They say, “Never say never” but we think we’re safe in saying that we will never be thankful for Adam’s cancer. Yes, we will be thankful for lessons learned on this journey, but we’re too close to the sickness to recognize all of the lessons, much less wrap them up with a nice gratitude bow.
The irony is that we have had more to be thankful for in the midst of this cancer year+ than in other years combined. We are thankful that we live in a city with phenomenal medical care options, for a top-notch medical team who we now count as friends, and for solid medical insurance. We are thankful that the chemo worked and that it is over. We are thankful that Adam survived his 6 surgeries, especially the March surgery, and has recovered as well as he has. On that note, we are thankful that Adam has 16 less tumors than he did this time last year – and as a bonus, a new aorta to boot. We are thankful that Adam can walk without a walker or cane. And we’re incredibly thankful that the only medication Adam takes at the moment is a daily aspirin. We are thankful that Allison’s job was understanding and flexible and that her office was only 8 blocks from the hospital.
We’re especially thankful for our family’s generous love this year.
And we are so thankful for community. We have found it easy to be thankful in the midst of journeying cancer because of you. Our people have been wildly thoughtful, generous, patient, and practical in love. We have constant reminders around our little home of the love of our people this year:
The dish soap at our kitchen sink reminds that we haven’t purchased cleaning supplies for over a year because our friends cleaned our house, paid to have our house cleaned, and cleared out Amazon’s stash of Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products.
The fridge reminds us of the countless delicious meals that friends delivered and our snack basket reminds us of the momentous stash of sour patch kids and Gatorade that kept appearing on our doorstep.
The “gift card envelope” on our counter reminds us of the continual inventory of groceries, caffeine, music, self-care, and hospital meals this year. Our people were so generous that we still have a date night or two coming our way.
The dining room table reminds us of each visit that people made, even the ones that had to be cut short due to sickness, and the first meals together that signaled that healing was taking place.
The recliner in our living room reminds us of our friends that loaned us their furniture for the better part of the year when Adam couldn’t sit or lay down on our own furniture comfortably.
The piano has become a healing shrine of sorts. It contains the trophies, chemo finish line remnants, drawings, trinkets, and baskets of cards that cheered us on during the darkest, hardest days. Letter writing is a spiritual gift and some of you use that gift consistently and beautifully.
The baskets in our living room are filled with heated blankets, prayer quilts, and hand knitted caps that our people sent to us this year to keep us cozy and that kept Adam’s naked head warm. The blankets were put to good to use as we watched movies and TV shows gifted to us to when we needed a distraction.
The windows remind us that our lawn was cared for and gutters cleaned all year. The curb in front of our house reminds us of the various cars that pulled up to transport Adam to appointments or rescue him for fun when he couldn’t drive.
The computer reminds us of the countless emails, messages, emojis, and comments that have given us encouragement and hope. We log into our bank account and are so humbled that friends created and bought shirts and provided financial miracles for us this year.
A picture frame that houses a picture of us on a tropical beach reminds us of our creative, sneaky, loving friends that got together and sent us on a decadent vacation to Jamaica so we could relax, reconnect, and recharge after this wild year. Apparently Make-A-Wish trips exist for adults if you have awesome friends.
We remember where we were on this day last year, when Adam was too sick too eat, and not even able to be around the smell of food, and we see his appetite now and we are so grateful. We are reminded of your patience when we couldn’t hang out, or when it took us awhile to respond, and of those very long, very slow walks that you strolled with us.
We leaf through the Grace Journal which lists page after page of every visit, every package, every treat, and every letter. And we are blown away all over again at the sacrificial love that you showed us this year and how geography didn’t keep you from walking through this with us. We tell stories of your grace and faithfulness and kindness and generosity to all who will listen. We’ve said it before but it bears repeating: We would have fallen apart this year had it not been for our people holding us together.
We have loads and loads to be thankful for this year – know that you are at the top of our list.
With immense gratitude,
A & A