Three months after Christi was diagnosed, Shayne found the Neuroblastoma Listserv on line and we joined. Soon we were noticing incredibly intelligent posts from someone we named "Sarah from France". This sweet, sweet woman is absolutely brilliant! (Not to even mention the fact that English is not her first language). Her beautiful daughter was diagnosed roughly at the same time as Christi and over the years we thought our daughters had a lot in common with their disease characteristics.
On the one year anniversary of Christi's death (which quite frankly may have been more difficult emotionally than her actual death and I will never ever question any one's grieving) I went with Shayne on a business trip to Milan, Italy. When that was over, we boarded a train to Paris where we spent a few days - trying desperately not to convert the time change to let us know when the time of her death had come and everything that was going on in our lives a year previous. In Paris, we were so grateful to meet up with Sarah in front of Notre Dame as she took the train into the city and met us there. (Before meeting her there, we went in the church and lit candles for Hannah and Christi.) We then went to lunch together and on a boat ride / city tour. Sarah was just as amazing in person as she had been on the Internet.
While Sarah maintains a website for Hannah, it is just for family and close friends. Therefore, I will continue to respect her wishes and not share beautiful Hannah's pictures or videos. I do ask, if you are so kind, to please keep Hannah's family close to your heart and mind. She fought this wicked beast for six (yes 6!) straight years. Unfortunately, I wish I could say she had a peaceful death, as Christi did for the most part, but as I've learned time and time again, that is typically not the case with cancer and Hannah's final days were hard. My only comfort is knowing she she was surrounded by family when she died and she is no longer suffering. I hope Christi met her at Heaven's gates because I know they would have been friends here on earth if only not separated by the Atlantic Ocean and I tell myself Heaven is filled with little friends, happily playing without pain and suffering. May God shower Hannah's family with love and peace as they try to figure out how to live their new life without their beloved Hannah.