Today I finished probably the most influencial book I’ve ever read in my life, next to Harry Potter. Now before you think I’m a huge idiot for saying Harry Potter is influencial, the reason why it’s influencial is because before I read HP, I hated reading. Ever since I was 12, and in 6th grade, and picked up that first book… I’ve loved reading ever since. Well, anyway, this book was amazingly inspiring. I only wish it was fiction. I wish it was just really tasteless fiction. I can’t imagine why someone would write a fiction book like that, unless they did it with the sole purpose of the proceeds going to the foundation, but if you took the time to make a fiction, you wouldn’t be that type of person. Anyway. The book is called Notes Left Behind by Keith and Brooke Desserich. Their 5 year old daughter was diagnosed with a ‘brain stem glioma’. When I read something that is interesting to me, I get really curious, and generally I don’t stop finding facts about it until I feel like I have answered as many questions as I had swimming around in my ever-ticking-head. For instance two weeks ago or so, I logged on MSN; per usual, and there was a blurb on MSN today. I clicked it, read the article, and watched the movie. The story was so touching to me. I quickly looked into it as much as I could, I bought the book, and read half of it in a day, and took a break from it for a few days, because the tears were overwhelming… and the psychological effect it had on me was too demanding to read at once. So today I finished it. And again, I came to my curiousity. I have so many questions, that will never be answered. But so do Elena’s parents. So do all of the parents of children who have any terminal illness, so do any of the family members of any family member with terminal illness. So again, I went into research mode. I went to Keith and Brooke’s cancer foundation The Cure Starts Now. I proptly read about each of the children that were/are suffering from the same disease Elena suffered from. I sincerely considered getting the credit card for the cause, and then realized I have trouble trying to use the two credit cards I have each month. Getting a credit card and not using it is not in my best interest. There are certain things in life that just are so interesting to me that I get really involved in learning about it for a period of time. I had a brief, (not realistic) imagination of myself being a doctor working with children while reading this book.
I feel like I will always think about Elena now, which is really quite amazing to me. I didn’t know this girl, I didn’t, and don’t know her family. Yet she has been in my daily thoughts since I ‘met’ her. For some reason I feel a connection with her. If she was in one of my gymnastics classes she would’ve been one of those children who I would look forward to seeing every week. I would’ve hugged and squeezed her when she made me proud by trying things she didn’t want to. Everytime there is a girl in the gym with the phoentic name of ‘Elena’, I immediately think of Elena Desserich and her family.
Earlier tonight my dad asked me to get recycling out of my room, because tomorrow is collection day. On my second trip out with an arm full of bottles and cans, I looked up in the dark clear sky. I thought of Elena. I wondered about how I’m not religious, and how I don’t have an understanding of higher powers and spirits and souls, and what happens when you die, if something happens when you die. I think I am one of those people who always imagines a ‘heaven’. My parents loosely raised me catholic, and I think everyone wants to believe that we hang out in the sky when we’re gone from the earth. I then thought of Lottie. And I imagined writing an e-mail to Keith and Brooke Desserich. This is the e-mail I would write, if I knew how to get it to them, assuming that they would have time to read it.
Dear Keith and Brooke,
I am sure you have heard this many times over in the many months since you have shared your story with the world, online, and through your book. However, given the chance, it would be nice to share the impact you and your family has made on me. I feel like you are the type of people I would be friends with if I were old enough to have a family. I could see myself hanging out with you guys and talking about work, and the milestones of our children while at a birthday party or soccer game.
I don’t even know you. I never knew Elena. But at the same time I feel a connection with her. I don’t really know what my beliefs entail as far as what happens after we leave earth. I can’t explain what I feel, I just do.
I walked outside tonight and looked up into the autumn sky. It was really dark, despite there being street lights, and a light behind me. I looked up and wondered. I wonder if Elena was an angel. I wonder what she was doing. I just wondered about existance. I saw her playing with Lottie. Lottie was my dalmatian who helped me get through a rough childhood. My dad abused her, so she wasn’t allowed around people… But she was the best to me. She was my support system up until I was 20. I feel like Elena and Lottie would really mesh well together, and I hope they can play together. I just am not sure what life, and afterlife entails. But it’s what I thought, and what I saw when I looked at the sky and thought of Elena. I can easily see Lottie laying down while Elena does her reading, or art, or writing. But I could also see them being companions.
Thank you for sharing such a private experience with the world. I think it has impacted everyone who has heard of Elena. Whether it be a few simple tears, or your biggest donor to The Cure Starts Now.
Elena and Gracie are not the only heroes. So are all of you close to Elena, who helped her go through her life of lessons. Her family and her friends; you guys are heroes in your own right.
Here’s to Elena being able to play with Lottie,
Assuming I could actually get something to them, I doubt I would write something so rambling and blog-like. I’m tired and work my weekends straight through. My days are too long, and I am trying to squeeze every ounce of my intellectual ability out. I think I should stop attempting, and finally go to sleep. If I wake up at 9AM, I’ll get 9.5 hours of sleep. I don’t like sleeping too much, but hopefully I’ll be able to wake up.
Good night Elena, Lottie, and company.
Good night Daniel, and anyone who will read this in the future.
I love you.