Hello Everyone! I know I haven’t written in a while, but this post is really dated 10/26/13. It really is 15 months old but better late than never! I did write a lot more in 2013, but my mom didn’t get around to posting them like she said she would while I was at camp that summer, and I didn’t think about it because camp was so much fun that I could live there forever! Now it’s already 2015, but I’m going to post a few oldies:
October 26, 2013
I moved to San Diego with my mom and brothers, and it is different here. I am staying with family and have learned a lot about how different things can be. I always thought that everything was chaos after I got sick and we started to live differently and then we had changes with our house and car and things weren’t the same. I never said they were bad though. For me, everything has always been good no matter what. Moving has made things a little hard though. San Diego is beautiful, but life is just different. Something as little as school starting an hour earlier or waking up every day to it being dark and overcast can totally change how we feel. It’s interesting how the world focuses on big issues like differences with races, religions and cultures but the truth is that there are differences every day everywhere even when things change for better. I moved a couple of hours away to a beautiful beach town to be closer to more family, for my mom to have more help and as family said “to give mom a break.” I have learned that even in the closest groups of people, there are differences. And in the most beautiful places, the day can start dark and dreary and foggy and cold. Sometimes I don’t even want to get out of bed because the sky looks sad! It shows me that it’s all how we look at the differences. It’s not the city, or distance from where we moved, or if people are the same race, religion and culture that matters. What matters when we face differences (especially things we don’t understand or are comfortable with) is the choice we make in our attitude and thoughts. What matters is how we treat each other and how we react to situations. Our dreams and goals and hopes are the same no matter what so it mostly comes down to how we feel.
I think that is why being away from Moorpark is so hard because that is where I FEEL the happiest. In my situation, sometimes life is hard and I act out or don’t fit in or have a lot of what the other girls have or do what they like to do. Sometimes I do get down. I know it’s always up to me to snap out of it, but in Moorpark I get a lot of help from the community. I visited for a football game a couple of weeks ago and was really happy when I saw people recycling after the game. It made my day. It was a reminder that I made a difference, and people still take action. I know the schools have started recycle drives, and it’s great to see an entire town still taking care of the community for each other not just a fundraiser for me a long time ago. It’s also a place that if I’m having one of those days, there’s an entire community of people who remind me that life is about living.
Moorpark will always be home to me, but mom always says that no matter where you go, there you are. You are HOME to your attitude and your thoughts and actions. How you feel about life will make the difference how you feel about others not your differences between each other. Bravery comes from having something to be brave about. I know I’m not doing much lately, I guess I’m taking a break. But I’m not taking a break my reality. I know this thing is still in my head. I know I still throw up every morning and freak everyone out in the new house where I live. I know there will be more tests and surgery. I know that all of the people who have been there in the past will always be there even though I live here now. I also know that the recycling that we have done in the last 19 months and are still doing have made the world a better place. So take action in your home no matter where you are to focus on how you feel and think. Remember it’s not the differences in the world, it’s how we feel about them and how we react to them with our thoughts and actions. San Diego is different. To me, there is no place like Moorpark because of how I feel about it. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make friends here, recycle here, be happy here. My HOME starts with me. Feel better and think better with brAvery. Welcome home.
Okay, this is a really late Valentine’s Day post but it’s good for any day! So I’m on my way to breakfast with my Mom and what happens? We are stopped at a stop light, and the guy in front of us throws a water bottle out of his window. Of course I wanted to jump out of the car and pick it up and definitely say something, but the light turned green. So guess what else happened? He threw another bottle out of the window. I was like, “Are you serious?” I mean here I am pushing for 1 million bottles and cans recycled and as if it’s not sad enough that he doesn’t know the value and difference it makes to recycle but he actually made the effort to litter also.
You know, recycling did not start as a fundraiser for me. It started because I wanted to do something different on Valentine’s Day where every kid could participate equally and it didn’t cost anything like cards and candy. I thought it would be a fun way to show our love for our school and work together to raise money for our school instead of buying a bunch of stuff to compete for prizes against each other. And cookie dough and wrapping paper and our artwork on mugs don’t really do anything to make the world better or help us make a difference. Well, since Valentine’s Day last year when I saw how much one school & a bunch of kids with a lot of heart could do TOGETHER because I asked and they cared, I realized I could set a bigger goal for all of us.
I don’t know that reaching 1 million bottles and cans will stop that guy from littering but maybe he will hear about me or his kid will start recycling so he will start (or at least not litter) or maybe someday there will be a recycle can next to EVERY public trash can making recycling a no-brainer (haha, a no “brainer”… come on, you have to laugh). I have faith that people are good and want to do the right thing. Sometimes people just don’t know. Everyone wants to make a difference and, even if they don’t believe in themselves or that making it to a million is possible, some people will start collecting just because they want to help me. It’s okay if I’m the reason because someday people will set their own goals and believe its possible because of me, too. Maybe my future is not certain but my love for life & the earth & people never changes. So celebrate LOVE, know that “impossible is nothing” and make a difference with brAvery!
It’s 2013! We all have something to be grateful for and look forward to this year. I want everyone reading this to think of two things they want this year, one for themselves and one for others.
This is something I did with my family in the beginning of the year. On New Year’s Day, my mom took my cousins and brothers and me out to dinner and asked us all to go around the table and say two things that we wanted this year. One thing for others and one for ourselves. Just one word for each answer. When it was my turn, I paused for a long time before saying what I wanted for myself. Everybody expected me to say “Healthy” but I didn’t. It’s not that I don’t want to be healthy, I just live my life like I already am. All of my family said stuff like fun, better, peace, happy. I wondered “why don’t you just already live like that?” My mom calls it living in reverse. If you just believe in the thing you want then its easier to know what to do and feel good and when you make a mistake or do something wrong you know because it doesn’t keep you healthy or fun or happy.
Everyone wants a better world. I say LIVE NOW like it is heaven on earth and having a better world will all make a lot more sense. Keep recycling and live brAvery style!
Love, The Miracle Kid
Hey, I have a short, funny story…
So last night I was up really late with the flu. Since my last radiation, my brain has been tricked into thinking I’m pregnant (I’m not). It was about 12 o’clock midnight, and I got a huge craving for ice cream and pickles. I asked my mom if I could have it, and she giggled, “Are you serious?” And I’m, like, “Yup!” Mom said it was okay so I sat down at the table with a huge pickle and a cone of coffee ice cream. It was amazing!
But this morning I woke up and went right back to morning sickness and sat on the bathroom floor forever. It don’t throw up all of the time, and I still think it’s kind of funny and laugh about it. I know almost every mother out there knows what it feels like. So I think everyone should eat pickles & ice cream and enjoy every bite in life. Eat with brAvery!
-Love, Avery (The Miracle Kid)
First things first, Shana Tova!! I want to wish everyone a happy, healthy new year. For the days between Rosh Hashana (the head of the year) and Yom Kippur, we are supposed to think about a lot of stuff and we focus on being inscribed and sealed in the book of life. So it was perfect today in history class when we did something really fun and cool that made me think about life a little different from before.
We are learning about archeologists and what they do. My teacher gave us chocolate chip cookies as our excavation site and two toothpicks for tools. I had to find and dig out all of the chocolate chips (artifacts). Next I took all of the broken “artifacts” and put them back together to form a whole “artifact” and as far as the clean up for the “excavation site,” we got to eat it all!
The boy in front of me was allergic to everything so I almost got his cookie until the teacher said he breathed on it. I didn’t care but I started to think about people and the broken chocolate chips being put together and archeologists. It’s funny that I always say that I don’t know if I will be here tomorrow and people get inspired to appreciate life and be grateful and have a better attitude about how precious every day is, but I think the thing about life is the people. Archeologists dig up things to find out about life but really put everything together looking for things about the way people lived. My chocolate chips were the people and maybe the cookie was the life but its the chips that are so good even broken into crumbs (my mom just helped me on this part). My mom actually likes the cookie part better but agrees that the cookie is made around the chips. I guess what I am saying is that people are important. People are amazing and when people say I inspire them to see that life and the earth is precious and to not take life or the future for granted, I want everyone to know that it is the people who are precious and should not be taken for granted.
Taylor Swift has a song that says “It’s funny how when you’re gone people start listening.” We have the power to change that just like we are recycling 1 million cans and bottles. Listen with brAvery. -Love, The Miracle Kid
I took my brother to tackling camp the other morning and the coach started by yelling, “You are tough. Everyone is tough. Repeat after me.” All the players shouted, “I am tough!” So I thought I would write this today because I want all of you to say it, too. Everyone keeps saying that I’m so strong and amazing. I hear that I inspire people all the time, but the reason I am this way is because I am inspired by others. I am also strong and have an amazing attitude because of how I react to most things and a lot of my choices come from what I see in other people that reminds me and brings out the best of what I already am. Everyone has all the same things on the inside but sometimes you don’t know it.
It has been almost one year since my last radiation treatment, and I have a lot of trouble remembering stuff now but I never forget how I feel. I never forget how it feels to be happy or how to love life or how good it feels to smile and hug and be nice. But it isn’t easy to be me and maybe I’m tough because I choose to have faith every day no matter what. I just accept who I am and know I’m sick even though I look fine. I know how hard it on my family and that everyone wants to help and that is why I am writing this. I want to help you, too. I want you to know that you are tough. You can do anything. You have all the same stuff in you that I have in me and we bring it out in each other. I am lucky, too, because there are a lot of really hard times when I’m not with people, and everyone doesn’t see, but I stay tough because my faith in Hashem (G-d) so I’m not alone and am reminded to relax and get calm and can pray. But after a totally different year than most 10 and 11-year-old girls have, I want to share some examples of how you make me tough and supported me through this year. I don’t think most of you even know it and that’s what’s so cool.
I want to point out a family who drops off 3 or 4 bags of recycling every weekend. The mom always comes to our house and leaves the bags. One time she even went to Subway and had lunch with us. Her family totally changed their lifestyle to help us and it’s not about fundraising anymore. Now it’s just a special friendship with a family who keeps fighting with me every week. And then at dinner the other night when we were talking about me making it through this year, my brother asked if we were ever going to see a friend of my Mom’s who was lots of fun. I started thinking about how he always told jokes and didn’t make a big deal out of anything. He is like a big kid, but you know how we helped make each other tough? He took me on a 6 mile bike ride the same day I had radiation. I was supposed to rest. He didn’t want to and mom thought I would fall. Guess what? I did fall! But he helped me up and I kept going. He even had to push me sometimes, and we had fun. He did so much with me that week but the most important thing is that he stopped being a kid and took care of me, the real kid, and we were both happy. There are lots of neat moments and special people, but I want to share a last story about how good it makes me feel when I see people wearing my bracelet. This summer a baseball coach in Moorpark put on my bracelet and gave me a big hug and said I would see it in all the game pictures. He also said he loved me. My mom is friends with lots of people, and we know his family from baseball but our families don’t hang out. We don’t know them really except at baseball but when he said he loved me, I believed him. He has kids and I probably remind him what is important in life. He is a great coach and loves to help kids and probably likes my attitude so I think he probably loves that I get out there and keep playing my “waiting game” and have fun. Sometimes it’s awesome and sometimes I cry but I don’t stop because of who I am and because of people like the coach who love me and people who wear my bracelet when I don’t even know it, people who give up their time to take care of me, people who still recycle and people who help other people be tough.
You are tough. I want you see how tough you are and learn something about what you have inside of you. Try to see the good stuff and think about the people who help you be tough and remember you are not really ever alone. Have faith, help each other and feel more love. When you are older, love is not always good and gets messed up with lots of things so just think of me. Remember how you helped me, recycled, wore your bracelet and be tough with brAvery.
-Love, The Miracle Kid
My mom is late in posting this blog. I wrote it the night before my final recycle drive… I’m so excited. It is the eve of my big recycling event, and I can hardly wait. It will be so great to reach 100,000 cans and bottles. I always believed it was possible and now everyone else can too. It’s nice that everyone wants to help me and my family so much because it is getting people to recycle and because they want to help us, the cans and bottles are adding up even though most people don’t even think about making it to 100,000. But when we do get there and every one sees it then they will know that anything is possible and sometimes you just need some help to believe. That is what this is all about because I want everyone to know that no matter how old you are that you can make a difference not just for me but the world. You are that powerful and it makes a bigger difference if we work together and feel good and believe in each other.
I was named on Holocaust Memorial Day. My birth announcement was printed on the same page as my best friend who was born on my mom’s birthday and whose party I was at when I had my brain hemorrhage last year. Our announcements were in the Jewish Journal’s Yom Hashoah paper that had a big yellow star on the cover that said JUDE. It makes me think about people and Anne Frank. She said that no matter what she believed people are good at heart and me too. I believe that way deep down in people who you feel have no heart, they are still capable of good and have a strong, good heart. Lots of people are just followers even me too, but it depends who you follow. I think most of the time people just don’t know any different or just don’t know what to do or don’t really know how to think about stuff. I choose to think people are amazing. I think is is amazing how people are doing so much for me. Today some old friends who were in my brothers 5th grade class called and said they had recycling for me. They came over and gave us the voucher and took us to frozen yogurt and one of the girls asked me how I was doing. She didn’t say “How are you?” but she really asked me how I was doing with everything. People are good.
What I can’t wait to share is that today at school a kindergarten girl came up to me and said, “Your story is good. Can I tell you what I want to be when I grow up? I want to be a PRINCESS!!” I thought it was so cute. Everyone has dreams. I want to know why it takes such a hardship like this happening to me to make people think about their own dreams? Why do people have to be hurt and think about what they don’t want to happen just to dream about what they do want? We all have dreams no matter what and we should believe in our dreams and each other. Even with all of this happening to me I still believe that one day out of all the people in the world, Prince Charming is going to come sweep my Mommie off her feet. I’m just a kid but you can follow me and we can all believe and be princesses… with brAvery!!
-Avery (the Miracle Kid)