Yesterday, I posted my review of Rachel's book Four Seasons for Charlotte. It was a very moving memoir and I greatly admire Rachel. I tried to be as courteous with the questions as I could.
Here is the interview:
Let me just start off by saying, and I’m sure you’ve heard this many times, I can’t even imagine being in your situation and I admire you immensely for writing this book. How hard was that for you?
There were definitely parts of the book that were challenging to write and edit. The passages where I recount Charlotte’s final days opened up my emotions and that was difficult to document. At the same time, writing the book was an incredible experience and it felt like a good way to capture my feelings and experiences surrounding that time of my life, encapsulating it in one story for others as well.
I have a couple of acquaintances who have children who are battling cancer, what would be your best advice to them?
Ask for and accept help! It is very difficult in these situations to realize that you need assistance but you can’t do it on your own. We found the community to be very generous and willing to help but sometimes we had to be specific to our needs. I think one of the most important things is to recognize the need for your own mental health. Whether you get counseling, take breaks, or find time to relax in small ways, it is very important to take care of yourself as well. Otherwise, your mental and physical health will suffer.
What would be something you would tell them not to stress over so much, and I won’t be surprised if there is anything?
Know how they say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”? This goes double when you have a child who is sick. Get other people to do some of those small things for you. Someone else can help you with meals and housekeeping. You need to focus on your child’s health. One lesson we learned on this journey is that plans can change very quickly because of treatment protocols or unexpected medical changes so try go one step at a time. Being ready for things to change can be important.
How has this impacted your faith? That is an interesting question that I actually explore a little bit in the book. My Christian faith has always been important to me. I was raised in the church and my faith was an important part of this process dealing with life and death issues. After Charlotte died, though, church became uncomfortable for a variety of reasons (you can find out how in the book). God and I have a pretty good relationship right now. He just doesn’t find me at church every week.
How would someone find out about CJs Thumbs Up Foundation? They can visit our website at www.cjstuf.org. We are very active in social media as well so you can find the latest updates on Twitter and Facebook.
Again thank you for your time and if any of these questions are too emotional for you to answers, please don’t feel like you need to respond. If there is anything else you would like to share, please feel free. Thanks for letting me share our story!