Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankfully Thankful...

Last evening I had dinner with an old friend of mine. Rhonda and I met over 12 years ago. In fact, it was because of her that I am currently working with the company I’ve been with these past 12 years. I always enjoy my time with her. Rhonda has a depth about her, an understanding of the human spirit that inspires me along with a real yearning to learn as much as she can about people, and herself. As we were talking last evening, she brought up the losses of the last year.

 My past, my present, and my future.

 My Past: It’s been hard living with absence of my dad. Vern was a strong man. A man’s man, a family man. I miss him, I miss his presence. I could talk to my dad, and it didn’t matter what we discussed, his support of me was unconditional. I miss that. I miss that I was so special in someone else’s eyes ,that it didn’t matter if I was right or wrong. I was his daughter and he loved me in spite of me. The love of a parent towards their child is one that is sacred and needs no explanation.

 My Present: This past year has been a difficult one for Jillian, especially the last few months. Since August she has lost all use of her left arm due to the significant growth of the tumor in her brain. She is now experiencing the same weakness/loss in her left leg. Walking has been a challenge for her, but one she tackles every single day. We joke about her “shuffle” when getting around obstacles. When I help her in and out of my truck I get the playful comment, “Mama Bear miss my hugs”? Jillian’s humor and grace is evident in everything she does.

My Future: My family has lost its innocence in everyday living. We will always walk with cancer as our companion. Although none of us know what the future holds, and there is always fear and uncertainty, maybe it’s not such a loss after all. Perhaps it’s a blessing and an opportunity to share and to give hope and encouragement to those who are experiencing similar trials. Yes, that’s how I’m choosing to look at my future.

As we prepare for Thanksgiving , we reflect on the things that we are thankful for. I am thankful for having strong, loving parents. For giving me the foundation of love and support that I have been able to draw from through these many hurdles. I am thankful that my children have experienced the love and joy only a grandparent can give them. To show them good role models and to learn what it means to be loving, selfless parents.
I am thankful that I have been given the opportunity and the privilege to walk through this cancer journey with Jillian and the rest of my family. It has opened my eyes wide with wonder and amazement at the human spirit, the resilience and the grace of one strong warrior. It has shown me what is truly important in life, in relationships. And what isn’t.

I think what I’m the most thankful for this year is the gift to be able to feel God ‘s presence through it all, and the faith that He will continue to be there for us in all His Glory. Some days I get a glimpse into His window.

My past, my present, and my future.

 I like what I see.

 Happy Thanksgiving!



  1. When I see that you have shared with us via this blog, I always know that I am in for a heartfelt and inspirational blog. Sometimes the anticipation of your words and wisdom makes my heart skip a few beats..You are a Master of Words Sue. Few people have this gift.
    Thank you for the time,energy, and self examination and exposure that is necessary for these posts. I hope it is as cathartic for you as it is for us, your fellow warriors,friends,family, and Angels.

    1. Valerie, my special, personal angel. It pleases me that you enjoy reading this blog. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. Have a blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends. And perhaps one day, we will share that cup of coffee together!

  2. Happy Happy Thanksgiving to you,.Jillian and all your loved ones..Peace

  3. The years have gone by quickly. Remembering the many cups of coffee shared around your table while the kids played. You were always a gracious host,warm caring friend and a loving mom. I will also miss my dad his Thanksgiving. He died 2 weeks ago. I continue to pray for you,Jillian and your family walking the path God has given to you and to each of us. Knowing " He does all things well."

  4. Terri,
    I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. It's difficult losing a parent, especially so close to the Holiday's. Give yourself, Pete and the kids a hug from me. Love you!

    1. Susan,
      We have never met, but I have been following your blog for the last several months. I am sending you and your family hugs, strength and positive energy.

      While, I do not have any children, I know what it is like to watch a loved one battle this disease. My husband fought Melanoma for two years, he struggled with brain mets during the last few months of his life.

      Stay strong.


    2. Megan,
      Thank you for the supportive hugs and thoughts. I'm sorry about your husband. Here is a hug from one who knows....