I delivered my children late to musical theater rehearsal today. What is genuinely amazing is that it hasn't happened more often! Truly, this is progress. We were occupied doing such important things as pretending that we were still at California Adventure on Soarin' Over California using our just delivered essential oils (Cedarwood and Orange create a convincing case!), replying to Facebook inquiries on homeschooling (I'm for it!), and hammer cracking a giant bowl of filberts outside in our backyard. For an hour. At least.
So we pile in the car with four minutes to three, which isn't ideal for a rehearsal that we should arrive at by three and is 15 minutes away, but I remind the kids that it doesn't actually start until 3:15, so we will be good. And they flip out just a little bit. (As if I am the only one who was less than expedient with time over the last little while. Which I remind them. 'Cause I'm a good mom.) Evidently the time moved to 3:00, and there is clearly no way to get there on time at this point in the process. "Relax," I tell them, "arriving upset won't help anyone - let's enjoy this ride and I will get you there as quickly as I safely can." We arrive at rehearsal, I rush them in and wave apologetically at the director, who kindly smiles and waves back, and I pop outside to officially sign them in.
Now the sign in mom is ON it...she organizes/oversees tickets, coordinates hundreds of volunteers, facilitates email and communication, and at least a thousand other tasks that I am sure I have never even considered that contribute to the overall incredible-ness of these shows. And she's on time. More like early. Always. As she's checking the kids in, I ask her about a little job I need to do to complete my commitment hours.
One element of how our school puts on these truly amazing productions is parent volunteers - we literally (and in most cases, I think, happily!) sign under substantial financial penalty a commitment to contribute X amount of hours to the show. I have previously been able to be a part of the makeup team, and am signed up for that fun task again. But this show I have two kids in, which means double hours, and Joseph just doesn't have quite enough makeup to fill the hours - even if I get to be on facial-hair-gluing duty. So, other filler jobs are needed to meet my committed requirement. These smaller tasks were what I was asking her about.
She answered "No, don't worry about that. Someone's already specifically asked to cover your hours. You're all set."
Which is where I just about came undone.
One of the wild things about this whole experience has been the unpredictability of it all. From cancer's seemingly unprecedented and unannounced sudden emergence, to the arrhythmic symptoms or lack thereof that Eric is experiencing, to the unmatched and out of sync emotions we are both as a family and individuals experiencing - each day feels impregnated with surprise. Yesterday, chemo day number two, likely should have registered higher on my emotional Richter scale. But today, in reality, was. Eric began to experience some side affects, to which I playfully exclaimed "That must mean it's working!" And I kissed him and he went on his way to work.
And then I got a bit stuck.
So I began to pray, read my Bible searching out reminders of healing and promise, and perused Facebook for the comments and encouragement of our own gathered Town.
But while I was there I came across a post of someone whose sister was just diagnosed with breast cancer. And someone whose husband/father died this morning of cancer. And a very young celebrity who is battling the "c" word for the third time, this time colon, and has been hospitalized again. And of a stunning young mother of four who has just published a bookabout her journey through hard, but is steadily losing this terrible battle. In just the few blog posts of hers that I have read I already feel completely kindred and heart bound - the details of her story are very much her own and unique, but she has voiced many truths that have shown themselves in our tale-in-progress.
And this is where the highly unnecessary but inexplicably soothing activities involving essential oils and homemade Nutella began. It is why the overwhelming (truly - overwhelming) love and support of so many who have surrounded us, as represented today in volunteer hours, brings me to points of soul-unravel as I am forced to learn and walk a new, and honestly still uncomfortable, line of humble gratitude. Whomever is filling my hours, whomever even thought ahead of time that we even might need help with them - thank you. I know you already had plenty of your own to fill! Your sacrifice and love are beyond appreciated, and on a day that I could never have predicted experiencing a tearing need, your gift and love were just the right glue to mend today's undone.