Tuesday, August 20, 2019

When Love Looks Like A Bra Fund

The (other) August First Ladies have been heavy on my mind lately, but especially today.
Are they being loved on?
Do they have families? Friends? Co-workers?
Who is walking alongside them?
Do they know they're not alone?

This morning, two of my friends at Focus (young women I work closely with) walked into my office with huge smiles, a basket of goodies and a plant.

Then they closed my door and said, "You're probably going to cry. So we'll give you some privacy. But first we want to explain."

"This plant grows very well in dark basement suites that get no natural light. It'll bring life to your living space..."

"And this robe is for people who've had breast surgery. It has pocket inside for ice packs to rest on your incision. A matching sports bra has a front velcro opening, so you don't have to lift your arms uncomfortably. I talked to my sister-in-law who is a nurse and asked her to give us some practical ideas on what to give you..."

"You are so very loved, Jane. And this is our way of showing you that. We talked about waiting to give this to you at the end of the day, but we couldn't wait. You need to know. We love you."

I hadn't even looked in the basket or read the cards and I was a snotty blubbering mess. BUY KLEENEX FOR MY OFFICE is now at the top of my shopping list. They left and I explored.

SO many completely appropriate, wonderfully personal, incredibly practical, wildly beautiful things.
I can't even.
So many words of encouragement, promises to pray, and lots of love.


I'm getting it by the truckload these days.
It's unexpected.
It's overwhelming.
It's humbling.

If love can cure cancer then, well, uh, mine must be cured. Because. Uh. Never in my life have I felt this loved before. It's quite something.

I am reminded of a conversation I had with a friend a few years ago.
She's married. Has kids. Is adored by her family.
But it wasn't enough; she was after more. Fame, maybe? Riches?

Her: I always wanted to be loved by everyone in the room.
Me: I didn't even want to be in the room where everyone was. I just wanted one man to love me.

And today. It felt like everyone in the room loved me.
And I just don't know what to do with that.
Except say thank you over and over again because I just don't know.
And I hope I get to live a good long life so I can love on others in the same way.

I really need a kleenex.
This card was from Amy and Laura and it just made me laugh. But the words they wrote inside made me sobbbb.

And from the rest of the team, inside a suitable Bible verse card:

... as well as slips of papers tucked in, because they'd used up all the space.

My love language is definitely words of affirmation.
So even if the basket only contained the two cards, it would've been enough.

My (cancer) verse, designed by Amanda. I love, love, love it.
Coiled, lined notebook; fancy pen; incredibly beautiful word search collection; Max Lucado book; candle (seashore scent); floral water bottle; reading light.
(I'll bring the plant home tomorrow.)

Still in the basket:

Mani/pedi gift card; Skip the Dishes gift card; Gas card; Indigo gift card; hand cream; lip balm; moisturizing face masks; snacks; silicone straws, and $200 for a bra or two. (The robe and matching bra are in my bedroom and I'm too lazy to go photograph them.)

SO generous and thoughtful and amazing and Thank You God that I work with such an incredible group of humans.

And God? Those other August First Ladies? And Tessa? Please? Could you surround them with caring folk as well? Dump a load of love on them too, OK? Let them not be alone in this.


I had Fish n Chips with Faye after work; then we walked along the promenade.
We talked about our kids (she has three girls. I have three boys). Our lives couldn't be more different. (We're both divorced). Our lives couldn't be more similar.
We both have shoulder length blonde hair. (We're the same!). She has lush thick beautiful bangs. (We're different!)

Anyways. We walked. We talked. (She suggested that might be my spiritual gift.)
And she prayed. Out loud. While we were walking. (I suggested that might be her spiritual gift.)

Its just crazy how good my life is. I don't know why I got this diagnosis. I can spend the rest of my days questioning God. Or I can just accept what is, and watch for the lessons.
I hope I'm a better person when I come out the other side of this. Softer. Gentler. Kinder. More aware. More loving. A better giver. A sensitive listener. A dependable friend/sister/daughter. A trustworthy, fun mom. A committed prayer-er. I also hope I'll have hair and 1 3/4 boobs when I'm done. And an inexplicable desire to take up some type of physical activity that burns belly fat.

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Caring, creative, kind co-workers.

2. Garments with pouches for ice packs. Whoa.

3. Friends who pray, out loud, while walking, for your kids.


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