As a little kid I remember opening Christmas gifts and my mom saying, “go say thank you and give a hug and a kiss”. Regardless of whether I LOVED the gift or embarassingly tolerated opening “day of the week” underwear in front of my whole family I always said thank you followed by a hug and kiss. After a couple of holidays my parents stopped having to remind my sister and I to say our thank yous and it just became what you did, regardless of your age, when someone went out of their way to give something to you.
Lately I have been given more gifts in more ways than I had ever thought possible. I am currently sitting on a sunny porch a block from the beach, listening to the ducks on a lazy river and thinking about how many times in the last month and a half I have been showered by the kindness of others. When I sit and really think about it, it becomes overwhelming. I have always been happier and more comfortable giving gifts than receiving them and yet again, if nothing else, this (not journey) is forcing me out of my comfort zone And teaching me lessons.
I have always known that I am lucky to have the people in my life that I do. My friends, my family, people I’ve lost touch with and even a crazy group of amazing folks I have never actually met in real life. People have come out of the woodworks since my diagnosis and reached out to share so much love and support – so many that some days I can’t respond to them all. Some have taken swift action in making food, others sending flowers, edible arrangements and giving the most thoughtful gifts.
Some of My coworkers gave me care packages with incredible things inside that I didn’t realize would be life savers after surgery (like comfy button up night shirts that I rotated through daily…wear one, wash the other…those were the smelly days!). My best friends brought adult colouring books, food, tea and laughter. An Aussie specific package came full of down under treats and love. And my faraway friends have showered me with candy, edible arrangements, Barbells for Boobs QALO rings for Tasha and I and truly more than I could ever list here.
So surgery is done and I am healing up really well and I was hoping to get back to normal life and find ways to thank people for their kindness. But now a long haul of chemo is knocking at my door and more love pours in. My incredible coworkers heard that Tasha and I were thinking of getting away for the weekend and sprung into action. The mom of one has lent us her home away from home (and even left us a special treat on the kitchen counter) and the rest came together to send us away wanting for nothing. I opened the card from them all and almost fell off my chair. The first thing I thought was, how can I ever express my thanks.
I feel like I am mad at the words, “thank you”. I mad at them for not being more than what they are. Thank you for passing the salt is not the same as thank you for supporting me and my family in our hardest moments. I have said thank you so many times and in as many ways as I can think of since this all started but it never feels like enough. When I think about the gratitude I feel, the words just don’t cover it and I wish that you all could have a direct view into my heart to see it rather than just hear it.