Today, I went into work with my nails painted yellow. I’ve done this once before – on the day after American Thanksgiving – and for the same reason.
To remember a girl whose favourite colour was yellow.
Today several of my colleagues commented on my sunshiney nails – it was a grey rainy then snowy day in our city, so the yellow stood out more than usual. And I took great honour in explaining that today my nails were yellow because there was a girl who walked this earth until this day last year. Her name was Kylie, and she taught us all how to smile…and when cancer, chemo and radiation did it’s best to stop her smiling, there was whole army of people around the world who did their best to smile for her.
Earlier this week a lovely young girl came into our shop who was in a battle with the C word. Pesky, stinking, conniving cancer. She had made herself a beautiful headscarf that had this ornate gold decoration stitched onto it. It was the gold that made me think of all the kids that have gone through similar battles. Back in September it was childhood cancer awareness month and I spent that month with frozen feet wearing a pair of gold flats – gold and yellow being the colour that symbolises childhood cancer. I know that there’ll be many more days when I am making bears that become buddies for hospital stays. Bears to remember people by. I’ve done many already and I have to take a breath each time…but there have been many times my colleagues have had to take a moment to go behind a door and cry once customers have left the store. It is an honour and a privilege each time we make a bear that has such meaning to someone, but just like the days where I counselled women and men through their losses…there are stories that simply break your heart.
One of my little customers in the afternoon told me how much she liked my yellow nails as I was stitching up a bear for her. Her nails were gold. I could only smile when she advised me “you should paint smiles on! That would look really good with the yellow“.I simply replied “that’s a great idea! I might have to try that!” She had no idea why that made me almost want to cry…because that’s exactly what I plan to do 11 days from now.
My nails will be Smiley for Kylie.
Kylie’s family have been sharing their letters to Kylie on Mark’s (Kylie’s Daddy) blog. They have been informing my prayers for the Myers clan over the last few days. People have also been writing letters to Kylie on the Smiley for Kylie facebook page. Please be thinking of Kylie’s family today as they walk through this first anniversary of Kylie’s earthly death.
And let’s keep working to realise Kylie and so many others wish come true…to stop childhood cancer for good.
This song/video was made by an organisation based in Minnesota. The band, Quietdrive wrote it inspired by another young girl who battled cancer twice. The song has been stuck in my head like an earworm all this week.
Also, the organisation that Kylie and her family have been working with to raise awareness for the need for more research and funding to find better treatments and a cure for childhood cancers released a film this week which Kylie and her Dad both feature in. Please, especially if you are based in the US, do share it with others if you can.