Over these past few months I am continually pondering everything that has happened, and what continues to happen to our world and in our backyards.
While all of this has been so heavy on my heart, at the very forefront has been Stevie Lynn Stock, the three-year-old perfect daughter of one of my best friends.
Many of you may have seen that I have shared the story of Stevie Stock and her battle with DIPG, a very rare and terminal form of cancer. The tumor was discovered on Stevie’s brain on April 12, 2020. The very next day, Ashley and Ben received the news that it was indeed DIPG. Unfortunately the survival rate is low and there’s no cure.
When I received the news, along with the rest of the Stock’s family and friends, we were all in an utter state of shock. Racing to try to fix this nightmare, I began researching, making phone calls and reading case studies to make the harsh prognosis not true. Ashley and Ben would move mountains to save their baby girl, we all would. They were left to make one of the hardest decisions of their lives. They brought their precious Stevie home to the rest of her family, her brothers, her puppy Zuma and all of her loved ones as they comforted her, loved her, loved each other and waited...
I share this with all of you because this love and heartbreak has profoundly affected me in ways that I can’t explain. This is more than a loss. It’s a learning, an awakening, a different landscape of fragility and unpredictability. Most of all, the flood of love that I feel, makes anything less invisible to me. I wake up in the mornings and weep for my dear friends who are enduring this unthinkable truth. I wonder why I was spared of this as a parent and my beloved Ashley wasn’t? I prayed for Stevie constantly, holding onto hope that by some miracle, this baby girl would be cured. Then I feel the unshakable faith that I hold truer than anything, and I trust in God’s plan even if it isn’t mine.
Ashley, brave and beautiful as she always is, shares this journey on her social media platform. Her truth is the most stunning show of courage, transparency and love that I have ever witnessed. Her voice, her pain, her humanness are beautiful lessons that I have been gifted as a woman, mother and daughter. She is a champion, extending her trembling arms out to all of us as we grieve beside her. This solidarity among women is what the world needs today, and Ashley and Stevie are our trailblazers.
“The idea of her pain not serving a greater purpose paralyzes me. So it must. I must know that someone somewhere has been blessed by her endurance.” Ashley Stock.
The wild haired, perfect star, Stevie Lynn Stock passed surrounded by her loving family on May 27th, 2020
Nothing will ever be the same again. May we all love more bravely and let this serve as a daily reminder how every day is a sacred gift of life.