Today I have a Story of Gratitude to tell.
There is so much to be thankful for. In one respect I see this blog as an expression of my gratitude on a semi –regular basis. This year, I have my health and my family to be thankful for now more than ever. It is such a simple statement but it means so much more this year.
I was first diagnosed with cancer in February of ’08. We knew it was most likely cancer for about a week before the actual diagnosis. Our world was starting to come unraveled in a big way. I was going to multiple doctor’s appointments, feeling progressively worse, and we were just plain scared. Early on we realized that we were going to need help.
When you have got troubles and you need someone solid to step in and take care of business there is no one like Charlie and Nancy. They are the parents of the Chickenhawk and it is clear that the apple does not fall far from the tree. They are not afraid of hard work and there was a ton to be done. They first did the eight hour drive down from Bend OR in February, moved into our very small guest house and started running the home. Nancy took over all the regular pink jobs and Charlie took over all the blue jobs that keep the kids fed and healthy and the house in shape. They had no complaints, just eagerness to jump in. That freed the C/H up to schlep me to countless doctor’s appointments and to help with my day to day needs.
As the months went by, I became more and more incapacitated and our needs increased. Of course lots of folks helped, but nobody put in more time, blood, sweat and tears than Charlie and Nancy. They made the trip down from Bend more times than I can count, probably five or ten. Each time they would arrive and just take over. Nancy would clean the messes that we just couldn’t get to and make homemade meals that kept us running. Charlie jumped on the outdoor projects; landscaping, gutter cleaning, car repair and home maintenance, all the things that I couldn’t hope to do. They made countless trips to home depot, the grocery store, the pharmacy and everything else.
Most of all, they took care of our girls. While the Chickenhawk and I were fighting the fight for my life. We were distracted and unable to be the parents that we want to be. That was really one of the hardest things to get through in the whole cancer process. But we never worried when the girls were with Charlie and Nancy.
At the height of the summer when I was in and out of the hospital with infections and procedures, the girls went to Bend for over a month. They stayed with Charlie and Nancy (and Aunt Shalyn and Uncle Lance) but the time in Bend is another story. While they were there they spent many days with Nana and Papa; camping, swim lessons, trips to the playground. Their help, love, tenacity and work ethic made an immeasurable improvement during the last 9 months for my family. So today, among many other things, I am grateful for Charlie and Nancy. Thank you!