So, the volleyball tournament was a great success. My hunny bunny worked so hard and I am so proud of him. I saw a ton of people I haven't seen in forever and I got to see Paul's Nana, which is always a pure delight. She is a wonderful, godly woman and she calls me almost daily to read scripture to me, pray with me, check on me, or update me. I sure look forward to her calls. I am simply amazed at how many people come out to volunteer at the different fundraisers, it makes my heart happy inside. I can't explain how many broken relationships my illness has healed and that is due to God and His Grace in all of our lives. If there is one thing I have gained from this whole deal, it would have to be perspective. I mean, facing your mortality makes priorities and perspective a whole lot easier. I have had to put my big girl panties on and get over a few petty things I was letting the devil have a hold on in my life. I am still working on that, but I know God is not finished with me yet. I was blessed to see a bunch of friends from junior high and high school days, which I consider some the absolute best days of my life. The teams surprised me by being really competitive and everyone was a good sport. The total amount raised was $10,900!!! I can't believe it still as I type it. Thank you to everyone who played, volunteered, donated items, came out and bid on items, came to referree, tournament sponsors, and simply everyone involved. Paul had Pastor Dale Smith from First Baptist Deer Park come out and say the opening prayer. He is a gifted pastor, with a special gift in funerals. It is weird to say this, but I have enjoyed every funeral I have ever gone to that Pastor Dale performed. I want him to do my funeral when I die, he has a way of bringing people to Christ after a death, and that is what I want, I want all those I love to spend eternity with me in heaven.
I do have to give an extra shout-out to my cousin Bubba. Yes, people I really do have a cousin named Bubba. When I was growing-up, I thought my cousin Bubba was so cool, I always wanted to be around him because wherever Bubba is, fun is there. He is a crazy, accident-prone, kind, responsible, fun, and loving man. I have to say that while my cousin was already a great guy, he became even a better man when he married his wife Jennifer. The thing I love most about her is that Bubba has a son that he raises named Tre and then, he and Jennifer had a son together named Koltyn. When you are around Jennifer, you cannot tell which one is her son by the way she treats them. She loves them both unconditionally and you can see that they are a very happy family. Both Bubba and Jennifer have been at all the financial meetings and fundraisers, not to mention that they both work full-time, are leaders of a boy scout club, go on lots of camping trips, Bubba is a volunteer fireman, and the list continues, but they still make time for me and that makes me feel so special. Bubba helped out a lot with the tournament and I can't describe it, but when Bubba is around, I always feel a little safer, he brings security to any event. Bubba, thank you for loving me, thank you for going to school banquets with me when I had no date, thank you for choosing such a wonderful wife that is now part of my life. Oh, and I have to add one more thing, Bubba used to be a male cheerleader, and he is an awesome gymnast. He has never fit the typical male cheerleader mold, so this little tidbit always makes me laugh a little when I look at him:)
I wanted to share a little story with you guys that came about because my story was put on the front of the Pasadena Citizen (our city newspaper). This past summer, shortly after finding out I had cancer, I went shopping at HEB with my sister, mother, and Thomas. Thomas and I were having a blast and I was talking/singing/acting silly with him while we shopped and he threw things in the basket. A lady approached me and told me how nice it was to see a mother enjoying her baby and that usually moms are yelling at their kids or seem frustrated. I don't always feel called to share my story of my babies dying with total strangers, but I told her. I explained that I longed for Thomas so much that I did enjoy every little thing with him. I can remember going shopping and seeing mom's being so mean to their children, which broke my heart. You see, having lost a baby or being infertile makes you notice all the things you would never do if you were ever blessed enough to be a mother. This is hard to explain, because before I lost the boys, I never noticed people treating their children good or bad, but once I experienced the loss of them, it was amplified. The one thought that always occurs to me is this,"If a parent is the person that loves this child the most and they are cursing at them or calling them names, then how is the rest of the world going to treat this child?" I don't ever want Thomas to feel like a bother, or that he is on my nerves, I want him to feel loved, all the time, just loved. Anyways, the woman's name was Brenda, and she sent me the nicest letter this week that made me cry, not from sadness, but from having my heart touched. I found out later, my sister had gone and told her about my situation and asked her to pray for me while we were at HEB. The following is her precious letter:
I met you, your precious baby, and your sister one day last summer in HEB and I had often wondered if you ever got your transplant. Then, this past wekk, I saw the article in the Pasadena Citizen about the Volleyball Tournament. Although we cannot go (we're both sick) we would like to give a small gift. My husband and I wish we could do much much more, because I felt you were such a beautiful person with a beautiful soul and you deserve every chance to live a long, rich and rewarding life, God-willing. We are elderly and have to watch pennies, but we can pray for you and wish you God's blessings, so we are.
Brenda and Bob
To say that this letter didn't touch my heart would be a lie, a complete stranger I met for only a few moments is so kind. She sent a check in for $25 and can I just say that the story in the Bible about the woman who gave pennies, but it was all she had came to my mind. I know now how God felt, He knew what a sacrifice she was making, as I know that this money was a sacrifice for Brenda and Bob. I tear-up every single time I think about this letter. What have I done to deserve this kind of love? God, thank you, thank you, thank you for allowing me to experience this kind of feeling. I know I have a great responsibility to honor You, and I wake-up every day hoping to honor You in all that I do. I am so sorry when I was angry at You.
I had opened up my blog for questions and a few people emailed me, Kim left a question on the comments, and few people asked me questions in person, but the funny thing is, they all asked the same general question. They basically asked how I do it, how I function everyday and keep my head up? Well, the answer, which I recently shared with a few people at work is this, FAITH. I have hope and faith in my Saviour Jesus Christ. I lean on Him, I talk to Him all the time, I beg Him some days for help, but I keep in mind that I want to leave a legacy. I love that song my Nicole Nordeman. I want Thomas to know that I kept living, smiling, singing, playing, loving, and I never gave up. I don't want to "live like I am dying." I am going to live in heaven for eternity people, what a gift, I have so much to look forward to. I do have bad days, just ask my husband, mom, sister, my family, they know. I used to think that God was doing this to me, but after a study of the book of Job, I realize that He is allowing Satan to try and tear me down, but Satan doesn't know who he is messing with. I have often been told by people that I am a hard one to break, and that is true. If you want to beat me down, you will probably quit before I fall because you will get so tired of fighting. Losing my babies nearly beat me, but God blessed me abundantly with Thomas and tons of new friends in my life that I never would have met if it were not for my boys. I can't imagine my life now without Dr. Rowe in it, our new Sunday School class and friends, my MEND friends, even the people I met at the funeral home. If I didn't live my life to the fullest, I would be letting all of my babies down, I want to be a mother that they are proud of and one that sets a good example for them to follow, but mostly, I pray my son will come to know the Lord someday.
I recently had a conversation with a coworker and she said that she can't figure out why I am tested so much. I thought about her comment and something hit me like a ton of rocks. A few years ago, I made a careless comment, and now I think I should be careful of things I say. I said, "my testamony is so boring," well, not anymore. I have tons of things to share now and I hope to share my testamony with as many people as I can. I would even love to start speaking at different events, if God calls me to do so.
While I shared with you how I get through each day, I want to share a fear I have and am currently trying to work through. I am afraid to be at home alone with Thomas. I am so afraid I will die and then something tragic will happen to him because I am not watching him. Is that weird? I often will call my mom or sister to come over for some silly reason, and the reason in my head is, please don't let me die alone or die with only Thomas here. How terrible would that be, then I think, why am I thinking like this at 33 years old. I feel good, I don't feel like I am about to die, but I keep letting this fear creep into my head.
I have tons more to say, but I will try to blog tomorrow about my doctor's appt update and my upcoming oral surgery to have my wisdom teeth removed:(
IF YOU ARE NEAR SAM RAYBURN HIGH SCHOOL TUESDAY, THERE IS A BLOOD DRIVE FOR ME STARTING AT 7:30 am, I would love to see you there.