Hello, Sweet Friends!
I'm sorry it's taken me so long to "catch up" with you all. This has been ONE CRAZY/BUSY week.. but it's been a LOT of FUN! Let me fill you in... =-)
Okay, so when I last posted I told you that we had out of town company coming in. They DID arrive just seconds BEFORE I clicked the "Publish Post" button. (The boys were outside EAGERLY watching and waiting for them.. I heard them scream out, "They're HERE!") LOL!!!
So, who WAS this company??? It was our dear friends from Memphis, Mark & Mylissa Horrocks.
We met them just before we learned that Brent had relapsed, back in 05. They too have had their world "rocked" by the diagnosis of cancer in their own child. However, AND PRAISE BE TO GOD, their daughter, Bella, has done BEAUTIFULLY! She's been in remission since she finished treatment in 04!
A couple of quotes from her caringbridge site..
"Bella was diagnosed with Stage IIIa Malignant Melanoma at age of 3 on 9/11/03."
"She finished on October 8, 2004!!! She had her first annual scans and redone October 18th, WHICH PROVED HER TO BE CANCER FREE FOR 1 YEAR!!! Praise the Lord!!! In November, Bella had a baseline PET which was NORMAL and a repeat MRI...NORMAL!!"
Okay, now would you like to know just how AMAZING this family is?? They saw a GREAT NEED while in treatment at St. Jude. They didn't just carry their daughter home and forget about the things they saw, felt, and experienced while at St. Jude, they did something about it!
What did they do, you might ask?? Through the leading of the Holy Spirit they started a non-profit organization called, "Habitat for Hope."
Please, if you have a minute, go and read how this all began.
Yep, they packed up their family (they lived in Florida) and MOVED to Memphis, TN just to support families like ours day in and day out.
They helped get us housing so that we could keep ALL of our boys together after Brent relapsed. (Although St. Jude goes ABOVE AND BEYOND what you might expect from a hospital, they can only provide housing for 4 people. You are NOT ALLOWED more than 4 at any time) We DESPERATELY wanted to keep the boys under the same roof after relapse. (They told us there was NO HOPE of a cure for a child after relapse occurs)
Mark & Mylissa called and visited often, organizing meals for us while we were in the hospital. They walked the halls of St. Jude with us, praying between scans. Mark & Mylissa were there with us the day we first heard that there was nothing more that could be done for Brent. (Of course we didn't accept that, but that's a ANOTHER story)
I could go on and on telling you about how they helped meet the physical and spiritual needs of our family.. but for the sake of time, and to avoid writing a book today, I won't. LOL!
I would like to share one more quick story.. another memory that stands out. It was when they came to the hospital and threw Gabe a birthday party (at St. Jude) so that he'd HAVE one. See, we'd just brought Brent back to Memphis "to let him go" and were beyond even remembering that it was our baby boy's birthday.
They also came and got the kids and took them places during those very sad and very dark days so that they'd have a little bit of "normalcy"... so they could get their little minds on something that wasn't so tragic.
This sweet young couple doesn't just "talk the talk," my friends, they WALK THE WALK!
The very home they live in is open day and night to families in Memphis who have a child with a life-threatening illness. When I say "open" I mean people LITERALLY LIVE in their home. (I'm nagging Mylissa to build a cabin somewhere on the property so that they can have their own space.. I'm telling you, I could NOT do what they do ALL the time!) The hope/plan is to one day build cabins on the property for more families to live in while their child is hospitalized/or in treatment. As far as I know they only thing holding them back is the money. (It's a NON-PROFIT and it's running on donations)
Okay, so I could talk ALL DAY about this sweet family and what they do. I know you'd be blessed if you went over and "met" them for yourselves.
I know I promised pictures, but there are children sleeping all over the place right now. LOL!! The boys had a sleepover last night so there are some in the boys' bedroom, the living room, and one in our bed. HA!!! I'll try to get the photos uploaded sometime today and will share them in the next post. (HOPEFULLY)
Oh, I forgot to tell you what we've been doing the rest of the week... WHOOPS! Okay, so if you've not left already... I'll QUICKLY fill you in!
The Horrocks family left on Tuesday.. we were hosting church in our house Wednesday as well as having Thanksgiving supper with them afterwards. SOOO... the POWER-CLEANING/SHOPPING/COOKING began just after our sweet friends walked out the door. Then on Thursday, it was school and cleaning AGAIN. Yesterday, we went to a friends house to make dough ornaments... FUN, FUN, FUN! (I'll post pictures of those soon, too!)
Yep, it's been a really CRAZY week, but OH-SO-MUCH-FUN!
Today... I'm keeping Allie Grace! WHOO-HOO!! =-)
Okay, I've SERIOUSLY kept you long enough. THANKS SO MUCH for letting me pour my heart to you. I PROMISE to try to keep the next post REALLY SHORT-N-SWEET! O:-)
Thanks again for stopping by - I've MISSED YOU ALL!