What an emotional week.
Lot of ups. Lots of downs.
Just a heavy, emotional week.
Cara’s first dance recital was Thursday and Friday nights.That meant 2 nights of dress rehearsals and 2 nights of performances. She did great each and every time. She tapped, she sang, and she let that big Cara personality shine! Of course the highlight for her was getting to wear makeup!
The best part was that Cara got to share the whole experience with cousin Aubrey.
We have our final MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting this week. This is always a special time when we invite a speaker to share their personal testimony of faith with our ladies. It was a blessing to pray for a dear friend who shared this year. She did an amazing job and I know that hearts were changed! On the same day in the morning MOPS group, I shared my testimony. Even though I have done so quite a few times now, the process for preparing to share so personally is emotional. I had the opportunity to talk with several moms after the meeting who could identify with parts of my story. Many of them are suffering in areas of their life and were blessed by the hope I was able to share through my story.
A dear friend of mine is going through something unimaginably difficult in her life. She has been on my heart so heavily all week. It has been an honor to pray for her and to ask those in our church family to do the same.
We also had our final meeting with Brady’s physical therapist, Linda, this week. Brady has been seeing Linda for over 2 years now. During our first appointments with her in the spring of 2009, Brady was barely able to stand! Back then we were traveling twice a week to see her, about 50 minutes each way. She was able to establish such a great rapport with our reluctant boy back then. They were quick friends and Brady has looked forward to his “Linda” visits ever since. In the past year we have only been going to PT once a month, kind of like a maintenance visit. Brady has been achieving and exceeding goals almost every visit in this past year. Linda and I both knew that by the end of this school year he would no longer qualify for services. I shared a while back that Brady did indeed show that he was an “average joe” when Linda completed his annual review testing. It is a bittersweet accomplishment as we knew he no longer would need PT, but that we would have to say goodbye to our dear Linda. She made the trip from Rochester to see Brady at preschool on Thursday. I think I cried three or four times leading up to that morning! She is such a treasure and we are forever grateful for all that she has done for us!!!
Today Brady and I went to the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation’s Baseball Tournament. We have been blessed to participate for the past three years in the awareness ceremony at this event. To read more about this amazing local charity, click here. I was able to briefly share about our story and how this charity helped us financially and personally during Brady’s illness. Brady stood next to me the whole time enjoying his very first ring pop! Another special friend of ours, named Griffin, also shared his story as a cancer survivor! He is an amazing 4th grade boy who so eloquently and bravely spoke about how cancer affected his life. I couldn’t help but think ahead a few years and wonder if Brady will ever want to stand before a crowd like Griffin and advocate on behalf of pediatric cancer. It was just amazing.
That wasn’t all! As we were leaving a man approached me and told me and told me that he would be praying for Brady. He had tears in his eyes as he told me that his nephew also had Neuroblastoma. I asked this next question even though the pain in his eyes told me the answer, “How is your nephew doing?” He continued to tell me that his nephew had passed away after seeking treatment in Buffalo and in California. He told me that he understood what an awful disease Neuroblastoma is and how happy it made him to see Brady doing well. He repeated again that he would be praying for Brady and I thanked him. I don’t even know if this man was local, but I will never forget his kind face, the sadness in his eyes, and his sweet promise to pray. I’m always amazed when I’m able to connect with another person so powerfully, in such a brief moment…all because of cancer.
It has been heavy. My heart rejoiced and broke a few dozen times this week. Life is amazing like that, isn’t it?
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion
and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble