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I didn’t know you could fit love in an envelope

I took Peyton on Tuesday to a playgroup at the Children’s Cancer Center. There were about 10-12 moms there with their kids, and the center had volunteers there to keep the kids busy with crafts and games so the moms could hole up in a room and talk with other grown ups. It was both a great experience and a terribly depressing one. I so enjoyed having moms to talk to who connect with what I’m going through and feeling, and we didn’t talk about cancer the whole time, which was sort of a relief. However, some of the parents I met have children who have grim looking futures. I met one mom who’s daughter has a 1% chance of survival of a year…and she’s already made it 8 months. I know that it’s in God’s hands, that it’s His decision and will for these children, but it’s so hard to accept. I realized on the drive home yesterday that a part of me didn’t want to get to know these other families, I didn’t want to get to know their children. I didn’t want to have a personal connection to them because if they die then it’s going to crush me. I feel bad because I have the comfort of knowing that even though cancer is an uncertain thing, I do have the statistics on my side. I can look at an 80% survival rate and feel positive about the outcome of her treatment. I know that some of these families don’t have that comfort, they don’t have the favorable numbers on their side, and they’re fighting a losing battle. It breaks my heart. Every day. For every family, and just the thought of it wrings me dry emotionally.

Feeling a little wretched, I get a call from my friend Maryellen this morning. We laughed and just chatted and it was good. Then she tells me that the landscaping business she and her husband own has a particular client that they’ve told about Peyton. This client is the regional vp of the Cracker Barrels in the area! She printed off the postings from this website about our visits, our interaction with the staff and how much CB has meant to Peyton during her treatment. He gave Maryellen coupons for free meals! That’s awesome. Especially awesome because in about 50 days she has to start another round of steroids, those will come in handy, but also awesome because I needed that positive pick me up. I just needed that feel good happy moment. Maryellen won’t know how much her phone call helped me this morning until she reads this post.

As I was walking out the door to get the kids from school, I looked through the mail and saw an envelope from a person I didn’t recognize. I opened it and started to cry immediately. It was full of gift cards, for gas, movies, meals, wal-mart. There was a letter, from Zackary’s Stocking. It is a family here in Brandon who lost their son Zachary to a brain tumor last year, they have started up this gifting project to help other families going through the pediatric cancer struggle. The letter touched my heart, but the message behind it just humbled me in so many ways. This is a family who has lost so greatly and has turned that loss into a way to spread love and support and encouragement to others. They sent along a small verse booklet, and I was so moved to see that no matter how deep the grief, the Lord was able to use it in a powerfully positive way. Sherry Zachary let me know in a brief side note that she’d been to Peyton’s website and I just hope she reads this and knows that on a day I needed it, she brought a little boost of love into my life.

I took my envelope of love and stopped by to see my friend Lisa Greenaker as she finished up her day of teaching. I promptly sat on the floor and started bawling, overwhelmed by everything, the good and the bad. She took one look at me and asked me if I was on my period, and offered me Midol. I love her because she makes me laugh when I most need it. She talks me off my mental ledges and brings me back to the good. Her family has been going through their own crisis with her husband’s spinal surgery and subsequent recovery, and yet she makes the time to let me boo hoo on her shoulder. These are friends. These are God’s angels on my shoulder.

I guess I’d like to say that this means I won’t have more days of emotional fallout. But I know that’s not true. I just know that when I do, my angels are there to help pick me up, dust me off and prepare to face the next day.

I think this says it all.
John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

f.r.o.G….fully relying on God

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