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Lydia "Liddy" Miyashita was diagnosed with AML (acute myeloid leukemia) in August 2008. She endured 2 rounds of induction chemo, but relapsed during a 3rd round of chemo. She earned her angel wings on February 24, 2009. Lydia's Hope was founded in March 2009. http://www.lydiascancerhope.com.
My name is Lydia Li-mei Eiko Miyashita. I am 5 years old, and my birthday is July 3. I was born in Guangdong Province China and was adopted at age 1 by my parents Mark and Monica Miyashita. I have one brother, Maxwell ("Max") age 3, who was born in South Korea. I have a very international family as my Papa was born and grew up in Tokyo Japan. My Mama is the boring one of the family: she was born in Elyria Ohio and is part Buckeye, part Mountaineer.
I live in Orrville, Ohio, and go to Trinity United Methodist Church. I sure know and love Jesus and know that he is watching over me all the time. I love my cats, Sherlock, Agatha, and Daisy; my bicycle; my playhouse; going to Disneyworld; playing princess with my friends Samantha and Lyla; and going to Ring and Sing at Lakeside with my friend Madelyn and my brother Max. Someday I hope to go to London and Paris with my mom.
In August 2008, I was diagnosed with a pernicious and deadly form of cancer called AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia). I did not achieve remission until after my second induction therapy, and then relapsed during my third round of chemotherapy. Dr. Li, one of my oncologists, found my birthparents and family in China, but because I was never able to achieve remission after my relapse, I never made it to my bone marrow transplant. My parents and grandparents took my to Florida to spend the last precious days of my life, where I danced, played, and swam with my brother Max and went to Disneyworld. I became an Angel on February 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm, and am now dancing in heaven with my godsister Hannah. If you check out the brightest star in the constellation Andromeda, you will see our star: the HannahLiddy star. Hannah and I are now watching over all children in need, as well as our families.
***ALL JOURNAL ENTRIES CONTAINED HEREIN ARE COPYRIGHTED TO MONICA L. MIYASHITA, ESQ. (EXCLUDES GUESTBOOK)
Today would have been Lydia's 10th birthday. It is so hard to imagine what she would have been like at 10. Five is such a long way from ten where kids are concerned. Thinking of what life would have been, and wondering about all the "what ifs" never really gets you anywhere. Somehow things ended up this way, and the great irony is that even if we could change things, should we or would be? In many ways, it is tempting to think about Lydia never having leukemia, but then I think about how that struggle and journey, changed all of us, including Lydia. Maybe and almost certainly God knew best when He called Lydia home.
For a long time, I struggled with the idea of why Lydia didn't get her miracle. And just recently, I was reminded of that struggle and question when another little girl adopted from China, named Teresa, died due to the complications from a failed heart transplant. Just like in Lydia's case, people from all over the world prayed for this little girl, and the little girl died. Maybe there are folks who have such a strong faith that this kind of outcome doesn't phase them. But it phased me when it happened to Lydia, and I am sure there are those struggling with this outcome for this other little girl as well. What I have concluded is that for all of us, LIFE is really the miracle. If you think about how conception occurs, and all the possible genetic outcomes that could be produced, and about the seriousness and danger involved in childbirth, each one of our lives, each person, is a true miracle. When you factor in other things such as environment, lack of prenatal care, warfare, disease, and a host of other dangers, the fact that we are all here in this moment is a miracle indeed. If you add in the fortune to be born to, or adopted by, parents who love you and provide you a happy, joyful life and stay by your side throughout whatever you encounter in life, that too, is a miracle, because for so, so many, it is not a reality.
None of us know the future. None of us know how we are going to die, or when. Not even tomorrow is really a guarantee. In fact, not even twenty seconds from now is a guarantee. Each moment is a gift. It is so hard to remember this in the hustle and bustle of daily life. I myself struggle to remember this and to focus on what is important. Recently, I decided to make some lifestyle changes in our lives by giving up the legal work I have been doing part time. When I factored in what I have been saying, namely, the preciousness of each moment and the quality of life legal work in particular tends to steal away from one, I decided that the drawbacks far outweighed the benefits to my life and that of my family. I also realized that I was getting back to the point of "busy-ness beyond belief", the state in which I found my life immediately preceding Lydia's cancer diagnosis. I figured I needed to "walk the walk" instead of just "talk the talk" about putting my priorities in order.
I also realized that I was more worried about making sure I used my legal degree than really thinking about whether this type of job is the right fit for my family. It also occurred to me that I need to quit acting out of fear of the future, and place my trust in God to lead me where he wants me to go. Furthermore, I am not the same person I was before Lydia was diagnosed, and trying to go back to the "old me" doesn't really work. I am a forever changed person; hopefully, I am a bit wiser and more attune to what is important.
I am going to focus on doing the things I really love to do: teaching, yoga, spending time with my kids and family, and trying to savour every moment of this miracle we call LIFE. Regardless of whether you are old, young or middle aged, it is never to late to grab on to LIFE and to know that each moment is precious.