Being on the receiving end of help is quite humbling.
The last few years of our lives have been interlaced with military separations and medical situations that have put me in a position where I have been the one receiving help from others.
It has been such a huge learning experience for me. Asking for and accepting help from friends has never been something I’m good at. It’s quite difficult for this very (too?) independent wife and mom. At times, it feels like a sign of weakness. I know no one really has it all together, but there have been times in these last few years where it has felt like all of my untogetherness has been out there on display. I know, that in reality, it’s nothing like that. In truth, you can’t plan for when a medical situation will arise while your husband is away on a deployment or long military school. And you certainly can’t plan for cancer to sneak up on you.
Living so far from family has been one of the hardest parts for me. Though we live our military life by choice (knowing fully the consequences of those choices) I do sometimes envy those who live a mere few miles from their family members. I can’t tell you how many times I have wished I could just drop the kids off with a family member, but I can’t.
As humbling as it has been, friends have been the ones we’ve relied on to help us through these difficult situations. And, wow, we have some amazing friends! If I were to try to go into detail of all the situations where friends have been there to offer childcare, meals, yard work, errands, or other ways of support, I would surely leave someone out. But, this is for you – those of you who were in Florida, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Ohio and ever helped us with anything, we appreciate it! You are setting a wonderful example – not only for your kids, but ours as well. Our children remember your kindness. They remember you taking care of them and how you treated them. Thank you for loving them. I’m sure I told you at the time, and probably even sent you a thank you note, but I want you to know that your kindness and love for our family has not been forgotten.
And, to those of you in Alaska helping us through this new journey – you are appreciated. I wish I had better or more eloquent words to express my gratitude for what you are doing for us. There’s no way I would feel as calm about facing cancer head on without you. You are caring for our children, providing our meals, offering to do anything we need, and praying for us. We are sincerely grateful for you.