How would you say goodbye to your family? Its hard to even think about. What if you were 6 years old and had brain cancer?
Elena Desserich wasn't really supposed to know she was dying, her parents didn't want her to dwell on it the last days of her life. Her parents always told her the treatments were making her better. They always remained hopeful so Elena could live around optimism.
But the brave, beautiful, sweet, charming, artistic Elena did loose her fight with brain cancer. She did end up having to leave her family and left a hole a mile wide.
Her family started finding the notes right away; tucked into drawers, in a briefcase, with the Christmas ornaments, under things. Little notes from a little girl, mostly about how she loved her family and sister. Colorful drawings with hearts, she left hundreds all over the house and the family is still finding them.
According to an interview with the Today Show, her parents explained, “It wasn’t just a random collection of notes. She was actually hiding these notes for us,” her father said. “It was her way of letting us know that everything would be OK,” added Brooke. “You hope that it never ends.”
They found so many note, they wondered what to do with them. Such a pure, honest display of love and bravery, they felt they should share them. Maybe they would bring hope and solace to others who had to say goodbye to their families or had lost a child of their own.
The parents compiled them and posted them to an on-line journal, then self-published excerpts in a book that included reproductions of many of Elena’s notes. After selling several thousand books in just a few weeks, HarperCollins bought the book and published it, with proceeds going to the charity founded in memory of their daughter, The Cure Starts Now.
Life offers so many lessons and sometimes the most profound teachers are children.