Feeling Thankful

November 22, 2007 @ 7:25 am | Filed under:

You can see why.


And on this day, ten years since the Thanksgiving Day Jane finished the in-patient, high-dose phase of her chemotherapy protocol, it seems like a good time to recall this post I wrote three years ago, just before I began this blog. (Rilla is celebrating in retrospect. She is glad there is a big-sister-Jane in her life.)

She finished the last round of high-dose chemo on Thanksgiving Day
of 1997. We ate Boston Market turkey and stuffing in the hospital
playroom while her meds finished running. There were two more years of
low-dose chemo to go, but we expected to spend most of that period as
out-patients. When we got home that night—home, where we hadn’t spent
more than ten days in a row since March—it was late, a cold, clear
night, with as many stars as a New York City sky can muster. I remember
thinking I couldn’t imagine ever being more thankful for anything than
I was to be carrying that little girl up the stairs to our apartment
that night.

I was wrong. Today I watched Jane feeding Wonderboy a jar of baby
food. He thought it was hilarious to have his big sister be the one
feeding him, and he could hardly eat for laughing—big belly laughs that
made the other kids crack up, and then the sound of their laughter,
which he can hear clearly now with the hearing aids in, made him guffaw
all the harder. I stood frozen in the kitchen, holding my breath as if
they were a flock of rare birds who might fly away if I moved. Beanie’s
curls bounce when she laughs. Rose laughs mostly with her big brown
eyes. Jane is like a poster child for joy. It bubbles out of her and
spills over to everyone around.

There’s a little part of me that is still leaning over the bed in
that crowded Queens apartment, counting tiny red dots on Jane’s skin,
slowly awaking to the fact that we had far more important things to
worry about than what day Scott should give notice at his job. It’s the
part of me that knows, now, never to take a minute of this for
granted—to give thanks to God every hour of every day for these amazing
treasures who have been entrusted to my care, and for the guy who gives
his all in helping me take care of them. They are miracles, all of
them. Especially that golden girl beaming at her little brother as she
lifts the spoon to his laughing mouth.


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9 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Jennifer says:

    Your family is so inspiring to me. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. patience says:

    Oh my Melissa, you make me cry! I’ve read that post before and still I cry. Like Jennifer said, your family really is an inspiration of hope and faith. I don’t need to wish you a happy Thanksgiving, I’m sure! But I wish you years and years and years of happiness anyway.

  3. Diane says:

    This is so touching, Melissa, so heartfelt and beautiful. Thank you for sharing it again.

    And Rilla is a doll! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family.

  4. Margaret in Minnesota says:

    You bet they’re miracles–miracles of the most beautiful kind. (Except for that little Rilla. She is beauty AND cuteness, all rolled into one.)

    Happy Thanksgiving, Lissa!

  5. Kristen Laurence says:

    Beautiful and inspiring. Our friends’ ten year old daughter is in the hospital this Thanksgiving after her cancer resurfaced last month. Emilija is a miracle herself, and inspires everyone around her with her courage in the face of suffering. How I pray for her complete recovery – your Jane is a light of hope for so many.

    Keep sharing your story, Lissa, for all of us who benefit from it! Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Abigail says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! I’m so grateful that your little girl is fully healed. I’m also grateful that you & Scott are sharing her inspiring story with us. Your posts make me much more focused in my prayers for the sick.

  7. Mary Beth P says:

    So glad we had the joy of spending Thanksgiving 1998 with you all, including newborn Rose and Richard! I think of it every year! Maybe we’ll be able to do it again someday, but we’ll need a much bigger house!

  8. Karen Edmisten says:

    So beautiful, and so uplifting.

  9. Alli ~Mrs. Fussypants says:

    Everytime I think about you and Jane all those years ago….I can’t help but tear up!

    Who let Baby Rilla grow up?