Taco Bandaids

One thing that has surprised us immensely is that when you have cancer, people give you things. We have received so many gifts over the last few months–everything from gas cards to an elliptical machine.

Our church was wonderful and provided a meal a day for two full weeks after surgery, and people keep asking if we need more. It was such a blessing for people to take time not only to make the meals but deliver them, as well. I’m certain we will accept their generosity again after my next surgery.

We have been given a couple large gifts of money, which have quite literally been life savers. I am unable to work right now and while farming is fulfilling in many ways. . . it’s not always the most lucrative. God is meeting our needs.

My favorite gift of all came in a care package from my lifelong friend. She lives in Houston and mailed the prettiest box with miscellaneous things in it. One of those things was a box of taco shaped bandaids.

Why is this little gift my favorite? I think it’s because I don’t need it, it’s just fun. I like quirky little things like that and Charlene knows me. It’s something that speaks of friendship, relationship, knowing.

I am so grateful for all of the gifts. I hope nobody reading gets me wrong. But somehow gifts that point to the need I have due to cancer are a little different–a little more difficult. Nobody wants to feel like they need charity, and though truly nobody has made us feel like a charity case, we sometimes do it to ourselves. People have simply been led to share what they have and have wanted to bless us. We are so grateful.

Taco bandaids are something nobody ever needs. But they make me smile, and some days I need that very much.

Thursday

Since we already gathered for Thanksgiving, today just feels like Thursday. I am told my weeks will pretty much follow last week’s pattern, so even though I feel pretty good this morning, I anticipate going downhill throughout the day and feeling fairly lousy til about noon tomorrow. God is bigger than probabilities, and maybe I’ll have a good day. We will see.

Yesterday was a really good day. I had the “normal” painful red-purple face rash caused by steroids given with chemo (to prevent reactions to the chemo, ironically), but that was really all. I had some energy to do things around the house. I made banana bread, helped Linnea with some sewing, and even ran errands and had supper at Subway with a couple of my girls. We made a long overdue visit to Grandma Sylvia and had a good chat.

I’m aware that it’s Thanksgiving day, and I think I will observe it better this year than I usually do. Generally on this day, I’m up at dawn cooking, cleaning, and stewing. I absolutely love hosting Thanksgiving Dinner, but I get a little wound up the morning of, trying to finish all the last minute things and making sure everything hits the table simultaneously and hot. We say the requisite prayers and things we are thankful for, and that’s great. Today, though, In the relative quiet of my house, I have time to think. I will have the opportunity and occasion to look around, literally and figuratively, and really see all the blessings that surround me. I will take the time to greet each of my children and thank God for him or her. I’m grateful that God has carved this time out for me (see what I did there?).

To anyone reading, bless you. I pray for each of you a day filled with blessings and gratitude, whether it’s still Thanksgiving Day or not. I pray that you will find God in the little things every day, and that you will see His grace and mercy everywhere you look. He is all around us, if we will just take the time to look and listen.

. . . that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us. . . Acts 17:27 ESV

Priorities

Today, I’m thankful. I’m here, I’m breathing, I’m not in pain. I’m sitting outside the barn at a barrel race, waiting for my daughter to run.

I haven’t been to many races this year. I’ve been working, leading 4h, keeping house, and a host of other things that have kept me too busy to enjoy the small things, which are really sometimes the big things.

I’m looking ahead to the next 6 months of my life, praying for the best, preparing for the worst, and realizing that my window for “normal” life is pretty small.

In three weeks, I’ll have surgery, closely followed by 4.5 months of chemotherapy. I’m at peace with all of that; it just makes me more conscious of moments and days, rather than months and years.

*

Tonight, I’m tired. But I’m so blessed and happy and even more grateful. I just fed 13 kids from age 12 to 22. Hospitality is my very heart, and when my house is full, my heart is full. The meal wasn’t gourmet–not even close. It was mac and cheese with hot dogs and chips. But it was FUN, and relationships were formed and built upon. This is life. This is important.

So tonight, when I lay my head down, I’ll be exhausted. I overspent my energy and may regret it tomorrow. But I’m content–and so grateful for this day.