Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Thoughts and fears of my child’s death have made themselves a regular and sadly normal part of my life. However, losing a child in a place and manner such as happened last week in CT is unfathomable. I can’t go so far as to say it is “worse”. I don’t see how losing your child could be worse one way than another. One way you aren't expecting it and it is done by a madman. The other way you have to watch your child die a slow, painful death by a killer no one can control. Either way you are devastated. Dead inside. Broken.

Still, as the facts came out over the weekend, we saw it as it was—heinous and unimaginable.

My heart breaks for these families, and I offer up sincere prayers for their comfort, peace, and ability to go on. Sometimes life gives you lemons and you have to make lemonade. Other times life sends you a tsunami and cuts you down to drown you.

Rest in peace, sweet babies.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I know, I know...I've neglected this blog quite a bit lately, but in my defense I've been busy. Emma's cancer journey is almost at its end (as I'm sure you are all aware by my constant reference to this fact!). I've done a lot of reflecting on this journey lately, reflecting on the changes it's brought about in our lives--bad changes and good changes.

Bad changes:

I have tons of videos and pictures of Emma as a baby, but none of Ashlyn. Reason? I wasn't with Ashlyn for huge chunks of time when she was a baby. Memories down the tubes.

I'm a much more stressed-out person now than I was before Emma got sick. This leads to less patience, which isn't really a good thing ever, but especially not when you have two small children.

I can't help but mourn when I think of the life that was lost. We were just so HAPPY before Emma got sick. We are all happy now, but it's a new, different kind of happy (note this is also a good thing, as we are happy on a deeper level). Still, I feel sad when I think of those happy, carefree days.

Good changes:

Micheal and I are both on different career paths than we were 2 years and 7 months ago. We are both happier on these paths. I was able to start writing again, which is awesome! These changes would never have been made if Emma hadn't gotten sick, for many reasons.

We love more. We appreciate more. We understand life more. The little things don't get to me anymore. In fact, I'm generally thankful for the little things. It means there's nothing BIG to worry about, and I don't like big. I like boring with a capital "B". Boring is good.

I hope that Emma is also on a different life path, too. She is on a path that we know for sure will be wrought with more pain and health issues in the future, but hopefully she will be a stronger person, a fearless person, and kind-hearted person. Hopefully she will remember that God can do anything, even take away cancer when it's got you by the throat (okay, bad pun).

So, that's all for me this time around. I'm debating whether or not to continue this blog once Emma finishes treatment. We'll see :). 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanks and Giving

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! This is my favorite time of the year, and I look forward to consuming lots of yummy food on Thursday.

This year I decided to make another list of the things I am thankful for, so here goes:

* My family. I am so blissfully thankful for my family because I am fully aware that we may not always be together.

* God's mercy on us. He's carried us through the worst of times and not only given us the grace to get through it, but also the mercy to not take everything away from us. In other words, he let us keep Emma.

* St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

* True friends. Some of you I know "in person", and some of you I only know online, but I have many true friends and I am thankful for you.

* Stuffing. Yes, I love stuffing. I like "dressing", but I waaaaayyy prefer stuffing. And pumpkin pie. With Cool Whip.
What are you thankful this year?

Monday, October 29, 2012

A New You

Lately I've had a thought on my mind that won't go away. I've avoided exploring the idea of it because I wasn't sure I liked the end verdict, but I've finally come to grips with it.

I am a new me. The me I was two and a half years ago is gone, maybe to never return.

I am not as innocent as I used to be. Not as naive. Not as carefree and funloving.

I am more serious. More cautious. Older (literally and figuratively). I carry a heavier load.

I have to admit I don't always like these changes. When all my old friends are off having fun, and I wish I even cared to join them, it makes me sad--but those things don't sound fun to me anymore. My fun comes in other ways, like baking with my girls or getting my house clean. When others are going out on dates with their husbands or boyfriends, and we can barely stand to leave our kids with a babysitter for an hour or two, it makes me sad--but we'd rather us all be together. Period. I hate, hate, hate it when people say, "You're only as old as you feel", because I usually feel like I'm about 100.

The changes aren't all bad. I "get" people more than I used to, because I can generally see past the artificial shell they've put up. I have more compassion and understanding toward people, because I realize what pain truly feels like. I cry more (way more, much to my dismay), but it's because I care more. I'm pretty sure that I'm okay with the person I've become. I don't need to be that person anymore. I'm happy with the place I'm in, even if it can be pretty lonely. The people who "get" me where I am are the people who love me the most anyway.

What about you? Are you a different you than you used to be? Do you think it's good or bad, and what brought the change?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Grumble Grumble

Do you have a complaint? A grumble? Something that's bugging you?

I've done my fair share of grumbling, especially lately, but then I got to thinking. Sometimes it's best to keep it to myself.

I don't mean we never have the right to whine a bit. We all need to let it out from time to time, but this post is to remind others (and myself) to be mindful of what they say and when. There is a time for everything, and that means sometimes it ISN'T the time.

When Emma was in the hospital in the beginning, I had to stay completely off social media sites. Why? Because I couldn't take one more person's whiney post about the "troubles" in their lives (usually troubles they'd put on themselves) while my daughter was fighting for her very next breath. I didn't want to read about anyones disappointment that their boyfriend had to work overtime, or how someone got a bad haircut. I wanted to shout, "Some people have REAL problems!".

This week there was something called the Fiddler's Convention in our town. We like to go, but this year we couldn't. I almost--almost!--posted on a certain social media network about how I wanted to go and was sad we weren't, but then I remembered how I felt when people posted their menial whines in the past. I decided not to post. Then I got online and relief washed over me that I hadn't posted my grumbles.

One friend had posted an update on her 10-day-old infant who is in NICU and on oxygen, and who is facing open heart surgery. One friend had posted an update on her father's funeral. And yet another friend had posted an update of her visit with the funeral home after she'd made arrangements for her 10-year-old son.

I don't have any real problems, not right now anyway. I encourage us all to cut out our grumbles and just be thankful! What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dear God...

Dear God,

My name is Mother. I have a dear child you’ve given me, and this dear child is ill. She is so very sick, and yet she is so very small. She cannot fight this fight on her own, God. Unfortunately I cannot fight the fight for her.

There are tubes taped to my dear child’s body, God—tubes in her chest, tubes in her hands, tubes down her throat—so many tubes. She seems so very alone.

You are the creator, God. You could take this sickness away. You could take all sickness away. You are the great physician. Still, you choose not to. Why, God?

Please help my child, God. She is too small to fight on her own. She is your child, too, I know, and as her father, you surely love her more than I do. Please ease her suffering, and help her to persevere. You are the only one who can save her. I am putting my trust in you and your goodness. Please don’t let me down.




Dear Mother,

I am your father, God. Yes, I know of your dear child. You see, I knew her before she was formed in the womb. I knew of the trials she would face. I see what you cannot—your dear child is special! I have assigned her a special task for my plan, one that only she can perform. She can reach hearts that you cannot. She can make an impact on souls that a healthy adult never could.

You say she is alone, but she is not. Surrounding her bed, and all those tubes, are angels. The angels hold back a dark tempest, but there is no need to fear. They are heavenly angels, and they are stronger than any tempest that illness can give. They are fueled by the prayers of your family and friends, prayers that haven’t ceased.

I am with your dear child, and I am not going anywhere. I know that you are afraid, but I can bear your burden. You may not see what tomorrow holds, but that is okay. Whatever my plan holds I will be with you. Never fear to bring your worries, your questions, or your anger before me. My love never fails you, and it never fails your dear child, either.

I hope to hear from you again soon.


Your Heavenly Father,


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Give Thanks. Walk.

Every month I post information about a pediatric cancer charity. This month instead of highlighting a new charity I decided to highlight St. Jude's Give Thanks. Walk. It takes place in November, and we have participated in it for the past two years. Our goal this year is to raise $300 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and we are almost half way there at $135. Won't you help us reach our goal and save lives? And don't forget, it's Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, so spread the word! If you can't donate, you could always share this post and encourage your friends to donate.

Who We Are: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

What We Do: The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay.

How To Donate: You can click here to go to our fundraising page.

How To Participate At An Event Near You: Visit www.givethankswalk.org to find a city near you that is hosting a walk!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

If you're looking for the GUTGAA post, you can find it here!

September is here, and with it comes Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Many, many people want to pass over pediatric cancer. It's a painful subject, after all, something no one really wants to think about. I know this because I used to be one of these people.
Now? Now I tend to talk about it all the time. I want to spread awareness because awareness helps fund research, and research helps save lives. Did you know that 1 in 330 kid get cancer? That is a lot of kids. Did you know that pediatric cancers are DIFFERENT than adult cancers, requiring different treatments? Furthermore, did you know that pediatric cancer gets the least amount of research funding? Only 3% of the money from the American Cancer Society goes to pediatric research. Three percent.

This month I'll be doing a post each week to highlight this special month, and it's my hope to encourage you all to spread awareness. We made the video below to help spread awareness. I hope you'll not only watch it, but share it as well. Go for the Gold!

(sorry I couldn't get the actual video to show up. I've done it before but for some reason it wasn't working this time!)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

All About Me (GUTGAA post)

Hi everyone! If you're here looking for one of my regular posts please check back on Tuesday. I will be posting something that I promise will make everyone smile, no matter who you are!

If you're here for GUTGAA (Gearing Up To Get An Agent) you're in the right place! Thanks for stopping by, and here's a bit about me.

-Where do you write? Answer: Usually in my bedroom at night.

-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see? Answer: Ha! Hubby's pillow. Yes, I write sitting in bed.

-Favorite time to write? Answer: Nightime. The girlies are asleep by then and it's quiet.

-Drink of choice while writing? Answer. Water. Always water.

-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence? Answer: Silence!

-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it? Answer: Cupcakes, and weirdly enough it came in a dream (yes, I mean that).

-What's your most valuable writing tip? Answer: Always keep learning. You never know when something's going to actually sink in and you'll finally "get" it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Little Song

I've posted this song before, but it's been on my mind a lot as I've been putting together a slide show for Emma's No Mo Chemo party in January. I thought I'd share it again, along with the Yucky Little Monster poem I wrote for Emma three days after she was diagnosed (at like 2 a.m., because I couldn't sleep).
By: Katie Clark, for Emma Clark
In Honor of Dr. Scott Howard

A yucky little monster went floating through the air
I swallowed him by accident, quite unaware.

I didn’t see him in there, he’s a sneaky little guy,
Hiding every time I laughed and every time I cried.

Then that yucky little monster went and did what he does best.
He grew and grew and grew, getting bigger in my chest.

He made me really sick, he took away my fun,
But I will have the last laugh when the day is done!

You see, I met a superhero who knows just what to do.
Fighting little monsters is his favorite thing to do.

So we will fight the monster, and one day we will win.
Good bye little monster. Don’t come back again!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cherish The Moment

A couple of years ago, when Emma was in her coma, I was walking through the halls of St. Jude in my usual hurry/daze. I was always hurrying because I wanted to get back to Emma's side, but I was always in a daze because, really, I was out of my mind.

On this particular day I passed a mom and son. The son was pre-teen'ish and had apparently done somethig smart mouth'ish. His mom was letting him have it.

In that moment the desire to do anything so normal as discipline my child was so strong it was palpable. I wanted Emma awake. I wanted to see her blue eyes and hear her voice. I didn't care if she was being bad, horrible, wretched. I wanted her. I wanted things to be normal again.

Today I ate those feelings.

That's right. We went grocery shopping and a few minutes into the trip my girls starting fighting. Like hit-each-other-won't-stop-crying fighting. I was mortified and hurried through the shopping trip with little dignity. I was one of those moms, the ones with the rowdy kids.

I didn't lose my cool (good for me), but the check out lady, who was wonderful about the whole thing, told me my face was as red as Elmo. If you know me in person you know that she was correct, because I do turn VERY red when I'm embarrassed.

As soon as I was in the car I remembered that day in Memphis, and I laughed. Yep. I'm normal again, and I totally cherished the moment.

On that note, here is a picture from recently, of Emma with her first lost tooth (a very regular event). Yay for normal days!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thanks For Being You

My dear friend Katrina Delallo recently gave me the Thanks For Being You Award. Thanks Cat!

The Rules?
1. Thank the person who gave you the award (done!)
2. Give us 11 random facts about yourself
3. Answer 11 questions
4. Tell us 7 more things about yourself (I'm totally cheating on this one--no one wants to know 18 random facts about good ole me)
5. Tag someone else (I'm tagging you all and just ask that you comment and give me a random fact :) )

Random Facts (there may or may not be 11-18):

1. I like ice cream. A lot.
2. I don't care for music. Any music. If I had to choose some music as my favorite, I'd pick Christmas music.
3. I'd rather read a good children's book over a grown-up novel any day.
4. I'm so heartwrenchingly thankful for my children, and I don't understand those who aren't.
5. I love decorating cakes, which I learned to do while working at Baskin Robbins in high school (hence the love for ice cream, see #1).

Okay, enough about that. Now here are the answers to my eleven questions:

1.) What's the first book you ever read?--I couldn't say for sure, but I'm thinking either "Morris Goes To School" or "Harry Has A Horse".
2.) What's a movie you saw as a little ikkle kid, forgot about, and when you saw it again as an adult you remembered the whole plot in a sort of gosh-I-know-what's-going-to-happen-next kind of way?--I really couldn't say, but favorite little kid movies were "The Princess Bride" and the "Home Alone" movies.
3.) If you weren't what you were now (such as a writer, mother, accountant) what would you want to be?--Cake decorator ;)
4.) What's your favourite hobby?--Baking.
5.) What looks greyer to you? THIS spelling of gray, or this spelling of grey?--Gray.
6.) How do you pronounce tomato? Toe-mah-toe, or toe-may-toe?--I actually think I say tuh-may-toe.
7.) Do you secretly wish you were a hobbit?--Nope. While I loved LOTR, I mostly liked the human characters best.
8.) Would you rather be an elf?--Nope (see #7).
9.) Do you prefer British or American spellings of the words honour/honor, colour/color, tyre/tire, laser/lazer, aluminium/aluminum?--American.
10.) What's your idea of fun?--Hanging out with friends and family. I don't care what we're doing.
11.) How many times can you say the words, "Irish wristwatch?" (Bet you can't even say it once. Not fast, anyway.)--I tried it out loud, and I only did it once! LOL
Again, I'm not tagging any particular person, but I hope everyone will leave a comment with either a random fact about yourself, or an answer to any of the above 11 questions. Good getting to know you!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Boxes Of Love

We recently learned about another super sweet pediatric cancer charity called Boxes of Love. It is run by a teen girl who just wanted to do something nice (how cool is that?), so she started collecting really great toys and mailing them out. Now she takes donations and has a great big mailing list of kids awaiting their box of love.
Boxes of Love

I have been so inspired by the people who have stared things like this for cancer kids, but I am especially inspired by this teen girl, because she is so young and because she does all of this from her heart. I hope my daughters grow up to be caring and kind individuals, and I hope that maybe a little might rub off on me.

WHO WE ARE: Boxes Of Love

WHAT WE DO: Hi I am 16 and I started Boxes of Love. I send out boxes filled with toys, games, clothes and other items for children fighting cancer. I love the joy I get when I hear a child loves their box of love and that it gave them something to get there mind off off the cancer and put a huge smile on their face. That is why I am doing this.

HOW TO REQUEST A BOX: You can email her at boxes_of_love@yahoo.com or visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VB9JSCQ

HOW TO DONATE: From her website: If you wold like to donate items for Boxes of love, any items for children ages 2 and up will be great. Email at boxes_of_love@yahoo.com. She also loves to get e-gift cards sent to the same email addy. Cards most preferred from Kmart and Target, but also takes Toys R Us.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Best Day Ever

In case there's one person left on the planet who hasn't seen the picture of me with my very own upcoming book, here it is.

I was euphoric when I got the package in the mail, and I kept thinking, "This is the best day ever!" So then I got to thinking about all of the best days I've had...getting married, having my girls, getting that first acceptance from a book publisher (okay, any acceptance, not just a first).

But you know what? I've had a day that trumped all of those hands down. Even trumped them all rolled into one.

The day I looked at the doctor and said, "So does that mean she's in remission?" and the doctor smiled and said, "Yes, it means she's in remission."

That was...wow. How to describe it? It was like:

winning the Super Bowl
going to France
having a book published
saving the world
discovering a long lost fortune
having the WEIGHT OF THE WORLD lifted off your shoulders
and yes, getting married, having babies, and getting books published

And it was all of those things rolled into one.

I remember the day so well, we were in the hospital, and knew we would be there for at least three more days. It had been a very long, very hard 8 weeks. The hospital room was the size of a walk-in closet, and I mean that literally. St. Jude's rooms aren't known for their size.

We'd had a full day of testing, and we'd been waiting eagerly and anxiously for the results. Our regular doctor had to go out of the country before the results were in, so one of the other oncologists brought us the news. I suddenly didn't mind everything we'd just gone through--not the loss of memory, loss of bodily function control, loss of walking ability, throwing up, tears, and pain. My little girl had done it. She'd beaten cancer.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Just For Laughs

While preparing to upload some photos, I discovered that the camera had 83 photos waiting to be downloaded. Eighty-three?! I had no knowledge of this many pictures, and so I eagerly scrolled through them to see what I had missed. I laughed out loud as I saw what they were, and I thought I'd share them with you today, because really, who doesn't need a good laugh every once and a while?

Twin Unicorns dressed in matching garb (these are Emma and Ashlyn's shirts, BTW)
What turns out to be a very photogenic cat

Let's throw in a giraffe for good measure.

Said cat, looking decidedly irritated
Ha ha! Mom doesn't know we took the camera!

Hey Emma, take a picture of me brushing me teeth!
A really annoying game...

Hey Ashlyn, grab that slinky...

Yeah, that's the one.

More cat
...and more giraffe.
Don't forget a board game!  

For some reason, Emma felt compelled to photograph her port
Hmm, looks like Mom cleaned. Hurry, dump that basket of toys out.
...and yet more cat...

And we can't leave out the bubble wand.

Ah. Good times.

Where was I while this was going on, you ask? Well, as evidenced by the pictures I did NOT show you, I was sitting on the couch, buried deep within the realm of a story I was writing. At least, that is what I'm going to assume I was doing ; )

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Awards Day

Ramblings of a Cancer Kid Mom has been given some awards! We happily accept the Tell Me About Yourself Award and the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award from Katrina DeLallo and Kelly Hashway.  Thanks ladies!


The rules of the awards are to pass along a few tidbits about myself that you may not already know. My life is an open book, I'm afraid, but I'll give it a try!

1. I prefer sweet over salty.
2. I don't actually like animals (sorry!).
3. I love the TV shows The Walking Dead and Drop Dead Diva.
4. My favorite food is Chinese food.
5. I like blogging--it's theraputic for me.
6. I prefer being alone to being with people, at least most of the time.
7. I always wanted four kids, at least I used to always want that ; ).

So that's all for me! I'll pass the awards along now!

Jill Williamson
Mikki Sadil
Allyn Stotz
Anita Bond
Rick Starkey
Heather Burch

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Kindness of Others

Look up. That's right, there at that countdown clock. Do you see the number "5" in the month column? Yay! We have less than 6 months left in this thing. CAN. NOT. WAIT.  :)

This journey has been long. There have been times I have felt alone. Left out. Sad. Down. Depressed.

Times when I thought  no one understood what I was going through. Angry that everyone didn't have to go through my struggles, and angry that they got to go on with their lives while mine was at a terrible standstill.

During these times something usually bopped me over the head (God, I presume) and reminded me to count my blessings. Okay, I should use present tense here. WHEN these times come, because they still do.

When I stop to count my blessings I'm always awed by the kindness of people. We have been richly blessed by our friends, family, and church family, and I want to make sure they all know it! Big thanks to each and every one of you who has prayed for us, offered us words of encouragement, sent gifts to us or our girls, or done a world of other good.

Recently a wonderful lady we go to church with brought us a gift (pic below). It came out of the blue, and reminded me of the kindness of others. Once again, it made me want to do more to help people who are hurting.

What about you? I encourage you to do something nice for someone today :)

As an aside, we've signed up once again for St. Jude's Give thanks. Walk. If you would like to help sponsor our walk you can click the link at the top of the page!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Keep Kids Connected

The wonderful people at our clinic recently introduced us to another fantastic charity called Keep Kids Connected.  Kids undergoing chemo have to spend so much time at the hospital away from friends, home, and things to do.  Through the donation of a NetBook to those who apply, Keep Kids Connected aims to bring entertainment to children with cancer everywhere.  Cool, right?

Who We Are:  Keep Kids Connected

What We Do: Keep Kids Connected was created to help keep kids connected to their family and friends while they are undergoing treatment for cancer or other life-threatening illnesses. The organization was inspired by Caitlyn Mortus (pictured left) who is, herself, a cancer survivor.

How To Apply: If you are or have a child with cancer, visit here to download and print the application!

How To Donate: They can't do it without the loving support of people like you and me.  You can spread the word by liking their Facebook page, or you can donate money to their cause.  Visit here to learn more!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Walking In Walmart

The first time I came home after Emma was diagnosed in May 2010 was at the beginning of that August.  We spent the entire summer in Memphis.  While we were away, our local Walmart was remodeled.  Imagine my confusion the first time I went grocery shopping!

I remeber walking through Walmart wondering if anyone recognized me.  Did they know about Emma's story (it had gotten a lot of recognition because of how she was diagnosed)?  Did they know that my child had cancer?

But no, nobody paid a bit of mind to me or my shopping cart full of groceries.  Much, much later, I read a similar thought on another cancer mom's website.  Later than that, I read the same thought on someone else's site.  This lady had lost her mother, and she stated she'd walked through Walmart wondering how everyone could be so happy.  Didn't they know her mother had just passed away?!

That got me to thinking about that first trip to Walmart when I arrived home.  No wonder no one paid attention to me.  They were all wondering why I wasn't paying attention to them!

That lesson did me a world of good.  We all have troubles, and whatever yours is feels huge to you.  Be a little kinder to those you meet this week. You never know what they're going through!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Beach!

Ashlyn and one of the volunteers, Abby.
This year we were blessed to get to participate for a second time in the Lighthouse Family Retreat program.  Our whole family had a blast taking part in this loving and therapeutic cancer-family beach retreat, where we were once again blown away by the kindness of others (Sheri and Hannah, we loved getting to know you!). 

To tell you a little about the program, they provide pediatric cancer families with an all-expense-paid vacation to the beaches along the gulf.  Housing, food, and activities are paid for.  In the mornings we all meet for breakfast and a devotion, then the volunteers take all the kids for fun activities while the parents go to a sort of group therapy (which is great!).  After that it's lunch, several hours of free time (beach here we come!), and then supper and another activity that night.  At the end of the week we were all refreshed emotionally, even if we were worn out physically!  Here are a few pictures of this fantastic week, and if you would like to know more about volunteering for this fantastic program, signing up to attend, or donating so that other families can experience the same, visit www.lighthousefamilyretreat.org .

First day there!

Emma playing 9-square.

At the beach...

Emma and Ashlyn with one of our family partners, Hannah.

More at the beach.

Emma's sandcastle (okay, Daddy's sandcastle!).

The last night, just after a beach wedding.  Yes, one of the retreat couples got married!

Us with our family partners, Hannah and Sheri.
Daddy and Emma.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Life Or Something Like It

The hardest times I had living at the Ronald McDonald House were Sunday nights.  If anyone had come to Memphis to visit for the weekend, they typically left Sunday afternoon so they could be home for work the next morning.  Besides this, Sundays at home were always busy days because we went to church on Sunday mornings and Sunday nights, so being there with nothing to do was hard.

Every time Sunday night rolled around I would feel terribly lonely.  Sometimes I thought about going to a local church in Memphis, but Emma's blood counts were too low to go out without wearing a mask (which she hates), and we were there for about a month and a half in the winter months, so it was dark by the evening services, and I didn't feel comfortable driving in a strange city in the dark.

The Window in the Chapel
So Emma and I would walk.  We had an umbrella stroller with us and I'd push her through the halls of the great big Ronald McDonald House of Memphis.  There was a chapel there, with a piano.  I'd always stop in the chapel and play the piano (not well, mind you!).  I'd think about all the people at choir practice at home at that very time.  I'd think about how they might wish they were home, because they had a million things to do.  I'd wish to tell them how lucky they were that they could do something as gloriously normal as go to choir practice on a Sunday evening.

Even typing this post I have tears in my eyes, because those Sunday nights were SO HARD.  Sundays might not have been that hard for everyone--I don't know--but I'm sure there were hard days for everyone there.  Likewise, there are hard days for people everywhere, every day. 

My challenge to you today is to be thankful for the normalacies in life.  You never know when you might not have them!