Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - 30

Conversation

N
I

CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

SPIR

E

D
E

O
W
K
R
O
T

TOGETHER

rin is my favorite child to read to, the teacher of her three-year-old preschool
class told me. All the children listen, but she always listens like she means it.
I knew that feeling myself. Her face and body connected to each and every
story, lighting up in anticipation of excitement, sagging when things got sad
and giggling or guffawing at the funny parts.
Erin grew. The books we read together got longer and more complex, and more often
than not she read to herself. Her total involvement with the story, the characters and
the action, however, remained unchanged. And she lived the same way she listened,
completely and delightfully attuned to the moment. Erin was an unapologetic enthusiast.
It surprised me that she maintained this outlook despite fifteen months of intense
treatment for high-risk neuroblastoma that began shortly after she turned five. It
shocked me that she would remain that way after she relapsed and even when her
treatment options dwindled. In hindsight, I should never have worried whether Erin's
spirited attitude would survive intact. I should have wondered where it would lead us.
News of Erin's diagnosis doubled us over like a gut punch, but we all got with the
business of fighting cancer. Almost immediately we had a bald daughter. The only
sign of her shining red hair was the little wispiest that framed her face like a halo.

30

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
SEPTEMBER 2019


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Elephants And Tea - September 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - September 2019

Contents
Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - 1
Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - Contents
Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - 3
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Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - Cover3
Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - Cover4
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