Thursday, 8 October 2015


I love words! I love how powerful they are: they can paint pictures, evoke memories, stir up feelings and create worlds.Words are my thing, but there are two words that I detest. These two words should never have to be uttered. These two words destroy people, beautiful people and for this I believe they should be immediately banished from our world. You got that God? And if this was baby school, I would point out that they both start with "C" - cancer and colitis.

Yesterday was a really difficult day. In the morning, we learned that Adam MacNeill, a beloved friend and family member, had passed away after a difficult battle with cancer. Before I knew Adam as Mr. Level-Headed's cousin and way before I knew him as Zoe's godfather, I knew him as Lindy's big brother. Lindy was a close friend of mine from my Seawood Elementary days. She lived directly across the street and I remember fondly spending many lunch hours there and enjoying sleepovers in her basement. Lindy's brother Adam was always around, and he teased Lindy relentlessly, or was that the other way around? But, I somehow implicitly understood that at that time, she was his world. That he loved her and he would protect her with the same tenacity that was typically devoted to teasing her and her young, annoying friends. I didn't have anyone like this in my life, and being the oldest of two girls in my family (these were the pre - John and Emily days), I was somewhat fascinated with idea of a big brother, and Adam was the ultimate big brother. In fact, he risked being born prematurely and coming one month before my Mr. Level-Headed was born just so that he could say he was the oldest of the boy cousins. 

Yesterday, I marveled at how many people posted on his facebook page that he was like a big brother to them; however, if you knew Adam, these statements would not surprise you. Adam was a jokester, with a huge heart, and although he would never ask for anything from anyone, he was the first one to offer assistance if his friends, family, or neighbours were in need. He would go out of his way to help anyone and he was always there for you, even if you didn't ask. After Avery had his stroke, Adam and Nicki, his wife, came up to visit Mr. Level-Headed and I in the hospital. It meant a lot to me and in that moment I finally understood what it felt like to have a big brother.

Cancer is a terrible, terrible disease, and in Adam's case, it has broken all the rules. A father, like Adam's dad, Brian, should never have to sit and watch his son die, especially after having to say goodbye to his wife, Jennifer, only months before. His three young children, Lauren, Carter and Lucas should never have to say good bye to their daddy at such a young age. His wife, Nicki, should not have to face the future without her loving husband by her side and his sister, Lindy, well . . . the world needs more big brothers like Adam and so she should not have to lose hers just yet. None of this is fair and none of this makes sense. I hate you, Cancer. I. Hate.You.

Then because life is well . . . life, my day quickly became even more difficult. As I cleaned up the kitchen with a heavy heart, Zoe, who has been home off and on for the past couple of weeks thanks to a flare-up of colitis, walked upstairs. I took one look at her and knew that it was time to call the doctors. Zoe is a fighter. She has been fighting this disease for four years, but sometimes it gets the best of her, and so yesterday afternoon, Zoe was admitted to the hospital to receive some much-needed fluids and to reevaluate her current medicinal cocktail, which is clearly no longer working.

We could really use your prayers right now. All of us need them - Adam's family and friends, my family and Zoe. Sure, I know that Adam is finally at peace and we look forward to being reunited with him someday, and I also know that Zoe is going to be okay, but it is a lot to deal with. So, even if you do not believe in God, or perhaps you have not prayed in a long time, or you are unsure of how to do it, could you please take a moment and just try it? I know prayer works, and I really need your prayers to face this day with my typical enthusiasm and energy. 

Thank you.

Adam, Nicki and Zoe

Until we meet again, Adam . . .