It has taken me a couple weeks or so to gather my words for this. I originally had thoughts on the matter before Stevie left this world. But…after finding out that Stevie Lynn Stock passed away last week, my heart has felt heavy. Even saying her name is almost too tender to say out loud.
I began following her story just one month ago. Not long after they found out her diagnosis and she had just celebrated her 3rd birthday. My heart aches. My heart feels so much love for a complete stranger.
In April of 2020, Stevie was diagnosed with a large mass on her brain and a form of cancer called DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). I began to follow her story in May and tragically she took her last breath on May 27th at 1:05pm. My heart sank in a way I can’t explain. As a mother, you just can’t fathom that amount of pain that any mother would or should even have to go through. It’s unimaginable and painful to even write about.
I am mommy to Olivia. She is 3. She loves to dance, she loves to dress up in her Disney Princess dresses and loves to read. My Olivia loves life so much. She is both gentle and fierce. She is at times shy, but super outgoing and radiates happiness and joy. She is a very smart girl who loves school and loves to be outdoors. My favorite thing is when I tell her “I love you to the moon”, and she tells me “I love you to the stars”. She is my baby. She is my everything. I am her mom, and she chose me to her mommy forever. For this I am eternally in love with her and grateful.
It’s hard for me at times. She is at an age where she likes to test me and really push my buttons. It truly overwhelms me a lot. It takes a lot of patience to parent a sassy 4 year old girl. This gets the best of me sometimes and not in the best of ways. I struggle with yelling or snapping easily when I am stressed or overwhelmed. It’s something I work on daily as a mother and strive every day to be a better momma to her. I know many other momma’s struggle with this too; we are not alone in this common struggle. It’s hard sometimes to keep our cool and patience when life gets crazy. But, I want to change my way of parenting from how I was parented as a child. So much of how I was parented, is what has led to the person I am today.
I try my hardest to be a good momma to my Olivia. I try my hardest to break the chain of negative ways and to parent better. I’m not perfect but I am giving it my all. I apologize when I am wrong. I explain why she is disciplined instead of just disciplining her. I take the time to talk to her about our feelings. I take more deep breaths and think of how I want to say something to her. In other words, I think before I react. I try to do better every day. If I make a mistake; well, I’m human and I apologize and tell her that mommy can do better next time. We have to explain these things to our children and be upfront with them. It’s our duty to show them that it’s ok to make mistakes but that we must learn from them. I really believe in this kind of parenting as it benefits both your child and your personal growth as a parent. I didn’t experience this kind of parenting style as a child. Parenting was just different back then.
When I came across Stevie’s story and how insanely strong and brave and kind her mother was during the whole process, it made me reflect. I literally took a step back and thought I can be better. Even more so. Here is this momma going through grief, experiencing her last days with her sweet angel, knowing what would happen. I have read every story and post of her feelings on the matter. I don’t know her personally but both her and Stevie have left a lasting impact on my life in such a profound way. It has made me realize that our time on earth is precious and relatively short. We have to give it our all while we are here.
I don’t know her personally but both her and Stevie have left a lasting impact on my life in such a profound way.
I am choosing to appreciate the smaller things and cherish these moments with my Olivia while she is still little. Often, I take these moments for granted and don’t really take the time to enjoy the moment or even to be in the moment. I can’t believe Olivia is 4 and will be 5 at the end of this year. I could dwell on the past and dwell on the what ifs. But instead I am choosing to live in the now and begin to move in a more positive direction.
Every breath I take is for Olivia. Everything I do; I do it for her. I cannot imagine a day without her. While my heart breaks and aches heavily for Ashley Stock. Her bravery and the whole process she went through and is still going through with losing her Stevie, has brought new perspective and new meaning of what life is all about. I know our life can end in any moment. I know we could loose the ones we love in an instant. While that is every person’s nightmare, it also makes me realize we have to live, like really just live freely and happily.
We can’t spend our lives being angry. We can’t and shouldn’t dwell on the past. We have to be present in the present and we must learn to forgive. I am practicing patience and gratitude everyday. I am raising a little human and I want her to be brave, kind, loving and have a beautiful soul, long after I am gone. I pray that she always has a beautiful soul and heart.
Ashley…How you could be so brave and selfless during this hardest time in your life is beyond my comprehension. But you are the example of compassion and love and you really do exude a kindness to others like I have never seen. I don’t know you but I feel so connected as a mother. You and your family are forever in my thoughts and prayers. I pray for God to give you comfort and the utmost love during this chapter of your life and that he surrounds you with the light of love. I know Stevie will be with you forever until you meet again.
The stars truly are meant for Stevie and her impeccable beauty and everlasting soul.
Please help raise awareness. You can learn more about DIPG here: https://www.stjude.org/disease/diffuse-intrinsic-pontine-glioma.html