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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mystery (and some non mystery) gifts

Christmas has come early to our Houston home-away-from-home. It seems there is a package or card nearly every day. It is most humbling to know there are so many of you out there who are thinking of us. We have received so much just this past week!

The girls went sticker crazy with the card from Nancy and Joe. As you can see, each girl has her own method for using her stickers. Lucy's method involves sticking all of them on top of each other onto her hand.
 
Kate's approach is to methodically place each one onto the card she was sent so she can "save it for nice later."
We have received a few mystery gifts. This one came today to Houston from Amazon and had no packing slip. Amazon was completely unable to help me figure out who sent it so if you are the thoughtful gift fairy, please let me know! It was bath crayons, color my bath beads and 2 sticker/activity books.
This next gift came to our house in Chicago and was signed from a "secret pal" with a postmark from Ohio (or was it Idaho?) I think he said?? Len took the pic with his phone so the quality is not that great. There were 2 sets of these--Hello Kitty blankets and books.
Papa and Meme sent a gift certificate for a local restaurant that we are looking forward to checking out soon!

And my college friend Kimber sent a beautiful quilt and an even lovelier story to go along with it. I will try to summarize:

Kimber and Cindy (her best friend) were quilting and biking buddies.
Kimber is also very involved with her church and used to talk to Cindy about it on those long bike rides. Four years ago Cindy decided she wanted to be baptized and have a party to celebrate so they did.
Five days later she died from an aortic dissection at work.
Because she didn't have family there, Kimber was the one to clean out her house which included tons of quilts.

Not too long after this, Kimber's then 12 year old son suffered a stroke and it was discovered that he had a rare brain disease.
After some research, they found a doctor in Boston who could do the surgery required to save his life. Unfortunately, he was "out of network" for their insurance so they started looking for ways to raise money in the 3 months before surgery. With Cindy's brother's approval, they raffled off one of Cindy's quilts.
The lady who won was Cathy. As luck would have it, their insurance changed to a PPO so their medical expenses were much lower than they would have been and Will had the surgery.
Fast forward to now. Kimber still quilts, Will is almost 17 and the doctors say he should live a normal healthy life. Kimber was recently having lunch with Cathy, the woman who won the quilt all those years ago. Since October was Breast Cancer Awareness month Cathy was selling tickets for a quilt raffle at a local department store so Kimber bought 2 tickets in the hopes of winning and sending it to me. They both prayed that Kimber would win so they could send it. The day of the raffle came and went and Kimber didn't hear anything so she figured she had not won. Then she got a phone call later saying she HAD won. Turns out that someone else had already won it but apparently there were a lot of prizes that day and the girl who won asked that another name be drawn. And the next name was Kimber's.

So here is the quilt Kimber sent to me, held up by Cathy and Kimber. Cathy made it the perfect size to use during treatment sessions to cover up. It's perfect!
I am truly honored to be in the long line of recipients of these beloved quilts. And even more touched that Kimber would take the time pray for my well-being and write such a lovely note explaining the story. I haven't seen Kimber since we graduated from UCF way back in 1988 and yet I am on the receiving end of her faith and generosity.

Thank you to everyone who is praying for us, thinking of us, sending us cards, gifts and karmic vibes. I feel it all and am thriving from it!

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