When I offered to come down to Kentucky to help out, I really wasn't sure what I could do except provide some comic relief. On the long bus trip down I played over and over in my mind what the situation might be and how I might possibly be adding to an already maxed out work load for Loretta or pushing in on a very personal thing for Tim. I did NOT want to do that. I felt that the great distance between Loretta & Tim from family had to be very difficult for them and that they needed family.
I arrived Saturday night at about 10:30 PM. By Sunday afternoon all my bus trip thoughts vanished into the rainy Kentucky air. Tim was admitted into the hospital. I knew what I was there to do. An army of compassionate, kind people stopped by the house and called on the phone offering assistance. Not the open ended "if we can do anything..." but real suggestions and I only had to say yes or no. I like that, no thinking. I got the kids up and ready for school. Someone picked them up and took them to school. I did some laundry, a little house work, someone brought dinner. Loretta spent 2 days and nights at the hospital with Tim. We all ate wonderful dinners, played cards, and I told funny stories. We talked about what was happening to their father. Loretta called every few hours to fill us in from the hospital and to check in on the kids.
After Tim came home Loretta and I talked many times about the difference between "service" and "compassionate service". I saw first hand what compassionate service is. Like many horrible events in life, we often take away a lesson we have learned in the throes of a tragedy. Tangled up in this cancer there are moments of hysterical laughter, many tears and wonderful people.
I would not have traded my week in Kentucky for anything. Unless it was for Tim not to have cancer at all.
*This is a picture of Cretta playing dress up in the garage. She was suppose to be out there cleaning but instead she was playing...never trust a woman in a pirate wig! :)