I can only shrug and smile.
My sister came home last Wednesday, from the ACS Hope Lodge. She has been there since Labor Day, you may remember. I wrote, 6 weeks ago, about her staying there. She's been receiving radiation therapy daily, and will be begin chemotherapy here at home, soon. It was shortly after this entry that I got an email. It read, in part:
I have a proposal for you. I would like to provide a hotel room for your sister for 2 nights for the weekend of her choosing. I think it would be a great break from the prison (I mean residential facility).It was preceded by this statement:
I can't imagine spending 6 weeks in a residential facility while receiving treatment. I spent some time at Barnes, as a patient, when I was younger.I honestly couldn't respond, immediately. This. This offer. It had to sink in. And I had to run it by my sister, this offer for her and her family to stay here, for the weekend of her choice.
She talked it over with Tim, and she shyly, and then I shyly, accepted this offer. Dates were confirmed, and we awaited the reservation confirmation.
It was then that I got confirmation that a PayPal donation had been made to my account, from Teri's benefactor. I couldn't imagine, this guardian angel must be sending $250 to cover her hotel room!!
Who was I kidding?
My PayPal email notified me that $500 had been sent to me, for my sister. I received an email shortly thereafter that the $500 should cover the room, taxes, valet parking, and hopefully a nice meal, for Teri and Tim.
I was at work when I read that message. I just had to stop. Stop what I was doing, stop working. I could only sit and breathe, and take in the kindness of another person. And find a kleenex; for some reason I needed a kleenex.
When I could catch my breath, I called Teri, and I told her. The weekend was on. And I told her what had been done for her.
You'd think there would have been whooping, and cartwheels, and high-fiving, at this point, wouldn't you?
But I will never forget: I told her, and then we sat. We bot sat, silent on our phones. Not saying a word. For minutes, until I finally said "I know." And she said "Yeah."
And I knew she was looking for a kleenex.
So I booked the rooms, and I ran the difference over to Tim, the night before he took off to St. Louis for a fun weekend with Teri. Nephew Dane went also.
E-mails from Teri became more fun, as she began to get excited about getting the hell out of the cancer lodge and having FUN with her hubby and son (daughter Brandi out of town with friends). She wrote me, the day before she took off:
I am SOOOOO excited about going over to the Hyatt tonight. Mr. _______ has made my time here one that will be memorable forever.[...]but because of the wonderful thing he did and the fun I plan to have this weekend. It will top any negative times I have had or will have while going through my treatments.The room:
The sisser and the Tim:
The family charicature that cracks me up for it's accuracy:
"How are you still standing?" they ask me.
I am still standing, friends, because there are guardian angels in the wings that make putting one foot in front of the other easier every single day. Both simple and grand gestures are made.
Each is gold, to us.
And someone out there prefers to remain anonymous, but he will steadfastly remain in our hearts forever.
He has no idea.