Sunday, June 22, 2014

GIVE A LITTLE BIT


Throughout all of the surgeries and treatments, I always had the gifts of family and friends to get me through.  Mike, as always, was my strength, my rock.  My beautiful children were my inspiration.  My Dad and Sheila were my comfort.  My friends were my hope.  All of them gave me so many gifts with their time and their love and their caring.  They also gave me actual gifts!  I can’t believe the things I got and each and every one was special.  I kept a list of all of these gifts so that I could send out a thank you card to each person.

During my treatments I received angel ornaments, pjs, blankets, books, tons of flowers, magazines, candies, muffins, a huge assortment from my work colleagues with movies, bath bubbles, games, magazines and gift cards; bagels, jewellery, bathrobe, scrapbooking stuff, plants and of course my victory bell and my Victoria’s quilt that I still drag around with me everywhere.

When I was in the hospital for my isolation stay I received many books, flowers, scrapbooking stuff and lots of folks brought food to Mike and the kids.  That was so very much appreciated.  After the mastectomy, there were so many plants and flowers the house was starting to look like either a funeral home or a flower shop!  Also much food and more angels.  After the hysterectomy and the reconstruction surgery there were more flowers and plants, creams, lotions, bubble bath, magazines, books and nail stuff.  There were also several times where our friends gave rides to our kids to hockey or school events when we could not do it.

And the cards!  Wow there are over 100 cards that I received in the mail.  There is nothing like getting an old fashioned snail mail card with a hand written message in it.  I saved them all and read them from time to time.  Some are encouraging, some are funny, some give advice, some are to let me know someone is thinking about me or praying for me, many offer some kind of alcoholic beverage when I am up to it, many wish me to get better, some send hugs and others have such incredible words that I can’t believe are directed at me.  I mean how often do you really sit down and think about yourself in the way others might see you?  I mean really see you.  So many times we might compare ourselves to others in the way that we look, or act or the type of car we drive, or the home we live in or the job we have.  We might often wonder what others think about us more in these superficial ways but to think in more meaningful terms is probably not something we do very often.  However, I do think our perspective changes as we get older and our priorities start to shift.

Friends - Summer 2013
When I look at the words that my friends, family and colleagues have written to me it makes me feel like I am not worthy.  I am no hero.  I just did what I had to do like I have always done.  Mike told me that although anyone would do what they had to do, it was the way I did it that touched people.  Then it makes me feel proud of myself and that maybe I am all of those things that people said.  Then I think of my parents and feel so thankful that they raised me the way they did and I hope that I have passed these things on to my own children.  I would like to share some of these words that are comforting but at the same time make me feel uncomfortable in that I can’t believe it is me they are talking about.

  • Thank you for being such an example of courage and optimism for us to emulate.
  • I am so proud of you; your gratitude, spirit, and confidence inspire me every day.
  • You are our constant hero.
  • You remain an inspirational mentor.
  • Your strength, courage and tenacity have been awe-inspiring.  Thanks for being such a great role model.
  • Your optimistic and cheerful spirit will see you through.
  • You are an inspiration in strength and spirit.
  • Your positive attitude, your determination to get your healthy life back and your wonderful ability to put things in perspective are amazing.
  • I am always amazed at your courage and strength.
  • Your serenity, courage and wisdom are an inspiration.
  • Your great attitude inspires me.
  • I honestly believe that your positive outlook has actually given us all much hope, joy and peace and to take time to reflect on all of our lives and attitudes.  Thank you for this.
  • Your inner strength, positive attitude, compassionate nature and constant drive to enrich the lives of others around you make you one of the most caring people I know.
  • You have such an endless well of strength, good cheer and confidence that this cancer thing doesn’t have a chance.

These words are gifts in themselves.  The best gifts.  On the days when I felt alone or at rock-bottom I could always draw on these words and they would lift me up.  They always will.


Give a Little Bit - Roger Hodgson (Supertramp)


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