JOY --- Jesus On the JourneY

Friday, June 5, 2015

My Rings - The Real Deal People in My Life

Bethany sent me the link to Jen Hatmaker's June 2nd blog this week about the "cancer manifesto" they developed for their family as her mother received a breast cancer diagnosis a month before mine.

I'm adding it here. b/c if you've ever read Jen before you know she "nails" it every time and has you laughing and crying.  She sets forth a series of rings in your relationships that respond to the needs in family crisis.  Her words, "this is the way community works."  We do the same for each other.  It's the way to manage the crazy in our lives when crisis hit.

I had written this blog last Friday after treatment #15  about all of you who have been so dear to me during this time --(notice I get pretty wordy after treatments -- think it's the decadron steroid?) 

"If one can chase a thousand, two can chase ten thousand" the Bible says --you have chased away the fear of the unknown by all the many things you did for me:  I watch"perfect love driving out fear".  That love came from God I KNOW and you were His agents.  I see this whole principle of 
"The Rings of Relationships" at work in our lives.

Terry: you have kept the whacko and the worry from taking over by staying your calm sweet strong self - as I repeat and question and wonder and mull things over.  You're at every doctor's visit hearing the in-put helping me process this stage of life.
I lean on you. 
You're my rock--- my safe place.

Our sons: you've interpreted my test results to keep the worry and the whiney out --You've encouraged me with texts and face times -- you've given me your wisdom and wit -- and those short phrases that fit the situation that only you could think of.

You, our sweet daughters: went to chemo with me – and made food for the freezer, grocery shopped, remembered every chemo day with a text to encourage or see if I need a pick-up (Terry had to leave for his TCC class on Fridays before Chemo was through each week).


My brothers and sisters in law: you have come to visit and check on me with phone calls and gifts-- WHAT -- a phone call from Nicaragua this week, Allen--???  Sorry I used up your minutes telling my stories.  

My dear teacher stand-in friends: You have stood in the gap for me in the classroom – interpreting my plans – making them work (even that day I had mistakenly thrown away the seating chart.) Giving up a whole week to move in with people so you could cover for me while I laid out in the sun on my health break.  My students loved you!

My collegues: You have instituted "Pink Tuesdays" and so many of you have worn it EVERY Tuesday - You sincerely ask how I am --
and we laugh over the strangest things in those school hallways but that energized me even on m dizzy days.

As my Administrator you allowed me to have the health getaway to rest up for the last treatments and surgeries and radiation this summer.

My Beautiful Friends who are my "Rings"

You insisted on picking me up from chemo and took me to lunch we talked for the longest -- up to that time it had been a weekly routine for 3 months of treatments, school, resting all evening, having to stay in a lot - it was fun to get out and do girl things. 

You girls have shopped with me as we laughed at crazy plaques and cards. (Shopping was low on my list during this chemo stuff and doing it with you all made it fun) --

You have shown up at my door with food time and again- bringing only what tasted good to an upset stomach. I never knew you were coming-- It was always a surprise --at just the right time. Pam, you always knew the right time and did the utmost.

My neighbor who brings sweets from the mexican bakery near her church and Bethany's gal pals who took on themselves to create a care chart -- you physically kept up our energy.

Our dear friend - like a brother to T and me is closing on his house 2 days before my surgery but getting a hotel in town to wait it out until I get out of surgery -- Who does that?

You organized a crew of teachers to stand in during the day if I couldn’t make it -- and had ladies at your church knit me hats to cover my cold bald head when I slept.  You checked on me all the time I wimped out on a sick day.  

So many of you sweet friends have gifted me with treasures like comfort blankets and tote bags and wonderful gowns that I will live in after surgery. . hats and ball caps and t-shirts – peppermint tea and ginger snaps and note cards

You made bracelets for me – and have committed to keep on praying – and yes, we did pass them out to lots of people.

As you were two months ahead of me you taught me the ropes, Jan Good -- we've shared our stories of the ills of treatment, looked at scars, mapped out the future and shared our conversations with God.

You organized a “Hat Sunday” at church – what fun! I never laughed so much in Church in all my life, Cherie.

From the first Gay, you e-mailed practical advice from your own near experience–  how to wear a wig and what questions to ask the doctor – what foods were best suited for upset tummies.  To be sure and take plenty of Zofran -- and get lots of rest.  I was able to ask questions of you that were personal and hard to ask.

You gave me a boatload of gift cards for fast food restaurants – We USE them – after chemo – Sundays when I’m too hungry and too tired to cook – school days when I couldn’t think of a single thing I wanted.

You my sweet friends have patiently listened as I gave all my medical updates --even when my stories got long or disjointed from chemo brain.

You have been my TEXTING FRIEND who would send me the funny emoticons – as we would try to outdo each other when I was too tired to do anything in the evenings – and it was too early to go to bed.  Checking on me as a nurse to make sure I was taking care of myself while you were caring for your sweet husband.

You have LAUGHED with me -- There has always been something funny to laugh about this whole time. (that the text from the Bible a merry heart works good like medicine is really true.)

You are my earliest childhood friends who have stayed connected and offered a lot of encouragement saying "Jannie you can do this!"
"We're praying for you in our work circle at preschool, "  Or that phone call after each treatment asking"how did it go this time?" 

You have been my soul sister and now the roles are reversed – You are my PASTOR’S WIFE - you have prayed and fasted for me.

More than all that YOU ALL have PRAYED for me. .  . I have been sooooo covered in prayers from all over the world -- that's HUGE.  

I purposely didn't name most of you -- because I wanted you to see yourselves in many places in this post --  I wanted to you to see the things that are HUGE -- that you thought were small.

On this journey you have BEEN THERE – and ENCOURAGED!  
I love you for it and
You are my RD people – MY REAL DEAL FRIENDS –

I want to be in YOUR circle of RINGS to be there for you in the challenges of life.

Hebrews 1:14 says that angels are ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation. I know He has given me both earthly and Heavenly ones. 


When I put this plaque in my garden last year I had no idea how many angels would be in my life in the coming 12 months.   Love you FOREVER

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