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Lydia ’s Story

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.




Latest Journal Update

The Great Adventure

It seems hard to believe that ten years ago today we were in China awaiting Lydia's arrival at the White Swan Hotel the next day.  We were so anxious and nervous about becoming parents, and about what Lydia would be like and how she would accept us.  It was her first birthday and we missed it by a day, but we assumed we would have so many more to celebrate that missing that one birthday would hopefully not be that big of a deal, even though we were deeply disappointed we couldn't get her on that special day.  Little did we know we would actually only have four more birthdays with her.  A reminder not to take anything for granted with any loved one.

If she were alive today, Lydia would be turning 11, and because there is such a vast amount of growth and development that occurs between 5 and 11, it is fair to say I don't think we know what she would be like.  Between those years, children loose teeth, get teeth, grow taller, learn so much in school, develop vocabulary and are on the verge of being a preteen.  For Lydia, time stops at age 5.  So even though we say it is her birthday, in reality, it is not.  She will always be 5, and to imagine her any older is pure fantasy and speculation, something that can both painful and bittersweet to engage in.

For a long time I struggled with what to do on this day, this, her birthday.  To celebrate or not.  To ignore or remember.  To be sad or try to be happy.  Today, I have decided that it is good enough just to "be".  Celebrating a birthday for a dead child seems somehow strange to me, not to say it can't be different for others, but as a good friend once reminded me, "let the dead bury the dead."  To me this means that life is for the living, and while Lydia will always live on in my heart as the most wonderful of memories, she is not alive in the truest sense of that term.  I used to think it was wrong or cruel to say the words "dead" in reference to her.  Somehow the finality of those words meant that I was giving up on her, or abandoning her in some way.  I now see that this is not so.  It is simply an acceptance of reality.  Neither wishing nor prayer can bring her back.  I can no longer live my life as if she were still alive.  Part of the reality is to accept that she is gone.

I have struggled long and hard with issues of faith, and I finally realized, based on a disturbing trend I see in some to try and label another person's faith as not Christian or Christian, that I am going to define my faith based on my own terms, and no one else's.  Part of that means that I no longer care how anyone else views the consistency or inconsistency of the philosophy I hold, and I no longer feel bound by established definitions of what this or that faith means.  What I do know is that whatever I personally hold as a faith is centered around two key ideas:  love and letting go (or lack of attachment).  I am going to live my life according to these two key principles.  

The first is to love others.  I will not always love others as I should, but I am going to try my best to do so.  I will make mistakes, I will get angry and I will say things in haste, but I will try and fall back on the idea that the most important thing we can do for others is to love them as we love ourselves, faults. warts, ugliness and all.  The other principle is letting go.  I don't own something I love, I don't really own money, my house or any of my possessions, and I really don't own my own life.  They are all on loan to me, and a gift.  My grandmother used to say that if you hold a bird too tightly it will fly away and never come back, but if you love it tenderly and with care and without possession it will come back to you.  Nothing in this life is permanent.  No possessions are worth protecting via gunpoint and what is it that Jesus says about this, namely that whomever seeks to preserve his life will lose it and whomever loses his own life will preserve it.

No one nor anything can bring you happiness if you do not have peace and happiness within you. I also interpret this to mean, that you can either try and live safe, not taking chances, not giving your whole self to others, meanwhile storing up possessions and wealth, or you can view life as adventure, a gift of but a moment, in which you cherish every second and every one, and give of your whole self, holding nothing back out of fear or loss.  I choose the latter.  Life is an adventure and I choose reckless love over safety and security.

As a reflection of this philosophy, I have let Lydia go.  She is in my heart, but she is not a possession and she was never mine.  Fly Lydia fly and someday we will meet again. 

20 people hearted this



Marge Castee;
By Marge Casteel
Just wanted you to know we are continuing to pray for you and your family.
- family of Jameson Casteel (02/13/1997 - 10/21/2009)
1 person hearted this
Cindy Culpepper
By Cindy Culpepper
Am just getting caught up on CB; what a beautiful Happy birthday message for Lydia.
Monica, I have prayed for your and my peace; we will play with our girls again, no doubt.
Sending big hugs, Olivia's mom.
1 person hearted this
Deb Fair
By Deb Fair
Beautiful message Monica!! Prayers to you and your family.
1 person hearted this
Marie Moore
By Marie Moore
July 3rd will always be Lydia's birthday, and as we continue to travel this road, I pray for the Peace that passes all understanding to bless you and Mark, Max, and Sarah. Love you all!
1 person hearted this
Sarah Gouzoules
By Sarah Gouzoules
Sending you lots of love!!
1 person hearted this
Paul Crilly
By Paul Crilly
So well said, you have what I pray for all of us every night. that nothing damages our faith and to have faith is being all those things you mention. My god doesn't look at people differently because of his religion,only by his goodness.
Thanks for the update and beautiful words
1 person hearted this
Sherrie  Williams
By Sherrie Williams
Beautiful, beautiful message, thank you for sharing. I wish you peace, love, and happiness always.
1 person hearted this
Debbie Dunlap
By Debbie Dunlap
Happy birthday day for Lydia. Hugs, prayers and love to you, Mark, Max and Sarah! 💜
1 person hearted this
cristia sullens
By Cristia Sullens
Monica, your Lydia still lives within your heart and always will. She is the guardian angel to you, Mark, Max and Sarah Grace. When you are quite and still maybe just getting ready to drift off in slumber or perhaps during a meditation of Yoga or even just while you are driving in the car. It may be just a breeze of wind, twinkle of a star and/or lighting bug, the melody of that special song that brings to mind her presence in your world and no one else's that is when Liddy's soul will shine the brightest and once again touch your heart. Lydia may have been laid to rest at the very tender age of 5 and not in our physical world but she is wise beyond her years, she knows all the answers which we question until the day we learn them from her. I believe the angels are the family and friends we have said goodbye for now to. I am hoping this to be true as I am longing to be with my angels and pets once I cross that threshold into the next journey. I remember when my young brother passed and how heartbroken I was that he wasn't here to share the sunshine days and the clear nights with a million stars shining so bright when a friend reminded me that my beloved Quentin was there as he was apart of the sun and stars. I felt a gentle peace and still do to this day that he along with all my other loved one continue to share their love and souls with me always.
When I hear songs from CATS I think of your Lydia and how during her last Halloween on this earth of how proud she was to be dressed in glitter from head to toe as her favorite cat and I also know she wasn't feeling good but that didn't matter as she was with you and Max dancing a celebrating to her <3 content.
Live on sweet Lydia, take your wings and fly and when its time for all of us to join you, we will celebrate with you. Blessed be.
1 person hearted this
Kristen Fitzgerald
By Kristen Fitzgerald
Love & prayers to you the whole family...and sweet, smart, funny, talented Lydia. I wish I had gotten a chance to know her; she will live on forever in so many hearts! {{{{hugs}}}}}
1 person hearted this