Tuesday, January 11, 2011


When living at Children's Hospital, CHO, and UCSF, my time that was "mine" was to exercise and train. I knew that my body had to be strong to take care of Makenzie, Emerson, Jack and myself. But it was hard to leave. Often I would feel barely able to walk through the Club doors, hop on the Precor, and just make myself go. Within 3 minutes, I felt my groove and was able to start tuning out. My headphones were on, channel on the telly set to 43 or 44 for MTV and VHI and I'd have my freak flag fly as I got pumped by the early morning videos. I was "present" and around adults and peers I was used to laughing and hanging at the pool with all Summer, but now it was Fall and I wasn't at the Club during daytime hours since I was at the hospital. I just wanted to feel "there", but not have to be social there, so I tuned out to videos. Then, in October, I saw Katy Perry's Firework Video. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Tears started streaming down my face, my throat got choked up, and I felt as if my limbs were wet noodles. The video highlights your own firework and allowing you to SHINE. But, there is one character they follow who is a little girl in the hospital and obviously sick. He walks out the hospital doors and his firework shines brightly. It was all I could hope would happen to Makenzie.

The song became OUR song. We played the song in the hospital, on our iPods, replayed the video on You Tube again and again. It is now our song to have everyone shine and be WHO they are, finding their inner strength. Both girls ask for the song, we belt it out, we made it our anthem to feel good. I developed a mad love of the video and how incredibly positive it is. I also still choke up every time I see it, or hear it. That being said, Makenzie's first day back at school, we played Firework. Emerson's first day of preschool, she asked for the Firework song to play in the car and sang along in her sweet preschooler voice. On Pandora, I have a Katy Perry Firework station, and love it. For some reason hearing it gives me hope that whatever happens, Makenzie and all of us, are like bright fireworks bubbling through and through and can overcome all the odds. Makenzie has a spark that people are drawn to and want to see shine brightly. She has an aura about her that can only grant great things in life, and it wasn't her time to be put out, but her time to explode with greatness. For many reasons, she was given the gift of life, and now has the ability to shine brightly everywhere.

Which brings me to the past weekend. The girls, my Mom, Sister and I went on a much anticipated trip to Disneyland. Makenzie got the green light from Dr. Kanwar on December 29th, and on January 7th we were on a plane to LAX. At Disneyland one of the best memories for me was watching Makenzie take in the Fantastmic Light & Fireworks Show. We were waiting for it to begin and met a family comprised of 5 kids, 2 who were around Makenzie's age. Makenzie and the little boy bonded immediately and she asked him about his "firework". She explained how she was so excited to be there and she was sparking. She shared that she was bubbling with excitement...he looked at her like any 6 year old...with an expression of "Ok, if you say so". Makenzie was oblivious and her eyes glowing. Then the show began, her magic fingers playing along with the symphony and firework shining.

Find your own Firework, let it EXPLODE, and shine brightly. If my 6 year old who had to overcome incredible odds can, anyone can. Life is to short not to shine, explode vibrantly and shine proudly!!!

1 comment:

  1. I never would have heard that song if it wasn't for you. Of course it was interrupted by a little boy demanding Tessy & Tab, but Tessy & Tab seem to be okay with fireworks. It seems like a great song to belt out in the car. And I LOVE that Makenzie tried to explain internal fireworks a to a little boy!


I am probably out running, but I thank you for taking the time to share. I look forward to your additional input as this blog grows and evolves.
Erin Kreitz Shirey