"...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 Caletti, The 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~