This has been an emotionally taxing week for my family and me. On Tuesday, July 22, LeAnn Huntley Edmonds-Horton lost her battle to colon cancer. Not only was she the mother to two of my stepchildren, Lauren and Hayley, she was my friend. For LeAnn to embrace me as she did is a true testament to her character and her willingness to work together for the sake of her children. LeAnn's personality was captured perfectly on camera: accommodating, sweet, and overall a lovely person. There are many people who are affected by her death but Lauren, Hayley, and LeAnn's parents are the ones who are affected significantly beyond anyone else, and I ask that you allow them to grieve as they see fit because even though life goes on and smiles and laughter exist, the pain in their hearts is constant.
I will never replace LeAnn and nor will I ever try but I hope that I can take her example and love her girls with even an ounce of the love she exhibited. I am truly blessed to have had LeAnn in my life and she lives on in my beautiful stepdaughters.
As evident from this episode, you can see that the women are questioning why I am without my husband half of the time. I understand that this is a unique situation but I love my Hayley and Jimmy and we were willing to sacrifice a few months of seeing each other part-time in order for Hayley to graduate high school in California while being close to her ailing mother (who was undergoing chemo at the time). It is not a perfect situation but it was always temporary and done out of the love we have for our family. I don't see the need to judge this negatively, if I was viewing my situation from an outsider perspective, I would think I would be in awe of the sacrifice we made on behalf of our marriage for the long term emotional health of our child.
In memory of LeAnn, my stepdaughter, Lauren, and I have teamed up to create a Hashtag Hat that says #cancersucks in LeAnn's favorite colors, purple and light blue. These will be available soon on shop.meghankedmonds.com, with proceeds directed to the organization "Fight Colorectal Cancer," a charity that donates $.93 of every dollar directly to fund colorectal cancer research. This was chosen by LeAnn's parents who have continued LeAnn's legacy of including and embracing me in their family. On behalf of LeAnn's family, we hope that you all remember LeAnn with fond memories of her on the show and hope that you can celebrate her life for the wonderful person she was.