A New Chapter In Life


When I started writing again almost 3 years ago, I never thought it would be about anything but updates on John John’s diagnosis. I lived, breathed, and died to cancer. My life crumbled around my feet like a sad trail of ritz crackers behind a toddler…… I am so happy to say that I was wrong.

I have spent the last several months investing  back into God’s vision for my life and where I have been called to serve. A lot of my creative brainpower has been spent in redefining my understanding of the reality of my circumstance. My son is deemed “terminal”, he’s not dying anytime soon. My role as caretaker is decreased, he is in school full time. He is more normal than I ever imagined he would be, even in my wildest dreams. I no longer surrender to panic at the onset of a weird symptom. I have come to take changes in stride and adjust accordingly.

I feel freer, if that’s a real word. I have sat and thought where I, as an adult, want to sew my seeds of love. My children is a given, my housekeeping duties are minimal and a given, but my passion for giving back is HUGE right now. I look back at every moment people have taken out of their personal lives to enter into my personal hell, and I am thankful. The people who sat for days at a time. Just to be there, so we weren’t alone. The way that God weeded out the helpers in promise only. The way God revealed where our spiritual home really existed in a lasting way. The way God divided out the people driven by the wrong intentions……It has left me with the here and now.



I have a few precious memories of acts of love that will forever stand out to me. They will not mean a thing to you unless you were the person who gave me the gift of love. 36 hours awake, tears awash with ramblings of faith in an almighty merciful God. $75 dollars worth of parking fees. Shoes to pace concrete floors in with no back pain. Hours at the gym digesting the world’s problems. Calls late into the night reminding me to breathe. Trips to onco appointments and MRI’s. A ride across the bridge into Philly because I am terrified to drive. The dinner date the night before an MRI even if my company is distant and I’m not really hungry. The words, “let us carry you.” The prayers on a time clock for 9 hours straight. Drive by prayer that opened up conversations. Sermons on healing and why? Click to hear that sermon. Wrestling with how to pray without knowing the answer. Dancing in a prayer and worship on the beach with a kid who can’t walk by himself. Being part of a basketball team. Finding a dream as a fireman to inspire healing. Pressing the siren for the first time and feeling like you control SOMETHING in your life. Having a firehouse as a playground. Smiling at a firehouse of your very own. Crying tears of joy seeing your child happy in a dream fulfilled……Having every accomplishment I have ever achieved dwarfed by the sheer will of a small child’s drive to win a battle he does not even understand.


John Marandola-12


When I say I want to give back, I am trying to thank you for all I have learned in the last several years. I have learned humility in the face of adversity. I have learned to say yes to help. I have learned to celebrate the small victories in a HUGE way. I have learned to say thank you to the very smallest gifts. I have seen hearts opened and wounds healed.

This place I now stand is what I could have never dreamed of. It is normal again. Homework and baths are issues. Choices of clothing leave me laughing at my children’s sense of style. It is all how I imagined parenthood to be. I feel like I have a different child when we leave the hair salon. Target dollar isle always wins. I buy cheese sticks in bulk. I promise my child new soccer cleats once the season begins.


I don’t watch him sleep and cry over his peaceful body anymore. I kiss him goodnight exhausted of the busy day of activity. It’s just a good place to be. I discipline him for his arrogant assumption that he is always correct because he says he is. It is a good place to be. I am a parent. Of a normal kid. I am living the life I thought cancer robbed me of. And it makes me so happy to get angry over stupid things. I am free to just be a normal mom. The occasional interruption to normal is fine. An MRI here or Onco appt there. It is all relative. I will revel in the mundane and smile at how normal everything really is.


Thanks for all the gifts….each and every one of you…..you know who you are…..

All of my heart, Faith



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