Friday, June 26, 2009

Celebrating Sadie


Our amazing class

I have the privilege of being a preschool teacher to the best of God’s children. It amazes me at how blessed I am to be able to spend my days with these little ones. One of these little ones is Sadie. I will never forget meeting Sadie and her dimpled smile. It was contagious. And then I heard her giggle. I would try to say funny things just so I could hear it. If I could bottle up that giggle and sale it, I would be a rich woman and joy would fill the world.

This particular class that Sadie was a part of was crazy fun! I loved this class. Everyday was a new adventure. I never knew how one particular game or activity would evolve. Just a simple game of Duck Duck Goose would turn into something similar to what you would see on World Wrestling Entertainment. No matter how crazy things got, my class made me laugh every day. Sadie brought a perfect balance to our classroom. She was a peace maker and a spiritual giant. She would talk to all of us about how important it was to be nice to friends in our class. She would recite to me the Articles of Faith she was learning during Family Home Evening. I was impressed that someone her young age would even want to memorize something so hard for a four year old to understand. I think she understood. My own children had complained so much about learning the Articles of Faith that I gave up attempting to teach them. I was encouraged by Sadie’s example to try it again. We have learned many and are continuing to learn them because of Sadie.

Our little class seemed to change in March of last year when Sadie was diagnosed with brain stem cancer with a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (dipg). It is very rare and is in a spot where surgery or a biopsy isn't possible. There is no home run to treat this tumor -- the statistics attributed to this diagnosis are just heartbreaking. With all the treatments she was having, we didn’t see much of Sadie at preschool any more. There was a sad undertone in that class that we couldn’t seem to shake. We tried to be positive and happy knowing that Sadie may come back to class. We were thrilled when Sadie came to our field trip to the library. We talked often about Sadie and how much she meant to our class.

She touched so many lives with her desire as part of Make A Wish to meet our prophet Thomas S Monson. Her story was told on television between conference sessions of the LDS church last April. She became sort of a local celebrity as she held the title of Little Miss Eagle Mountain this past year. She and her family have touched so many lives as they battled this horrible disease with such strength and hope.

I wear the “Team Sadie” bracelet and talk about the sweet little girl and the vicious disease behind it. I will probably always wear it.

Yesterday I received a call that Sadie had passed away. How heartbreaking it is to not have her in all of our lives. But she has filled our hearts with love, hope and joy by just knowing her. She is truly an angel. We will miss you Sadie! Our prayers go out to her family as they begin to live there lives without her sweet spirit, her adorable giggle and her contagious smile.


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