Wednesday, August 19, 2015

surviving



"...life is hard, unfair, painful.  But life is also guaranteed to offer unexpected and sudden moments of beauty, joy, love, acceptance, euphoria.  It is our ability to recognize and then hold on to the moments of good stuff that allows us to survive, even thrive.  And when we can share the beauty, hope is restored."  Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog






The last week has been filled with both those moments of the hard and the gritty that take you to your knees, and yet, those moments of good have pulled me up again, with enough grace to keep me surviving- and to keep me thriving.  But let me explain...



It started with the grocery fairy making its way to our front door once again, well over a week ago.  It was my father-in-law, Jim, at home with Colton, who answered the door and then called me, while I was out of town with Nolan and Rick.  "The delivery person says he has 30 bags of groceries... hehe.  Is that possible they're all meant for you?"  I assure him they could be.  He goes on to say there is roast beef, and hamburgers, plus snacks, and drinks, and everything in between. With our fridge in the garage having stopped working, we just have the one.  So Jim graciously makes space in his freezer, and fridge for the extras.  The abundance is staggering and our blessings go through the roof. Groceries line our counters, the cupboards, and our stomachs!  Thank you to the grocery god for his provision.  We have no clear idea who it could be?  We're just so thankful and have enjoyed "breaking bread" with others.

Last Tuesday night, I had the honor of having my name nominated to be used on a jersey for an Embrace Breast Cancer awareness event at the Redhawks game.  You can see the players in the bright pink, in front of the stands.  We were fortunate that although it was a hot day, a light breeze provided some relief as did the shade over our seats.  With Rick booked solid with photo shoots, both day and night now, it was Jim, Colton and I who attended the game.















You can see my name, surrounded by other breast cancer "survivors," on the back of the jersey.  They were auctioned off, some during the game, and others afterwards in a live auction.  As much as I would have liked to have one,  it was ok to just see them in person and feel so honored to be a part of it.  Thank you Sanford and the Embrace program for the honor to be included!







But my week was only warming up, with one more big event on the horizon.



“Family was even a bigger word than I imagined, wide and without limitations, if you allowed it, defying easy definition. You had family that was supposed to be family and wasn't, family that wasn't family but was, halves becoming whole, wholes splitting into two; it was possible to lack whole, honest love and connection from family in lead roles, yet to be filled to abundance by the unexpected supporting players.” 

― Deb CalettiThe Secret Life of Prince Charming


Last summer was the 10th and "the last," Cully's Kids big event weekend.  But the one sentiment everyone clung too, was how much they would miss all the people who poured forth so much time and energy helping, creating, organizing, volunteering... it was a community of people who all had the same mission in mind- to make the event as successful as possible.  A community that had grown close over the past 10 years, into more...  like an extended family.



This summer,  the card arrived... a "thank you," note, with an invitation to gather, once again.



The day of the event did not disappoint.  The photos speak for themselves.



















We've kept in contact all summer, but this was finally the first time I got to see my sweet friend, Bridget, all summer.





So many of our friends attended the fun night.  I put my camera down for awhile, just to talk, and take it all in.








More of our hockey moms getting to spend an evening together.

Nikki, Melissa, and Heather- who all have sons the same age as Nolan.






It was lush and green, with sunlight streaming everywhere.






I finally picked up my camera towards the end of the night for a few more photos.  My sweet friend, Julie, who still has her pink and black Team Vicky bracelet on... her unwavering support another touchstone for me.  




This friend, Matt, who just lights you up, because he and his wife, Bridget, have a way of making it be all about you when you are with them.  









I was whipped by the end of the night.  But the beautiful setting, the tasty and delicious food, and all the time spent surrounded by friends- sharing from their hearts- does it not clearly register on my face how I feel?  These are the moments, made with these people, that I cling to, in my will to not just survive, but thrive.


For now I'll pause here, even though there is more.  

But I'm preparing for my 3 chemo cocktail tomorrow, and a visit with Dr. Panwalkar in which we will discuss, where I go from here...  

I may be down and out for a week or so... but I'll be 'round soon.  

Love to you all~ 















29 comments:

  1. Your days are full of challenges, hard stuff, pain - and also joy and generosity and love. Evidence of thriving, not just surviving, are everywhere. I am so proud to know you, and my prayers are for you, and your family, for provision in every area of life xxx. Big hug from over here :-)

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  2. You have wonderful friends! So many people care about you -- how rich you are Vicky! I'm so happy for you -- and you are ALWAYS in my prayers!

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    1. I feel so blessed, by so many, Genny, like yourself, who make time, and connect with me in some way. So thankful for your prayers, and you!

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  3. Love, love, love you and your ability to make me feel the love you feel.

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    1. Oh Kass- that just makes me teary eyed. Its so palpable to me and I am glad if it in any way translates through the pixels on the screen. Hugs and love to you~

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  4. Ahhh, my dear friend...thank you so much for authentically sharing your life- the hard and painful and so many unexpected JOYS and euphoric moments of pure bliss.

    Yes, you... not just surviving. You, no matter what... THRIVING! And your quote about family...loved that reminder.

    Showering you with love, hugs and prayers as you take the next cocktail and chat with Dr. P.

    When you come 'round soon, I'll be here! Always.
    And in the meantime...love you to the moon and back!

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    1. Linda, I meant to mention that quote, too. It hit me on many levels. Vicky, I'm borrowing that one and I know you wouldn't care. Thank you, Linda. I ALWAYS look for your comments to read as an adjunct to Vicky's blog. :)

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    2. As I do look for your comments, Robin! I learn so much from you and Vicky! What a blessing to have all of us support Vicky and each other!

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    3. I had thought of both of you, Robynn and Linda, with that quote. So many levels- yes Robynn, exactly.

      Thank you, Linda, for wanting to share with me! It means more than words can adequately express, but it wouldn't be the same without your beautiful perspective and voice, shared here for all of us. So much love- to both of you!

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks for the sunflowers- such a cool idea- love your gift of creativity amongst so many others~

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  6. How can you not smile when you're surrounded by so many who love you? May God richly bless you, and give you the strength to endure...

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    1. Thank you for your kind words- God's blessings to you~

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  7. So good to see you surrounded by love, Vicky, and to see you have happy moments amid the tough hardships you face daily. Thank you to the deep and kind folks who sent all the groceries. I have determined to NEVER again say to a friend in need, "If there's anything I can do, let me know." That is a non-offer because there is ALWAYS something we can do. We can pray, we can provide something needed, we can spend time, we can buy a gift card for cleaning, massage, dinner out, dinner in, groceries, etc. We can weed a flower bed or walk a dog. The possibilities are nearly endless.

    You, my sweet friend, are surrounded by people like this and it fills OUR hearts, those of us far away, to know people are willing to fill the need because they KNOW it exists. To all of you who do this may I just say THANK YOU. You are touching more lives than you will ever know through your love and serving witness.

    Praying for round 3, Vicky. And good words from Dr. P. Love ya, girlie.

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    1. As you so eloquently say, one of the lessons living with cancer has taught me, is to simply reach out to people with whatever we have to offer- words, prayers, a plate of food, etc., its that connection that matters :) I feel blessed beyond measure, truly, its hard to put into words- especially as poignant and real and beautiful as yours, Robynn~such a gift you are to me and so many. Love ya right back!

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  8. So happy that you had such a wonderful time. Continuing to lift you to Jesus . . .

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    1. So thankful for you and those prayers!

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  9. Thinking of you and praying for a good visit with Dr. P. Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us. I look forward to your updates and I SO admire your grateful attitude, even in the midst of such adversity. God bless you and your family.

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    1. Megan- gosh- thank YOU for coming along- you do so much for me just by showing up and bringing light and energy in your sweet words. God bless you and yours~

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  10. As your days are brightened by the beauty of God's creation and the generosity of others, so is my day brightened by that beautiful smile of yours. It looks wonderful on you, and I thank you for sharing it with me.
    Love you,
    J.

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    1. Thank you, sweet friend- they're priceless to me as they come from a place deep within :) Love you~

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  11. Groceries, gatherings and good friends!

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  12. You remind us all to look for the good dear friend. thank you, and your photos - so beautiful, are a visual reminder...for today and the coming week- I pray restoration over you...for the chemo to do what it's meant to do and for the negative effects to go away quickly - deep and wide xo

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    1. Restoration- sounds so peaceful and inviting- I can see that perfectly. xoxo-deep and wide

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  13. What GLORY! That's the word that kept coming to me as I lived this post through you. GLORY! You are radiant, my friend.

    I'm praying for you--hugging you from my little loft office in GA. xoxoxoxo

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    1. Hugging you right back- y'all are family to me as well-xxoo GLORY! YES!

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  14. Thinking of you and continually keeping you in my prayers... PS.. You really rock that new 'do!

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  15. Looks like such an awesome event - so glad you were able to be a part of it!

    And I am just saying that your "hair" looks so awesome and natural. Seriously love it!

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