I've been sick all week. Nothing serious. Just a bad cold. Bad enough that over the past 9 days, I've missed 2 full days of work, church all day Sunday, and several partial days of work. I've been extremely tired, congested, and coughing (you know that kind that sounds like you are going to cough up a lung?!?). I still feel pretty yucky. (In fact today was the other full day of work I missed.)
But, I know that this is temporary. "This too shall pass". As bad as I feel, I know my life will go on and things will return to normal soon. (What ever "normal" is!?!) But, I have three friends whose families will have to learn a new normal. Each of these dear, beautiful, Godly women are Mothers to 3 or 4 kids (each, coincidently, have a son the age of my oldest). They are all my age (give or take 5 years).
Debi has 4 boys. The oldest is married. The youngest is 14. She was a photographer. Almost 2 months ago, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Over the past two months, she has had brain surgery followed by chemo and radiation. She is holding up well. She has a break while they determine if the treatment helped or what steps they will try next. Her husband and boys are clinging to hope, but their life will never be the same.
Jenni has 3 kids. Like me, she has boy bookends with a girl in the middle. Like me, she also has been married most of her life and struggled with infertility and loss. Together, we created a lifeline known as Hannah's Prayer to encourage and support other women facing infertility and loss. Unlike Debi, Jenni has known illness for most of her adult life. She fought hard against an unknown immune disorder and has finally been getting some answers. Jenni has never left her illness define her. She authored one book (Hannah's Heart) and had several more in process. She never stopped loving and supporting women who were in pain. Until last month when she had a seizure, to which she was non-responsive for about 6 hours, and a stroke. Now Jenni is in a rehabilitation hospital where she is trying to learn how to do all the things she used to know how to do. Her husband and family are clinging to hope, but their lives will never the same.
Christi has 4 boys and a girl. The youngest two are the ages of my oldest two. An awesome therapist, mentor, and friend, Christi was diagnosed with breast cancer about 5 or 6 years ago. At one point it looked like she had it beat. In January, we learned it had been back for a while. Christi held on to the hope that she would beat it. We thought we were going to lose her in January. But she held on. Today, Christi lost her battle with cancer. I know that she is in the presence of her God and King, but we miss her her. Her husband and children clung to hope, but their lives will never be the same.