I remember the day I first learned of Sydney’s existence in my womb. There was this instant connection. I knew “it” would be a girl. I knew we would butt heads, while being best friends. I knew she would be beautiful. I knew she would be kind. I knew she would be brilliant!
True to those insights, Sydney Deann Ives entered this world on August 5, 1998, and grew to be all of the above and more. She made me a mommy. She changed me just by “being”.
Kind. Beautiful. Head-strong. Smart. A friend to all. Angelic voice. Loves God. – Just a few of the wonderful things that could be said of Sydney. She wasn’t perfect, but she was special.
In May of 2008, after a series of separate, explainable symptoms, we were told Sydney’s brain contained a very large, very cancerous tumor. Astrocytoma anaplastic, to be exact. Our beautiful, kind, head-strong, brilliant girl had stage 3 inoperable cancer in her brain.
This horrific discovery lead us to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. There, our entire family of four lived for the summer of 2008, as Sydney received treatment for her cancer.
When she first heard the word, “cancer”, she was naturally afraid, but never asked “why?”. During those first days, Sydney asked if she was going to die. I answered her that everyone will die one day. Only God knows when that time will be. Only He decides the “when” and the “how”.
With resolve, she accepted that answer. And so began her journey through the rest of her life.
The “when” came on November 7, 2009. She was eleven and had battled cancer for 18 months. She had lived almost 5 months longer than the doctors expected.
During those 18 months, her sweet smile and beautiful blue eyes…her positive attitude in all things…her unwavering, unapologetic faith in God…all of these drew the attention of the world and captured hearts.
She allowed us to share her story. She understood God had a plan, without understanding just what that plan entailed. She lived. She loved. She inspired.
Now, she is Living In Peace in heaven with Christ. Still living. Still Loving. Still inspiring.
(You can view Sydney’s memorial service here: http://vimeo.com/7807427)