Friday, December 17, 2010


Tomorrow is the day we depart this place.  This place where we have been the recipients of such love and selfless giving.  This place where we have heard stories of success and stories of sadness.  This place where we have seen smiles breaking through the sadness. 

SOS...I spotted this sign on a building in Memphis today as we took our last cruise through the city.  I Googled it and found this:  SOS = Service Over Self. (Read their story HERE )  Service over self?  Service over self!  So, this is what we have been witnessing in this place.  Not from the SOS Organization, but from the many volunteers who serve at St. Jude and at the Ronald McDonald House.  I can not adequately express how wonderfully we have been served here.  Perhaps one day I can get the words out.  The servers here aren't concerned about your skin color, your financial status, your marital status, your religious beliefs or your specific story...they just flat out care and serve selflessly to fill a need.  We have heard many stories here. 

The grandma with her nine year old grandson at a follow up visit for liver cancer.   The boy's dad is not interested in being a dad and the mom has to work.  Grandma is in charge.  Grandpa just died and was the little boy's "papa".  Twenty years earlier, Grandma was with her son at St. Jude while he battled the same liver cancer as her grandson.  Grandson smiles and talks about bass fishing, grandma endures.

The toothless dad making frozen meals in the RMH kitchen for his daughter.  They eat silently in the dining area and will be spending Christmas at RMH. Where is mom? 

The 18 year old girl who loves softball and soccer.  Chemo side effects led to blood clots in her heart resulting in open heart surgery.  Steroid side effects which led to hip erosion; she now sports a new hip.  A hip replacement that is usually seen in the elderly.

A cute two year old RMH neighbor whose face is swollen from steroids.  His parents can not be older than 25.

A man-boy who has lived at RMH on and off for the last three years with his mom.  He is wheelchair bound due to extreme pain in his legs.  His mom cares for him and is half his size.

A sweet toddler, waving at every passer-by, with only one eye.  His mom obviously hacked off at the world.  Grandma is helping as best as she can.

Stories.  We all have them.  Share.
Our story in this place is not just a story of cancer treatment, but a story of seeing and experiencing deeply.  We are deeply grateful for all things...the good, the bad and the ugly.  In being grateful, we have experienced much joy!

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.  Job 8:21


Auntie Vicki said...

snotty nose and moist eyes on this one. Amazing grace! Inspiration to keep paying forward. I love you both. you'll be home soon with more STORIES.

Linda said...

Gotta agree with Auntie Vicki on this one. I had to grab the Kleenex! I am SO proud that the people of our "new" home area have been, for you, exactly what we have found them to be...loving, selfless, giving, thoughtful, kind, generous, and on and on.

I love you and pray always for you and wish you safety as you travel home today.


Anonymous said...

can't see the screen as I type and I knew most of the stories...hurry home.

Unknown said...

Beautiful. Thank you for the blessing us with your amazing insight. Your family is one of the biggest influences in our life right now. God bless you all! We love you. The Josselyns