There is no easy way to deliver the sad news that our young friend, Libby, has lost her brave battle with cancer. On the evening of Sunday, March 17, Libby spent her last few hours mercifully free of pain, surrounded by the friends and family whom she so dearly loved.
I will admit to struggling for some time with the crafting of this post, wanting my words to do Libby’s life justice. I was desperate to seek out and find the good within the tragedy, to find meaning in the joyous birth, brief life, cruel illness and untimely death of this beautiful young girl. Twenty-four hours later and the words still struggle to come.
My first attempt at a post was meant to be a memorial to Libby’s life and her legacy of positivity despite adversity. Luckily for me I was blessed to know Libby personally, and as anyone who knew her well will tell you her positivity wasn’t hard to find. Both spirited and stubborn, quick-witted and compassionate, Libby’s energy and light drew in everyone around her.
Yet despite being a direct recipient of her love and energy, my words failed me. There just weren’t adjectives enough to describe all that Libby was in life. Every turn of phrase was deemed woefully inadequate. Naturally, I started over.
My next pass at a draft focused on the struggle to seek out the positive in loss, even a loss as tragic as the death of a child. I crafted nearly a page of generic comfort words, each sentence painting a picture that paled in comparison to the miracle that was Libby. Needless to say that draft never saw the light of day either.
I had all but given up when I decided to take a break and update Libby’s Wrists Around The World page, hoping to regroup and get a handle on just what it was I wanted to say. As I read down the list of names on her FRIENDS OF LIBSTRONG page and saw pictures in her GALLERY of wrists of people from all over the world, it hit me-
You. Me. All of us. WE are her legacy.
Strangers who with a click of a mouse became family. Writers who donated their work for her benefit. Readers who bought books for her cause. New friends the world over who donned wristbands and thought enough of a child thousands of miles away to carry her with them, to memorialize her struggle in a snapshot. It became clear to me in that one, glorious moment that the very best way to honor Libby and her life would be to live our lives well, to continue to give of ourselves freely, selflessly, and to demonstrate daily the good that resides in us all.
Libby’s bravery brought out the best in all of us. What better way is there to honor her than to do our very best everyday? As long as we are brave enough to answer that question, Libby’s life will have meaning. Libby, within us all, will live on.
Words can not express the sincere appreciation that I have for Landon Swank and Harmony Swank for taking time out of their busy schedules to come surprise Libby. What a pleasure it was to meet you both.
On Saturday, December 29th Libby had the most amazing experience…Make-A-Wish granted her wish to meet Master Illusionist Landon Swank and his beautiful wif…e Harmony!
For just about two hours my baby girl focused on her new friends and the fun she was having learning some tricks and showing her talents too…fighting cancer was the furthest thing from her mind. It was great to see her smile and giggle and laugh. You both brought so much joy to Libby’s life and for that I will be forever grateful…bless you both.
Anyone who knows Libby knows that she loves card tricks, and anything magic so when she saw Landon perform his audition on the 2011 season of America’s Got Talent she instantly became a fan. Landon finished 5th place; higher than any magician has every placed in the show! She followed the entire season and was thrilled that he made it to the top five but very sad that he did not win.As noted in Landon’s bio, he is referred to by the magic industries insiders as, “Magic’s breath of fresh air”, Swank gives a performance that appeals to the masses. He offers a thrilling journey into the unknown, the unexpected and the unexplainable as it can only be described as The Magic of Landon Swank.
Thank you again “kids” for sharing in our day.
Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust…