Back in May, I enjoyed my 9th Mothers Day as a mom myself. 9! Nine! I would believe that to be complete nonsense if I didn’t have a freckled face, dimple-cheeked nine year old staring back at me everyday. The same face that looks at me like he knows infinitely more about everything in the world than I possibly could. The same face that has started to look more to his dad for baseball talk than kisses and cuddles from mom. By the way, is it that magic second digit that ultimately tips that “too cool” scale cause we are pretty close.
It is hard but if I think hard enough I can remember him like this…
Three! Other than the potty training that occurs awfully close to the age of three, it is one of my absolute favorite stages. But I must admit I have a bit of love/hate relationship with remembering this little guy at three. During the summer after he turned three, our world was turned a bit upside down by my breast cancer diagnosis. Thankfully we were able to see God’s provision at every bend in the road and specifically in the 3’s teaching team at Asbury Community Christian Preschool that year.
Our first encounter with his teacher, Mrs. Tooley was when she arrived at our front door to get to know our preschooler because recovery from mastectomy surgery prevented us from taking him to his ice cream orientation. A personal home visit was just the beginning of the above and beyond support we experienced from Shana during our 10 month journey. She faithfully followed our Caring Bridge and proudly displayed her “Hope that Never Fails” pink bracelet at every drop off and pick up. She claims that all the while, we were encouraging her faith as well; so I can only chalk it up to God knowing exactly who and what we each needed during that time.
The thing that I will always endear about our loving God is that his provisions are perfect then, now and always. Fast forward to this April when I received the call from a mutual friend of Shana and me that Shana herself had been diagnosed with breast cancer. It is never easy to hear of new diagnosis but this was truly a drop the phone moment for me. A few weeks earlier, Shana and I had been reunited at church after quite some time to reminisce about that time period five and a half years ago when we had ministered to each other in ways that only The Lord could have orchestrated. Little did we know that the reunion at church along with the soul connection that had been established those years ago would prepare us for what was to come a few short weeks later.
As I have said, to know Shana is to love her. Her humility and sincerest of care for others is absolutely adorable. But one of the things that I perhaps didn’t know prior to recently is just how present and reflective she is of who and what is around her. She also has the most amazing detailed memory that I am praying chemo can’t touch. Many of the details of our journeys have similarities and I don’t believe that is coincidence. She shares her journey so well through her writing and is careful to include all the God winks she is experiencing through it
There is something that all Warriors on the Pinked Warrior Wall share and that is that they refuse to waste their cancer. Shana is no different. As Oswald Chambers so eloquently said it Shana is receiving herself in the fires of sorrow so that God can make her nourishment for other people.
People like me.
I also wanted to provide an update from my last post about Shana’s Support Squad. The picture from above of me and Shana is from the fun 7K at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation that was organized by her bootcamp workout buddies. The event raised over $1000 for Pinked Perspective and The Annapolis Wellness House. This donation to Pinked came in the same week as I received 16 requests for breast cancer kits that were shipped all over the country. Obviously Shana is providing nourishment to many. This is the how things have always gone since starting Pinked Perspective four years ago, and it gets me very energized about how God is using it. Thank you so much to Shana and all that support what we are doing with Pinked Perspective.