Of Stake and Steak

Instead of the trip we had planned for Barcelona, just the two of us, we are home getting Mike's brain tumor(s) evicted. This was the week we would have been exploring a little bit of Paris and a lot of that town in Spain we have heard so much about. The oddest thing is I haven't thought much about it until our kind friends felt bad for us and sent us delicious cheese. It's one of many acts of kindness our family has received during the past several weeks. Barcelona isn't going anywhere. We will see it one day. This just wasn't our time for it.

I have packages of adorable thank you cards to complete sitting on my desk. I have great intentions of filling them out, but always feel overwhelmed by the volume of names that comes to my mind when I think of all the support we have been offered by friends, family, neighbors, and people from church. While Mike was in the hospital and during early days home my kids were driven to school, grandparents spent the night or tended to my kids, my house got cleaned by friends, treats were dropped off, meals were brought in, flowers were left on our counter, prayers were offered, our names were placed in the temple prayer roll, emails were sent to us, and calls of concern came in. I am certain there are more acts of kindness I may be forgetting.

It reminds me of a tree we have in our front yard. When it was newly planted, it needed stakes placed in the ground around it so it could sustain the strong winds that may come. Large, wooden rods were driven into the ground to surround the tree. Wires connected to the wooden stakes wrapped around the trunk of the tree. They remained until the tree was able to weather wind unsupported. We felt supported much like that tree in our front yard that required some help for a bit of time. When something difficult happens in a family, the love and kindness people offer really does keep you strong. Those people were like the stakes next to the tree while the winds came and it was as if their actions whispered to us: We are here to catch you and hold you up. We will not let you fall.

I am also reminded of Amelia Bedelia's adorable book series where she is a character who takes directions literally. When Amelia is asked to stake the beans, she ties steak to them. This is a symbol of the joy we have had as a family enjoying the silly things our kids say and do. Mike and I don't normally have the luxury of enjoying our children together on weekdays as my husband travels for a living. He was home for a total of 6 additional weeks and during that time had a lot of pain and healing to do. He also had the opportunity to spend solid bonding time with each of our children. We have had the pleasure of quality family time that sewed our hearts together in ways we never experienced before.

It's been worrisome, this tumor situation, to say the least. However, we have also felt The Lord's hand with the kindness of others like angels on earth surrounding our family. The love in our home has grown exponentially with all the time we have been able to spend together. I hope to remember the things we have learned and always have our stakes ready for another family that might need them.