So I received this card yesterday and haven’t stopped laughing since…
I love how people “get” me.
This card was especially meaningful because it came from one of Jennifer’s friends, Alyson, whom I have had the privilege of getting to know the past few years. I was actually in the lobby of Baylor hospital with Jen when I met Alyson. Alyson had just recently been diagnosed with breast cancer (it seems to be all the rage these days) and was figuring out her course of treatment. I remember Jen being extremely bossy with her about what she should and shouldn’t do and I was horrified because I didn’t even know this poor girl yet and I was all up in her business. Little did I know I would grow to love Aly through the years as I watched her effortlessly & selflessly care for Jen despite (or maybe because of) her own cancer diagnosis. In her hysterical card, she wrote that she she would “quietly and prayerfully consider ways to support me through this journey”. And my laughing suddenly turned to tears.
What I realized in that moment and in review of last night’s Aggie Muster (which I’ll get to in a second) was that even though it is DOUBLY sad/hard/painful to be around Jen’s friends & family (one because we are all still SO raw from her passing, and two because I feel like I just ripped the scab off of them with my news and made them bleed again), it is also DOUBLY sweet to be cared for by them. Not only do I have my friends by my side, but I just inherited Jen’s army as well. And let me tell you, she has quite the army. God is truly amazing in the ways He continues to pour His love over me through so many people.
Now back to Aggie Muster. If you’re an Aggie, you can skip this paragraph. If not, please bear with me while I brag on my alma mater. Texas A&M University is filled with traditions, which you may or may not know. Some of these I understand and some I’ll never comprehend. One of these traditions is called Aggie Muster, and it takes place every April 21st all around the world. Basically, it is a ceremony which honors Aggies who have passed away during the previous year. They have a Roll Call and literally call out the names of fallen Aggies, while a loved one (or ones) answers, ‘Here’ for that person. Did you just get chills? If not, let’s check your pulse. I’m going to be honest, I’ve never really thought much of this ritual or tradition until this year. Until a person whom I loved very much – and who happened to be an Aggie – passed away. Then all of a sudden it became really relevant. Our dear friend, Hite, had the foresight to gather his Aggie friends this year, along with Jen’s husband, son and mom, and invite us all to the Dallas Aggie Club’s Muster. I don’t know if it was the dark room filled with lit candles representing the lost lives, the playing of Silver Taps, or the palpable brotherhood in that room, but I was incredibly moved. My husband, Trevor, commented on just how intimate the ceremony was despite the 800 people who showed up last night. (I like to think they were ALL there for Jen). I’ve never been more proud to be an Aggie and am praying my boys someday bleed maroon (can I get a WHOOP?!).
Jennifer would have absolutely loved this, and I felt like we were able to honor her all together in such a special way.
As for this yucky thing called cancer, I will continue to see doctors next week and hopefully have a plan in place by Wednesday. I’m ready to get it out of my body and begin the healing process (both mentally and physically). The words, ‘Thank you’, don’t seem to be enough at a time like this, but my heart is overflowing with gratitude for each of your prayers, your texts, your calls, your flowers, your treats, your cards, etc. They are sincerely appreciated by me, my husband, my kids, my parents & my sisters.
To close, I want to encourage you to surround yourselves with friends who pray. It is so important when something like this hits. Yesterday morning, some of the moms from the basketball moms prayer group that I was a part of this season, met to pray over me. These ladies became very special to me this year as we met every Friday and prayed for the basketball team, coaches, and families. There is something so special about meeting just to pray, and this time was no different. I FIRMLY believe in the power of prayer. And these precious women have demonstrated just how fruitful it can be when you make it a priority and you do it with other believers. The girls suggested that maybe I have a ‘signature’ verse to get me through this time. And when I got home yesterday, I had cards from 3 different people with Isaiah 41:10 written on them. Coincidence? I think not. Thank you Debbie, Deanna, Darian, Laura and Mrs. Snowden for your faithful example of prayer.
Until next week…much love to you all & make every day count!!!
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10