This morning, Chris and I found out (through Facebook, of course) that the five year old daughter of some friends of ours lost her battle with a rare form of soft tissue cancer (rhabdomyosarcoma) on New Year's Eve. This knowledge has absolutely broken our hearts. Elizabeth was first diagnosed in early March and started chemo on March 5 of this past year. Ten months later, she is gone.
How can this happen? I look at my healthy son (sure, he is running a fever right now, fighting off some kind of cold or virus, but he's overall a VERY healthy kid) who is just a few months younger than this precious girl and my heart physically aches for their loss. Elizabeth was a beautiful, happy little girl whose pictures always made me smile. We hadn't seen these friends in a long time (since before we moved away from west Georgia) but we kept in touch through Facebook and always checked out each other's pictures when posted. Chris and I would always show her picture to Andrew and tell him how we hoped he would marry a sweet, beautiful girl like Elizabeth one day
I don't pretend to know why or how to react when this happens. I know how not to react, though. My mom started spouting platitudes about how good things will come from this tragedy and God is in control and all that crap, but we really didn't want to hear that. Lord knows they don't want to hear it.
Jessica (Elizabeth's mom) is 32 weeks pregnant with another little girl (named Hannah, by the way!) and I can only imagine how fearful they must be that perhaps all this stress and emotion might trigger premature labor, or perhaps Hannah will have the same condition...I do know that their doctors are willing to scan Hannah from time to time in order to set their minds at ease and/or keep close tabs on her health to do all they can to prevent this from happening to Hannah.
Ugh, this just sucks. If anyone out there is reading this, I am sure the Cooke family would appreciate any prayers or warm thoughts you could send their way. I know I will certainly be doing all I can to love and support them...and I'll be hugging my own kids a little tighter and thanking God for them more sincerely than ever before.