As you can tell from the pictures and the stories that I have shared here and on Facebook in the last week, my family and I have had an enriching experience that will be remembered for many years to come. There is no doubt that my children will reflect on these days as their defining moments of what summer family vacations should be all about. It is my hope, my prayer, that they will provide the same memories to their families in the years to come.
It’s important, too, that I take a moment and share the memory of Emily. None of our experiences, stories, and photos would have been possible without the love and kindness of the Davis family.
Emily Davis was a student at my school, who was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma in February 2002. In the two years that she battled her cancer, she remained selfless and optimistic, immersed in her artwork and in working with others. She died six years ago. She was 15.
I had the distinct honor to teach Emily’s brother and sister, and it is through them and their parents that I have been touched by Emily’s kindness, love, and sensitivity toward others. Emy will continue to inspire me to do my very best as an educator, as a father, and as a human being, always remembering how precious life is, and how we must always treasure the moments we have with each other.
I lost my own mother to cancer almost exactly two years to the day when she was diagnosed, and many of you well know that my sister continues her brave battle. The courage and bravery that I have seen from Emily, my mother, and Cindy, as well as from a CHS grad and good friend, Amanda, remind me every day that the celebration of our lives is in our hands every moment of every waking hour. We must believe in this moment, in all its beauty, and live it like no other.
Emily, we will never forget you. May we all remember your charitable love and kindness, and may we always share that willingly so that others may be touched by your good will as well.
If you have been following my photos and words this past week, and you’ve enjoyed them, please take a moment and visit Emy’s website and learn her story and about the scholarship her family has established in her memory.
All week, my children and I have talked about Emy’s beauty, her family’s love and kindness, and the importance of embracing each moment with humble appreciation. It’s easy to get a bit derailed sometimes in the hectic rush of our lives; join me in keeping an appreciative perspective of what is good, what is right, what is love.