One year ago tonight Kennedy was inpatient at Vanderbilt while she went through a round of chemo. Right next door was Kennedy's little friend Charlie. One year ago tonight Kennedy had finally mastered how to say Charlie's name. And she said it over and over and over... "Hi Charlie! Hi!" She was so proud!
One year ago tonight I went out to fill my water cup and waved goodnight to Charlie and his mom, Kim. Charlie had a nose bleed, which was not uncommon for him. The nurses were trying to stop it and Charlie was saying "No more tubies in my nose, Mommy!" I told them I would see them in the morning and went to my bed/couch.
One year ago tonight I had a horrible dream. I dreamt that Charlie passed away. I woke up in a panic and chastised myself for having that dream. I contemplated getting up and checking on Charlie, but again I told myself I was being silly and after laying there for awhile I forced myself to go back to sleep.
One year ago tomorrow I awoke to another 6A mom telling me that Charlie was gone.
"No," I said. "That was just a dream." And I turned over to go back to sleep. But it wasn't a dream. Cancer had claimed the life of another innocent child...
Charlie... who, even though he was on complete gut rest and couldn't eat, LOVED to talk about food. Minestrone soup and sandwiches. Charlie... who knew that a band-aid could fix just about everything. There were Charlie boo-boo bandaids covering 6A... and covering many of the people who lived and worked there. Charlie... who could sing, dance and strum a guitar like only a true rock star could. Charlie... who loved Buzz Lightyear more than just about anything... except maybe his baby sister... who he barely got to see due to being stuck in the hospital.
And just like that, Charlie was gone. And our hearts were broken. One year ago today was one of the hardest days of my life. I can't remember when I've cried harder, when I've mourned deeper, when I've questioned God so much.
One year ago tomorrow, my daughter woke up and asked to ride her car in the hall. She immediately rode to Charlie's room and called out, "Where are you, Charlie??" She rode to the play room and burst in yelling, "Charlie!" Only to find it empty. She never could understand where her friend went, I know where he is... but I don't understand either. I don't think I ever will.
We miss you SO much Charlie. And we love you. Someday, someone will find a cure... and you'll be jumping for joy up in Heaven. I can't wait for that day. Cancer sucks.