It has been an exciting week for Julia. As many know, her favorite musical is Wicked. After seeing it last February, she has been in love with the story and the music. Julia listens to the soundtrack whenever she has a chance and sings along. We bought tickets soon after our New York trip to see the show when it came to Philadelphia.
When Julia was in the hospital last month and we got heard prognosis, everyone began to look at ways we could get her to see Wicked once again. The Child Life team contacted a group from Little Smiles and Aunt Donna reached out to the Kimmel Center. To our surprise, and Julia’s delight, she would be seeing Wicked three times in eight days – once in New York and twice in Philadelphia.
Little Smiles arranged for Julia to see Wicked on Broadway last Saturday. They arranged for a special day, with a limo ride to the city. We had great seats for the show and as it ended someone came looking for Julia. She led Julia to have her photo taken in the lobby at “green screen” and the final photo made it appear that Julia was on stage in the Emerald City scene. Then, three of the chorus members came over to meet Julia and spoke with her about the show. After taking a photo with them, we were on our way home.
On Sunday, I wrote a quick note to the cast who took time to meet Julia and emailed grateful thank you including a copy of the photo that was taken. Julia was so thrilled to meet “stars” of the show and was so happy they took time to speak with her. To my surprise this email was forwarded and the next morning, Julia had an email from Stephen Schwartz, the composer of Wicked. I called Julia to the computer and showed her the email, she read it and immediately started smiling – “He took time and sent me a letter? I can’t believe he did that!” And of course, Julia had to respond and tell him how nice it was he sent her a note and how much she loves Wicked.
On Wednesday, Julia and I got to see opening night of the Philadelphia production of Wicked. We had great seats and it was so much fun to have a girl’s night out. Today, the family all went to see the Sunday matinee, the tickets we bought back in the spring. Julia watched as intently as if it was the first time she was seeing the show. At the end, Julia jumped to her feet, applauding and stopping to wave at both Elphaba and Glinda.
It has been a good few weeks. Julia is feeling well. She has been able to have play dates and even went swimming. Her oncologist appointment was last Monday and it appears that things are stable. Julia will begin the oral chemo again on July 8.
It has been a hard month, too. John and I have had to make adjustments. As a parent, you dream of your child’s future -of high school and college graduations, of first jobs, of weddings. We no longer plan long term and have consciously decided to set small goals. Today, we made it to Goal Number One – a Week of Wicked.
Before going to sleep, after Saturday’s performance, Julia and I talked about the exciting day.
“I want to be three things, Mom. One, a singer; two, the person that plays Elphaba; and three, a doctor”.
“Maybe when you grow up, you could be a singing doctor, Julia?”
“That sounds silly,” Julia laughed and then she paused for a bit, “You know I can’t do that”. I held my breath, waiting to see where this was going.
“I’ll just need to sing first, and then I can be a doctor and help people. You know I want to help people.”
John and I have been setting small goals. Goal Two is to make it to Ronald McDonald Camp in August.
Julia, she still reaches for the stars.
We pray for a miracle, knowing it is out there, and as always, Julia reminds use to follow her lead, reaching to touch every star.