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.


The Christmas Concert

Thanks for visiting Aiyana's page. I will try to do a better job of writing regularly again, to share news of life now and how we transition to it. And when there are momentus occasions, they'll be here too!

I think we're all caught up with how different the landscape is without our hunny bunny. We ache for the old patterns and anticipating Aiyana and Avry hurling themselves into our arms. We miss seeing her smile light up her heart and the excited exchange of ideas between the girls as they raced off into another adventure.

In January, Washington Elementary did another fabulous thing for the community and the family. These kind hearted teachers and administrators had a winter concert. All the grades were represented and there was a good turnout, I hear due mainly to an ice cream bribe by the Principal, but they sang their hearts out for it and played bells and recorders and rhythm sticks. It was great.

Just before the last song, the Principal announced it was a dedication to the family of Aiyana and that she would remain forever in their hearts through her love of music. All the grades sang the Song of Peace together and learned sign language along with the lyrics. Is that not great??

Afterwards, as the family made our way around the room thanking staff, the Principal and I briefly spoke and another loving supportive idea came tumbling out: at the bench dedication in March, the book I read to her in the hospital, Two Ways to Count to Ten, will also be dedicated to the library -- and maybe I will even be able to read it to some of her school friends!

It comes on suddenly, getting all choked up by someone's compassion that is unexpected and genuine. We are deeply grateful to Washington School and this little group of loving people in the middle of nowhere that serves the families of this little valley town. Through their love, they are helping us heal.

The lessons the children learn here aren't just taught in the classroom. The educators model compassion and community spirit that will make these children citizens of the world. I look at what's going on here and it's not hard to imagine an educational system throughout America that teaches leadership alongside academics and compassionate citizenship. If Washington School could be the template, I do believe we would end up with a bunch of honest-to-God leaders.


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