Wonderful Things I Wish We Didn’t Have

Our weekend was really ridiculously busy.

We went to a hockey game where my older two kids got to announce the start of the game and we sat on the ice smack dab in the middle of the two team benches. We spent the after-game time meeting the players and letting the kids get autographs.

I took my girls to see the Wiggles from the comfort of a really beautiful suite.

My family went to a flag football game between Tampa’s fire department and Tampa’s police…the kids got to ride on the fire trucks and play in the S.W.A.T. tank.

Sounds awesome, right?

It WAS, I won’t lie, we’ve had a blast of a weekend.


We got to go to the hockey game because it’s the annual game where the Tampa Bay Lightning recognizes cancer patients in a “Tampa Fights Cancer” event, and Nathaniel and Rachael were being honored as heros of the game for being outstanding siblings of a cancer child.

We got the tickets to the Wiggles suite from a lovely donor who gave them to the Children’s Cancer Center for the families to use.

The football game? Badge Bowl is played to honor a different cancer patient ever year, our sweet friends the Cerchiones are going to receive the money raised from this year’s event. All the families touched by pediatric cancer stood in front of the crowd as we had a moment of silence for the four previous Badge Bowl recipients….four kids out of six….that had died. I hugged my dear friend whose son was the recipient two years ago and wasn’t there to celebrate with us last night.

Over the years of Peyton’s treatment we’ve heard variations of the “WOW, must be fun to get to do all that stuff for free” speech. Sometimes it came with a snide undertone, sometimes just said kindly with the understanding that it also sucks in it’s own special way.

I don’t think those that said it snidely, or with resentment, realize that none of these events have come free.

Oh, we’ve paid. We’ve paid a high price.

We’ve paid for each of those events, for every game, concert, amusement park ticket, party, outing…with our daughter’s health. Her cancer is the reason we go, it’s the source of our greatest pain…so YES, we’ve paid for all the moments of fun we’ve been blessed to have.

It’s nearly impossible to make those that resent the many events we attend understand that we wish to have never seen a Buc’s game…to never have seen the inside of a suite…to have just had our daughter never get sick. They don’t get it. If they did, they would never ask.

We may have fun. We may enjoy some moments that help us forget for a few hours.

But we never really forget.

These things are only in our lives because cancer is in our lives.

And we’re thankful for the generosity of those who have tried to make happy moments for us.

For the stupid person who thinks that a free circus ticket or meeting a football player makes it any better? You have no idea.

We’d give it all up in a heartbeat…a fraction of a blink…if we’d never known what it was like to see our child sick.

You can also find me at Hope4Peyton, The Mayhew Review and Twitter, you should come by, it’s nice…we have cookies! Feel free to email me at Anissa.Mayhew (at) gmail (dot )com.

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