Friday, January 16, 2009

when good things happen to people who are going through hard things

(that title was way too long)

1. Geo's homemade soup
2. a thousand (more probably) prayers
3. already having a weekend getaway planned during which to process bad news
4. wholesome food
5. quiet elegance
6. attentive help
7. sleep
8. returning to snow
9. the way my in-laws showed up because we needed them to, we needed to tell them
10. the fact that Shane's family had a better outcome with his Dad's cancer and how being mindful of that gave me hope
11. the way Shane's brother showed up the next day so we could tell them, too. the strength of emotion and bonds of brotherhood
12. how my extended family knew there was something even though we couldn't tell them until we told our kids--their hugs about undid me, but they held me up at the same time
13. how much my kids love their dad
14. our kids' goodness and strength
15. the love and support of both of our families
16. the beautiful and sacred priesthood blessing bestowed on Shane by his father
17. the immediate prayers of friends and family and even people we've never met (blogger sisters, Segullah sisters, Facebook friends I haven't seen for decades)
18. the speed with which people put Shane's name on the prayer rolls of temples everywhere
19. phone calls and e-mails,
20. love and fierce hugs
21. generosity in the form of
22. an broken appliance replaced with a new one by someone who wanted so badly to fix this, but couldn't, so just had to do something
23. the other half of the set (which had also been broken for ages but in a less drastic way) being replaced by one more "fixer" who just needed to do something
24. how not having to worry about any of that--simply having it all taken care of--was such a relief to me
25. the heartfelt note of an anonymous former student who touched our hearts and donated enough money to cover the exact amount of Shane's medical deductible
26. how meals started arriving immediately even though we told everyone they didn't have to
27. donations of others--all anonymous--toward the skyrocketing medical bills
28. more generous donations that removed my worry over how to put groceries on the table during the time I will have to take off of work during surgery, recovery and treatment
29. the advice, comfort and encouragement of friends who are also cancer survivors
30. having the holidays arrive on the heels of getting the news so we had some time together as a family--a little bit of downtime--and were able to just hole up together at times and enjoy each others' company
31. the tender mercies that came to and from Luke:
32. knowing he would be blessed for his service
33. being very aware of how blessed we are for his service
34. how he is blessed to be with wonderful companion to comfort him and give him a blessing
35. how he was able to walk along the shore while he processed the news
36. how it was no coincidence that the lovely sister who had picked them up when they arrived on the island mentioned she had bone cancer and was willing to invite them to dinner and talk about it with Luke that very night he heard the news
37. the wisdom of Luke's mission president in allowing us to call him that same day
38. how Luke told us the exact reassuring things we had both written to him (but which he hadn't yet received or read)
39. how it turns out that lovely couple who helped Luke that day are friends of some friends of ours
40. how wonderful it was to hear Luke's voice
41. and feel his faith
42. and his love for us
43. how three months of photos arrived on the day when we were both sick with worry over the pending results of the MRI and how they entertained us during almost all of the two-hour wait to hear them
44. the feeling of relief we felt when we heard the news wasn't any worse
45. the seemingly (but not) little things:
46. someone taking our laundry when the washer broke and before it was replaced
47. Richard and Mary bringing pizza in on the night of our appointment for the MRI
48. the Marvels and friends
49. Meridith and her constant notes and leftovers and recipes
50. the peace I felt with each and every snowstorm
51. Deliveries at my door:
52. Godiva chocolate from California
53. a beautiful fabric covered notebook in which to track my blessings from and angel friend who read my blog
54. an entire cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory
55. an 18-year-old boy who brought us food all on his own
56. how is married and moved away sister and her family brought dinner in to us two days later w/o even knowing
57. how my cousin and her husband were so persistent in calling us (even during the busy holidays) and encouraging us to ask more questions--and make sure they were the right questions--now as opposed to later
58. how that simple act changed the course of Shane's care and our entire experience in very significant ways
59. the very feeling of peace and calm we have every time we walk in to the Huntsman Cancer Institute
60. how our insurance year runs September - August instead of January - December so in spite of all the extra out-of-pocket costs we will still save a bundle
61. having such excellent care and expertise (Huntsman) less than an hour away
62. living in a land in which such care is available and such expertise is fostered and encouraged
63. the attentiveness, kindness, friendliness and professionalism of every single person we've met there
64. having an entire team of experts look at Shane's case
65. the entire teamwork method there--it makes a difference
66. how having wireless Internet there provides an excellent distraction and makes it so I'm never alone (there always seems to be someone on) while I'm waiting for Shane
67. the passion the sarcoma team brings to their respective jobs
68. the power of prayer and fasting
69. the willingness people have to do both
70. the gorgeous views we've seen to and from Huntsman
71. blizzards
72. night skylines
73. sunsets
74. that we've managed to travel safely despite the inclement weather
75. how we came home Wednesday to a delicious and hot meal from my visiting teachers
76. and a clean kitchen at the hands of my darling daughter
77. a really really clean kitchen--she did an excellent job!
78. how one of my dearest friends Becky keeps keeping my two youngest kids
79. even though she has five of her own
80. and she feeds them
81. and lets them spend the night when we are too late
82. and keeps offering to do so as needed over and over again
83. (and means it)
84. how our friend Georgie does the same for Z~
85. how a handful of our friends did all of our Christmas shopping (and Shane's birthday shopping for me) because we were too shell-shocked to do it ourselves
86. how one of our friends (and cancer survivor) told us we would learn so much through this experience
87. and reminded us to write it all down
88. Shane's sister who flew here from Illinois
89. his other siblings who have visited and stayed close
90. my sister who wanted to come, but couldn't when the blizzard hit
91. my mother for so many things:
92. running errands for us--especially as we frantically tried to pull everything together to go up to Huntsman for the first time
93. watching out over my health
94. how she--and so many--are just waiting for us to need something and allow them to help us
95. the comfort of the Holy Ghost
96. the eternal truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
97. the antics of our neighbor's cat Capone that make me laugh
98. all the calls and e-mails and visits from Shane's former roommates and former students and the parents of his students
99. the fact that both of us have been blessed with a sense of humor
100. knowing that care, prayers and blessings will continue--this is still just the beginning

1 comment:

  1. I had absolutely no idea and my prayers go out to you and your family.

    What an absolutely beautiful list! And kudos to your stake president. I'm going to compose my own list this weekend, just to keep everything in perspective.

    Thank you!