KC Zoo Tiger Donation

To help fulfill Mason's dream and help the Tigers:
KC Zoo Attn Laura Berger "In Memory of Mason Kempf" 6800 Zoo Dr Kansas City, MO 64132

For the beauty of Snow and Magic on Christmas :
Elves of Christmas Present PO Box 3535
Olathe, KS 66063

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thoughts in the middle of the night

Guess what? My allergy medicine is non-drowsy. So here I am. Thankful for our community of family and friends. Tonight was the Back-to-School Bash. And there were many smiles and familiar faces.
So after arriving home, I shared a poem with Eddie about a pair of shoes. It is a poem that I found written by a mother who lost her 5 month old son. I feel compelled to share the poem.

"A Pair of Shoes"
author unknown

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes. They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think
about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

It does NOT amaze me; there are a few that find us unapproachable. Could it be because we appear fragile? That we don't cry enough? That words just don't come easy? Words might seem offensive? I find myself wondering, "Did I say something wrong in the blog?" But in reality we just want to be normal. It is hard to imagine normality, it keeps its distance from us. But please don't be afraid, we are still the same people, forever walking with a different stride.
This is not directed to one person, maybe nobody at all, maybe it is us, maybe we are the ones that feel so odd. We read stories weekly about a child gaining his/her wings, I still struggle with words of comfort. It just isn't right. I never knew 46 kids are diagnosed with cancer everyday. 7 kids die from cancer everyday. But now we do, and what do we do?
There are times when I have decided to stop writing the blog, and then anger or pain boils inside and I begin to write. I want to do something to make a difference; even though I feel our hands are tied.
As Eddie read the September magazine of Parenting, an article exists on Breast Cancer, but what about Childhood Cancer? Is it too unapproachable? It exists you know. Next month is September, Childhood Cancer Awareness. I carry HOPE inside my heart; with more awareness; more steps to finding a cure. So, I close for the night hoping someday another parent will not have to start their day wearing uncomfortable shoes. And I still am here to write, even if it's just you and me.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful and well written. I cannot even imagine the pain you went through and continue to face. I cannot imagine how losing a child alters every moment of life from here on out. I wonder if I would ever be half as strong as you if I were to ever lose my child. For this, I am compelled to read your blog. Your blog is like an addiction to me. I find so much beauty in what you have to say. You are eloquent with words and I just know you are going to do amazing things with the rest of your life.
You will be the one that forges forward with the Childhood Cancer message; and your blog is one channel to accomplish just that. You will be the one perhaps that writes a book for mothers who's child is fighting the most important battle of their life. You are the force that will get a magazine to feature articles on childhood cancer. You have this incredible energy and drive coupled with a love for every human being! This is rare to find. I consider myself lucky to know you and hope all of your friends get past the shoes someone else chose for you.
I pray for a cure every day. I pray that your pain will be eased. Prayers are sometimes the silent conversations that I could not have with anyone...so know that if people are staring at your shoes hopefully they will adjust and come around again.
Cancer. What a powerful and scary word.

Anonymous said...

What a perfect comment, couldn't have said it any better. I felt as comfortable as could be, geez...I even tried digging in your husband's pocket:) That is one embarrassing experience I will never forget! I have a deep love for your family. It might not be expressed often, but it is always there. The anonymous author above nailed it, you are/will be that woman. For some reason you were given these shoes. God only knows why, but you are/will do amazing things in them.

Brandie said...

Please dont' stop writing. We all become stronger from your words. You bring out the best in all of us, we all want to do more to help those who might have a pair of those shoes.I pray that no one has to wear those shoes, EVER. But, your words help us all figure out how to help make the walk more comfortable for those who are forever in those shoes- even if it is just to listen. Keep writing your amazing words, pouring your heart out to the world and sharing the path you are walking in your shoes. We must find a cure. There is no other option. And September, I am with you where ever you may need me to help spread the awareness. Thank you. We all helped and continue to help Make a Difference for Mason, but don't forget, YOU continue to Make a Difference for kids with cancer, for parents with the pair of shoes and for all of us who want to help but might need ways to get started. You help us find our way to Make A difference. I wish you a peaceful nights sleep for nights to come. You deserve the world my friend. You are an amazing mom, who can always find the right words when some of us can't. Keep writing. Write all you need to say, we are here to listen. Always! Love, hugs and prayers!!!

Anonymous said...

Brandie and the others are spot on with their words. And I am so lucky to be able to call you my friend. You give me hope, inspiration and smiles. And for those ugly shoes....you sure do wear them well! If anyone can pull off that look it is you my dear friend!

Peace to You and Your Family,
Kim and the Brood

Anonymous said...

Yes...ditto the above. Your blog is very powerful...we can not imagine what it is like to wear those shoes, but you are so amazing at sharing the emotions, ups and down, and what must be the hardest thing a parent can imagine. I have often thought/hoped perhaps you will write a book as you are a very gifted writer.

Thank you for sharing Mason and your family with us...

Deanna said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem as well as your inspiring messages through Mason's blog. Please do not question your writings...they are wonderful. I believe that if you so choose, you will be able to put the words of your journey into a book of inspiration for other families. I often cannot find the words to respond to your messages. It is not because I disagree or am offended....quite the opposite! You are so gifted with putting your feelings into words, it is difficult to find the words for a proper response. I am so excited about being a part of Mason's team next Sunday. Until then...more prayers, and HUGS!