In all of this I’ve learned.
I’ve learned that I have a lot to learn.
Because of that, I’ve been texting my pastor the lessons, as I learn them.
The first one is this:
I need to be a more attentive and caring friend.
Here are two examples:
I have a friend who has stuck with me, even when I haven’t stuck with her.
She will literally drop anything she is doing and come to my aid.
I have been a shitty friend to her- I have not come to her aid many times.
I recently was sitting in the parking lot of Lowes (it was early on in Mike’s diagnosis and I was still shell shocked), Colton needed to be fed and I needed to just sit.
She met me at Lowes to bring me something I needed that at the time seemed really important, but I can’t even remember now…
I had been feeling pretty convicted by the Holy Spirit to apologize to her for my unfriendly friend status, so I looked at her and said: you are my most loyal friend. I am so sorry for not being there for you. Thank you for ALWAYS being there for me.
You know what she said to me???
Jo- we all have shit we need to work on, don’t worry about it for a minute. I love you.
Her name is Mary Ellen Campbell Shah and I love her deeply. Like- Adriatic sea deep.
When we were told by the doctor that Mike had cancer and that we needed to go straight to Lexington Hospital- do not go home first go straight to the hospital- that is what we did.
You know what I didn’t have? Mascara.
You know what my one item I would take to a deserted island is? Mascara.
A friend of mine showed up the following morning with deodorant, face wash, flip flops and yep- mascara.
Kristie Guard saved me from feeling ugly- and that is a gift. Especially in a time when we had very little control over anything that was happening to us.
There are so many other examples:
Starbucks coffee every morning at the hospital brought to me by Holly Ailes.
Tara and Lee Butterfield literally giving us their condo to use in Charleston for as long as we need it while Mike is receiving treatment and have consistently stayed in touch with us while we are down here.
My dad materializing out of thin air literally 2.5 hours after I called him from the gastroenterologist’s office telling him that Mike had cancer and they were sending us to the hospital- and my step mom Christy whole-heartedly agreeing that my dad should come stay with us in Columbia and Charleston whenever I feel like I need him.
My sister bringing me Good Life Cafe food for lunch every day at the hospital.
Mike’s sister Shelby taking Mike’s CWP paperwork straight to SLED because that was very important to him to get done.
Kris Floyd and Scott Catoe- don’t even get me started about these two and their deep devotion to their friend Mike.
The Attaways from church who have literally supplied us with enough food to get through 2015.
Lori Mack and Melinda Ayer who text me and tell me to stop turtling and demand that I respond to their texts when they sense I am getting depressed.
Chelsea, Bryan Floyd and Linda Derrick who have every other weekend worked out a system to go get Cash from school in North Carolina so Mike can see his little boy.
Dick and Bethany Hiller who have without question taken Mary-Jordan, Eliza and West and cared for them full-time without complaint or hesitation.
Lindsey Maxwell who takes care of Colton whenever.i.need.her.to.
Cody Fulmer who loves us very much and takes care of our animals while we are in Charleston.
Shannon Hart who consistently and constantly encourages us.
Shane Miller who sends me workouts to do in Charleston.
All the people who have given to the Go Fund Me site my sister and Tara set up…. Praise God and wow.
Timmy and Monica French who have been our in the flesh, text and phone prayer warrior mega super star wonderkins.
The Arcands who have been extremely gracious and understanding as we build their house from Charleston.
There are so many other people who have done so much for us so please don’t get your feelers hurt if I didn’t mention you.
The point of this post is: relationships.
How are you doing with yours?
Without the people I mentioned above, and the people that I haven’t mentioned because the post would be 20 pages long, we would be LOST. Drifting in a sea of despair and desperation. That is not an exaggeration, and if you have ever been in a similar situation you know what I mean.
Here’s the moral of the story: if you ain’t right with the people who you love and love you- get right with them.
For all the selfish and unselfish reasons in the world, for the love of God and Jesus Christ, get right with them.