|Violet Jo and I-both recovering from a cold|
As I walked around the produce section it really hit me that I haven't done this in so long. I've had to rely on others to do that for me. Do you know how that feels? I like to do everything myself and before getting cancer I never asked for help. I never really needed help. So I would say it is incredibly humbling. As I made my way down the aisles of our local grocery store, everyone was so friendly and smiled. I sometimes forget what I look like and I appreciate the smiles and nice comments. Just a normal cancer mom grocery shopping with her baby! As I finished loading the car I was so proud of myself. I did it! Something I'd always taken for granted and today I was so happy I could do it. I am so grateful for the energy I'm gaining back after all of my infusions. I always feel like it's an answer to a prayer when I am able to do my "mom things", but know that in a few days when I receive my next infusion I will go back to relying on others again. All these feelings made me reflect on the service I've witnessed the passed 2 months.
If you've ever been lucky enough to be on the recipient end of so many acts of service, then you will know just how wonderful and good people are. I knew this type of thing existed, and I've always tried to be thoughtful and serve others as needed, but I never knew what it felt like to see what real love and charity can be.
The first month of being diagnosed I would have more than one letter in the mail, a package on my doorstep, and dinner brought over by neighbors EVERY DAY. My entire hallway was lined with about a dozen very thoughtful packages to help me through chemo. Even now, my doorbell rings with a visitor, someone asking to bring dinner over, a text asking to have my boys come play, or a thoughtful gift filled with love and encouragement, etc. still, every day.
I am reminded on a daily basis how GOOD people are. I am reminded on a daily basis how much I am loved by not just family and friends, but by my Heavenly Father. He has sent angels to me and my family. It's so overwhelming- it's so incredible. My church has a large women's organization called Relief Society. I love being part of this group of women because it gives me an opportunity to act as a disciple of Christ- finding ways to help, teach, strengthen, and uplift one another. We don't just sit together at church each Sunday- we follow Christ's example and act with love and compassion for one another. The Relief Society has what's called a compassionate service leader and she is summoned when there is a woman in a particular situation where she is in need like she had a baby or she's ill or a death in the family, etc. The compassionate service leader finds the needs of the woman and asks for volunteers to help. I don't know how to describe what happened when I found out I had cancer but to say there was a swarm of volunteers. My friends and neighbors have been some of my best supporters the past 2 months. They've arranged weekly dinners and I have 4 full sheets of paper filled with these women's name and their availability to watch my kids as needed. When the compassionate service leader brought these list of names to my door, we both just stood there and cried. She said she's never seen such an outpouring of women who want to help. She said she gets texts everyday of women wanting to bring dinners over and of women who still want to add their names to the list of babysitters. The support that I've received from these women in my life has made such a difference in my attitude during the hard days. I feel like these women have my back when I'm not strong-they've lifted me up in more ways than I can describe.
But not just my friends and neighbors- my family as well. My parents have traveled by car or plane to be here for each of my treatments. They've been me when I couldn't be me. They took over my home and filled our kitchen with food too. They entertained the kids so Matt could work and they made sure my needs were met. I'll forever be grateful for supportive parents who have also strengthened me mentally as we took on each new day-especially in the beginning when we weren't sure what my scans would reveal. Matt and my parents have been my #1 support team. They're my caretakers. I feel like I'm burdening and inconveniencing everyone, but these people are still by my side-we're in this until I can say there is no longer evidence of breast cancer and until I can go back to being a healthy mom again.
It really does take a village.
Saying thank you can't ever be enough. I wanted to post this so others can know that people are so good. And from their example makes me want to be better too. I wish I had a photo of every single person and thing brought to our home so I can just show you how my family has been touched by so many.
"Do we believe in Angels? Yes! We believe in angels-heavenly messengers-seen and unseen; and earthly angels who know whom to help and how to help."-Russell M. Nelson