While I do love my little Miss Piper, I actually am writing to tell you about another little Piper. (Oh wow! When I just went to her shutterfly page to add it to the bottom of this, I just saw that she is Piper Lee, just like my Piper Lee!) A little girl named Piper who hasn’t even turned 2, and yet she is facing some challenges that the rest of us hope we never have to face. Her parents always thought she was 1 in a million, and recently they have found out she is actually 1 in 10 million. Little Piper is fighting a rare disease called Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome. I don’t know this little girl, but I was moved by her story when I read it in the paper. Maybe it was her name, maybe it was her age, maybe it was the fact that I couldn’t imagine putting myself in her parents shoes. Piper’s parents are both teachers in Brian’s school district and over the weekend the local schools and community came together to put on a charity carnival. We marked out calendars weeks ago for the big day, and Piper hung the newspaper article on her bedroom door.
The carnival was packed! Volcom was there with a booth where the kids could silkscreen their own hats, college boys, from the fraternity that Piper’s dad was in, were there manning the blow-up obstacles and slides, the local high school started a club Pray for Piper which had a game booth, there was a food truck, professional DJ, I ♥ Piper t-shirts and bracelets, lots of sweets and lots of games. Such a fun event and yet, I was on the verge of tears at least a half a dozen times. Once when I saw this picture, because I think none of us ever imagine “it”, whatever “it” is, will happen to us But also joy welled up in me as I was amazed at the outpouring of support. I was in awe of the way that community looks when it comes together for a common cause. There is no way Piper’s mom and dad could have pulled off such an event without the help and support of their personal and professional communities.
I came home that night and heard that another little fighter was given some bad news. Miss Daisy Merrick has been diagnosed with cancer for the 3rd time in 3 years and she is 7 years old. We have been praying for this little girl. We have celebrated when the cancer went away and grieved when it returned.
All of this has made me thinking there are no guarantees. We are not guaranteed a long full life, free of heartache and trials. We don’t even necessarily deserve that. My resolution this year was to “choose joy”, to look at situations through the “joy” lens. No doubt that Daisy and Piper’s families are suffering in ways they never imagined they would. But perhaps what inspires me the most is to see their parents’ hope and joy even in suffering. Daisy’s parents talk about “peace in the midst of pain”, how unimaginable that seems! While I hope that I never have to experience such a trial, I too, hope that I would be able to find peace.
To find out more about Daisy and Piper check out their sites: