I’m overwhelmed by the positive response from friends, colleagues, and even casual acquaintances and strangers. We’re being well cared for. I don’t know that I will ever be able to properly thank everyone.
The day we found out about Tobin’s cancer, I phoned my study group to let them know. They immediately promised to cover my portion of our group assignments, and asked if they could tell others about our situation. With my consent, they contacted the MBA administration and the MBA Spouses Association (MBASA)—who are better organized than any church organization I’ve ever seen. The following evening, a calendar had been posted on Google and families had signed up to bring us dinner through the end of the year. A day later, a group of the spouses came and cleaned our house from top to bottom.
In the past couple of days, MBA students and spouses, through many anonymous contributions, showered us with cards, presents, blankets, and a very sizable (and unexpected) donation of cash which will be used for gas to and from the hospital. Even some professors have chipped in.
On hearing of Tobin’s cancer, one of the MBA spouses contacted an organization called Children with Cancer for Christmas. We were immediately invited as guests, and told to pick out gifts for all of our children. (The party included Cosmo, in a blue santa outfit, and Santa himself, wearing red.) The generosity of our community again overwhelmed me. Tobin is getting a Fisher-Price basketball stand; my middle son is getting a bicycle. (Our oldest son can read, so I won’t spoil his surprise.) Wow.
I’m lucky to also have strong family support. I have three siblings in Utah who have variously spent hours (even overnight) with Tobin in the hospital, or babysat our other sons while we visited Tobin. Two sisters on opposite sides of the country (Seattle and Pennsylvania) have sacrificed, despite their own significant troubles (one is pregnant and on bed-rest), to fly my mother out to visit so we could spend more time at the hospital. My mother-in-law (who lives close by) has helped too, even though she is disabled and not ambulatory.
One of the up-sides of doing some little work for state government is that I’m able to participate in a pretty good health insurance plan. Between our insurance and other programs Tobin qualifies for, I believe our medical costs will be covered.
If one has to have cancer, Christmas is the best time of year to be stuck in the hospital. The Utah Grizzlies stopped by to visit. The Utah Highway Patrol came and dropped off the most hideous stuffed animal I have ever seen (right)—but it made Tobin laugh, and that’s what counts. Even Santa Claus himself has come by several times.
I’ve had many people email, call, or even stop by the hospital asking how they can help. We’ve received more than I could have ever asked for, and help continues to pour in. Tobin’s hospital room is decorated in Christmas lights, and his bed is covered in stuffed animals. The only thing I can ask is that you pray for us. Pray for peace, and that God’s will may be done.
As inadequate as my gratitude is, I can only offer my thanks, and promise that I will pay it forward. Thank you. Thank you.
May God bless each of you, and may your Christmas be merry.