Resurfacing

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It is taking a little longer and is harder than I thought it would be to “step out into the sunshine again”.  Tears are still quick to form, but I am getting there.  In the forefront of my mind always is appreciation for all the support and love I continue to receive through meals delivered, emails, texts, phone calls – all with uplifting and reassuring messages.  I am so grateful for my amazing friends and family who have patiently and willingly sat with me and listened to my troubles and bolstered my spirits.  I am thankful to have a job that keeps me busy that I also love; I am constantly telling people that I could not have written a better job description for myself because I did not know that this job existed.  And I am optimistic that Dave’s new treatment Friday will be exactly what he needs.  

xoxo

Robyn

PS Lexy – I am also thankful that I cannot get those cookies locally.  They are like crack (or at least what I imagine crack to be).  I’m not even kidding.  

It Takes a Village

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We would have not have made it through the last couple of days without our village.  I am so thankful for…

*Our friends and family, near and far, who were praying and texting/emailing/messaging positive words of support.  You lifted us up.

*Ruth and Robin for feeding us such delicious meals.  You fed our bodies but also our souls with all of your love and kindness.  And Theresa, Trish, Amy, Tracie and Wendy who signed on to help us in upcoming weeks.  I love you ladies.  Truly.

*Kris, who was with Dave for the entire day and through the night on Thursday, through all the pain and stress.  We are both grateful that you were there to help.

*Grammy and PopPop for keeping Parker entertained for three nights so she would be away from the chaos.  And Matt, Michelle, Josh and Alex for being here and willing to help in any way possible.

*Matt for following his trusty GPS all over NOVA to retrieve and deliver the vital prescriptions.

*Sammi’s friends for all of their messages of support and especially Logan, AnneMarie, Emmanuel, and Frannie for coming over to lift her spirits.

*Tracie for being “mom on call” and checking on Sam while I was at the hospital with Dave.  And also for making me laugh.  Damn auto correct!

*Grant who kept watch over Sam on Thursday so I could run out and pick up her prescriptions and food.  He told me “You can count on me, Mom.”

There are not enough words.

Thank you.  We love you.

xoxo

Robyn

Spongebob, Gratitude and Assorted Thoughts

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November seems to be a month for reflection.  I notice on Facebook that a lot of people write one thing they are grateful for each day throughout the month.  I think that it is important to set some time aside to examine and count your blessings.  What I have learned in the last 15 months and 17 days is how to be more appreciative and more grateful.  It is not that I didn’t think I was doing okay in that regard, but I had some room for growth.  For every favor, request, plea that I send heavenward, I now send up an equal if not greater number of thank yous.  I am far less critical – well, except when it comes to Grant’s missing school work but that is another story.  I am far more accepting of people warts and all.  That’s not to say there aren’t issues that get under my skin.  (Don’t get me started on all the data/testing in our schools or teachers who seem to want to be elsewhere.)  But, overall, I see the good in people and understand that they “are who they are”.  I am driven to spend family time and enjoy the little moments as much as possible.  It is not that I am fatalistic; I have just learned a new better way for me to live.  At the end of the day, I want to be able to say that I knew what was important and I spent my time focused on those things – family, friends, making a difference, laughing, learning.

I am thankful that in our house it is considered a challenge to go an entire day without quoting Spongebob.  Communication with teens is not always the easiest thing in the world but in our house we all speak a common language which usually involves Spongebob, Family Guy and assorted movies.  I would give you an example, but I am trying to win the challenge Samantha laid down this morning….

Happy Thanksgiving.

xoxo

Robyn

Parents

Those of you who know our families know that we have an amazing support network.  Dave’s parents have been so supportive even though they live a full day’s car ride away.  They were here for both of his surgeries, paced the waiting room with me, ate bad hospital food, and did whatever they could for all of us to make life easier during those challenging times.  My parents who live twenty minutes down the parkway have been there for us in the day to day.  They have made MANY trips to the orthodontist, pediatrician, orthopedist, and dentist.  They have run errands for us, watched kids, and attended any and all kid events.

When school started back up this fall, my mom made the most generous and greatly appreciated offer.  She said she would be happy (or at least willing) to make dinner for us once a week.  We decided on Wednesdays since I work later on that day and we also tend to have evening events.  Usually I come home to a kitchen with snack dishes in the sink and general disorder.  At best I come home to a clean kitchen with an empty sink and stove.  Yesterday, my kitchen had a yummy array of food for dinner – shepherd’s pie, broccoli, a delicious salad with jicama, mandarin oranges and almonds as well as brownies and fresh fruit for dessert.  It was so nice to not have to think about dinner but to just sit down and enjoy a family meal before we rushed off to our different events.  What an incredible gift – not just the meal which we very much enjoyed, but also the gift of time.  We could enjoy a half hour of family togetherness gathered around the table.  Then Parker and Dave took Winston to puppy class, and Samantha and I went to a college event.  Dinner was the respite from the day and a chance to recharge and reconnect before we headed out again.

This morning I noticed brownie crumbs on the counter.  This is the conversation that followed between Dave and me.

Me: I can’t believe someone is eating brownies for breakfast.

Dave: Are the brownies not supposed to be eaten?

Me: No, it’s fine if they are eaten but not for breakfast.

At this point I looked over at Dave who had a plate with telltale brownie crumbs covering it which he was sliding to the side of the table.

Me: Oh.

xoxo

Robyn

Meredith Made Me Cry

I wrote something completely different this morning, but I had to preempt it to show you this.

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After school today, three of the most wonderful people I know showed up with this incredibly gorgeous cake made with herbs grown in their garden.  If you can believe it, the cake tastes even better than it looks!  I read the attached note quickly and started to tear up so I said my thank yous and headed back to my classroom.  When I got home, I read the note again and really absorbed the words.  And that is when I cried.  Not sad tears.  Tears of gratitude that someone thinks so kindly of me.  I hope Meredith doesn’t mind if I share part of what she wrote….

“Herbs are like families fighting cancer.  They don’t draw attention to themselves but when they are bashed about a bit, their true beauty and strength comes out.”

It’s okay if you need to go and dab your eyes now.  I understand.

xoxo

Robyn

Unexpected

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We have experienced many acts of kindness in the last year.  The support and love we have been shown has been staggering, and I believe that my definition of gratitude has been rewritten.  There have been some completely unexpected acts that have gone so far above and beyond.

*Dave’s school formed a team in his honor to raise money and run/walk in the www.getyourrearingear.com fundraiser.  Team Orange was the biggest group represented and raised the most amount of money for the event.  When my school principal heard about it, she told a few people. Five amazing ladies, (Ginger, Kim, Jaime, Maggie and Stephanie) whom I barely knew, joined the event in honor of Dave and also Maggie’s grandmother.  They even made t-shirts for the occasion!  We were joined on the 5K by our dear friends the Lambakis family, my parents, Dave’s sister and her boys, the Hayfield Hawk and the many members of Team Orange.  Inspired by the Alexandria event, my cousins (Suanne, Mimi and Lynne) participated in the Austin event.  Amazing how one good deed inspires others.

*We have been friends with Doug and Lexy for many, many years.   Our families have shared some tough times together but also TONS of laughs.  Recently they were heading to Reston to participate in a March of Dimes event and asked if they could stop by.  They dropped off yummy meals for days that we could freeze and use over time.  What a godsend on those days when we were all so tired that cooking was the last thing on our minds, to have delicious homemade meals that we could heat up and enjoy.

*My friend, Raba, who also joined us on the 5K with her son, Joseph, messaged me one day and asked if we would be home at 5:00.  A little after 5:00, I looked out the door to see if she was there, and I discovered a full homemade meal sitting on my front step.  Raba is the kind of person I strive to be.  She would literally give you the shirt off of her back.

These unexpected acts have brought light to some shadowy days.  We have been energized by the love and thoughtfulness of our friends and family.  Thank you all for being part of our village.

Oh, and remember those orange suits?  Multiple boxes arrived on our door step over several days.  A friend of Dave’s had the suits made for him.  Incredible.

xoxo

Robyn

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