Wednesday, December 06, 2006

'Army Recruitor'

I am officially giving myself the title of 'Army recruitor' and that means I have another Nitty.Gritty. opportunity/challenge for myself and whoever wants to join me here.
I didn't personally ask permission to post these pictures, but somehow I think that the families involved won't mind my stealing them and reposting them here. I guess I felt it would be more 'effective' or stop-you-in-your-tracks for a minute posting pictures, rather than links. I've got links too! and .
Many of you have followed the Kaat family and I am a bit behind in thanking you for supporting this family. I blogged about them a couple of times last month, and invited anyone that wanted to reach out to them at such a critical time in their life to do so in a tangible way. Well, in the second photo, you will see that they had an outpouring of support as little Devon (age 7) underwent surgery recently so that the doctors could harvest some of his bone marrow and then donate it to his 4-month old brother, Jaymun, in hopes of a life-saving procedure. Some of you can't imagine having to be in their shoes. I can't either, but I share some similar feelings as I recall memories of hours spent at my childrens' bedsides, and the reality that a loved one could be gone forever. It's beyond words at times.
I have been following another family as they blog their journey in life after recently having a cancer diagnosis in their own family. Through a scrap-friend and her new hubby (Carrie & Bradley Batt ... ) I have come to 'know' Julie and Brendan and their kids in a special way. Julie is battling cancer- and in an extreme way. She is undergoing treatments using experimental 'concoctions' and at high doses in hopes to wipe out the cancer in her system. Julie and her husband have three kids...their youngest just 6 months old, I believe.
How is this related to Christmas? I'm glad you asked. You see, each time I pull out my butter to soften on the counter, or my sugar to get ready to measure for a batch of cookies... or as I hit 'print' to print out another picture of my kids for my Christmas cards... or as I pull into a parking spot at the mall to do some shopping- at these moments and many inbetween, I can't help but think of these families. Then I shoot up a prayer for them and try for a moment to imagine that next Christmas they will be celebrating their best Christmas yet- with freinds and families that stood with them at this time.
I am asking any of you who believe in the power of prayer and are looking for opportunities to feel the 'true Spirit of Christmas' and then want to act on that feeling to embrace these families. I don't know that you will ever know in this lifetime what your prayers and thoughts and carepackages mean to them- but isn't that part of the very definition that I was trying to grasp a few posts ago?
I don't know the odds that these famlies face. I do know that they have hope in abundance, and that in my own experience, hope sometimes defies medical odds anyway. I don't understand why so many people seem to be struggling with cancer and grief and other pains in life right now. And the biggest hurt is seeing the season pass without concern to their pain. I wish everyone could push 'pause' at Christmastime- it seems as though everyone deserves some good memories this time of year.
But I know, all too well, that the season comes and the best way I have learned to 'endure' it, is to look for the silver linings and to find the beauty in the little things from day to day. That is my wish for these families. Cancer and Christmas don't belong in the same sentence. I hope that sending wishes and prayers and more 'care support' will be a small gesture of goodwill that will be a glimmer of light in their bleakest days. And may God be the source of their hope, joy and ultimate healing in life at this time. God bless the Kaats and the Lyons this Christmas and for many, many more to come.


Anonymous said...

Man...I've read the Kaat's blog and I just went into the other one. What I have to deal with on a day in, day out basis really doesn't amount to an ant-hill. Cancer is huge!! I've not personally had a life-threatening illness. Some people I know~family and friends have. But to read what these two families are dealing with makes my life look like a "walk in the park". I know that trouble "will" come because scripture says we're promised it AND that we are to 'count it pure joy!' You know, I don't know just how joyful I can be in that idea. But I do know the God that I serve is a BIG God and He will enable me "when" the time comes!! Blessings to these two families! Oh, and to your family as well Jody!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I am still praying for the Kaats and will keep the Lyons in my prayers as well.

Sarah said...

We are praying!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing the true Christmas spirit with us, even if it's about tough times. Makes us all look at Christmas in a new way. Enjoy yours!

Rays Family said...

So many families dealing with cancer right now, our prayers are numerous and never ending.

God Bless all the families dealing with illness and disability today and always.

The Rays Family