Our main reason for going to New York was to attend Liam Witt's birthday party. Liam is an adorable 4 year-old boy who's fought a very courageous battle against neuroblastoma, and is now cancer-free. I have talked about him in a previous post, which was even cited on the Parents Magazine website.It was very emotional for me to meet these people and to share their special occasion, which was taking place in Victorian Gardens, a small amusement park located in the heart of Central Park. All day on Sunday I was a nervous wreck, eagerly waiting for 4:00 to arrive. It was a truly gorgeous summer day, and we made it to the park early.
As soon as I saw Gretchen, Liam's mom, she came over and hugged me. I said: "I'm Marie-Eve," and she went: "I know." Although we had never met before, it felt like I was being greeted by an old friend. We were introduced to people that were all part of their universe and which I had come to know by reading their blog, including some of people who work at the same company Liam parents' work for, Liam's nurses and some firemen from a station which adopted him and were a big support during his treatments. The photographer who shot the Parents Magazine article which brought me to their story in the first place was there, and I was so happy to thank him for it.And then I saw Liam, an incredibly beautiful boy who was just having fun with his friends, who was just being happy and silly and carefree, just like every 4 year-old should be. The greatest moment was when his cake arrived, and everyone sang happy birthday to him. Spontaneously, he started to distribute candy pieces to all the children around him, a gesture I found immensely nice, thoughtful and generous coming from such a young person. I constantly needed to hold back my tears, for as Gretchen later told me, Liam is not completely out of the woods yet due to a high relapse rate, but that day was a joyful one, not a sad one.
blog I had also visited a couple of times and who was also there with his family) and I could feel the power of this human chain of love and support, of this amazingly strong bond between people who can make a difference.
Things were pretty hectic, but before we left I had a chance to speak to Gretchen for five minutes, and we agreed to keep in touch and to see each other again the next time we come to New York. After seeing her interact with people and take care of everything, I have even more admiration for this incredibly strong and amazing woman. Like I read about her a few times, cancer has truly picked the wrong people to fight with.
With Gretchen, who's pretty much the closest thing I've ever had to a role model
We went on our way, walking around Central Park some more. My heart was filled with this new connection to this great family I cared so much about before even meeting them. LP was on his dad's shoulders, and M was pretending to be a horse. I was looking at them, the two men of my life, the big one being wonderfully silly, and the little one with his tiny chin nestled on top of his dad's head, his whole face illuminated with bliss. Then I was looking at this beautiful, perfect, sparkling new diamond ring on my finger, which all at once doesn't change anything and changes everything. And I wanted to shout: "Thank you life! I've been blessed! I've got it good."
We live in a beautiful world (yeah we do, yeah we do)
We live in a beautiful world...
Oh, all that I know there's nothing here to run from,
'Cause yeah, everybody here, has got somebody to lean on...