Friday, November 27, 2015


  1. the expression of gratitude, especially to God: 
Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day and we celebrated with the Lundquist family where we had turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and all the rest of the trimmings, eating ourselves into a coma. Before the meal it is tradition to hold hands in a circle and say what you are thankful for. Most were a form of being thankful for family, some for the food we were about to partake. The list in my head was so long, I had to shorten it to family and good health.

From the time the news of my diagnosis of lymphoma was known, I received numerous cards and letters from well wishers. Some from people I had never met but they knew someone who knew me and that I was in desperate need of prayers. I have saved all those cards and letters in a tin box that was part of a gift package from a good friend. Yes, you get presents when people learn you are seriously ill, this one contained a bottle of wine but unfortunately Murphy beat me to it because we weren't home and it was left on the porch. The bottle of wine shattered on the cement step and ran down the back where a toad lived, I hope he enjoyed it. Others sent gift cards, prayer shawls, homemade candy, Sherri's Berries, a care package full of essentials from another cancer survivor, and comfy lounging clothes for those down days. And then there was  the food! From the garden club members, neighbors, friends and our church family, it was overwhelming.

The tin box has been in residence on top of the tv for the last year and it was time to purge, I'm trying to do that all over the house and this seemed a good place to start! I sat in our quiet kitchen and read each one all over again, some made me laugh and some made me cry. 

The friends, there more than one, who regularly sent cards just to let us know they were thinking of us and later celebrating with us.

The totally unexpected note from a lady I barely knew but we had spent a couple of hours together in a tornado shelter waiting out a storm.

The family members who drove at least 6 hours out of their way to deliver some care packages and hugs of encouragement during a particularly low period.

The sister and a neighbor of another family member who sent such lovely cards and letters, a complete surprise.

A nephew who lives in the electronic age, who cared enough to find a card, write a note and mail it, that made me cry even though it was a funny card.

The little girl who belonged to the TLC club in a Storm Lake after school program, where they made colorful get well cards and delivered them to the oncology department at the BV hospital. When I felt better I wrote back to Kayla in care of the school and I later received letters from both her and her teacher. Her teacher thanked me for writing back to Kayla, that it told her she made a difference in someones life. That she was important.

Never underestimate the power of a card, whether you let the card say what is in your heart, or along with a heartfelt letter. I recently visited my former co-worker who has  been challenged by a life changing illness herself. She said the out pouring of love from everyone has been humbling and she is going to remember that when others are in need of encouragement.

I was at the bottom of the box, the only things left were some dead bugs and dust bunnies and fond memories. The urge was strong to hang onto the cards but I was stronger, I shredded the appropriate material for Clyde's litter box and used the rest to build a fire in the wood stove. You will be happy to learn that they not only warmed our hearts, they warmed our bodies.

And I can't even put it into words what they did for Clyde.


  1. Yes, I'm SURE Clyde is grateful - love your blog...sister

  2. Yes, this Thanksgiving was far different from last year's, wasn't it? Thanks be to God!

  3. Yes, this Thanksgiving was far different from last year's, wasn't it? Thanks be to God!

  4. julie, this is one of the most beautifully written blog entries of yours that I have ever read. You write so eloquently, my dear. It is a joy to read them - PLUS also to give thanks again that you have survived!!!! YAY!!!! much love to you...