today we begin with a letter from our dear friend aimee.
When Kess told me you had been diagnosed, it seemed like it had to be a mistake. It couldn't be real. I still, to this day, can't even compreheand the surrealness of those early moments for you. I had an ache in my heart that I don't think went away even a little until we saw you later in September. It was hard not to see you, help you, talk to you, watch Ava for you, just be able to be there for you.
I think, in all honesty, in those first few weeks, I was paralyzed by the fact that I couldn't be the friend I wanted to be. Sounds so lame and selfish --- I mean, you were the one who had cancer. But, as so much of life shows me these days, life is not about me. God had already swooped you and Justin in to His arms and was carrying you on the path He'd so carefully carved before you were born.
So here's a few thoughts on things I learned....mainly on what it's like to try to love (imperfectly, of course) from a distance.
-- When crisis hits, people tend to "circle the wagons"....they draw in and link up with the people they need to the most. You may be in the circle and you may be outside of it. Whereever you are, it doesn't matter. What matters is showing the person with cancer you're with them through it no matter what...
-- So that may mean sending texts, e-mails and leaving voice mail messages...that may go unreturned for awhile. Don't expect a response. Give that person the space to have the energy to work toward healing, not maintaining relationships.Call/text/e-mail whenever you think to. Text on chemo days. Don't worry if it's a bad time. They won't answer if it is. Don't be afraid... But maybe don't just drop by their house unannounced :)
-- Find out what makes them smile. The little things really do seem to make a difference. Libby loved cards so much. I tried to pick one up whenever I saw one that reminded me of her, or send something cute that I thought she would like, or flowers...I think I realized that for her a little love in the mail said "you are not alone in this because we're thinking of you." If anything could even momentarily lift their spirits and take their mind of chemo, nausea, etc.then it is a good thing to do.
--Pray, pray, pray. As I read the blog those first few months especially it drove me to constantly pray. I never realized that someone who is sick can actually feel those prayers. Libby did. She felt the prayers of hundreds of people praying for her.What an amazing thing. Because of Libby's life, I will never again doubt the real work that prayer does. I talked to God about Libby while I did dishes, while I was driving, while I was folding laundry, when I would say bedtime prayers with my son. I think I know why God wants us to pray without ceasing, because it kept me acutely aware of His presence.
Thanks for the opportunity to think on and process that. I am so grateful for your battle, your victory and the amazing ways you brought (and still bring) glory to God. I was so encouraged and forever changed.