and I know more is on its way. You, too, have a Love Army. Hear us roar.
Give ‘Em Hell

If you would like to support TEAM DAX, I urge you to consider donating in excess of their fundraising goal. I am certain their need will continue on, and a little bit goes a long way. I cannot stress what acts of kindness do for your spirit in these moments, and I thank you in advance for your consideration for this sweet family.  

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