When Aziza had just turned 5 years old, we spent a beautiful day at our favorite beach. The weather was super hot and the lake was the perfect temperature for cooling off in. In Aziza's mind, the sand was the perfect texture for eating. Rolling the ball back and forth with her sister was a brand new skill and one that we were so proud of. Being able to tolerate and enjoy the sand under her feet was another milestone achieved as just months before she would not walk on the sand at all.
The day of our outing was a Saturday. I had just returned to work after taking a year off to be home with Aziza. The day before this outing, Aziza had undergone a CT scan to determine more information about the "small lump" that I thought they had found in her abdomen during an ultrasound the week prior. I had no idea the news that we were about to receive just days later. It would be just two days after this outing that I would be told that Aziza had a grapefruit sized tumor that was taking up much of her upper abdominal cavity and that she was to report to the Pediatric Oncology clinic immediately. Looking back at this video I feel so naïve ... how our life changed overnight. The coroner involved in investigating the cause of Aziza's death suggested that her sudden illness may have actually been related to this tumor that had been removed in 2011. But we may never have a definitive answer about that. Anyway, this happy-go-lucky video was originally posted to Facebook the day after our lovely beach adventure and the day before our picture perfect world started to very slowly crumble around us. Click here if you are having trouble viewing the video.