What is your initial thought when you learn that a family member or friend is dealing with the loss of a loved one? Is it calling your local florist to send flowers? Searching for the perfect Memorial Gift Ideas? Do you struggle with what to say or do?
When my family was dealing with a traumatic death, the flowers, meals, and cards were generously flooding our home. While we appreciated every gesture, there was one that stood out. It wasn’t a monetary sympathy gift, a delicious meal, or a meaningful card. It was simply an act of kindness… by a 16 year old high school student.
She appeared the day of my brother’s funeral. We didn’t know her and had no idea of her connection with my brother. She was just there. People were gathering at our home prior to the funeral. Meals were placed on the kitchen counter, half empty cups where scattered all over the house, and it was very chaotic, to say the least. As we were leaving for the funeral, this young lady asked if she could stay behind to “clean up the mess”. While we encouraged her to go to the funeral, she declined.
While we were mourning our loss, she was doing something different; something unexpected. When we returned to our home, we were greeted by the smell of freshly brewed coffee. All the casseroles were heated and placed, ever so beautifully, in our kitchen. Every left behind cup was gone. Each pillow was fluffed and placed warmly on our sofa. The house was comforting and inviting.
The memory of this moment still stings my eyes. As I look back on this day, I do not recall if she was told how much she was appreciated… if she truly understood the impact her act of compassion had our family. Did her parents know what an amazing young lady they had raised?
How can we help those grieving? Please share your stories to enlighten those who are searching for ways to help or words to say.
God Bless You!
The tweet that was heard around the world:
“2 yrs ago I was told I might never walk again. Just WALKED off plane in Indy to play in the #SuperBowl. #TakeThat****Cancer”.
As fans are eagerly awaiting the kickoff of the the Super Bowl match up between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, cancer survivors everywhere are on the sidelines cheering for a totally different reason.
On May 14, 2009, Mark Herzlich was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma after finding a tumor in Mark’s left femur. The prognosis… If the cancer gets in the blood stream, there was a 10% chance of survival. If it doesn’t, 70%. Against medical advice for fear of the cancer spreading, a 13″ titanium rod was put into his leg for support. Mark decided that he was not only going to beat cancer, but he was going to play football again.
After months of chemo and weeks of radiation, on September 29, 2009, Mark was cancer free! However, he was still battling his cancer, but in a different way.
A talented player at Boston College, Mark was projected to be a third or forth round pick in the NFL draft. Unfortunately, Mark doesn’t go at all. The fear… Cancer! He wasn’t even able to be a free agent due to the lockout.
Fortunately, he found an amazing organization in the New York Giants!
Mark Herzlich broke his ankle in November but is healthy again for the Super Bowl. Will Tom Coughlin have him dress for the big game tonight? I don’t know at this point. But, his impact has already been felt all around the world.
When asked about his tweet by the Hartford Courant, “”I was very pleased so many people got to see it,” Herzlich said, “because that is part of what my goal and mission is. Obviously, this week is all about football, but there are people out there who are going through cancer right now who see that and say, ‘Hey, if he is doing it, I can do it.'”
Personally, I am a “Jersey Girl” who will be cheering for the Giants and enjoying the infamous Super Bowl commercials. However, I will be cheering for #58 whether he’s on or off the field!