The Neverending Story

'The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.'
--John N Mitchell

We set up this website in late October for our wonderful, inquisitive, loving Aiyana. Yana is our eight year old daughter, sister, cousin, niece, friend and granddaughter who was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of leukemia (MPAL).

Aiyana had an amazing life and we are filled with hundreds of heartwarming memories. May all of us take to heart how much a little girl from Lockeford, CA, impacted the world and be reminded and inspired to never let the sun go down without living each day all the way through.

Her Spirit is in every Butterfly.


One Christmas

There are so many things, so many lessons to learn from Aiyana's life. She was absolutely herself without apology. Who among us can that about ourselves after all this time?

I remember last Christmas we came into the house which had been transformed into a busy happy mess of strewn wrapping and bows and packaging. We made our way through the greetings, which in this family takes a while, especially with the hide and seek search for the kids on Wii, playing in the bedrooms, listening to music online or strewn around the yards running off the day's excitement. All day long you listen to the door: open, shut, open, shut, as everyone loops through the kitchen to grab something off a plate.

Aiyana was first in line for her present, a game my sons played when they were young. We were still holding Ava's gift ten minutes later and she eyed it and offered to give it to her. Ten or so minutes after that Ava's gift was found behind the chair sitting in a puddle of ripped ribbon and torn paper.

I didn't react or know what to do. Surely her little sister wouldn't get the pleasure of opening her gift, and I thought she might cry. But her grandfather looked down at the girls with his most loving face and gently to Aiyana said, 'I just love you' and handed the gift to Ava with a hug.

Ava looked up into my face and with that I grabbed the girls and the game and we made a place in their room for play. Over the next hour we played it over and over, and Gav joined in and Summer, too. The children didn't dwell on who opened what, as most children might. They had already learned what mattered most was on the inside.


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