Giving and Gratitude

We sat with the kids tonight. We decided to tell them who the family was that gifted us a trip to Disney World tomorrow. We wanted them to know their little buddy who has been SO happy for them is happy because his family is GIVING to our family. We wanted them to see and recognize the joy in giving.

The conversation took us way back, though. To 9 months ago when this all began. We asked what they remembered about people who have given to us. They remembered the special easter egg hunts set up for us while Daddy was in the hospital. They remembered friends bringing us meals. They remembered the bowling fundraiser put together by such amazing and generous friends of ours. They remembered people babysitting them while I had to be away for the first times in their whole lives really.

They remembered so much! We remember it all!! Every single thing along this journey so far. The calls, the food, the visits, the financial generosity , the fundraisers and the support, the time we were welcome to throw Mike a birthday party at his aunts house because all he wanted for his birthday was a party with all of his cousins there. The cards! The letters! All of it.

Being Disney eve tonight, I kind of feel like we’ve come to a new chapter in this journey. Disney was our last “normal” memory as a family. The happiness and joy! The excitement! We came home and in just two weeks our world was turned upside down. Disney memories often got us through the hard times , but when the kids would talk about going back one day Mike and I both knew it just wasn’t realistic. We don’t have that extra money anymore and this is our life for a good long time as far as we know. We will be paying for supplements and massive amounts of organic produce , and alternative treatments and Drs all out of pocket now. For as long as this takes. But how do you explain that to your five year olds? You don’t. You don’t tell them how sick Daddy really is because you don’t want them to be scared. You pretend like everything is just fine, although you know it’s not. So when my friend told me on Thanksgiving that she and her family wanted to send us to Disney World for Christmas I wept. Standing in Toys R Us at 11:00 pm , I just wept. Sure, Disney is magical, but to us it’s much more. It marked almost the end of 5 PERFECT years as we knew them. It’s where we left our normalcy behind. It’s where we last laughed until we cried on the tea cups without having a single worrisome thought in the back of our minds.  It’s where we spent some of our happiest moments together with our babies who are growing up before our eyes. It’s just more.

For Mike I pray this week is nothing but joyful! He has been through so much. His body , the surgery, the recovery. His mind and spirit, hearing a dr tell you you may not have  much longer with your babies, with your family. For Mike I pray this week is full of moments where he just stares at his babies and takes in every detail of their smiles, and giggles, and the wonder and innocence in their eyes. I pray he feels our love for him more than ever before this week, and that he realizes how surrounded by love we all really are!

What I wish I had the words to explain is how this feels. To be here, in the midst of this awful nightmare but without worry or fear. We have NO reason to worry, and that is thanks to ALL OF YOU! You have all supported us this year in ways I can’t start to explain to you. I have never once doubted we’d get to where we need to be, regardless of any roadblocks or circumstances and that’s because I know Team Weichbrodt is SURROUNDED by good! Surrounded! Everyday new good comes to us, and brings us to our knees each time. We are humbled. We are grateful.

So here is how we ended our conversation tonight. We told the kids we NEED to give. We need to give every day . Be it small or large. Gifts or talents. We just need to give without hesitation because without all we’ve been given we wouldn’t be here right now. They understand. They are learning, and thanks to all of you our little foursome is going to do BIG things for others! We may start small, it may just be something here or there, but it will add up and it will be huge one day! We owe that to you all as a token of the gratitude we have for each and every one of you!!!