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Finding Sunshine In My Mailbox

Saturday, January 28, 2012

{EDIT: Hanne, thanks for your comment! Good point! We used to be able to Bennett's g-tube in at home without any need for the hospital. However, he has gotten to the point where he tenses his muscles and will not relax enough where we can put the tube in. In addition, when Bennett's tube fell out last time (last week), it had been several hours and already started to close before we found it. I believe the pain from replacing the g-tube comes from dilation of the area, not necessarily putting the tube back in. But it's hard to know with Bennett because he's so frightened of the process it's probably just as fear-inducing as it is painful.  Bridget and Becca, Thanks for both of your comments, as well! :)}


I. Love. Mail.  Brian thinks I'm a nut, as excited as I get about mail.  And, ok, so the reality is that our mailbox is most often filled with junk mail and bills.  But there are those rare few days here and there where I get a real letter or a card!!  This is what happened just the other day and I thought I'd share about it...


About a year ago, I was able to reconnect with a friend I hadn't seen in more than 10 years.  We found each other through Facebook, which was a delight to both of us.  Heather is one of the first people I met when I moved all alone several states away to attend my freshman year of college at the University of Missouri.  She is just a little bit older than me so I saw her as a bit of a mentor.  She helped reassure me I would be ok, even as I had just left home to be one my own for the first time.


Little did I know that Heather would offer me support and encouragement again years later.  Heather contacted me shortly after our reconnection asking for my address.  She stated that she "loves to randomly drop cards in the mail" and wanted to add me to her list.  I cannot even express how much her cards mean to me.  

One of the things that is most difficult about taking care of a child with a chronic illness is that it's chronic.  Sometimes, what feels most daunting is merely the day in and day out, over and over, again and again care that must be put into trying to keep Bennett from getting sick.  So, finding an handwritten card and encouraging word in the midst of one of those days can be such a sweet surprise to receive.

It was Heather's most recent card that gave me a "pay it forward" moment.  Even though I am often focused on what I have going on in my day-to-day life, I believe that I have failed to recognize what little things I can do for others.  I certainly have the ability to write a sentence, seal a card and send love to a friend who might just appreciate receiving some of her own Sunshine in Her Mailbox.  What might take me 5 minutes to put in the mail has the potential to bright someone else's whole day.  So, it's time I get my own list of people to send cards to!

I am thankful to Heather for teaching me this this week - and for the encouragement she sends right to my mailbox so regularly.

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