I can’t say that Day 82 of the 90 Days of AwesomeÂ was awesome. The Phoenix community woke to the devastating news that our friends’ child passed away from cancer earlier that morning.
We had all been following Atticus’ story since he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at 13 months old last October. The family kept us in the loop about his progress and setbacks. It was heartbreaking to learn that his cancer started to grow even while he was on chemo. Throughout this entire process, it was a joy to see the photos of Atticus smiling and the videos of him roaming the halls of the hospital. He brought happiness everywhere he went. This family has so much of love for their children and their community – and we love them all back. It seemed so unfair that these wonderful people and this innocent delightful child had to endure so much.
Facebook was flooded with messages of love and sadness as we all learned about Atticus’ death. A lot of people said things like, â€œI’m going to go watch the sunrise and cry.â€ I knew I wasn’t suitable for human consumption, but I still had work to do; so I went to the office, closed my door, and told my receptionist that I wouldn’t be taking any phone calls that day. Instead, I focused on my client’s work that was fairly straight-forward – responding to emails and closing files on completed projects â€“ while dabbing the tears that periodically trickled from my eyes.
There was a moment of the grace among the sadness – I appreciated how lucky we all work to be part of this loving community, so none of us, especially this family, didn’t have to suffer alone. Whether we live in Phoenix or are part of this family of friends that is scattered across the world, there were loving words and virtual and actual hugs for all. I am sad that Atticus is gone (but never forgotten), and that this family is in pain, but I am also grateful to be part of a community of so many wonderful people. Knowing the depth of our collective pain reminds me that we are also capable of this magnitude of collective joy.