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Gratitude

September 1, 2010

I’ve been forming this post in my head for weeks and still haven’t managed to be able to sit down and write it out.  I guess having a child that’s mildly sedated sleeping in the crib next to me provides the down time I needed.

When Brock was diagnosed last October, card after card poured into our mailbox.  Some with short simple messages promising to pray for us, others with long paragraphs offering condolences, prayers, help in any way.  One of the first cards I received was from my high school band director.  Someone I hadn’t heard from or talked to in over 10 years.  In it, he included a check for $200 and a near-promise of bodily injury if I so much as worried for one second about sending a thank you card.  I was overwhelmed.  How had he found out about Brock?  How did he have my address?  How could he just GIVE us $200?

He was the first of many.  Our former Sunday School class (we’d changed churches just 2 months before Brock was diagnosed) pooled almost $600 for us and put it onto 2 Visa debit cards.  I can’t tell you helpful that was, seeing as how we’d be buying most of our meals from the hospital cafeteria for the next 4.5 months.  (I also can’t tell you how quickly we used those up.  Hospital food – t’isn’t cheap)

I’ve been a member of a parenting message board since Jaycie was 4 months old.  All of the women that visited this website had children that were born in February 2006.  By the time Brock was diagnosed they’d been my “friends inside the computer”  for a little over 3 years.  Go ahead, make fun.  But I guarantee anyone who’s reading this that’s connected with someone through a message board or blog “gets it.”  They flooded our mailbox with care packages for Jaycie, posters to decorate Brock’s hospital room, money, and gift cards.  They bought us many many credits for food at Super Suppers.  And even called the owner to see if she’d deliver them to our house (which she did).  Last November, when we thought Brock was living out his final days, 3 of them flew and/or drove many hours to come see him (and me).  This past May they got together and bought me a kindle.  A kindle, y’all!

One very sweet lady from our former church made it her mission to make Jaycie feel loved.  She sent her something in the mail every. single. day. for 9 months.  And the only reason she stopped is because a friend of mine went through a tragedy and I asked if she’d transfer her love and daily mail surprises to that friend’s little girls.

Last November the director of Jaycie’s preschool pulled me aside one day and told me that Jaycie’s tuition had been taken care of for the rest of the year.  I cried big fat tears in her office.  This past Sunday she stopped me in a hallway teeming with people between services and told me that a scholarship had been provided for Jaycie’s tuition this year as well.  Again, with the tears.

Monday night, the night before Brock’s surgery, we took Jaycie to gymnastics.  The place was stuffed to the brim with parents (Jay and I included) eager to watch their super special little snowflakes do cartwheels on brightly colored mats.  The ‘fullness’ of the place was making me hyperventilate.  Germs!  In a confined space!  With my neutropenic child wanting to get down and crawl around!  Jay was carrying him around (as far from the crowd as we could get) when the owner of the gym happened to see Brock and his g-j tube peeking out from under his shirt.  He asked Jay about it and so Jay gave him as abreiviated story as is possible.  The man, the owner of the gym, offered to let Brock take free gymnastics classes there for the next year, starting whenever we think he’s ready.  He thought it would be good for Brock, developmentally.  And I totally agree.  And couldn’t thank him enough for his generous offer.

We’ve been showered with so many gifts by so many people.  And I don’t mean just gifts of monetary nature.  There’s the sweet friend who went to the grocery store for me and delivered them to my house.  The new friend whose visited several times, came to sit with us during surgeries, brought us care packages of things as simple as tylenol and sudoku book – all because she knows what it’s like to be living in the hospital.  Another dear friend, a woman old enough to be my mother (wow – I hope I didn’t insult her with that aside) sat with us in the waiting room of the PICU the night we moved him down there….or the night we intubated him…or maybe both.  My memory fails me during those dark, stressful days.  But I know she was there, crying with us, praying with us.  I remember her being in his room on the hem/onc floor, crying and praying for him not long before we moved to the PICU.  There are so so many more stories I could tell you – the girl that I went to junior high with who did a photography fundraiser to raise money for us; the group of people that are working to organize a benefit concert for Brock; the friend who brought me breakfast on a Saturday morning.  There’s no way I could possible enumerate every kind thing someone has done for us during the past almost-11 months.

And all of this is not even to mention the things our families have done for us.  God has blessed us with amazing families who have done more for us than I thought possible.  While the kindness of friends and strangers has been encouraging to me, the support from our families has been a lifeline.  We literally could not have made it this far without their help.  But that’s a whole ‘nother post.

God’s taught me so much about generosity through all of you.  He’s used you to bless our family.  He’s taught me to look for ways to be kind to someone, to give more than I thought I could give.

Thank you.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. melissa permalink
    September 1, 2010 10:51 pm

    Next time we drive to OKC it WILL be for a happier occasion.

    And we’ll be prepared for the tolls. 😉

  2. Jill permalink
    September 2, 2010 6:56 am

    Beautifully written. Love you guys.

  3. Jenna permalink
    September 2, 2010 2:06 pm

    Ditto what Melissa posted!

  4. Barbaqra & Danny permalink
    September 4, 2010 12:40 am

    Thank you for being able to say it so well, you have honored those who have helped and at the same time might have given someone who reads this an idea on how they can reach out to another family going through what you are going through.
    God has blessed you all in the midst of your fight, we are honored to pray and do our part.

  5. Melanie permalink
    September 4, 2010 11:33 am

    Thank you for sharing the beauty of your heart. God’s ways are not our ways, but you are letting His light shine through you even in the most difficult times.

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