Thanksgiving is only a few days away, meaning it’s that time of year to you start to make mental lists about what you’re thankful for. And one family’s story will definitely make you want to hold your loves ones a little tighter this year. Sara Chivers, a mom of two boys (their younger is 18 months old), recently learned her brain cancer had come back, and the diagnosis was terminal. As if that’s not terrifying enough, she also learned her 18-month-old also has brain cancer.
The Melbourne, Australia, mom told “Today” how much of a whirlwind it’s all been:
Since his diagnosis, we have been in absolute shock and disbelief. There are no words that do justice to the way in which our hearts have been shattered for our beautiful little boy. He should not have to go through this pain and suffering.
While Chivers and son Alfie both have brain cancer, they seem to be unrelated, according to their doctors.
Chivers wrote a letter to her boys, opening the heartbreaking note with the line, “I won’t be around to see you grow up.” The letter was published in The New Daily of Australia. If that isn’t making you tear up, I don’t know what will.
First diagnosed in 2008, the now 34-year-old is mourning both her own terminal illness, but her son’s diagnosis. She and her husband noticed in September that Alfie stopped eating — and lost movement in his left arm. Because of their medical expenses, her sister started a GoFundMe page to support the family.
Her entire letter is poignant and full of longing and love for a life she knows she is leaving behind. And her advice is good for everyone.
Don’t be afraid of expressing your emotions.
Love hard. As they say, it is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. That’s how I feel about you both. Heartbroken doesn’t come close to describing the pain I feel at not being in your lives in the future, but I would never change or forego the time we have spent together and the immense joy you have brought me.
Pay attention to study but know there is so much more to school life than textbooks.
Always try your best; I could never ask any more of you. Never fear failure — you will learn more from mistakes than successes.
Be brave in your convictions and believe in yourself. Never tease or ridicule someone because they’re different to you.
So, not just for the holidays, but every day, remember to love the best way you can and to be kind. It’s all we really have.