Some mornings you sit down with your coffee and your computer, and you plan to blog. But you decide to go and pick a featured image from your pictures first, thinking it will help inspire your writing. And then you spend the next half hour scrolling through pictures of the unthinkable journey, reliving, re-feeling, re-loving and looking closely at yourself with her to see if you might have realized at the time, the moment you were in. Were you aware how very precious this moment was?  Did you give yourself entirely to it?

IMG_2731 photoshoped

I wish I could say I was fully present in each of those moments. And I know I gave myself completely to some of them. But I was tired, worn thin from midnight trips to the ER, balancing Phoebe’s physical and medical needs with the boys’ needs, and trying to hold it together emotionally. So much just ‘surviving’ in all of that. The beautiful thing, is that Phoebe was doing so much more than just surviving her cancer. A pure and perfect, deep rooted joy emerged from my daughter.

She said thank you to the phlebotomists after a blood draw, she smiled at people at the grocery store and showed them her bracelet or her Band-Aids, she hugged perfect strangers and told them how her Daddy snores, she encouraged the other cancer kids in the play room. She was on a love mission, that girl. Phoebe was always looking for someone to love or encourage or welcome into her world. It was supernatural, this sweet anointing.  It looked like Jesus. It still humbles me and instructs me to think of her love.

Phoebe gave herself fully to each moment. The person in front of her was the most important person in the world. Why is this so difficult, this singular focus? I want to zero in on and love people in this way, be demonstrative in my affection, seek people out to encourage. Grief is a force to contend with, and I know there is purpose in the pain, but it sometimes blinds me to the needs of others right in front of me. I want to push back the heavy curtain, blow the dust off my ability to really SEE, and then give myself entirely to each moment.





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.

22 responses »

  1. What a great message that we all need to hear no matter where we are or what we are experiencing in our lives. I love the saying, “preach the gospel every day…use words if you HAVE to”. Phoebe preached the gospel every day to everyone she met. Thanks for sharing her with the rest of us! And, in honor of her and your family I will try to be more “in the moment with everyone I am with. Thanks for sharing!

    Marci Geary
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa

  2. I am glad you are writing again, and I have to believe that when Jesus refers to abundant life, he is talking about being 100% present in every circumstance. Please keep sharing!

  3. I still think of your sweet Phoebe often and my eyes still fill with tears. She was an amazing little girl on a God mission during her short time on earth. She touched my heart.

  4. Dear Amey, I just had a momentary flash of the purpose that God gave to Phoebe!  If we could see the ripples that spread out of her response to others, her love, her smile, her encouragement.  It was her purpose in life and she did it so perfectly!  God’s purpose for you was so much more spread out, to your boys, to your husband, to Phoebe, to your home.  And you did fulfilled your purpose for God just as beautifully as Phoebe did her’s.Many blessings on you and your family Blessings,Terri BradburyBlog Site: 

  5. You can’t imagine how much you blessed my soul this evening. I followed Phoebe’s journey with you online, and even I miss her! I can’t imagine your grief. Praying for you, sweet mama.

  6. As I read your words my heart hurts for you. I cannot imagine how you feel. I can only pray that you continue to heal and praise God that there is more after this world. You will see and hold your beautiful girl again. Grief in itself sometimes requires all of you. It’s okay to not be okay.

    ‘May the Lord bless you
    and protect you.
    May the Lord smile on you
    and be gracious to you.
    May the Lord show you his favor
    and give you his peace.’
    Numbers 6:24-26

  7. Well thanks for the morning cry…
    Through it all to see the small piece of gold in the midst of the cave of death , you amaze me..

    I love your family with all my heart.. we may be miles apart but noone could ever compare to the fairs!!!!

  8. Dear Amey. I know exactly what you mean about showing love. I just told a perfect stranger yesterday that I’ve never met a stranger. Their are no longer any barriers for me. I am a vessel through which God can work. By His power I am able to bring hope and happiness not only to my brave warriors at the cancer center but everyone I encounter. I pray for these opportunities every day. They are such a source of joy. The more He blesses me the bolder I become in reaching out to share His love. You have a beautiful talent with words and expressing yourself. If you wrote a book you could touch and make a difference in so many lives. With love. Patty Klein

    Sent from my iPhone


  9. I still think of your beautiful Phoebe Fair, and my eyes fill with tears. She had such a sweet soul that touched my heart. Continued prayers for your family.

  10. It is amazing…these little ones…and some more than others…that live life to the fullest. No cares…no worries about the future…the next step. It frees them to be more present. A good lesson for all of us. I love seeing glimpses into Phoebe’s world…your world…your journey. It helps to remind me to be present…to love…like Phoebe loved…with no expectations for anything in return. Just simply loving for the purpose of loving.

  11. Amey, you continue to be so brave and be assured that your vision “will clear” to see others too. Take courage from all of your pain for it is not in vain. You don’t know what journey the Lord has waiting for you to help others through their grief as well. What a blest person you are to be the mother of Phoebe. You will always be her mother. You may not be able to hold her but she travels will you in your heart and mind.
    Praise God for the gift of our memories to bring us joy. May God bless you and your family.

  12. Little Phoebe’s entire life was a gift, blessing, mission and sometimes God told her words and gave her understanding beyond her years. Your strength, gift and ability may not be the same as hers, but to carry her gift to others, esp in your writings of her incredible life and passing back to heaven.
    I dread the pain I will feel when I see a post from you. You have a talent to resurrect feelings and images like only superior writers can. You are so hard on yourself, but God gave Phoebe to you for a reason. That pain will never go away because God never waste a pain and He knew what you would do … then and now. Put the pain on paper and let it lighten your load. God has your back.

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