Christmas Eve 2013 three people tiptoed in to Madi’s hospital room and said "we heard you were here... is it okay if we drop this off?" Thinking they were perhaps from Madi's church or maybe even had the wrong room I asked who they were here to see. The gent repeated the same thing "we heard you were here..." obviously wanting to stay anonymous.
They presented Madi with a glass Santa boot full of candy, an Amazon gift card, a wool cap, fuzzy slippers, chap stick, and a Christmas card signed by 20+ people… we didn't recognize any names. Asked again who we can thank, they smiled and made a graceful exit with a warm ‘merry Christmas’. I asked the floor nurse who they were and she smirked knowing these people wished to remain anonymous and said ‘they do this every year’. To say we were touched would be like hearing the dentist suggest ‘you might feel some discomfort’ without any novocaine. The kindness family, friends, and strangers has been overwhelming in a way… in a very good way.
Just short of a bribe we learned the three gift-givers were managers from a local grocery store and the Christmas card was signed by the employees. Committed to thanking them I went to the store carrying a picture of Madi in her hospital bed with the gifts and the Christmas card they gave her. I asked for the store manager and had to wait a bit. Store employees likely perceived me as a disgruntled future ex-customer. The manager came up front and I could see she recognized me but didn't know from where. The plan to stay composed, I tried to thank her without weeping like an 14 year old Amish widow.
That didn't work.
I showed her the card, and babbled-on how thankful we were to complete strangers, such kind human beings and we're so very touched during such a frightening and difficult time… and then she started bawling. Employees concerned that the bad-man made their manager cry, some were slowly approaching wondering what the heck is up. I showed them the picture of Madi in her hospital bed with the gifts they’d all chipped in on, the card, and thanked them profusely through my tears. Others got teary, so touched that they made such an impact.
Well that did not go as planned... so how is Madi now? She continues to regain weight, stamina, has some bounce in her step, and has a dark mat of hair on her head. Her oncologist isn't a fan of sushi (taboo during chemo). During the last appointment Madi asked if she can finally have sushi. The doctor responded "I don't see why but go ahead... it'll be fine". I asked her if Madi is cleared to can clean the cat box (ongoing joke): the doctor replied "ABSOLUTELY NOT"... as she winked at Madi.
Over the last year we have shared tears of fears, challenges, and triumphs with our loving family and friends, and with complete strangers. Thank you for standing beside us all year, for your love, generous support, and prayers.
We wish you each a very Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah, and hope 2015 brings good health to you and your families, with happiness, faith, and only tears of joy.
The Jones Family