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.


Reading a Story

A story was told to me a few weeks back that keeps coming to mind, and usually when that happens it means it needs to be here, on Aiyana's Love, where it belongs.

Aiyana's mom is the epitome of outreach, and connections, and family unity. And so even in the face of losing her beautiful daughter, whom we all adored and deeply miss, she wanted to continue to work at the school once she got stronger, and now she has.

One of the ways she wanted to volunteer is to read to the children, the younger grades because it is easier there, and she does not have to look up from the book to see the faces of her daughter's friends and playmates, which might undo her in front of them, and she didn't want that. And so it was decided to read to the kindergarteners and the first day she headed there she was nervous and unsure. She prayed and spoke to her daughter, asking for strength and from that a partnership was formed, there in the car, that the two of them would do this together.

She arrived in the room of a teacher she knows well, and she sat on a stool as the children sat close. Before she began, she explained about the books and why this particular book was chosen, and about Aiyana and her love of reading. One little bruiser of a boy raised his hand and asked where Aiyana was. There was a heartbeat, and then two, as Aiyana's mom and the teacher exchanged glances, and she was gently gestured to continue and so she explained about Aiyana in Heaven and moved on and asked for more questions.

But this boy wasn't done. He raised his hand again, and asked if she would accept a hug, and Aiyana's astonished mother said yes, and up he came and wrapped his arms around her with a warm and loving embrace. And then the rest of the class got up and circled her, arms around one another with her in the center, weeping and touched beyond what words could ever convey.

I'm happy to report that the story was eventually read, and she had a rapt and enthusiastic audience and they went happily off to recess. When Aiyana's mom and the teacher were able to discuss it in private, the teacher said that she in no way discussed the visit ahead of time or made any suggestions or allusions to her loss. And so for the second time, Aiyana's mother was overcome by the compassion those little ones showed and knew Aiyana would have done the same, and that is when she recognized her daughter was there in that healing circle of love.


Randy B said...

Simply put, that was breathtakingly beautiful. I just love you Nanci.

Tim Fassio said...

I love it. ----- Tim

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