Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"And She Danced Anyway"


KIMI, my seventeen year old sister, just returned from Disneyland! She had souvenir shopped for the nieces and nephews, snapped candids of herself and so many high school friends, and ridden every roller coaster at the park. That will be the last for some time.
Kimi performed a solo in her recent dance recital where she wore the perfect tutu, landed every turn, and shined brightly in front of the crowd. That is, after she got over the stress of almost missing her entrance because the music wasn't turned up loud enough for her to hear.
On June 9th my sister will undergo a procedure where a non-cancerous tumor will be removed from her inner ear. The doctors will have to drill through her skull to reach it. She will recover for a few weeks and then return to her normal life, minus the ability to hear from her left side.
She has experienced gradual hearing loss on that side over the past several months, and has known about her specific condition of acoustic neuroma for a while. This trial of mortality has shaken our family as any similar thing does. There have been many worries and prayers as Kimi has gone through the process of acceptance of a life with partial deafness. There have also been many jokes about Kimi not hearing her alarm, not responding to her prom date's questions, or how she'd have been so in style back in the 80's when chicks were shaving off the bottom half of their hair just to look cool. Kimi has laughed the loudest at these jokes. Although her condition must be constantly on her mind, she has managed to pull a screamin' GPA, waitress, have a paper route, be involved in Young Womens, FBLA, cheer leading etc etc etc. - which is why I titled the blog, "and she danced anyway." Her faith and strength are admirable to me. So is her positive energy!Her unselfishness is a quality that is developed far beyond her years. I don't know if it is myself or my little girls who look up to her more.
My first question to the neuro surgeon when I accompanied her to an appointment was "What about pirouettes and back handsprings?" I was worried that her balance would be thrown off. He explained that sensory input comes through her hands and feet and other sources that will surely compensate for loss of hearing. So she can do anything she puts her mind to. And she will.
The recent lessons I've learned, and that all of us can learn by watching Kimi, are summed up in the words of this Lianne Womack Song...
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance.
Never settle for the path of least resistance.
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance.
"And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,
I HOPE YOU DANCE."

15 comments:

Cara said...

I have chills! Great entry Julia. Good luck to your sister. Sounds like she accomplishes anything she puts her mind to.

Samantha said...

Oh my goodness. I had no idea!! We will be praying for your family and especially Kimi! Good luck and please keep us posted!! What an inspirational young woman she truly is!

Kay said...
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Leah said...

What a wonderful sister! She is obviously gifted and talented in so many ways! I pray that everything will go well and that she'll have a speedy recovery!

Jensen Blog said...

Julia, You are such a good sister. I read this and cried because I too worry about her and want what is best for her and your family. I know that all will go well. We are praying for her and for your family. We love you.

Shermilton said...

Beautiful, Jules!! Sisters tug at the heart strings! I'm glad your mine.

The Whitehead Family said...

Sherstin said it best when she said, sisters tug on your heart strings. Our hearts are bound in hope and paryers for Kimi.
Peggy

Rod and Kandace said...

So Sweet!

Michael and Kari said...

I'm sorry to read about your sister's struggle. What an amazing talent she has! I wish her the best!

Debbie said...

That was a touching entry. We never know what life is going to throw at us. What a good example of optimism. You are a great sister!

Andrea Brown said...

I hope the surgery goes well!!! I'm so glad she has such a positive attitude. She will be successful because of it.

Ryan said...

what a beautiful picture!! And post, Julia. We are praying everything goes well!

Heather said...

You made me cry! My prayers will be with Kimi today. What a great sister you are. Her ballerina picture was beautiful. Does she dance with CEU?

Howling Pickup said...

We just went through a similar experience in our family. My mom had a benign brain tumor removed last week. It was one of the most frightening experiences we have been through. Just like Kimi, my mom was the most optimistic of everyone! It has taught our family a lot and brought us closer together. Give Kimi and your family our love. We will be thinking of you!

vallarie said...

Good Grief!!! I'm so sorry. I'm so grateful it isn't cancerous! She is such a sweetie and she looks absolutely beautiful in the picture!!! I didn't know that she was into ballet! She looks like a pro!