July 1, 2012
So do not fear, for I am with you
Do not be dismayed, for I am your God
I will strengthen you and help you
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
I am sitting here watching Madeleine get some much-needed rest. She had a fever (and ice packs to help) again last night, but it was better than the night before. As the week goes on, more tiredness and other symptoms tend to set in, but the good news is that we are over half-way through this stay, and we will be able to celebrate heading for home again on the 4th of July.
During these long hours at the hospital, I have had some time to think about the many people who have gone out of their way to help make our life a little easier over these past months…Honestly, I don't know what we would have done without all of the kindness we have encountered.
I am so thankful for the many people from our church (“The Cove” Presbyterian), and also fellow teachers, neighbors, and friends who have been making and bringing home-cooked meals for our family every week for the past several months (!). How can we say thank you enough? (And a special thank you to our friend Kirsten who organized so much of that). I can’t tell you how comforting and helpful those meals have been for us as a family during this time.
When we have been weary from long, daily appointments and the ups and downs of this season, we are so thankful for the various groups from the school community where I teach who pooled together to give us gift cards to restaurants, as well as gift cards to stores that have delicious already-prepared meals (such as Olivers, Whole Foods, and Pacific Market). What thoughtful, practical gifts people have given.
There have been friends who have run errands, weeded our garden, baked us cookies, packed up special goodie bags for chemo trips, taken my place during swim lessons, and helped accompany Madeleine during her chemo or radiation appointments. There have been fellow-teachers and assistants who have helped me out in my classroom during the intense times of these past months. There have been teachers at Montgomery who have given Madeleine extra grace on assignments, offered encouragement and “pulled for her,” or who even helped by doing extra tutoring when she wasn’t well enough to make it to class. There have been employers who have graciously given time off, as well as extra grace for some of the challenges we have had to face during these times. And there were other friends (from David’s old office) who, when they found out there was no Wi-fi at the hospital in Riverside, loaned Madeleine a Wi-fi equipped laptop and I-Pad, and then gave her an I-Pad as a gift when she returned home from her first round at Riverside. Finally, there have been family and extended family who have helped out as well -- I want to especially thank my sister (and her family for encouraging her in this) for all that she has done to support us.
At the gym where Madeleine works, and where we've been members for years (Montecito Heights Health & Racquet Club), they even did a "Spin-a-Thon" yesterday in order to support Madeleine. Thank you to Robert and Cindy for organizing that; to the gym for agreeing to host it; and to everyone who participated!
Finally, there have been countless people who are praying for us and for Madeleine. Some of these are people we know well, others are friends of friends, some are a part of the church we attend and others are members of other church groups---or are people we may never meet. Thank you for those ongoing prayers! (Thank you also to the pastor and elders of City Life Fellowship who came over to our house and prayed with Madeleine the day before we first went down to Riverside for treatment.)
While this has been a difficult season, these are the things that have made it more bearable. Thanks so much to all of you.