My week got crazy, and I haven't been posting like I planned. Luckily, my gratitude hasn't been as short as my time. For the most part, I have been feeling very grateful, like for the beautiful leaves I get to rake up, and for wonderful friends. I can't deny I have moments like last night when the walls seemed to be closing in on me and I let self-pity in. Ugly.
But....in an effort to redeem myself from all that, here are some thoughts. I have been wanting to share a story that happened to us about the same time Steven had his surgery in May. I should have shared it long ago, but I had sort of decided when I started the blog that I wouldn't single out any of the many generous and kind things people had done for us or given us. I didn't want to miss anyone, or trivialize the little things by mentioning only the big ones. Every single thing--even just kind words--have meant the world to us. People do what they can, little or big, and we have appreciated it all.
Having said that, I am going to tell you about a fundraiser that a friend did for us, which kind of blew me away.
The background is that we had been debating about doing a fundraiser, and had come to no real conclusions. We are so lucky that Rob's company offers good health insurance (for which I am super grateful!), and we were able to meet our deductible with no problem. All the same, cancer and everything that comes along with it is expensive, so we were considering the possibility.
One day, a friend from church called and told me she wanted to sell some cinammon rolls for Steven at a church-sponsored youth event that involved lots of young people from the area. She wanted to get the young women from church involved with the fundraiser, since I had been working with them before cancer struck. I agreed and gave her permission to post our blog on her facebook account.
I didn't think much about it until she called and told me they wanted to bring the money over. She said they had raised a lot of money, but "a lot" is kind of relative, so I was thinking a few hundred dollars maybe.
She and her family brought over a plastic box full of one dollar bills and told us about what had happened. She owns a cleaning business and cleans for the corporate office of Rhodes rolls. One morning she was listening to her scriptures on her iPod and she had a distinct impression that she needed to ask if they would donate cinammon rolls to sell in order to raise money for Steven. Rhodes agreed to donate some rolls and my friend told them she first needed to get permission for the fundraiser, but she would get back to them.
I don't exactly know how the next part went, but in a short few days, the fundraiser was cleared to be at the event by the four Stakes that were participating in it which by itself was a huge feat. She sent out emails that pretty much went viral, informing people about the fundraiser.
She went back to Rhodes to tell them it was a go. They asked her how many rolls she wanted and she said, "How about 800?" "Eight hundred?" Clearly, she had bigger plans then they did. However, they agreed. They also let her use their industrial kitchen to cook the rolls and their employees helped her bake them.
By Saturday morning, she arrived just on time to the early morning event with 800 cinnamon rolls and this plastic box with a hole cut in the top. They sold the cinnamon rolls for a dollar, and sold every one. But people paid more than that. In the end, they earned over twice that much money, most of it in one dollar bills. People were generous and many sent a message along via the girls that they were praying and cheering for Steven.
The feeling of support that came along with this fundraiser was overwhelming. Not only did I feel like all these people from our community and church were looking out for us, I felt like Heavenly Father knew us and our needs. In the end, we decided not to do a fundraiser of our own. We put the money from the rolls (along with other money people have given us) into an account for Steven's medical bills. I can't look at the account without feeling grateful for all the people who have helped us in any way this year.
And so, today I am grateful for all the people who have helped us through this. My cousin also did a fundraiser this year and made some wrist bands that read, "No one fights alone." I know we have not been alone through this.
Our former prophet, Spencer W. Kimball once said, "God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs."
So today I am thankful for Heavenly Father. I am grateful for all the people around me who have served us and given to us very generously. I have been truly amazed at the kindness of others. I hope that I can someday be the answer to someone else's prayer.