Friday, March 19, 2010

The Wrong Family

When I was 18, I got a job as a file clerk for a large company based in Scottsdale. It was my first experience in corporate America, so needless to say, I found it all a little overwhelming. Luckily I had a guardian angel.

Karen started the same week I did and although there was a twenty year difference in our ages, we hit it off immediately. She took me under her wing and taught me all about corporate politics. She taught me to create an amazing resume, how to sell myself in an interview, and most importantly, how to work hard, yet still have fun no matter what the job was.

Karen has three daughters. At the time we met, they were 15, 12, and 5. Over the years we had many conversations about her relationship with her girls and my relationship with my mom. We helped each other through some difficult times, each of us providing the other with some perspective to help deal with these relationships better. I loved hearing Karen talk about her girls, Stacey, Laurie and Nikki. And I thoroughly enjoyed watching these girls grow up. To this day, Stacey is one of my closest friends.

Karen was, and still is, one of the funniest people I have ever met. She was so much more than a mentor to me, she was a lifelong friend that changed the way I see the world, and the way I see myself. I can't tell you enough how grateful I am that she is a part of my life. I love this woman, she is like a second mother an older and wiser sister to me. And I love her family. They are my family.

Two weeks ago, Karen's two year old grandson Jack, Laurie's son, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Neuroblastoma. You can read about Jack's Fight here. This family is so overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support they have received from total strangers. Please take a moment to say hello, and if you can, say a prayer or make a wish or send some good vibes to little Jack.

Jack has a long road ahead. But cancer picked the wrong family. It has no idea who it is messing with. This is the feistiest group of people I have ever met. They will win. I have no doubt.


Stacey said...

I am speechless. I am sobbing, but I am speechless.

Thank you. Thank you for seeing what I see when I look at my Mom and my sisters and my family.

This cancer bullshit HAS messed with the wrong family. We're coming after you and we're taking you down.

I love you. Period.

Sue said...

April, you are a wonderful friend for seeing what most people over look in others. The good stuff.

I'm popping over to wish Jack the best rigth now.

Have a great weekend.

Karen R said...

I'm blushing. We did have a great time discovering corporate America together. I had to go back to work after having 3 beautiful girls and you filled the void of being my 4th daughter while I was away at work. I would just like to ask anyone who reads this to please pray for Jack, Braden, Laurie and Zac. With a special "hey, I'm talkin' to you" for Jack. I have a girlfriend in Michigan who says she won't rest until the whole world is praying for Jack - in fact, she's trying to find out the Pope's e-mail address! :) Family members love one another unconditionally. My heart is full for my biological children and grandchildren and my adopted 4th kid! Thank you for bringing Jack's story to your blog.

Andrea said...

Karen, I have been praying for you and your family ever since I heard the news from April last week. Jack will remain on my prayer list until your family kick's cancer's ass...and I know you will! I will light a candle at church for him too!

Chris H said...

I will keep my fingers crossed for wee Jack. All the best from New Zealand chick.