There is much to write about our trip to Las Vegas and the boy and little life details, but that all feels quite small now.
For several months, I've had the privilege of writing Stories of Inspiration for CarePages, a resource that offers free websites to people who need to communicate with loved ones when someone is facing an illness or injury.
CarePages is a great site and I get to interview and write profiles of the people who are using their own online updates and photo galleries to keep loved ones and even strangers connected. It has been a good writing challenge for me, a powerful and exhausting emotional investment and a part of my professional and spiritual calling.
Of course, as soon as I read the pages and interview the moms of premature babies, the dads of very ill kids, the people recovering from intensive cancer treatment -- whatever their situations and stories are -- I am involved. This investment is necessary as I write about them, but even more, is just what happens among people put together like this. Their stories impact me and that is a good thing, a growing thing.
Last month, I wrote a Story of Inspiration on Miles Levin, a 19-year old kid with a rare form of aggressive cancer and a lot to say. He's kept a prolific and philosophical blog on his CarePage and out of that and the energy he's fed to the universe during his treatment and travels over the last two years, he's been interviewed by Anderson Cooper and guest-blogged on Anderson Cooper 360, covered by CNN and met Bob Woodruff.
He's received many accolades. His mother and father and sister have guest-blogged on his CarePage and their insights and activism have touched me. He's received more than 5,000 messages to date and has made friends with many of the people from around the world who post on his message board.
And now, Miles is dying. His mother often talks about the spaceship coming for him and it feels strangely and sweetly right. Because I interviewed his father and because of the timing of the story, I've never met or spoken to Miles. But I feel close to him, perhaps because of the way he writes, perhaps because I wrote about him, perhaps because of where we each are in our journey.
As this happens, I am full of gratitude and some grief. It is hard to face that things like this happen to people, let alone kids, let alone boys with floppy brown hair and soulful eyes that of course remind me of my own sweet monkey. I am also full of prayers for the whole family, that they may find what they need in this single moment. Peace. Silence. Reassurance. Laughter. Sleep. Memories. Comfort. Hope. Whatever it is, I hope it winds its way to their home.
And if you are a person who prayers or pushes energy out into the world or just takes a moment of silence, will you join me? Today, for Miles Levin and his family.