Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Cycle 2, Day +13: Ash Wednesday and Random Acts of Kindness

Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return...

Steven and I attended a brief service today in the chapel at St. Jude. As we received our ashes and were instructed to acknowledge our insignificance in the grand scheme of things and in the presence of a greater power, I was thinking that our current situation reminds of that every day.

We persevere, fighting this battle against his tumor and also against the twin demons of depression and despair. They are my constant companions since Steven's diagnosis, they sit at a short distance from me, watching, like scavengers, waiting to step in when my defenses are down. I battle with them daily, it is a self-indulgence to let them take hold, and it is most certainly a disservice to those who depend on me.

The thoughtfulness and support that pours from our friends and family are potent weapons against these unwanted companions. Your packages, cards, thoughts and prayers sustain us, you give all of us courage and strength, more than we can describe in words and certainly more than we will ever be able to repay.

Then there are people we don’t even know, we’ve come together in chance meetings but we don’t even know their names. A woman handed Steven and Sean each $10 and asked them to get something they like and ran off, I didn’t even see her face, only the back of her head. A woman pushed $15 into my hand for the boys and likewise took off before I could say anything to her. After church one day another woman pressed a rosary into my hand which had been blessed at Lourdes and asked me to please take it. At a pizza restaurant last Sunday night two men and a woman came in and looked for a table. The four of us were sitting at two tables pushed together and we split them so the other group could sit. They left before we did and when we went to pay our check, we found out they had already taken care of it for us and left.

We are amazed and touched by such generosity. (Doug also suggested that maybe I needed to start dressing the kids in nicer clothing).

Steven continues to do very well, both physically and mentally. We are looking forward to the arrival of Aunt Janet on Friday for a weekend visit.


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