|Eli watching the activity in the backyard as|
the foundation for the playset is going in.
Families aren’t at St. Jude just because it is free, but because it is a leader in pediatric cancer treatment. The hospital is also unique in that it treats the “whole child” by addressing more than the disease. An accredited school is available for Kindergarten through 12th grade children; a dentist and optometrist is on campus; furnished housing for the patient and family is provided so that the family unit is maintained and a gift card provides groceries each week. Transportation is provided from housing to the hospital for appointments, plus St. Jude even pays gas or plane ticket to Memphis and back home when treatment is over. That is not an exhaustive or detailed list, but it is a remarkable place of which we have had the humbling honor of experiencing. I wish I could have gained that knowledge through a brief tour of the campus, but our lot was and is to live it. So, speaking as a recipient of this great work, it is one to which we owe our son’s life, therefore, I consider it one of the worthiest of causes.
|Eli's sister in the middle and Melissa's girls working on cards.|
|Eli holding his sign made by a visiting team St. Bernard.|
Also, I was thrilled to be among “my peeps” again and soak up their good vibes in person because I have so badly missed being with my own friends whom I already knew I loved, but now know that I need. I am a social gal, a team player, and thrive on the energy of my friends like Superman and the sun. I’ve had so much fun going to birthday parties, my kids’ games, church activities, school activities, and really, just the simple few minutes of running over to my mom’s house. Eli has not started back to school, but I get a few minutes to myself while he is at the tutor’s house for an hour - who, incidentally, is also a friend that I’m so glad I get to see regularly again - so I have been able to exercise with one of my besties, Melissa, some on those mornings. Admittedly, the exercise is minimal, but my soul benefits so much from that cleansing exhale with her before the day starts. We’ve also been trying to work in a lot of family time as we inch closer and closer to Eli’s three-month scan the first of December, so it has been fun to have a real excuse to avoid housework instead of just avoiding it out of laziness (yet a real excuse is still an excuse, right? So, maybe a fake excuse is better because then it is not an excuse. Hmmm?). We are so blessed to have a new perspective and understanding. A gift I wish for no one.
|We were able to visit the local Children's|
Science Museum. This is in the tornado exhibit.
I wanted to give a couple of updates on other kids. Please, say special prayers for Jayden. He has been put back in PICU in Ann Arbor where he continues to suffer from seizures that they can’t seem to control. He is fighting a relapse PNET tumor battle. Also, sweet smiling Jonathan in New York is beginning his third and final chemo for a rare liver cancer. He is a little guy, but in every picture that he is not sleeping he is smiling. Rock Star Ayden was unable to have a surgery that he needed because his immune system was too low. Jack had a port placed in order to begin chemo soon. Thanks to you generous people and a kind family on Saturday we have met my personal goal of $1,000 for Ryan’s final arrangements. I am constantly amazed and enticed by such acts. It just gets me excited and makes me feel challenged. And, I love a challenge. I am eager to get this pancake breakfast for him going now so that I can hopefully double that original goal. If we can do that, combined with what they have at this point, that will be half of what they need. There are dangers of living such blessed lives, but there are perks, too, and one of them is being able to help others just as described in Acts 20. Sincere thanks and love to you all.
|Eli's first lost tooth!|
How much more normal can you get than that?!