Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Special Pig for a Special Girl

I was really lucky to receive this special request for a Mini.  My heart has never been warmer.  Gwyneth asked me to make a "brave soul" for her friend's daughter who is only 1 1/2 years old and has been diagnosed with cancer.  She wanted little Emma to be able to have a little, tiny friend to take with her when she went for chemo.  Gwyneth sent me some pictures of Emma and the child is adorable.  Her smile is gigantic.
A couple of years ago my brother, my mom's friend and I took my mom on a cancer walk in Chicago.  By this time her cancer was really far along and she couldn't walk very well, so instead of walking she cruised in her wheel chair.  All the survivors were given purple shirts to wear, and the supporters white.  My mom got a lot of encouraging nods from people.  I felt a little weird about the survivors being singled out with their shirts, but I realized that their resiliency was something to be proud of, and that it allowed them to feel solidarity with one another.  It was a really beautiful day and something I will always remember.  One thing that did shake me up a bit though was seeing the tiny people in purple shirts.  A newborn even.  It is just a little hard to bear.  But, I really observed them and their families and the kids with purple shirts were smiling and laughing with their families just like any child would and there is something really special about that.

So this is Eva.  Eva is a kind and brave soul.  Ever since she was a teeny, tiny baby, her parents told her that she brought joy and sunshine to the world.  As a child she was given a heavy load to bear.  She had to do some difficult things that she was too young to even understand, but she  had a special gift, because even through the hard stuff she could make people smile.  She is not sure how she is able to do this, but she thinks maybe it is because of all the joy and sunshine inside of her.  Eva puts on her pig jumper often.  Pigs are the silliest animal in existence and she wishes more pigs could be pink.  The pig jumper helps her feel brave because it helps her to smile her biggest, joy-filled smile even through the tough stuff.  Eva's favorite person in the whole world is Emma.  She thinks Emma is the cat's pajamas!

Much love and strength to little, adorable, sun-shine filled Emma!


stacysews said...

I love the idea of a brave soul mini. I hope that Emma finds comfort in her new stuffie.

Kuky said...

Newborns and little children with cancer? That just makes me tear up. I hope Eva gives Emma lots of smiles and joy.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story and mini.

Christa said...

Hey Nichol. I can't pass this one up without comment. I work for a place called George Mark Children's House. My last day will actually be next week since I'm getting ready for my move, but I've been there for 2.5 years now, which is definitely a record for me. The quickest way to describe it is it's a place for children with terminal illnesses to come to either spend time away from their families (like sending your kid to camp so you can go on vacation) or to spend time with their families. It's hard for me to tell many people about it because they just think of it as a children's hospice. The response I usually get is, "Oh, that must be a really depressing place to work." Actually, it is one of the happiest places I've worked, which is why I ended up staying there for 2.5 years when it was only supposed to be for 9 months. It's built like a home, so it's not like a creepy hospital. All the kids' rooms have themes, so there are fun murals on all the walls (one of the most popular is the "Goodnight Moon" room) and there are panels to cover all the medical equipment. Every bed has actual quilts on it, not some sterile scratchy stuff, and there's also a day bed so that someone can stay in the room with them if they'd like. Otherwise, there are a couple of family suites that are like apartments the families can move into for as long as their child is there. We have all kinds of equipment so that kids can do things that they've never been able to do before like go swimming or dancing. Just last month we had our first annual prom for all our teenage patients and all the teenage siblings of any patients who have ever come through. It was a real hoot!!! Even when babies come through, the families are happy to be there because they are able to relax and be taken care of and have the chance to make some memories with their child while they can. It's really an amazing place, and I will miss it very much. The website is http://www.georgemark.org if you're interested in taking a look. Kids are pretty freaking amazing. That's all I know. Thanks for sharing the story about your mom. I think it's really powerful to see other people who have made it and be able to say, "Look at us! Ha ha! You can't take me yet!" :-) I'm glad your mom got to do that. Much love!

bozoette said...

Lovely, just lovely! Hugs and light to Emma.

Melissa & Emmitt said...

this post really touched my heart nichol. you are the perfect person to make this special doll for emma.
i love eva.

Eva said...

awww... i'm sure your plush will help the little girl out, i can tell you put your heart into this one. you always have the best heart-warming stories :D i don't know if you've heard of this... but there's this group called softies for mirabel- i'm thinking of donating some of the plush that i don't sell on etsy after their expiration date to them and maybe making some others.

Susan said...

You know what? I think you are the cat's pajamas, chickie. Hugs and more hugs.