laura packardThere are quite a few bees buzzing around a lot of red, white and blue bonnets, y’all.

        It feels almost dangerous; the air icky, the stings and barbs sharper than surgical steel, the rhetoric as tedious as the continuous punch of an old, circa 1999 voting machine.

            Everywhere you turn, there’s heated talk of doppelgangers, deplorables and diazepam. Questions are being asked without any reasonable, or some may say, believable answers:

            “Can’t a girl just take a sick day?” (Hillary has pneumonia.)

            “Can you lose 15 to 20 pounds by wildly gesticulating in the air?” (Trump passes physical.)

            Fist fights erupt; friends are lost and mean and unthinkable things are said on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. Not to mention, perfectly sane people are threatening to do perfectly insanely, ridiculous things around the dinner table and over glasses of over-sugared sweet tea:

“So what if there aren’t any jobs? If Trump wins I am moving to Nova Scotia, Canada where Cape Breton welcomes all American refugees!”

            “If Hillary wins, I am renouncing my US citizenship, moving to Mexico, and then crossing back into the US as an illegal immigrant. Everything will be free!”

            That’s right, folks. It’s that time again, amongst the all of the callous comments, the utter angst and abnormal ultra-sensitivity, to elect a brand spanking new President of the United States. And speaking of time, oh my, how four years fly by when you are trying to pay the mortgage, heating and air, not so affordable-affordable health care, feed the fam, buy umpteen hundred school notebooks, solid mesh polos, tissue boxes and pencils. And hold out hope you may have a few bucks left over to go out to dinner every once and a while, even ordering a large margarita and/or a few glasses of house cabernet.    

            Only, we forget about it all ….every four years. That it’s always the same old thing. We cry and rejoice or we cry and drown our sorrows (depending on the election outcome) but we do we what always do. We vote. We move on and we make do. We get on with the process of. . . living. The awful things we have been told would happen if the other “guy” won, rarely do. It’s the stuff we aren’t warned about or lectured to . . . the truly uncomfortable things that don’t get a lot of air time or Facebook discussion; the sad stuff out there and out of our control and that we don’t necessarily see coming before it hits. Hard.

            September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness month.

And sometimes perspective in light of all the chaos is tough. Or in the story I am about to tell, tuff stuff.

            Meet Tash Sullivan. He is an adorable and so stinkin’ cuddly cute 8 month old baby boy.

            His parents, Jonathan and Nikole Sullivan relocated here to Beaufort this summer and enrolled their young girls, Sloane and Scout, at Beaufort Academy to start this fall. Only, they haven’t been able to move in, or come to school, just yet.

            See, their baby brother Tash was diagnosed, at eight weeks old, with Leukemia and they’ve been at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis ever since living out of their new home at the Target House.

            Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling or not, can you imagine the intense anxiety, the absolute worry, and the incredible heartbreak of it all? The trying to be strong – for everyone strong – because there are other little ones that need you desperately, too.

            But Team Tash is made of tuff stuff.

            As #TeamTash posted in a meme on their Facebook page (@teamtashtuff), while Tash was in the thick of high dose chemo treatments, “Everyone’s posting their intense political rants and I’m over here like: “Cure Childhood Cancer!!!”


            See, they are super busy over there with their awesome team of oncology nurses and docs getting “tuff” stuff done so these little warriors have a chance to have the brightest future and participate one day in this process, the right we fight hard to protect and hold so dear. No matter what happens this November, the candidates will go back home, staffers will load back on their buses, scrub their smart phones, while the pundits will rinse, wash, repeat.  Only, we are responsible in the end, no matter what happens, for our own communities. No one from the government, no matter which party holds the power, is going to show up at our doors with a magic check and all the answers when we need them the most. Nope. That’s what a community does. We look out for one another and help out however . . . how little . . . how much . . . we can.

            So, next time you are on social media and are overcome and flat out over the nastiness of the political process . . . the name-calling, the bitterness, the vitriol . . . and need a little perspective, follow Tash and his mom’s blog @teamtashtuff.  You’ll walk away with a serious dose of true inspiration in a time of extreme difficulty, where defeat is NOT even a question, hope flows eternal and research is desperately needed to make this a reality for all little warriors everywhere. We can’t control most things, but we can rally around our neighbors when they need us the most.

            Humanity (not political diatribe) at its best lifts and heals, holds and comforts and wishes to leave this place better than we inherited it. We should not tear one another apart, hurt and hide, nor pick and wallow in our differences. If we come together with transparent true light, love and hope for the future, we can move all those proverbial insurmountable mountains. We CAN cure childhood cancer. We CAN do great things. And this is not a political hashtag. We ARE better when we are together.

            We are behind you sweet Tash. No matter what. Stay tuff and come on home. We are all here waiting for you.

            #curepediatriccancer #teamtash #tashtuff #perspective #comeonhome #beaufortiswaiting4u