Friday I felt frantic to get out of town. So many tasks to complete prior to leaving the solitude of my home. Car needed brakes, William had his first day of school, Cody needed to be dropped off at school all of this was scheduled between 7:30-8:00. Thanks to my husband, sister, & mom life was moving forward and I had to hang on for the ride that I would call Friday. Car was picked up, William was picked up and now it was time to pack. The car was loaded and it was time to head to the windy city. My Aunt, Uncle and cousin Sarah were there to welcome us back to Oak Park. It was nearly 10:30 when we traversed the cities late night traffic and finally landed feet first ready for sleep. Saturday morning was over scheduled. I decided rather then fight the schedule in my head I was just going to flow with the moments. Our family made a beautiful breakfast and after my Uncle and mom took the kids to the park so I could shower and pack for the day ahead. A treasure and treat for the kids was when we walked to a local yogurt shop for a frozen treat. We live in the county and walking anywhere of interest would involve quite the hike and several very busy county roads. The boys really enjoyed this new found freedom. On the walk back to the house my beautiful friend Sarah called to say she and the girls were almost to Oak Park. They arrived and shared lunch on the patio with my family. I was smiling inside so bright at the thought of my daily phone friend sitting across the table from me with her beautiful girls. If the day would have ended at that very moment, I believe the 12 hours of travel would have still been worth every minute. Fortunately it was just the beginning of what was to be a night to remember.
I know by now you are probably like get to the point of this post, hang in there it's building. Sarah and I set course for Bolingbrook. On the way I ran an I-pass toll and of course freaked out. Fingers crossed my .80 toll won't turn into something huge. We arrived in Bolingbrook at the Miller house for what was to be a celebration to remember. Jackson Miller started casting a week prior to our Iron Will. We have shared so many hospital moments and scared parent moments to recount. The joy filled my heart when I was greeted by my fabulous Lucky Cast Club friends and their amazing family. The Bouncy House in the front yard set the tone for the celebration of a milestone in the Miller's world. Jackson faced Infantile Scoliosis and by God he set it straight. They were celebrating the emBrace of their new lives cast free and with a fabulous new accessory. I was fully prepared to celebrate the joy and camaraderie of THEIR moment. What I wasn't aware was this celebration was a catalyst for such hope for my own family.
The Miller family could have created a party entirely centered on their joy, but that wouldn't have been what makes the Miller's the Millers. They instead celebrated their beautiful family and all the families who are holding hands on this same journey. The evening included a kid paradise of bouncy houses, pizza, & enough friends to keep kids enchanted for a lifetime. They shared a slide show sharing their son's journey that included the soundtrack to our last two years, speeches of determination, tenacity in the face of adversity and a celebration of unlikely friendships formed from Infantile Scoliosis. Hearts knit forever by the bond of kindred souls tossed into a melting pot free from discrimination we like to call the Lucky Cast Club. The evening ended with me yearning for more. More time with my beloved friends, more moments free from plaster and fiberglass in a hospital setting, more memories of these my beloved sisters. If I could create a Utopia for our LCC families, it would mimic in sight, sounds and love the Cast off Blast Off of Jackson Miller.
I would like to send a special thank you to the Adam, Chrissy, Natalee, Cameron, Jackson, Mom & Dad Sherman, Mom & Dad Miller, All the Sherman sisters, & Miller brother for making us feel so at home. To my soul sisters Chrissy, Sarah, & Tracy oh heck I need to add Joe and Adam to this as well(You GO GIRLS) I love you all deeply! To Chrissy and Adam's friends who welcomed us with open arms and listened intently to our children's stories it was so kind. And to all the fabulous donors who made contributions in Jackson's honor we pledged to do your generosity justice. It is my hope that with donations made earlier and in Jackson's honor we will be able to share this feeling of home with all our LCC families through both a Mom's weekend and a Spring family outing. You have all touched my life in ways you will never know.
I pray we will always see ourselves in the same light we admire each other. This is William's favorite song and I thought the perfect conclusion to our magical day. Shine On my friends!