This is Stella
Posted by Mishi Methven on Jul 18, 2012
This is Stella
When Aimee and I first started this blog, it was just supposed to be a way that our friends and family could get information about Stella’s cancer, our well being and our goings-on to save us from having to field multiple emails, phone calls and questions.
But over time, the blog evolved into something so much more .It has become a place where Aimee and I share our struggles, our triumphs and our story with everyone as we try to navigate both Stella’s fatal brain tumor, our own lives, hopes and dreams for the future. Much of the time, the blog is about our attempts as parents to accept and understand Stella’s journey, as well as our goal to give her the best life possible despite the grief that hangs over us like a grey fog. But, at its core, this blog is still a love letter to Stella’s life, and, hopefully, a way for her brother and brother-to-be to get to know her better and be a witness to what our family and community did for their sister.
Unexpectedly, we have been overjoyed and overwhelmed at all of the people who have journeyed with us the last 13 months via this blog--- friends and family of course, but also acquaintances and strangers who have learned to love our Stella, and become part of all our lives in that strange way that only the Internet can connect you. This has been the most magical and rewarding part of having this blog. When you hear that your child is going to die, before their life even gets started very much, one of the things you struggle with is this horrific thought that the world will never get to experience how incredible and wonderful your child is--- that they will be gone before they had the chance to make a difference. But this blog, and the people who write to us and support us have taken away that fear by telling us over and over again that they DO know Stella, they WILL remember her, and she HAS changed them. It is all we ever wanted for our daughter…for people to know how special we think she is.
It occurred to me recently that many people who come here know a lot about Stella, but maybe some don’t. So, Aimee and I wanted to tell everyone a bit about our Stella, both before and after diagnosis. This is what we came up with. This Is Stella
Stella was born in Toronto on April 18, 2009. She was our first child.
Stella’s full name is Stella Joy Bruner-Methven (named for her two great-grandmothers, Estelle Mohr & Joy Bruner)
Stella, from birth, was a handful. She had the attention span of a gnat, the energy of triplets and the stubbornness of a mule (or Aries).
Stella crawled at 6 months.
Stella’s first word was “Dog” (she loves our dog , Lucy)
Stella’s first day of daycare, when we picked her up at the end of the day, a staff described her to us as, “a force to be reckoned with”. This has remained our favourite description of her.
Stella was the biter in her infant room. In her first toddler room, she was the pusher and in her second the hair puller. By the time Stella was two we had accumulated 26 incident reports from daycare.
Stella walked at 14 months
Until recently, Stella began every morning at 5 a.m. and was ready to run from the moment her eyes popped open
Stella insisted on picking out her own clothes from the time she was 15 months old
Stella’s favourite foods are/were avocado, waffles, hamburgers, macaroni & cheese, ice cream and butter (which she really believed was a food on its own)
Stella has been on an airplane 12 times (round trip to NYC 3x, Ottawa 1x, Mexico 1x, Pennsylvania 1x)
At 18 months old, Stella could empty the dishwasher and put away all the silverware and plastic bowls/plates. At 20 months she could empty the dryer and help fold. At 21 months she decided it was more fun to just throw those things instead of helping
Stella has been to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls 4 times (5 as of next week)
Stella’s best friend is her cousin Gracie, as well as her buddies Flora and Arin
Stella’s favourite colours (in order) are green, purple and pink
Stella’s favourite TV shows were Dora the Explorer, Olivia, Yo Gabba Gabba and Stella & Sam
Stella’s favourite books are/were Adele & Simon, Mortimer, Yes Yes No No, There’s Going To Be a Baby, Stella & Sam and anything Sesame Street
Stella’s favourite songs are You Could Have Been a Rutabega (Paul Caldwell), Oh Susannah/Stella (Brad Needham), These Are the Sounds The Animals Make and Raise a Little Hell.
Stella’s favourite animals are dogs, cats and monkeys
Stella has been camping twice, horseback riding once, Maple Syruping twice, apple picking twice, swimming dozens of times, to eight different cottages and too many play dates to count
Stella’s favourite sayings were, “I don’t like you”, “Oops, I forgot” and “No”, followed by a giggle and running away.
Stella’s favourite place to visit is Riverdale Farm
Stella has never once in her entire life been afraid of anything
Stella doesn’t believe in the following words: “no”, “can’t” and “never”
Stella’s cancer does not define her
Stella has smiled everyday of her life
Here is a very quick slideshow of Stella from birth to last week. In every single photo, I can see her spirit and light. We hope you can too!.