Monday, October 29, 2012

Sincere Gratitude

I have often heard that we never really truly know who loves us, or the depth of their compassion, until tragedy strikes.  The people who hold our hands through the storm are the ones who will eternally hold us in their hearts.  My life has been so blessed, but in the few tragedies that have occurred, I have always been humbled by the generosity and compassion of others.  Today, Claire and Erin shared with me so much about the way others have touched their lives and softened the blow that cancer has struck.

Before I begin with our sincere thanks and gratitude, I must make one small plea.  I am a teacher, a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, and a bit overloaded lately.  I want to thank so many people and businesses, but I know that I will forget some.  Please extend your understanding and forgiveness when I forget a business or act that has blessed my friends. Please e-mail me at to share with me a company that needs to be added to the list.

The following businesses have been instrumental in helping Erin and Claire.
Sincere thank you to:

Great American Construction Company
Jenny's Diner
Bliss Hair Studio
Nodland Wine Cellars
Paint in My Hair
Mercer Trucking (storage compartment donation)
Serena Thompson and the Farm Chicks
The Bigelow Gulch Grange
Spokane Rainmaker
Nichole Mischke and KHQ television
Pacific Company Sportswear
Cancer Care Northwest
Cancer Patient Care
Sidebar and Grill
Cashmere Skin and Body
North Spokane Women's Health
Spokane Area Volleyball Referee Association
White Cross Pharmacy in Priest River
Robert Gayda with Bubbleland Laundry

Along with the many companies that have supported our friends, so many individuals and families have helped them through the past few months.  There are way too many people to name individually, but please know we are grateful for everything.  Erin and Claire have received numerous checks, substantial donations to the fund, cards, care packages, meals, babysitting (thanks Kate and Dan!!!), e-mails, calls, and much, much more.  We are all sincerely grateful for your outpouring of support and love.  Every bit of it has helped lift these two amazing women.  It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child.  I think it takes a whole damn continent to fight the evils of cancer.  So, thank you for reaching out to these two incredible women.

As we are following the theme of gratitude, I feel compelled to share a few stories.  First, I must say thank you to my work family at Prairie View Elementary where I teach.  So many friends at Prairie View, who have never met Erin or Claire, have brought meals, left blank checks in my mailbox for the fund, ordered t-shirts, and shared a hug or prayer with me.  The outpouring of love from my Prairie View family includes coworkers, families of my students, and PTO friends.  I am so humbled by your love and support.  One of my coworkers had asked me what the best way to support Erin was.  Unfortunately, that e-mail got lost in the shuffle.  I am trying so hard to keep my family and classroom afloat, while stretching my talents as a blog writer and sharing a few "two-armed" hugs with Erin and Claire.  That friend, showed up in my classroom after school today with a generous check for Erin.  She said Erin could use that money however she wanted.  I cashed it on my way home, drove to Erin's and handed her the money.  It felt incredible to share that with her and know that people all over Spokane and all over the country are reaching out to my sweet friends, even if they don't know them.

Shortly after that donation, another friend of mine asked me to go to her house to pick up some things for the tag sale.  She graciously donated a wine basket for the raffle, another couple bottles for my sanity (thank you!!!!) and a bottle for me to share with Erin and Claire, and was trying to give me more!!!  I cannot tell you how much that gift meant to all of us. Tonight, we sipped that amazing wine and brainstormed about all the miraculous ways people have shared compassion.  Thank you for looking out for all of us and holding my friends, their family, and I in your thoughts and prayers.

Erin and Claire have some great ideas for their fund.  Of course, medical bills are at the top of the list, but in addition to that, they will be using the money for kid stuff for Gavin and Landon - both of their birthdays are coming and Christmas is right around the corner, yoga classes they plan to take together, and some acupuncture they would like to try.  All of these are amazing things.  Thank you for helping to make that possible.

One last note of thanks from me specifically..... thank you for the personal e-mails, calls, wine, and cards to me.  I write this blog because I love Erin and Claire and because I truly enjoy writing.  I am so glad that their loved ones can peek on here for updates while these two beautiful ladies focus on healing.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if the shoe was on the other foot, Erin would be doing all of this and more for me.  Please, hug your loved ones, appreciate each day, and keep sending a prayer or two to my sweet friends.  Thank you for looking out for all of us.  Tragedy really does highlight the best in humanity. Thank you.
With gratitude and humility,

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