Christa Doran Uncategorized 10 Comments

Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.” – Bernard Williams

Resilience: The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

Five weeks. The amount of time she has been gone, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts, and what feels like a huge age gap between Liv, 9, and Keira, 4. The amount of time it took for the sympathy cards to stop and the text messages to slow. The amount of time it took for me to wonder if people will forget her… or worse, if we will forget her.

 Our last field trip together.

I was looking back on an image I took exactly one year ago on a field trip with Lea’s class and thought to myself “I wish I had gone to more field trips. I wish I had been there more.” Then, a parent from her class sent me an album filled with photos and videos of class activities and field trips… and there I was. In almost every single image. I am having trouble remembering those amazing times. The funny, silly, joyful times with her. But the ugly, awful, gut wrenching times? Those moments seem to be seared into my memory and haunt me on a daily basis.

I opened her sock drawer for the first time in five weeks and my eyes fell on all the bright, colorful socks that were stuffed in her top drawer. I quickly slammed it shut and walked out of her room remembering the exact socks she was wearing the day they found the tumor, August 10. There are moments like that one where I push it all out of my brain, not wanting to feel it, or process it, or “deal” with it. There are days I imagine she is at a friend’s house, or at school, or still asleep in her bed. And there are days where her absence is undeniable and hurts more than I have the words to describe. Those days I am having a tantrum on the inside, kicking and screaming, writhing on the floor crying, unable to function. But that is on the inside. One the outside, most of the time, I keep it together in order to go about my day and do what is required of me.

What is required of me grows week by week as life fills with more and more normalcy. For the first time in months I sat on the brightly colored couch across from my leadership coach. We discussed what is next for me, and my business, and how I was doing managing the great big mess. Eyes filling with tears I told her that I feel like the worst parts of me died with Lea. The parts of me that were over-scheduled. The parts of me that felt the need to control everything. The parts of me that put work before family and friends. The parts of me that got upset about things the “small stuff” that doesn’t matter. The hasty parts. The uptight parts. The high-strung parts. The fearful parts.

Fear was an emotion I experienced on an almost daily basis before Lea was diagnosed with DIPG. Then, the thing I was the most fearful of happened… and I survived it. It battered me, it beat me down, it tossed me around, it made me unravel. It also made me face my worst fear as it taught me about bravery and resilience and forced me to take deeper roots.

Storms make trees take deeper roots. 

Lea was beautifully different. She was creative, fiery, defiant, and one hundred percent herself. I now stand firmly in who I am and have an unwavering sense of self thanks to her and the perspective she gave me, and so many.

There are only a few tickets left for The Cure Starts Now Fundraiser in Lea’s honor on July 28. Learn more and get your ticket here. 

Comments 10

  1. ❤️ Right now the sad and painful memories are so close and most recent and the happier ones further back but they are there and just as real. Love and continued strength to you .

  2. You are truly amazing and an inspiration to me. We just have to put one foot in front of the other and live each day for a little ones in heaven XO

  3. You are an amazing beautiful soul! Not many can emerge from this tragedy as you are. Sending you all so much love.

  4. I know her only through you
    And each night ~ as I turn on my porch light
    It shines a bright blue

    I haven’t forgotten

  5. We can’t make it to the fundraiser after all but made a donation to The Cure Starts Now in honor of Lea and your family last month. It will remain an important organization for future giving – in memory of Lea.

  6. Our hearts are holding you all in love, compassion and deep caring. We have been on your journey with you through your blog and know your family is blessed with the love of God and his eternal presence. Lea, no longer in her physical body, is with Him now, and in your and our hearts forever.

  7. I am a very quite person here on facebook. I do not comment a lot. I am going to brake my silence and let you know a few things! I have followed this little girl since the days you posted Lea got sick. Lea was a blessed little girl to have you as a mom. How you do half the things you do amazes me. Lea amazes me! I will NEVER forget her. I think of her every day. I am a cancer survivor diagnosed at 38 and now am 55. I was scared to death and the one thing that got me was watching my mom thinking I was going to die. Please Christine keep teaching the world the way you are! I am so sorry for the loss of your baby girl, I pray for you EVERY day! You really are one amazing women!!!v

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