Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Who would have thought....

Who would have thought that I would end up in this place?  Not me.  I was hit today by thoughts of my birthday party one year ago this weekend.  I was so happy to be turning 40- and I really do mean that.  Happy that I had made it.   And now I look back and reflect on everything that has transpired over the past year and how is it that I have done more during this past year with cancer than I did in any of my other years?  Or is it just that I am doing my life a different way- with purpose and treasuring all of the steps along the way...

The celebration of my birthday this year was a strange day.  I learned at 6:30 AM that they were testing my father in Florida for kidney cancer.    Luckily, by the end of the day we found out that he did not have cancer.  I had a really difficult time processing this information. It wasn't that I was worried about his mortality, but that he had to deal with those internal moments of not knowing and letting your mind wander to some crazy places.  It wasn't that I did not understand how to navigate the cancer universe to get the best care, rather that it would be out of my control.  It became crystal clear to me that it cannot be easy being on the other side of the coin when you deal with a loved one with cancer.  I literally said aloud to my husband, Terry, "How do people get through loving someone with cancer?"  Anyone who knows Terry can probably imagine the look on his face that screamed "duh!?!"  Of course he knows- that has been his life and the life of many people in my life over the past year.  Wow!  I realized this week what it must be like and how much I appreciate all of you that have stayed in my life during such a hard time. Let me just try to express my thanks to each of you through a poem I wrote. 

I never knew
How hard it was when you were blue
I never guessed
that you were trying your best
not to let the hurt show
as you watched during the high and the low

I never saw
your quiet moments of anguish and awe
I didn't feel
the worry with which you had to deal.
you cared for me
and knew when to let me be

I will always try
to cherish you for the days that went by
I will love you more
because you touched me at the core
by your caring ways
during my darkest days

I will be there for you
For all of your days you wander through
I will try to feel your pain
to ease the burden of the rain
for in my heart I know that your heart is always near
because you have been a friend to me- that is clear

It became abundantly clear how important the work of Little Pink Houses of Hope is because we will be addressing what the whole family is going through.  We will be helping each person who struggles with dealing with this on a daily basis by reconnecting families and trying to remove some of the daily burdens, financial struggles, and create an environment where they can celebrate being together.  Thank you for your support of Little Pink and of me.  Love ya!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Little Pink Fever!

So if you do not already have it, Little Pink Fever is running rampant!  Check out how people are spreading the excitement about Little Pink Houses:

Eastern Eagles defeated Cummings and both groups of supporters helped in the "Show Me Your Text" campaign at the stadium.  I was totally inspired by all of the high school students that were texting.  When they were approached, it amazed me how quickly almost all of them connected by saying something about a family member who had cancer.  Our youth is growing up in a world where cancer is turning into their normal.  There is a sadness in that statement, but a hope in the way in which they rally behind wanting to do good in the world.  We had over 350 text votes in a matter of an hour and a half!  Great job fans!  If you are interested in hosting a "Show Me Your Text" campaign at your school football game or event, it is easy.  All we needed was a sign with the text code, a roll of raffle tickets, and a fishbowl.  Someone had donated a Wal-Mart gift card for the raffle.  Free text, free ticket, and a chance to win something.  Who would say no to that?  Give it a try!

The Brown family went to the beach and took Little Pink Houses on the road with a Free Pink Lemonade stand to try to get votes! 

I probably do not even need to write anything else...just look at these wonderful ambassadors for LPHOH.  I know that I would not have been able to say No to either one of those adorable faces. I would imagine a lot of votes came from Garden City, South Carolina. Thanks to the Browns!

The Hurst family decided to use the two most adorable kids to help promote LPHOH.  I have long called my friend Melissa one of the best wordsmiths that I know.  She chooses her words carefully and writes a fabulous blog about being a new mom that is worth checking out and following:  http://mamemusings.blogspot.com/2010/09/little-pink-babies.html  Her kind words about my journey over the past year were very touching.  Again, how could anyone say no tho these adorable faces!  More adorable LPHOH pictures of these two are on her blog.   Check it out!

And Live, from New York, it's Josh Patten!  My youngest brother declared this month "National Write about Your Sister Month".  If you have never met Josh, he is an improv performer and coach in New York City and is incredibly funny and talented.  He took his talent with the pen to lend his support for Little Pink Houses of Hope this month. He is posting his writings on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr for all of his adoring fans.  Get ready to laugh when you read his writings at our family's expense! You can find his daily writings at http://www.joshpatten.tumblr.com/  Great job Josh!

To everyone who is being creative with getting the vote or doing it the old-fashioned way- THANK YOU!  Send me an email of what you are doing- I would love to feature it on our blog or site. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The many blessings...

Voting started yesterday and what a crazy, fun, exhausting week!  There are so many people who have decided to be a part of Little Pink Houses of Hope and I feel incredibly lucky and blessed.  I have been touched this week by the many people that I do not know who have written to me about their experiences, struggles with cancer, and creative energy.  So many people have told me that they are proud of me or inspired by what we are doing.  But really, it is not just me.  It is all of us.  If you read the email from the woman who is dealing with her 4th recurrence of breast cancer, you would be inspired by her courage.  If you heard of the 10 year old boy who is conducting a meeting with his Boy Scout troop to promote LPHOH you would see what the heart of activism looks like.  If you had heard the news anchor talking to me about the other people that they interviewed you would realize the enormity of cancer on the lives of so many people.  If you had read all of the facebook posts from people who have never really been involved in something before, but are finding a voice in their community to help through LPHOH, you would know that good exists in the world.  If you had opened up the email from my brother, who has decided to make it "National Write about your Sister" month, you would understand how easy the past year has been for me because I have been given a family that has rallied behind me.  If you heard the conversation with my preacher about the God that is working vigorously through LPHOH, you would be hard pressed not to have hope.  The truth is, I have been blessed and inspired by all of you.