I met my cousin Abby September of 2009 when she came to California to see the ocean for the first time. Abby was checking items off of her bucket list at the young age of 15 because she was diagnosed with a rare and fatal bone cancer. When my dad heard of her condition, he couldn’t help but play a part in what ended up being her last moments on this earth.
From what I can remember, Abby had a lengthy list of bucket items including getting a tattoo, dying her hair blue and seeing the ocean. I know for sure she did the last two because when I was introduced to her at the Blue Water Grill, where we went for dinner that night she had blue streaks in here hair and that day had seen the ocean with my parents, her mom and brother Chris. I remember looking at her thinking, there is no way she is dying. She was so full of energy and put off a positive vibe. She tried ceviche that night for the first time and decided it wasn’t her favorite but she was willing to try anything. We visited La Jolla cove and watched baby sea lions scoot scoot around as the waves crashed on the jetty. I loved watching it all through her eyes. The cove was something I took for granted but for Abby it would be one of her fondest memories.
When Abby left California they drove away in our old raisin colored Civic that Dad gave them because the car they had back at home in Oklahoma didn’t have AC and they spent MANY hours in the car driving back and forth to the hospital for Abby’s treatments daily. I was so proud of my dad that day. Not proud of him, but rather proud that he was my father. That he did something as big as giving a car away to help his family. Unfortunately, Abby did not get a lot of use out of the car because after they left California she only lived another month and passed away December 2009.
Dad had been working on finding more of his relatives ever since my Grandma passed away in 2006 which is how we came to find Abby, her mom Mary Beth and Chris. We had visited Grandmas cousins in Wyoming when we went to spread her ashes and I think it was then that we learned of Mary Beth and her two kids. My grandmas death was bittersweet as we gained family and uncovered family history, it was truly a blessing that lead us to Abby.
But the harsh truth is, we are here and Abby isn’t. Which is why when I heard about all the children here in our community that are fighting cancer I thought of Abby, her beautiful blue eyes and her little hippie vibe. I loved that about her, she was herself and wasn’t trying to impress a soul. Just living it up because she knew this is the only life she will live.
This month is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – personally I think every month should be…it’s like Mother’s Day or Grandparents Day, these people should be honored every day! But of course, I have a degree in Marketing, I get it, I get it…so LET’S DO THIS!! Seriously, lets do something about the fact that Pediatric Cancers are scarcely underfunded. We don’t have to donate hundreds, actually thats the beauty of having a month! If we raise enough awareness this month people WILL take action. Change your profile photo, hang a gold ribbon on your door step, whatever YOU do, I promise it will be contributing to the cause. Every little act of kindness matters!
To get involved click ANY of the links below! #GoGold for the Month of September with me!
In loving Memory of Abby
Peace, Love & #GoGold
Elisabeth Hope Adkins