Brave ~ Songs of Life

For the month of October the Songs of Life group that I have been participating in chose the song “Brave” by Sarah Bareilles (listen here). This will likely be my most personal blog post to date since I am writing in honor of my daughter Elayna, who is FINISHED with her cancer treatment. My little girl is now in remission and life is bright!

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Brave…

What comes to mind when you think of the word “brave”?

My five-year-old daughter is what comes to mind for me. She told me, moments before having her third major abdominal surgery, that “being brave means doing things we have to do, no matter how scared we are.” Wise words from a little girl who was fighting to beat cancer and who just wanted to be allowed to go home and play again.
I think that I will always see her face when I think of what it means to be brave. I know that her strength has guided me many times already, and I’m sure it will continue to do so in the days and years ahead.

They say that watching a child battle cancer will change your life forever, and I think that’s true.

Life is precious. Live it. Laugh and love and LIVE. If you’re fighting… keep fighting because it’s worth it. If you’re not fighting at the moment, cherish that. If you are feeling safe, look around to find someone else who is fighting and help them.

When shooting for this month’s blog post I simply photographed Elayna at the hospital on a day that we had chemo, and then again when she was able to be outside. I hope that these images convey that there is beauty in being brave, and that even when you are forced to fight you can find joy in life. Elayna certainly does.
During treatment she was often known by her smile and her joy in running through the hospital halls with her cape on. No matter what we were doing that day, whether it was chemotherapy, radiation, or another clinic visit, she always chose to do it smiling.

Elayna has always loved the song “Brave,” which made this even more fitting. Even before diagnosis we would sing it out loud in the car and talk about it. Now I connect most with the lyrics, “Everybody’s been there, Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy. Fallen for the fear, and done some disappearing. Bow down to the mighty. Don’t run, just stop holding your tongue.
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live. Maybe one of these days you can let the light in. Show me how big your brave is.”

Elayna’s brave is pretty big.

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If you want to stop holding your tongue and be brave enough to do something about childhood cancer, please consider donating to an organization like www.childrensoncologygroup.org. Funding really does make a difference and pediatric cancer is a field where research saves lives. Lives like my daughter’s.

Thank you! Now check out another photographer’s take on the song “Brave” by going to the talented Sharon Spall of Sharon Spall Photography’s page.

Kelly - October 29, 2014 - 9:29 am

You’re girl is incredibly brave. You must be so proud of her for handling herself so well. Lovely photos of a lovely and BRAVE girl.

I will be using her quote with my own daughter.

page - October 29, 2014 - 12:58 pm

This girl. she’s just amazing. As are you, Mama! I love the one of her with the fist out. Just amazing.

Denise - October 29, 2014 - 4:28 pm

your sweet Elayna is the bravest little girl I’ve ever seen.the Brave song is so true to Elayna’s battle I love this little girl
God bless you all

Heather Avrech - October 29, 2014 - 4:33 pm

You are SO SO SO brave Elayna. And incredibly beautiful…inside and out.

Sharon - October 29, 2014 - 7:27 pm

She is the epitome of all that this song embodies! Such a fierce girl with a sweet soul. She is amazing! I am so happy that the chemo is over!

Beautiful images Lucy. They capture the emotion, struggles, and celebration perfectly.

Heather McDonald - October 29, 2014 - 10:01 pm

Your pictures of Elayna simultaneously make me smile and tear up at the same time. She is a brave girl, indeed. I am so, so happy she is done with her treatment.

Jessica - October 30, 2014 - 12:31 am

What a beautiful daughter and a beautiful way to capture her bravery! Thank you for sharing!

Christina Keddie - November 13, 2014 - 7:39 pm

Elayna, your courage is so incredibly inspiring. SO VERY EXCITED that you’re done with your chemo and have no evidence of disease!! It’s so awesome to see how joy-filled you are despite going through such a scary battle. Praying for you as you finish kicking cancer’s butt!!

(Lucy, these images are just gorgeous. So evocative and beautiful! I cry and smile and root my little heart out for you and your family every time I see you post!)

Carrie - November 13, 2014 - 7:44 pm

From the beginning, I have been sharing Elayna’s story with my 5 year old son, Abram. He asks about her and loves to see the photos you share – especially the photos of Super Elayna. We both adore her. She is absolutely BRAVE!

Amy - November 13, 2014 - 8:00 pm

Elayna, your bravery is contagious. It makes me want to go out and try something I’ve never had to do before. It makes me want to encourage my girls to live life to the fullest every single day. Your bravery shines through in your eyes. Even in the pictures with your mask on I can see your smile!

Amy Wells - November 13, 2014 - 8:23 pm

Of ALL the people I think of when I hear the word “brave”, Elayna is definitely at the top! Piper asks about her a lot and we talk about how she’s sick but fighting and getting better every day. Thank you so much for sharing a little piece of your life with us!

Tiffany - November 13, 2014 - 9:49 pm

Elayna – You are one very brave little girl. I have been following you through your journey and have been truly inspired by your positive attitude. Never stop smiling! I was so happy to hear that your scans came back NED today!

Erin McC - November 14, 2014 - 6:36 am

Elayna, you are the BRAVEST! The other day my son, who just turned 5, had two doctor’s appointments in one day, and had to get some yucky shots at both. He was scared, and I reminded him of Elayna, the brave, brave girl who we are thinking about so much! And it really helped him be strong like you! We did a happy dance when we saw your picture pop up with that great N.E.D. sign! Yay, Brave Elayna!

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