Saturday, June 14, 2014

There is a fish store in Huntsville that we visit sometimes.
Fred Rogers, the genial host of the Mister Roger’s Neighborhood children’s show featured on American public television from 1968-2001, said in an interview with CNN that he went into television “because I hated it so, and I thought there's some way of using this fabulous instrument to nurture those who would watch and listen.” With a degree in Music, Rogers started his career with NBC working with a music show and a children’s show. But, eventually, he came to the opinion that the networks’ dependence on commercial dollars compromised their ability and desire to produce a truly educational product in the viewer’s best interest. That’s when he joined public television. Of course, government involvement has it’s own agenda as well.

Blessings abound for us right now, and we continue to be carried down this path in the protection of our Creator’s hands. I am mindful of His presence and of answered prayers as we enjoy preciously good days. Besides the trips to the clinic each week, and hearing me push Eli to eat and drink, we
Eli was excited to get a couple of art pieces
that we think are from the design team at Ford.
This one is of the '15 Mustang with a
personalized license plate that says "4 Eli".
would blend in with the norm of any family you see walking in to Wal-mart or eating at Cracker Barrel. Keep that in mind when you make a judgement in your head about what you see. Eli seems to be doing fairly good. He is a little bit anemic. I don’t really know how to help that. Bone marrow produces blood cells, and he has been irradiated and had a stem cell transplant, both of which will compromise your bone marrow’s ability to make blood products. I think that is just a fallout of treatment. He continues to be a little bit nauseous, causing him to push back from the table… or just not want to go to the table. But, he is in a good mood, and is playing well with his brother and sister in general (Hg is not much into playing). I am back to doing the juicing for him, but I don’t think mine is as good as the other ladies’. He said mine doesn’t have a taste. Hmmm…. so, I’ve got to work on that b/c he is definitely not drinking what he use to, which already wasn’t enough. We had a little hiccup with our cars. I was driving Vic’s car during one of the storms, and must have run over something in the road, so it was in the shop several days. Big Sam had to pick up the slack. We are very close to getting a sign out in front of the house. The crew has some minor things to wrap up, and then we just need to clean and put it back together. The girls are at Bible camp for most of this week, so it is just the boys. I have a little overnight trip with Abbey’s girl scout troop next week, and Hg will go with us. The summer is flying by for us, as I’m sure it is for
Wow, is that not cool. It is autographed by the artist.
everybody. Please, remember, to join us for our school’s 5k and fun run on the 20th in Eli’s honor. It will be fun, and plans for Eli’s scans and chemo have been moved to the next week, so unless he gets sick with something else, we should all be there. Bankston Motor Homes is donating according to how many runners are in the race up to $2500. We are also in the middle of our next “Give Back when I Go Back” venture. It is a letter-writing campaign for patients at St. Jude who don’t have any mail. Send an encouraging card or letter at your convenience. The details are in the side-bar. If you need cards or postage, please contact me. I have an exciting addition to my blog that I announce at the end of this post, so keep reading!

If you read much about Mister Rogers, it seems that the motivation behind his drive and the foundation of his thought process, is always about helping. Can you imagine basing your life’s work, and in his case legacy, on the pursuant of something you hate. And, he didn’t hate television, he hated what was on television, thusly the early departure from commercial television into the non-profit
Caleb wanting to figure out how to fix the car.
 arena. He says in the last part of the quote that it (television) was a “fabulous instrument.” He hated the message television brought into homes, and specifically what was introduced into the mind’s of children. He wanted to help. So, instead of avoiding what he hated, ignoring it, or running from it, he ran to it. Many times, he was a sought after “say” on children’s matters as, through the years in the industry, he built an admirable reputation for intuitive understanding and kindness. In the 80’s, he had a newspaper column, and in one of his articles he wanted to help parents know how to ease the worry for children who are attuned to the disasters of the world. He gave a little insight into the vibe of his own childhood when he shared something his mother would tell him when they saw the coverage of disasters and emergencies on television, or, in his time, on news reels. He wrote that she said, “‘Always look for the helpers,’ she'd tell me. ‘There's always someone who is trying to help.’ I did, and I came to see that the world is full of doctors and nurses, police and firemen,
Hg fussing about the double trouble - having to move trash
cans AND getting her picture made. It's a hard-knock life.
 volunteers, neighbors and friends who are ready to jump in to help when things go wrong.” She told him to look for those running to the fight, and he became a person that runs to the fight with the weapons he had. Oddly, his weapons were a soft voice that spoke love and a kind heart that warmed the hearts of others and made them feel special.

Before the kids get out of the car in carline at school, I try to let the last thing I say to them be “Find someone to help with something today.” They usually roll their eyes, or like Abbey one time was yelling back “Huh? …. What? I can’t hear you!” Like she had never heard it the 52 other times that year I had said it. I’m hoping it will stick in the back of their minds somehow and kick into auto drive one day. I always give them a “go to” for situations, so for helping I tell them that they can always pick up trash or wash something. Those two things always need done and require no skill or knowledge beyond
We were very bored without a car for three days.
 where to put it. During our walk around our new, temporary neighborhood, the kids and I moved the trash cans from the curb back up to the units (this is a town home complex with mostly older people). I just really hope we got most of them to the correct doors, it was hard to tell sometimes. But, that would certainly not be helpful if all these old people are walking around wondering where their trash cans were…. or wondering if they even put them out. One man was pulling weeds, and I grabbed his trashcan at the curb and I said, “Is this yours or does it belong there?” pointing to the neighbor. “oh, it’s mine,” he said. I said, “oh, ok, can I bring it up for you?” and I started pulling it. “no, no, just leave it there.” “I don’t mind, really,” and I took more steps. “no, no, just leave it there,” he said putting his hand up in a stop gesture. I step a little closer with it, “seriously, I don’t mind pulling it up to you.” “No just leave it there.” “Are you sure, because I’m just out and can bring it right up.” “I said, no, leave it there.” I wanted to then say, Ok, so why would you not want me to
Abbey especially loves Bible camp. She loves
friends and everybody. Always proud of her
passion and compassion.
 bring this the five more feet up to your door. I felt like I was in a Seinfeld episode, similar to the one where Jerry insists that Eliane try a new kind of toothbrush, but she wasn’t interested just because. So, funny, love that show. Some people don’t like to be helped. I had my feelings hurt one time at Walmart because I tried desperately to help a man that was in one of the little scooters reach something high. He was pretty clear that he did not want my help, too. Poo! It is so hard to make people let you help them. My dad use to tell a story about when he was younger and on the road a lot (he was a truck driver) that he saw a traffic accident. He stopped and ran up to help. A woman got out of the wreckage and was screaming hysterically. He tried to talk to her, ask her if she was hurt, but she just kept screaming. He had read where this was an indication of shock and that he should slap her to snap her out of it. So he did. Without hesitation, she slapped him back. He said he got back in the truck and left. That always makes me laugh. It is so hard to make the commitment to be a helper - especially if it hurts - but it is even harder sometimes to agree to accept help - especially if it hurts! I have learned that lesson over the last two and a half years. In fact, I have learned a lot about both sides of that coin over the last two and a half years. As a member of the cancer community, and more specifically
The boys and I stopped at Cathedral Caverns after taking
the girls to camp.
 pediatric cancer, I read the words of parents whose children are fighting cancer or have passed from this life due to cancer, and they need help. And, it varies as to what kind of help they actually need, but in general the most consistent thing I read is that they need help coping and answering questions that we all would (and do) ask if backed against the same wall. Paraphrasing, I read things like, “How can God do this to a child?” “Why didn’t God answer our prayer?” “Is there really heaven, how do I know I will see her again?” “How do I know she is in heaven?” “Why is God punishing us?” It is painful to read these thoughts because I know that parent is hurting, but also I hate to see God getting a bad wrap for what Satan is doing. And, now with Eli in relapse, we are no longer the earthly example of answered prayers - or so it might seem to someone new to the Christian faith or unfamiliar with the particulars - so how can I presume to be a help to others in similar trials when our family looks like such a victim. I am not the spiritual scholar that I should be or wish that I was, so I am not
The grass at the house was so tall that I cut Caleb some roads
 in it to drive the Barbie Jeep on while I mowed.

Eli took a turn behind the wheel.
 comfortable answering such crucial questions that can, for one thing, ease emotional stress for someone hurting, but most importantly may ultimately lead someone to Christ. But, I do want to help with the weapons and abilities I have. I am excited to share that one of our ministers, Kyle Massengale, has been added to my blog and will be posting articles covering Faith and Prayer, and any topic that anyone would like to send him in this general area. I see so many parents, again, backed up against a wall, and they are reaching out and asking questions. I really want to help provide a hand when they reach and an answer when they ask. I didn’t want to just google articles from sources I didn’t know and I wanted anyone that need to talk to a real person have access to the person doing the writing. I am so grateful to Kyle for wanting to participate in this, so please watch for his updates, and contact him if you need to. I pray that this section entitled “Understanding Prayer and Faith” will help provide answers, guidance and clarity for anyone looking for those things. The link is in the op menu, and the individual posts are on the sidebar. Please, share this effort.

Little Brayden is not doing well. The last I heard they will try to irradiate a tumor in his spine that is causing some pain in his legs, and they are trying a different chemo for him overall. His ability to talk is sporadic, and his mobility has become a challenge. It is heartbreaking.

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