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Nathan took Phoebe back to the hospital today to be admitted. Another fever this morning signaled it was time to go.

Today found me at Six Flags of all places, with my boys and Jocelyn and a thousand flashbacks of my growing up years. As a kid I divided my time between Wet-N-Wild and  Six Flags in the summer time. A Season Pass was $40 and Mom would drop me off with a friend for the day. That’s why I know every turn on the Mine Train and the scary part that makes everyone scream right before they drop into the tunnel. I know the dank smell of the “Cave” that use to house “speelunkers” but now hosts a “Yosemite Sam” theme, and the Conquistador and the Shockwave and so on. I was surprised so much of the park remains unchanged.

And everything in my life has changed.

My ten year old feet climbed those stairs and walked those pathways and waited in long lines in the sweltering Texas heat. And I keep having these kind of full-circle moments lately. I’m aware that I’m acutely tuned in to the cycle of life now in a way I have never experienced before. It’s almost like I’ve developed a sixth sense.

When we moved to Dallas one of the first things on my to-do list was to get a library card for the boys. The Preston-Royal library near our house looks almost out of place flanked by sprawling houses and carefully manicured lawns. The building is a leftover from the 50’s with big white arches in front and spackled concrete decor on the exterior walls. I remember thinking how it didn’t blend in to the landscape the first time we went and I was glad for it. I prefer an older building with character to a newer one any day.

The other day Mom asked which library we went to. When I told her Preston-Royal, she sighed and told me that she spent many an hour in highschool there writing research papers and book reports. I was fascinated…to think that her grandchildren now curl up with books in the corners of that building which appears largely unchanged since the time she frequented it. They inhabit the same space 40 years later. The next time we went, I could almost see her there at a table, her head bent down over a paper. She looked like she does in that graduation picture in her cap and gown by my grandparents swimming pool. She would have been just 2 years shy of marrying my father, four years from my beginning.

Life is weird like that….beginnings and middles and endings.

Before we left the park today we rode the carousel. It’s a big, beautiful ride, the first thing you see when you enter the front gate. I have ridden it several times across the years, less so as a teen I’m sure, when it just wasn’t cool anymore. But today, I hoisted Deacon up on to a horse on a pole and climbed on the pony next to him. The music started and the circular motion took us around. I delighted in his delight. As I studied the ornate woodwork and painting the carousel showcased, I could see myself, at 8, at 10, 13, riding there, moving through space toward the woman that I am now. That girl knew nothing of this woman, of responsibility, of life’s beginnings and endings…and of these sons. And the carousel became a metaphor for the cycle of life that I understand now for the first time. Once, I entered this carousel a child, today I stepped off, a woman.

All this being aware of death magnifies life. It puts it under a microscope for observation and teaches you to savor, to realize the fluidity of each moment. We move so quickly, almost imperceptibly in and out of seasons and they must be recorded in our hearts…

About Amey Fair

I am Amey Fair, wife to Nathan, and home-educating Mom to Benjamin (9), Averic (7), Deacon (4) and Phoebe (2) . Phoebe was diagnosed with a rare childhood malignant brain cancer called Atypical Teratoid Rabdoid Tumor on January 1, 2012. She had complete resection surgery to remove the tumor on January 4th and began chemotherapy using the Dana Farber protocol on January 26th. A few weeks ago I was sleeping in the chair next to Phoebe's bed in the hospital when I heard her little voice drawing me out of sleep. It was 3 am and it took me a minute to shake off the slumber. "Mommy I'm a mean girl" I thought she said. "No Phoebe, you're a nice girl!" I replied. "No Mommy, I'm a MIRACLE!" Phoebe said. "I'm a MIRACLE, I'm a MIRACLE, I'm a MIRACLE!" she continued on. My tears welled up and spilled over as she made her declaration. Phoebe doesn't know the word "miracle" nor the concept, she's only 2. It was as if the Lord was speaking through her like a prophetic utterance. She fell right back to sleep and I sat there awake, lingering in the magical moment. Less than 40 children are diagnosed with Phoebe's type of cancer in the U.S. each year. This is why it's called "ATYPICAL Teratoid Rabdoid Tumor". So, I have titled this blog in honor of Phoebe, our "Atypical Miracle". We are YWAM'ers, serving in missions through Youth With A Mission since 1998. Before returning to the states 1 year ago, we lived near Guadalajara Mexico for 3 years. It was during our year of agricultural missions training in Waco, TX that Phoebe began exhibiting symptoms from the pressure of the tumor on her brain. Weight loss, lethargy, extreme thirst and vomiting were her symptoms. We have been granted sabbatical during this time to focus on Phoebe's intensive chemotherapy treatment and are renting a home in Dallas near the Children's hospital where Phoebe is being treated. Like the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' robe in Luke chapter 8, we cling to Him, knowing that He is Phoebe's healer. If we can just touch Him, be near Him, bring Phoebe to Him each day, we have hope. He is our hope. Thank you for coming along on this journey with our family. It's therapeutic for me to write it all out, and in so doing, I hope God will use it for His glory.

10 responses »

  1. Amey! You have such a beauty in your writing. No matter what the subject..sad, elated or somewhere in between, your words not only welcome us and inform us with abundant medical terms, but draw us in…instead of total dismay, you have a light, I feel this every time I read from you….I know you carry the light of God Amey, but you also carry the light of language from one sole to another…..I have been drawn in since the day my niece Harmony sent me your first post, and I have awaited on baited breath every word you have posted, all the while feeling I know each and everyone of you personally. You should put this experience into a book Amey….your words and stories and day to day battles…the faith and endurance…the battle and the fight…Your story..the way you put it…the way you see and feel it and convey it would comfort many a mother and a few fathers I am sure…Amazing Beauty out of the most terrifying event….God SHINES in your words and they are uplifting an amazing feat considering where you are….Unlike you I am not so good at the words…but I wanted to try….From one Mom to another…..I would be proud to be your friend…..Many hugs, kisses and prayers to each of you….Thank You! Always, Renee

  2. Dear Amey,
    I haven´t been writing for a while but be sure we have been reading and praying every day. Life looks sometimes sure like a carousel. We do have a little fairy tale park close to munich and when I took my kids the first time there, I felt like you did. Rarely some things had changed but most rides and play grounds were the same. I have pictures of me and my kindergarden group on a dragon swing and I have pictures of my children on the same dragon swing! I am older than fourty years so the park had already his 50th anniversary.
    In Moments like this we look often back. My children go here to same kindergarden and school than I did. Some of my class mates are now teachers there. And we all changed. One of my dearest friends back there has lost her husband, one is luckylie married, one is a single.
    I would have never imagined while serving on the Anastassis and in YWAM that I would come back to my home town to raise there my children.
    Gods ways are sometimes very different of our thoughts and dreams. But as long as he is in control and I am walking where he leads I felt peace in my heart.
    Your and your families path seems to be pretty much full of stones and nails. It seems like you have to go ahead of many families and make the way free of any hindrance. Why is it you? I don´t know but I know that God is trusting you and put you on this place. He is entrusting you Phoebe. He has armed you with an compassioned heart, brilliant mind and a gift of reaching out for people. He put your family and you like a sparkling light in the hospital. Do not look to much back – go ahead God has much more in store. There will be a time of harvest for the Fair Family! Now is the time to prepare the land and put out the seed!
    We keep on praying for strength, endurance and peace – on of course for little Miss Miracle which is burned so deep in our hearts and minds! Even we don´t know you personally we feel lots of love for your family and you!
    God is great and he is the maker of the universe. He who created you – has a good plan for all of your lifes. In his name we declare the victory over cancer and its slavery. Blessings and peace
    Chris

    • GOD bless you all! Have sent prayer requests this morning. Get well soon, precious Phoebe, so you can get back to your job of running the household! Strength and comfort to Mom and Dad,
      and prayers for your sons! Hope Phoebe’s fever is gone for good very soon!

  3. Lifting Phoebe up. Fair Family, we love you and ask the Lord for His mercy. I know he listens.He is faithful! Someone asked me yesterday what my relationship to Phoebe is. I think that they thought she was my niece or a close relative. Maybe, my frequent fb has confused some. Amey, I love you sweet sister in Christ. Nathan, you are a brother that I admire and so proud of. Thank you for lives poured out before Him. I amwould love to take some of your burden and carry for awhile. I will continue to carry to Jesus and give you and your

  4. Amey – your words touch my heart more than I can ever put into words. I feel your struggles and joys sometimes more than I feel my own. I’m overwhelmed at your strength and wisdom as a woman and a mother. I’m learning so much about myself and the struggles I’ve seen in the last few years and how to put them into perspective. I pray for you and sweet Phoebe and ask that God brings your family peace and healing. I hope that one of these days I can meet you and thank you in person for sharing everything you have and I might get to share with you my family. God has an incredible way of moving in our lives and I feel blessed to have been given an insight into your life so that I might become a better person in my own. I pray for you every day and look forward to the day your family is brought back together under the same roof for good. Much love – Tammie

  5. I’m glad you are doing fun things with your boys. Your thoughts are helping me see life differently. So good to see so much food in front of Phoebe (even if she doesn’t eat it all!) I’m praying for you, Amey. It all seems too much for one Mom, but we know that “all things are possible . . .”

  6. I agree with Cynthia, that after reading your posts I, too, look at life from a different perspective. Thank you for taking the time to open up and share so that we may see what blessings we have before us, and truly be grateful for what God has given us! You and your family never cease to amaze me with your strength and courage as you face the unknown! I enjoy reading your posts and
    do think that you would make a wonderful author! 🙂

  7. Life is like that isn’t it?

    I remember once, many years ago, while doing an ordinary chore, being stopped dead in my tracks with the thought that at some point in the future I would bury my parents. I was 20 something at the time with 2 very young boys. I sat and cried for a while, tucked the memory away, but have never forgotten it. Since then I have buried my Dad and two grandchildren. Those sudden and random moments are part of living but not necessarily enjoyable.

    For a while I painted various things, mostly crafty stuff, but dealing with the mixtures of colors, the blending of darks and lights to get just the right combination or effect I was seeking, caused me to be more aware of leaves on trees, the shape of clouds, expressions on faces of people and animals. Looking at things, people, places, and beyond the now whether it is past, or future is a gift and sometimes a burden.

    Knowing that things will forever change, that life will not be the same as it once was can overwhelm me faster than almost anything and can become a sadness that doesn’t always leave. Or, we can use that awareness to look forward and imagine what will happen in joy and future happiness. I cling to the past as a comfortable old shoe or favorite pair of jeans but I look forward to the future or I try to look to the future as a child anticiapates a wrapped gift or a promised reward.

    As I grow older and see reflections of myself in my children and in my grand children I can either be sad or rejoice. I hope I rejoice in the positive of me I see in them and strive to undo the negative of me I see in them. We, each of us, I believe, are the sum total of all that have gone before us and with the addition of Christ and His Salvation we are exactly as we should be.

    Continued prayers for Phoebe’s healing, God’s guideance for you and Nathan, and joy and happiness for the Trio of Hero’s. Your family and your Walk are a blessing and inspiration. Thank you!

  8. Thanks for sharing Amey. You’ve always had a gift of writing, but somehow this experience has brought it to life. Your thoughts and journey should be compiled in a book someday..
    The moments in life are to be savored and treasured, I’ve been learning that from you and Ann Voskamp. Love you dear!

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