The Calendar has now brought us once again to May 26th, and another year without the Birthday Boy here to celebrate with us. Darrel would and should have been turning 14 today, but neuroblastoma made that impossible to happen. It is difficult to comprehend that in a few months Darrel will have been gone for longer than he actually was with us. With so many memories of him, the good and bad, along with happy and the incredibly sad, ever present in my mind, it quite often feels like it was only yesterday that we did those things together with him. Some might say that this leaves me stuck in the past, and not moving forward, but many of these people have had the luxury of possessing more current memories of their children to recall...but when it comes to Darrel, I do not. I cherish the brief time we had with him as much as I do being part of the lives of his sisters Kira and Lauren in the present. We all try and make the best of the circumstances we find ourselves in, and these are unfortunately mine. Moving forward is the only option, but that certainly does not mean forgetting anything about the past either.
Developments in my personal life have made it necessary for many changes for me, and by extension, the activities of Darrel's Playground. I both regret and am disappointed that I find myself dealing with these issues, but it came to the point where the choices made became unavoidable. As a result, my participation in both the Mitchell Fraser Memorial Slo Pitch Tournament (held this past weekend on May 24th), and the Fergus Relay for Life (June 6th) have had to been cancelled for this year. These causes are still very important to me, and quite worthy of your support (I have posted Online Links below if you would like to donate to either event). I had signed up for a St. Baldrick's/Childhood Cancer Canada event in Guelph this coming September, but the information has been recently removed from both of those organizations websites, so I'm under the assumption it will not be taking place. I'll post an update on this once I get confirmation either way.
My current situation has also greatly limited my online time and connections to the Childhood Cancer Community, and many of the activities that I customarily am involved with. With a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, in addition to the main website, I haven't been able to keep up with the proper attention each rightly deserves. Hopefully the things that need to be addressed will be done so soon, and at least the disruption to my online activities will be only short term in nature.
On a more positive note, it was announced two weeks ago that Power of Play has been approved to proceed with their plans for a second accessible playground in the Centre Wellington area. This time, Southridge Park in Elora has been selected for similar renovations that Stait Park in Fergus received last summer. While Darrel's Playground remains proud and grateful for our contribution, through the generous support and donations from the community and beyond, and of our inclusion in the first Park, we will not be actively involved this time around. We wish our friend Andy Speers, and everyone at Power of Play continued success with the new park.
Especially on May 26th and September 9th of each year, I usually spend a portion of the day reflecting on the life of Darrel that was, and that which never would be. In light of what I am currently dealing with, I find myself reflecting on my own personal past choices, and what the road ahead has in store for me. Since no one I know has a Crystal Ball or Time Machine, I must carry on the best I can, and realize that I can not alter what is now behind me. At least I am secure in the realization I have within me the capacity to learn and grow, and make well thought-out, and hopefully better decisions in the future.
In conclusion, I would like to Thank all those of you who continue to be a part of Darrel's Playground, and part of the fight against neuroblastoma and childhood cancer. Like in Life, necessary changes do not, and will not come easy or swiftly, but through preservation and determination, we can build a better tomorrow for ourselves, our children, and for all those important to us.
Happy Birthday Darrel
Love and Miss You Little Man
International Neuroblastoma Awareness Week 2014 will be held from June 9-15th. Darrel's Playground is once again proud to serve as a Canadian Administator for this Global Event. Please join us in Spreading the Word...Kids Get Cancer Too!