Mandeville, LA – Last Christmas we were asked by Hogs For The Cause folks if we wanted to volunteer the Brotherhood to assist a family struggling with cancer and provide their children with gifts. We happily said yes and were introduced to Alley Zoua vue. Alley lost her daughter Evylah to brain cancer in October of 2015 and is still dealing with the loss including overwhelming medical expenses. We got the surviving children’s letters to Santa and filled them for Alley. The following note was received shortly after New Year’s and shows the trauma losing a child to cancer can bring but also how charity and love can assist.
Thank you so much,
We have received the pants, and basketball, Mia is in love with them, thank you so very much. Thank you for making it a Christmas for them, I was struggling with how I was going to have enough to get them anything at all . Life has been so hard, and as hard as I try to make ends meet , I feel like I am struggling so hard just to be able to have anything on the side to take them to do anything, I work a lot, but where I live the pay is little, and I go back to school in Jan. I hope that after that I can possibly do more for them, and so they never know that we have no money.
…I have come to forgive and only look towards the future and in hopes that one day I can help other families too. Be able to do what Foundations like yours do, and give children love and to be able to enjoy holidays with their families.
It is hard when they want something, and I don’t have the money to buy them anything. God has been looking after us, and blessing us everyday, though we are not rich, we have a place to sleep, and to know that they are warm . I still remember this time of the year, when we lived in Minnesota, where Evylah was getting treatment there at the Childrens Amplatz.
Holidays were extremely hard, because it reminds me of the pain that we suffered so much while Evylah was sick. We had stayed with their dads family, only to have them kick us out, then only to move in with another of his family members, and only to feel the tension there, and only to know that they were waiting to kick us out after Christmas. I can tell you the amount of pain we went through, the tears I shed, for my children, the pain as I watched my sweet Evylah weak, and cold going through radiation, scared:
Where are we going to go?
Where will our children sleep?
The lack of empathy from their dad’s side, the pain that is scarred in my heart forever, when holidays come; I can still see my daughter’s face, shivering, cold, and how stressed she felt from the steroids she was on, that caused her to feel hungry constantly and made her feel like she was angry all the time. I prayed daily, and I worked, and I can still remember being on the phone early mornings talking to my sister in WI, and crying to her, what did we do that this happened?
Tears flood my face at work trying not to think about getting that phone call that Evylah was no longer with us. I would come home, to see nothing but sadness on Jerry’s face, their dad. I can see that even he knew very well that sooner or later we were going to be forced to be out in the cold. We had no money, and only no support from his immediate family there. I think due to culture, it caused fear in his family, and I don’t think their actions were intentional, but I think they just didn’t know how to help us.
Losing Evylah was so difficult for us. Evylah’s sister’s were so amazing, I couldn’t of asked for any other child to be her sisters. Alba at the time was only 4 and Mia was 8. Never once did Mia or Alba ever ask why we gave most of our attention to Evylah, they were never jealous, nor angry. They just were the best kids ever. Alba, was the baby, but she knew her sister was sick, and she allowed Evylah to be the baby sister, as she took the role of the bigger sister. Mia, never once questioned us, anything either, she took on the role of looking after Alba, and keeping her busy so that we could do what we needed to do to take care of their sister. I still look back and think, how did I get so blessed to have two girls that were so brave, and was so willing to help each other, and allow us, their parents to do whatever it took to take care of Evylah?
On October 10th, 2015 Evylah would go to heaven that morning at 8:04am ( the time is her dad’s birthday) and she left 4 days before my birthday. She was born July 29th 2009 – and Mia was June 29th 2006. I always felt that Mia and Evylah were like twins from heaven. Alba was born May 15th, 2011. She was our surprise baby. When Evylah passed, our families were ripped apart. His family felt they were doing the right thing for us, due to culture. But I didn’t believe in it. I wanted to do what I felt was the right way for me to honor my daughter, because I knew in my heart where she was going, and where she was. Before she left to heaven, I had many dreams of going to heaven. The first time it was when our Father in Heaven came and took me and Evylah to heaven. I was so scared, but he reminded me not to be afraid. I was afraid to step on to the blue skies in heaven, and he in his gentle voice reminded me not to be afraid, that everything will be okay, and that my daughter would be okay. And the last dream in heaven, was when Evylah took me. She was her normal 5 year old self, that was the age she was diagnosed, and she was using her right arm that was paralyzed and waving over to heaven and telling me, “mommy, I want to go there !” I remember waking up that morning and crying, and Evylah was in so much pain from her muscle spasms that I could hear her saying, ”I want to go!” I was so heart broken, and that was when I knew it was time to accept it and let her go .
We moved back to WI, but to Shawano, where we could not have the reminders of the sadness we went through and we laid her at rest here, and in the summer we can visit as much as we can, and we go biking there often and she gives us signs from heaven ALL the time, we will receive coins, from heaven, because Evylah was a big coin collector. Just a couple weeks ago, I heard in my living room, my sweet Evylah call for me, it was the most beautiful voice ever, and I had been praying to hear her voice, and I know she knew I was missing her, and behind me I heard her call for me, “Mom.” It was just like as if she was right there behind me. I believe that I may not see her, but I KNOW she is here walking side by side with us everyday. I can feel her, and I don’t know how to explain it to anyone, but I know that, she is our little Angel from heaven, and I am so proud to have had the chance to have her as my daughter and to know that I have an Angel with us everyday, watching over her sisters, dad, and everyone.
I know that fear makes us do things that we don’t understand, but I have come to forgive and only look towards the future and in hopes that one day I can help other families too. Be able to do what Foundations like yours do, and give children love and to be able to enjoy holidays with their families.
God bless everyone there, and I know Evylah is watching, and if she could, she would tell you herself too, for giving her sisters a wonderful Christmas, and not forgetting about them . Thank you so very much !!!
God Bless and Happy New Year,
Alley Zoua Vue