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There is something structurally wrong with my baby’s brain and my dearest friend’s mom has cancer. None of that is fair, but sometimes those horrible unfair things connect our lives in the most unexpected, profound and beautiful way.
My daughter was diagnosed 10 months ago with a rare brain disorder called pachygyria. She has severe delays, coordination issues, speech issues, probable epilepsy and other stuff we haven’t begun to wrap our heads around. In less than a year, our lives have gone completely sideways. I take Jordan to three therapies per week, she sees a developmental pediatrician, a neurologist, a geneticist and a neuro-psychologist and she goes to a special needs preschool four days a week. It’s pretty busy. We have about a million places to be every week and that’s just for Jordan – I have three other kids and a business as well. When we were getting set up to start Occupational Therapy, it was just another appointment – 9AM on Wednesday but I walked in and met my best friend. It’s not the way I would have chosen to make a friend, but I believe that God puts people in your life exactly when and where and how you need them. I knew right away how important she would be to Jordan, but I didn’t know yet that she would be so precious to me and her family would become like my family too. She was just one more session, one more therapy, one more place to go. I had no idea how important 9am on Wednesday would be.

Judy was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2011. She fought like hell, had surgery, went through chemo and had a bit of remission until this Summer. She’s still fighting like hell, had more chemo, but they say they’re done doing treatments and the cancer is still there. It’s the most unfair thing and she’s the most beautiful person I have ever met. I don’t think it’s just because she’s my friend’s mom but they are quite alike! I sat between them on a park bench when Judy came in from Maryland for a visit and as they were talking it was truly like listening in stereo! Their gestures are the same, they laugh the same way and they have the biggest hearts. I love that. It was such a joy to meet Jody’s parents, Judy and Jack. I think in total, we only spent a few hours together over the two weeks they were here, but I fell instantly in love with both of them. They are both so warm and inviting and kind and genuine. I don’t think you get to meet people like that very often, so this visit was cherished by me as well as Jody’s family. It was so much fun to be a part of their regular every day stuff – reading Shane’s favorite walrus book, organizing Kemma’s closet, going to Kemma’s soccer game. Regular stuff. We did a photo shoot too, which was great fun, but the highlight was Judy’s 70th birthday party. Judy rocked a tutu and some wild socks and a silly hat and we had the best time eating her homemade goulash and birthday cake, opening her presents and laughing. Oh, so much laughing. What a fun night!

During their visit, I brought my little Jordan over a few times. Jordan and Judy just connected in a beautiful way. She loved Judy’s singing and she couldn’t stop hugging and kissing her! Jordan can be a bit bossy and because she’s adorable, we all just do whatever she says. Jordan sat down in the middle of the floor and said to Judy “Come! Sit!” so Judy did and then Jordan grabbed her face in her tiny little hands and just stared at her. I cried and took a picture, which I will personally cherish forever. I marvel at the Lord’s mercy in crossing our paths when we least expected but needed most. My little girl with her brain disorder and my friend’s mom with her cancer. None of that really matters actually. They just loved each other and that was the most beautiful thing. 9AM on Wednesday is the best day of the week, it changed everything and brought precious people into my life that I wouldn’t know otherwise. 9AM on Wednesday was once just another appointment, but now it’s everything.

Judy and Jack, I cannot say enough what a joy it was to meet you. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with me. I love you both!

Xoxoxo to you, Momma B.

View Slideshow HERE

E Donley Gray - Neat, neat pictures; lovely letter. Its people loving each other that keeps us all going!


Helen Szablya - Thank you for this wonderful piece! Judy continues to be such inspiration! Thanks, Helen

Mary - Beautiful pictures of a beautiful family! We certainly miss Jody and family here in New Hampshire. What a beautiful gift you have given them to treasure – the session is beautiful, and the images taken by a true friend in the midst of a family celebration show the love story.

Jody - I love you Kelly Kennedy for capturing these photos….for loving me and my family….for wanting to be my friend through the good, the bad, and ugly!

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