Thursday, January 7, 2016

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen!" - Ephesians 3:20-21

This is one of those Bible passages that makes me think of so many angles and so many blessings!

I'm sorry I have not written at all throughout the 12 days of Christmas. I had every intention of doing so but I have been sick and resting most of the time. On Christmas Eve Ricky came down with a cold with fever. Christmas day we were both sick as I had some pretty tough GI issues. Then I caught a cold which turned into a sinus infection which landed me in Urgent Care on Sunday. Now I am on major medications to kill the sinus infection and I can breathe and sleep again. There are definitely times to be very grateful for medical intervention and the amazing nurses, doctors, pharmacists and other medical staff who will even work on a Sunday to care for the sick. I also continue to give thanks for the gifts of the earth, the gifts from God, which continue to support my body through this time of healing in my body. #savorthegifts

So, let me fill you in. Friday, December 18th as I was leaving work for the holidays, a friend brought a Christmas card to me saying someone had anonymously dropped it off at her desk for me. I opened it up and found a beautiful note with a gift card saying, "This is for you to buy the boys' bikes for Christmas." How did this person know I wanted to buy bikes for the boys for Christmas? All I could do was cry the whole way home in pure gratitude for the amazing love and generosity this person was showing. I called mom on the way home to tell her what had happened and she said that I would not believe the amount of gifts an anonymous group had just dropped off at her house for our family. She said she was in tears looking at the room full of gifts. I truly did not know how to react. We usually keep Christmas gift giving very simple in our family. We realize that we really don't "need" anything and there are so many more families that are truly in NEED. We try to focus on the spiritual gifts of Christmas.

Well, the Tuesday before Christmas we took the boys to see Star Wars. While we were out, mom and dad delivered all of the gifts and placed them around our Christmas tree. When we returned, the boys were surprised and amazed as were we! We decided to let them open 2 gifts each day and then the rest on Christmas morning.

The very first gift Ricky opened was a certificate announcing that they had paid for 7 guitar lessons! He was so touched and excited! He realized how cool it was that someone went through the trouble of contacting his teacher and actually paying for the lessons. Wow!
Then Paul opened up his first gift and it happened to be the money to register him for Academy Soccer at GSA! WHAT???? This has been a dream of his for years. We had finally told him that we would put together the money to register him this year, but that was before I was diagnosed. So, we had been worried about how we would make this work. Even my mom was worried about this. So, for our family both of these gifts were a huge deal and had me in tears. What a blessing to see my boys and my family feel so BLESSED!

Each day the boys opened two more gifts and each time they were so overjoyed. Then Christmas morning we all truly enjoyed opening our gifts and feeling so taken care of, so BLESSED! There were even gifts for me and Pete. I could go through and mention each gift as each one was so very special from gift cards to clothes, to shoes, to video games and legos. The details were not lost on me. The wrapping, the bows, the beautiful Christmas cards that were attached were all so special.

I just HAD to know who did this for us! Well, mom let me know that the group was from work, from the C&I department. And then a few of the cards did say, "Love, your C&I friend." So, now I knew. And it was confirmed that I work with the most caring, giving and loving group of people that anyone could wish to work with. My Gwinnett County Public Schools Curriculum and Instruction Department friends had gone way above and beyond their calling as colleagues, friends and as Christian brothers and sisters. They had truly acted as the hands, and I will say heart, of God as they blessed us with so much joy. Yes, we really didn't need any of the material things, but the happiness they gesture brought to my family was priceless. The happiness came from knowing that a group of people cared so much about us that they gave from their heart. We have never been on the receiving end of something like this. My boys declared, "THIS IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!!!" For them to be able to say amidst mommy being sick is truly a blessing.

As a family we are committed to providing a Christmas blessing like that to another family next year. This is a lesson that will live in our memory for the rest of our lives. I also want them to know that my parents and my siblings, as well as friends who knew about the gifts were also very touched. This kind of act of giving has far reaching ripple effects. You brought joy to many at Christmas time.
Thank you to all of my "C&I friends!"

So, today, January 7, 2016, I will go in to the Gwinnett Cancer Center for my 5th round of chemo therapy. I am so grateful to only have one more round after this. My last chemo treatment will be on January 28th!!!!!! I just ask you to pray that my body will be able to deal with the side effects from these last two rounds. The latest side effect to creep up on me is that my finger nail beds are sore. I have always had very strong nails and I have been working hard to protect them from the possible side effects of the chemo that I was warned about. I was surprised to wake up one morning with all of my fingers hurting. After some research I realized it was another side effect manifesting itself. So, Pete has banned me from washing dishes and I am working to keep my nails healthy. I'll continue using the frozen mittens from Julie during treatment. And I know that with your prayers I'll be able to deal with whatever comes my way.

Please join me in praising God for the completion of treatment for my friend Nikki Mouton. She had her last treatment on Monday and will now move on to other stages of her plan for full healing. Nikki and I were just featured on Gwinnett's Relay for Life Facebook page as this month's Survivor Spotlight.
She is the heart of our C&I department and has been such a beautiful example to me and a wonderful support!

At the same time I ask you to add another friend to your prayer list who was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Her name is Mary W. I taught with her for many years in Gwinnett County.

Again, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing support you are all providing whether through prayer, having Mass offered for us, providing meals, texting, calling, e-mailing, sending cards, etc. Thank you for praying not juts for me but for my whole family.

We are so very blessed and are sure to Savor each and every blessing! We hope you will do the same.

Much love,

No comments:

Post a Comment