Friday, December 4, 2020

Every Hair on Our Head

Agnes is in surgery.  Possibly for the next seven hours.  Seeing your little baby (or any one you love) being wheeled off is a new kind of ache.  Yet, she is in such good hands.  

Before I forget (which I'm sure I've already forgotten some of the details), I want to record where God has been in all of this.  Suffice it to say...He has been in every detail.

A month after Agnes was born, I received the sweetest email from a "stranger" who had read my blog post about Agnes...about how we didn't know until she was born that she came with some special needs.  She, too, had a baby girl a few days later with a similar situation...and unexpected diagnosis.  We were no longer strangers.

In fact, in the chain of events that lead to us taking Agnes to a care team in Denver, this new friend's daughter had an appointment the same day...and now, we communicate at least weekly!  The day I met her, I got an Instagram message from another "stranger" saying how thankful she was that we met...that my new Denver friend was one of her best friends.  Small world.  Little did I know at the time how small.

Fast forward to a week later and my cancer diagnosis.  Soon we would be heading to Houston (where we were originally planning to take Agnes for care) to undergo testing and develop a plan to attack this cancer.

Agnes and I were in Houston with my sister (until my husband could come trade places with her) because since I was already going, we thought we would get a third opinion from a neurosurgeon here on her spine.  While here, a college friend said I should go to Mass near the medical center with a priest she knew and loved.  We did.  And, we called an Uber to get a ride back to our hotel so that my sister could get ready to fly home.  I really wanted to tell the priest hello and that his friend suggested I go to Mass at his parish, but I didn't think I had time.  The line to speak to him was a bit long, and the Uber was on his way.

My sister insisted.  So, I went to the line and waited.  As I was waiting, someone tapped me on the shoulder saying, "Are you Britt?"  That person was the same sweet girl who had messaged me on Instagram saying how glad she was that I met one of her best friends in Denver.

She was also the sister-in-law of the wonderful priest, and before we knew it, we were going to their house for dinner the following Tuesday.  

At dinner with this amazing couple who so easily opened their hearts and home to our family, they mentioned that their parents/in-laws had a home they liked to use to help people and said we should get in touch.

My first thought was, "absolutely not!"  I never wanted to ask anyone to host me...and even if I could bring myself to ask, hosting my entire family would be insane.

A few days later, I received a call from the mother/mother-in-law.  She basically told me we would stay with them when we were in Houston (in a very loving way).  I told her I could never ask that of her, and her response was, "That's the beauty of it.  You didn't."  She had a bed for every one of us, and she said they were called to do so.  Then, as she was hanging up, she said, "How do you know (this particular family)?"  It was the family of one of my favorite priests back home...who also happened to be one of their son's best priest friends.

What is even neater is that none of us were "supposed" to be at that particular Mass.  Agnes fell asleep before the Mass we were planning to attend.  Our friends never attended that particular Mass time.  Yet, we were there, together.

And, now, here I sit a month later, having been driven to the hospital via our new family away from home.

Other things: when I found out the cancer trial I was a candidate for (which would have been a much shorter/less invasive plan as a whole) was no longer an option (and after I had gotten really excited about it), I took a walk.  On that walk ,in a pile of rocks, was a painted rock with the word, "trust."

At one point during my Houston stay, I didn't think I'd made it back in time for Genevieve and Lucy's birthdays.  Of course, so many sweet people were determined to make it special.  I did arrive home the afternoon of Gen's birthday.  But, I had one more oncology appointment the next day before going home home.

When we did, they had the cutest cakes, a house full of unicorn decorations, Chicago pizzas and so many extras from sweet friends.  After all of that, as we were getting ready for bed, Gen excitedly said, "Oh I can't wait for my birthday party!"  Confused, I told her we just had her birthday party. She immediately started bawling (Gen's style).  When I asked her what was wrong, she said, "It's not a party without a piñata."

Had I ordered a piñata?  No.  Did I tell her one was coming to make her stop crying?  Yes.  Was it a lie?  I thought so.

Until the mail came the next day.  A piñata!

Not knowing anything about this, a Florida friend had sent Genevieve a piñata of all things!

So, as Carter said when we found out about all of Agnes' needs, "We drink from the cup He gives us, and not a hair falls from our head that He doesn't know about."  He's right.  

In fact, not only does He care about our community, shelter, friendships, support and everything else we have been given...He cares about the piñatas in our life, too.

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