12 November 1999
1:00 AM EST
Novemberís chilling winds are here,
Trees almost bare
Waves of leaves flowing.
Snow flakes just waiting for the Fall.
Itís been a long year for all of us. The seasons have seen us with Megan in winter garments, spring garments, summer
swimming suit, fall garments, Halloween costume, ....and now the winter approaches us again. It is the hospital garment
we have been trying to avoid all year long.
It is interesting to note how this past year has come upon us, and how it has moved on into our memories. Megan grows
with each day, she learns more, she interacts with more people, she watches as many of us gather for various fundraising
events, and she makes hundreds more friends.
The Hayward household has never seen such a constant passage of friends through their doors as they have in the past
year. Their doors were always open before, but now, itís kind of like "Hotel Hayward"! There is not a silent
moment, not an instant when there is not someone wanting to do something for the family, or for Megan. Itís hectic to say
the least, but, it has been a comforting and learning experience for Megan and her family AND for all those who have stopped by.
Weíve passed the anniversary of the initial diagnosis, and are approaching the anniversary of the transplant operation.
During that time, although none of Meganís critical medical conditions have been forgotten, we have all tried to participate
in a somewhat "normal life". Not an easy task when you know that the next sneeze could signify the onset of
what we have all been afraid of.
In the past year, I have learned that Megan doesnít want people around her to treat her like a fragile, sick person, she wants
them to treat her like a 3 year old who is quickly approaching her 4'th birthday. There is the criticalness of lifeís ailments, and
then there is the criticalness of lifeís living. Megan tends to steer you towards those things in life which are fun, enjoyable,
laughable! Megan always wants to have fun, and she will share all of the fun in the world with you if you stop long enough
to experience it. I know. Iíve been there, and many times she has "lifted" my spirits with her various games and
toys. If you saw Megan today, you would never know that she was critically ill. Must be one of the miracles about Megan.
Anyway, tests about a month ago raised quite a fright, and it was alarming to see some of the blood counts go so high.
Subsequent tests and scans, and a forwarding of all of this data down to Johns Hopkins set many of us into a nervous
state of mind. There are so many things which could go wrong: rejection of the transplant, a reoccurrence of the cancer,.....
or other medical problems. Luckily, after a month of tests and re-tests, Megan is still doing fine,.....sheís just growing (as
do all 3 year olds).
Her father Mark is not so lucky, and he continues to undergo various (ucky) medical procedures and tests regarding his
transplant donor operation and ensuing complications. He and I compare notes on the various medical procedures we both
go through to determine which one of us has had the "uckiest" test,..but when push comes to shove, neither of
us has come close to what Megan has had to go through.
I hope that Meganís medical stats settle down to something which is normal. I hope that the doctors figure out what is
wrong with Meganís father.
But most of all, I hope that everyone who reads this message spends a few moments during the upcoming Thanksgiving
Holiday to reflect on how lucky we all are. We have all been blessed with the opportunity to live our lives, and to reach
out and touch the lives of those around us. Megan has taught me that it is never too late to care, never too late to sit on
the grass and blow dandelions into the breeze,....never too late to look for cooties,...... but most of all, it is never too late
to realize how precious life is.
I have always said that Meganís Candle was a symbol, a message, for all of us. Pick up the candle, let it guide you,....there
are lots of Megans in the world just waiting. Meganís Candle lights the way for all of us, and in each of us there is a child
just waiting to see the way. Let us guide and be guided by a light which is there for all of us.
On this Thanksgiving, light a candle. Look into the light of the candle, and ask yourself what you see. I hope you see the
twinkle in the eyes of Megan, or, in the eyes of a loved one who is close to you. If so, stop long enough to "smell the
roses",........blow out a dandelion or two... play a game, or, just hold someone and tell them that you love them. Each
moment is precious,.....and it is easy to share the love of life. Follow the flame of Meganís Candle, and you will receive the
blessings of Thanksgiving.
Sometimes,.... it is the simple things in life, like the light from a candle, or, the love of a child, which guide us through the
most difficult passages in our lives.
On Behalf of Mark and Nancy, Patrick, Kelsey and Megan,
We give Thanks for Megan and Patrick and Kelsey, and all of you who have touched our lives!!!
No words can truly express the Thanks we feel for all that you have done.
We give Thanks for your caring, your prayers, and your love.