This blog post is dedicated to all the wonderful people who have supported me. "Thank you" isn't nearly enough, but thank you, to: my husband, my mother, my sister and my brother-in-law, my aunts, uncles and cousins, my friends, both near and far, my amazing, amazing co-workers (I work with truly good people, and many are both friends and co-workers), my husband's friends and co-workers, our neighbors and to those that I've only met once who know my story and sent their well-wishes. I promise to pay it forward.
Quiet Sunday mornings are by far, my most favorite time of any day, week, or weekend. In any season, Sunday mornings are usually quiet - Mike usually sleeps in (except during football season) and it's just me, my coffee and my Tomo. No sounds other than the hum of the washer and maybe the ceiling fan or the heater, if it's cold out. Occasionally Tomo howls at some other dogs but typically, he's sprawled out on the patio, enjoying the morning sunshine. It's quiet ... and it's easy for me to reflect on everything.
This quiet Sunday morning I can't help but reflect on the many wonderful people we have in our life. Cards upon cards, phone calls, emails, texts, FB postings, dinners, flowers -- time ... it all poured in the moment we shared I was diagnosed. Endless support from truly wonderful people -- from people who just cared and from people who could relate - from people who followed the blog quietly, without saying or sending anything - still sending the message that they want to know. People sharing their stories and life experiences with us, guiding us and supporting us, as we embark on our own story.
What has truly touched me is the time. Time is a very precious thing - it's something people can't give without effort or attention - without it requiring something more of that person than just their time. The time it takes to make a dinner for someone else -- you must think about it, plan it, shop for it ... and then prepare it and carry it to work. You put effort into it - especially when cooking for someone else because you worry they might not like it or if they might have allergies - you give time from your work day to tell that person "Here, I've made you guys dinner" and have a quick chat, ending it with "I hope you like it."
The time it takes to make a phone call - you must take a quiet moment for yourself, away from your responsibilities or even just away from what you'd like to be doing, so you can give your attention to the call - to the other person - and have a candid conversation. You tell them that you care, that you're sorrowful that this has happened, you ask questions, you listen - you share. You share your time with this person along with a part of yourself through your experiences. And when the call is over, you think ...
The time it takes to send a card ... you think you'll just grab one while you're at the store, I'll just stop real quick. And when you find yourself standing in front of the sea of greeting cards at the store - you mull over the categories "Get Well," "Friendship," "Encouragement," "Blank Inside" -- you pick through the cards reading the greetings - you consider a blank one, but would you know what to write? - eventually you find one you like but it doesn't have any more envelopes - so you search for a similar size envelope from a different card. Before you know it, your "quick stop" is 10 or 15 minutes of your time ... and that's just picking the card. You now must add effort - writing a note inside, finding their address, finding a stamp and getting it to the mailbox. And once it's mailed off, you wait to hear - to make sure it was received, and maybe you even have a phone conversation with them when it is.
And even if you're one of those wonderful people who keep a stash of greeting cards on hand, just in case - you still must take a moment to select one from your pile, and when you're pile is running low down the road - you go out and spend the time to replenish it ...
All this time people have given to us, I don't know how to repay. I never thought I would experience what it is like to receive so much that I feel incapable of being able to repay. I can say "thank you" and "it means so much" until I'm blue in the face - but I don't ever feel like it truly conveys how thankful I really am ... how much it really does mean.
I don't know if thank you is enough, and I hope that one day I can repay all of the time, effort and attention - the support - that was given to us throughout this, but thank you - all of you - from the deepest depths of my heart. What has been given to me, to us, has brought me to my knees with humility and graciousness - has brought tears of gratitude to my eyes, many times over, - and has impacted my spirit in a way that I don't know how to convey.
I constantly ask Mike what I can do to give back... his only reply is that he thinks this isn't something I can pay back - that it's something I can only pay forward.
I hope that one day I can - for each and every person.