Happy Hadley is made possible only by the love and support that comes from each and everyone of our loyal customers. This venture has lead me to meet many loving mothers, one of which was Shelby. A supporter of Happy Hadley form the very start. When her darling bonnet wearing daughter was diagnosed with leukemia I couldn't stop thinking about the Winkelpleck family. By choosing to shop small their family had been supporting my family for some time. It feels only natural to return the love towards this sweet family!
The following words are from Shelby.
I remember saying to my husband, "We have everything." I said it like a mantra. Mentioned it in small, quiet moments in the car, before bed, or over breakfast. Obviously we don't have "everything," we rent our home, we budget, big expenses are researched and pennies are pinched, but I just remember feeling so overwhelmed by what we did have - each other, the sweetest child, a happy life. It was one of the first things that flashed through my mind after the initial shock of Clementine's leukemia diagnosis sunk in. In that moment, it didn't feel like I had air to breathe, much less everything.
Maybe it's too sad or raw or obvious, but the day she was diagnosed haunts me. It lingers in my mind during quiet moments, and I sometimes find myself reliving it and have to fight to push it away. I remember waking up, concerned, and hoping that her lingering fever was just teething or, at worst, her first time catching a bug, but life was still normal. I didn't realize that I wouldn't see my home again for 43 days, but I did know something was wrong as soon as the doctor walked in the door with her results. He had taken too long to come back from her blood scan, and his face was too grave. When he told me to head to the ER to rule out leukemia, I was in total denial and it wasn't until I was halfway to the hospital that the severity of it hit me like a ton of bricks. Once the diagnosis was official, and we went through the most excruciating 48 + hours of our lives, I kept repeating in my head, "Don't you know that yesterday she was healthy? We were fine! This came out of nowhere!" Those first days were b r u t a l. I feel literally dizzy just recalling them now, but it also reminds me how much we've grown since then.
The most helpful thing I was told that first day, was that God was not surprised by Clementine's diagnosis. If you aren't a believer, I suppose that could sound odd, but to me, it was a reminder that we were in His hands and this terrible thing was not just a top spinning out of control. The next few days amazed me by the amount of friends, family, and strangers that poured out their love, support, and stories of hope and encouragement. I can't say it enough, we're blown away by the number of people who have felt led to pray for us, reach out, make offers of help and support, or just love us.
We've also been so surprised by the sense of peace that's overcome us - my husband and me. People empathize by saying, "I don't know how you handle this" or "I'd be a total wreck" and I don't either, and sometimes I am a bit of a wreck, but for the most part, we're ok. Obviously scared and worried, but also, we've realized that there were too many things that mattered and seemed so important before they just aren't anymore. We've let go of our idea of "the plan" for our days, the next week, the next year, and even our lives, to a degree. What matters is us. Our family. Right now. The rest can wait, and right now, our family is focusing on healing and being together, in the moment, while being crazy blessed by an outpouring of love, and it's just amazing.
So for the most part, we still have everything. We're about a quarter of the way through Clementine's treatment plan, she's doing well, and we're all here. Some days are really hard, but we've also realized how much we have. Each other, literally the best community of family, friends, and strangers, and a God who loves us and so obviously has His hand in our lives. We're constantly in awe of all of this and just feel so so blessed. My hope is that we one day look back on these days and remember how cared for and loved we felt during the scariest time in our lives. I want to use this experience as a reminder to myself and a lesson to Clementine that what you do can make a difference in someone's life, whether you know them well, just met them, or don't know them at all, because our lives are forever changed for the same reasons. I couldn't be more grateful.
Lets all come together as a community to shower this deserving family with love!