“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” – Amelia Earhart
The smallest things in life truly turn out to be the most meaningful. This fall, I traveled to New York City with my two adult children and their significant others. It was my first trip to the Big Apple, and it came with much anticipation. For months, Elizabeth, my 28-year-old daughter, had sent me screen captures of advertisements highlighting the reopening of Broadway. In particular, she wanted to see her favorite musical Chicago.
Like many, the pandemic made us long for the freedom to travel. However, the fact that Elizabeth was so focused on getting to New York was different than the rest of us who simply have cabin fever. Since the fall of 2019, Elizabeth has been battling a glioblastoma, terminal stage four brain cancer. I knew this could very well be her last opportunity to travel, and I envisioned a weekend of memory-making family time with people who have my heart.
With careful planning, and the help of others, our Broadway trip was a magical, and I am not sure what would have made it more perfect. It was the first time in two years that I heard my child laugh as much as she did during our adventure. And her smiles lit up our spaces. My son, Lucas, took care of his big sister in such a tender way, all of their childhood squabbles melted away. Watching the two of them together simply took my breath away with the gift of love, and I experienced one of the most tender moments of motherhood.
Our trip concluded with the much anticipated Sunday evening performance of Chicago. Our seats were delightful, and with great anticipation, our tightknit group watched Elizabeth’s reaction as the actors filled the Ambassador theater with elictricity of jazz. As we left the theater, floating in the ambiance of the evening, we spilled onto the sidewalk just as the actors were leaving the side door of the theater.
In a split second, the actor who plays the lead Velma, Bianca Morroquin, crossed in front of us. I shouted, “Elizabeth, look,” and her brother turned her wheelchair so she see Bianca getting into the waiting car. As Elizabeth waved excitedly, Bianca smiled broadly, winked and blew Elizabeth a kiss.
This tiny, insignificant gesture, however, wrapped the weekend with a sentimental gift. As the five of us stood on the sidewalk, we were held in the warmth of the universe as it tenderheartedly pulled us close and kissed our cheeks. And in that moment, we knew that regardless of where this journey of loving someone with cancer takes us, it is going to be okay.