I am thankful:
~ for the beginning of football season. Is it really the beginning of football season already? Well, Cooper started two-a-days this week, so that meant we were up before the sun. And even though I was in a coma as I drove him, I still appreciated taking in the glorious sunrise. And I love seeing Cooper with a goal in mind. That kid loves him some football!
~for a great time at the Football Moms’ Clinic. It’s a special time for moms to learn a little more about the game and focus on our boys. To sit at their football locker and pray over the upcoming season. To share a meal with other football moms and our sons. It’s always such a sentimental night for me. I attended my first Moms’ Clinic 6 years ago when Colton was a freshman, with Sawyer in my belly. I missed the next year because Sawyer and I were in the hospital, in the critical early stages of his chemotherapy treatment, and the coaches and moms were so kind to us with notes of encouragement. The next 2 years attending with Colton were super special, and now I’ve had a couple years off with no high school football player. So to sit beside my Cooper, who gets taller and more handsome daily, as he starts his freshman year of football, I couldn’t be more proud and thankful.
~ for the opportunity to give blood in honor of an amazing warrior boy. Luke’s birthday was Wednesday, but this year he celebrated it in heaven with Jesus. His family chose to celebrate his life and his memory by encouraging people to donate the gift of life. You may have heard that there is a nationwide blood shortage. Kids with cancer require frequent blood transfusions throughout treatment. Sawyer had dozens. So I was thankful for the opportunity to participate and tell the techs about Luke and about Sawyer. If you can, GO DONATE BLOOD!
~ for a fun, albeit way too short, visit from Uncle Mike and Cousin Kenedy. We got some great snuggles and lots and lots of giggles. My favorite was hearing Kenedy ask for “Clipper” (Cooper).
~ for those rare moments when God allows us to see purpose past our pain. So often we cling to what we want, not knowing He has something far greater. Sometimes we have to let go of what WE THINK we need so that we can receive His BEST!
~for the most amazing honor! Our friends from Minnesota, the Franz’s, shared amazing news. Their 10 year old son, Andrew, participated in the Pinky Swear Foundation Triathlon for childhood cancer, IN SAWYER’S HONOR! Andrew completed a 100 yard swim, 3 mile bike course, and a half mile run. We hope he heard us cheering for him all the way from Texas!
~ for a happy happy birthday for our sweet Zoe Girl. I still can’t wrap my mind around how much our little Brown-eyed girl has grown up. I remember meeting her: 18 months old, bitsy tiny, big watering wide eyes, and absolutely SILENT. She refused to be put down, and Carson Grace carried her so much she wore a sore on her hip. Today Zoe is bubbling with life, dancing and singing everywhere she goes. She is a silly goose and loves to use her imagination. She loved her waffles with sprinkles and whipped cream for breakfast and chose red velvet cupcakes for her cake. Happy birthday ZoZo!
~ for a (hopefully) win-win-win-win situation. We had friends who needed to find homes for some kittens. We had another friend who had been wanting a guinea pig. Our kids really wanted a kitten. Our Dad was anti-kitten, but EXTREMELY in favor of parting with our guinea pig. So much so, that he was willing to acquiesce to a kitten if it meant re-homing the pig. So bottom line, we traded a pig for a kitten. Meet Miss Stella. Bear is PASSIONATELY EXCITED about his new “sister.”
Last night, we were in battle mode. Last minute list checking and Walmart runs. Pack? Keep? Memory box? Toss? We watched Carson Grace’s eternal tornado of a bedroom slowly transform into a stack of boxes and bags and suitcases. Saying goodnight was different. I knew it wasn’t going to be her last night to sleep in her room. But it’s not ever going to be the same. Most likely, whenever she comes back, it will be for a visit. Not to stay. She’ll always have a home to come back to here, but she really may move on and move out for good instead of ever coming back here to stay. Ever my daughter, she was highly sentimental, and we shared lots of tears and sweet words with one another before we settled to bed. I will always treasure those moments with my girl. Today was our hard day. We knew it was coming, and we have worked hard to get ready for this point. Josh and I drove Carson Grace to Marshall and got her all set up in her new dorm room. We rearranged the furniture and mounted her built-to-order Giddyup & Whoa sign over her bed.
We hung her clothes and arranged her mountains of shoes. We set up her coffee bar and had a coffee-making lesson. It turned out absolutely darling, and she loves her personal little oasis.
If this week seems early to start college, it is. Carson Grace starts her 1 week mini-mester class in the morning, and then she’ll be home one more weekend before school starts for real. We are so happy for her, and so proud. We feel great about the environment she’s going to be in, and we know that she never belonged to us, but to God. But I gotta tell you. In spite of all those healthy, grounded, mature FACTS THAT WE WHOLE-HEARTEDLY BELIEVE…all that goes out the window when you drive away from the building where you just left your baby girl by herself. Did we teach her enough? Is she going to make good friends? Is she going to work hard? Is she going to be lonely? We did the best we could the last 18 years, and we made a ton of mistakes along the way. But it’s time to let go and release her with our blessing. And now it’s her turn. To chose. To stand. And I know God’s got her, like He always has, and that she’ll be ok through the good choices and the bad, the sweet times and the heartbreaks. I really do know she’s gonna be ok. I do. But tonight….tonight my house is a little too quiet without the sweet whisper of a ukulele and my favorite voice coming from the door at the end of my kitchen. And my heart feels like a big chunk is gone. Tonight I’m giving myself permission to be sad and miss my girl.
Please continue your faithful prayers for our dear friends Harold and Lucas and their families. God is, and always will be, bigger than cancer. Bigger that anything we fear. Bigger than than anything we face.
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24, 26