I remember back when I taught 4th grade at Daniel Pratt with my partner in crime, Angie. She was always a mover and a shaker...there was always something going on in her life...camping, horseback riding, traveling, concerts, tour d'beach, parties, family events, professional opportunities. You name it, Angie was involved, still is, in fact. I remember thinking how cool it would be to be that busy and have that much fun. Well, be careful what you wish for!
My life has become just as happy and wonderful and hectic as my dear friend Angie's life. I'm sure it's a combination of factors...marrying Kevin, adopting Jack, new pets, travels, work, you get the idea. I think what it is most of all, though, is the ability to appreciate the small things in life. You have to appreciate the gift in every day that God sends. Part of the enjoyment in receiving a gift is appreciating the packaging. It says something about the giver. You can see the extra time and care taken to wrap it in love. Sometimes the packaging is an indication of what is inside, but other times it is not. You just have to be patient. I have learned to appreciate the packaging that reveals each and every gift God sends my way. They are chosen especially for me.
Perhaps one of the most important gifts God has given me is patience. It's been wrapped in many different layers...The week before I met Kevin, I was brokenhearted over something I had planned for my life, but God hadn't. I remember praying to God that I would be patient if he could just help me find peace in the wait. He did that. God wrapped patience in the adoption of our precious little Jack. God wrapped patience in the corn salad that fell out of the fridge in my favorite Southern Living at Home bowl five minutes after I made it for dinner a couple weeks ago. Most recently, God has wrapped patience in cancer. Cancer has taught me to be patient with schedules, physical limitations of my mind and body, strangers who ask silly questions, loved ones who just want to help, but most especially...God's plan.
It's taken me so long to post this blog update, because I traveled to Salt Lake City for Academic Meetings and Graduation last week. I missed three connections on my way out there, and it took me 16 hours to end my travels. God provided the patience and strength I needed, though. I just wanted to get there that day, and I almost did...12:30am. Heather's tip about avoiding airplane germs was right on. The medicine I received from my doctor for my yucky cold/cough kept me well for the most part. I enjoyed "seeing" awesome work buddies that I get to work with daily, but have little time to catch up with, and I met my new Assessment team that I'll be working with.
I was especially excited to meet my blogging buddy, Kim. Kim is a breast cancer survivor I met through my friend Melanie. We had an instant connection after being "virtually" introduced. We enjoyed a great night out at the Gateway including dinner at Typhoon and scarf shopping for me. Fun! Fun! I can't wait to see them and hang out again. Maybe we'll all have hair by then. :) All in all it was a great trip!
The next excuse I have for not blogging sooner is that I had chemo this week. It gets harder and harder each time. Kevin was out of town on work. My friend, Jane, was going to drive me; but Mom's schedule worked out just in time. I'm glad she was here. I really needed her this week. Mom took care of me (including cleaning my refrigerator from top to bottom and making tuna salad and potato salad), and Grandma took care of Jack (picking him up from school, feeding him dinner, playing at her house). Monday was ok. I was able to read a little, but I also took a nap in the chemo recliner. That's new...guess it's my depleting energy. Tuesday was terrible. Tuesdays have become the worst day of my chemo week. They are just so hard on me. I can't get comfortable. I feel sick. I just feel like a blob of yuck! Thinking about it makes me sick. Wednesday was quick. After having a little lunch with Mom on Wednesday, she went home to Alabama; and I took a long, much needed nap until Kevin made it in from Texas. I hadn't seen him in over a week. So happy to have him home!
I am constantly gaining weight from the steroids and chemo regimen I am on. I am reminded that I'm fighting for my life, not my waistline. My bottom eyelashes are completely gone. I don't have enough on top to wear mascara. I have bags under my eyes and new wrinkles around my mouth, but I will survive this. I know it.
Our lives have been touched by so many kind souls recently..phone calls from the Egans, Roys, Postens, Father Tom and many other friends and coworkers...cards from my nieces Katelyn and Erin and friends like Carol and Laura and Mrs. Jane. Jack's pre-school teachers who have extra patience with him on hard days...friends and neighbors who bring food they've especially prepared for us or invited Jack over to play so we can rest...CeeCee kept Jack overnight while both of us were out of town last week, and spoiled him rotten! Each time I go to the West Clinic I am reminded of the special gift Jerri and Jill have in taking care of their very sick patients.
I especially miss my little sister Amanda right now. She really wanted to come visit this weekend, but her little Mallory is sick. We decided it's best that she not come. Mallory needs her more than I do, and I can't afford to be exposed to anything Amanda may be carrying. I know she is really upset about this. I'll be ok. No worries. I'd love for you to come again when you can. Maybe I'll be able to enjoy your visit better. :)
~Love and Patience