Joyce finally snagged us this afternoon. She has been trying to connect with us since we got here. And right away she gave us the face.
That I'm so sorry you are going through this it must be awful how sad your baby is so young face.
That's the face we have gotten from EVERYONE here...and I HATE THE FACE.
It makes me feel like they are thinking all of that and just a little of this:
I'm secretly glad its you going through this and not me.
Isn't it horrible that I think like that?
So anyway, Joyce rounded Kevin and I up, and took us to the family counseling room. She asked what brought us here and I told her the whole story including my car dying the day before. Because basically I was going for the whole "Kristi's Life Is a Literal Shit storm" angle.
And she slaps down some pamphlets in front of us and starts going over them. And in less than five minutes I am completely overwhelmed.
They are grants we can apply for that will reimburse us for medical expenses. And she is explaining the different types, and I am getting a little teary eyed because, hey, this is Kristi. I never ask for handouts, even when I really need them, and here they are being pushed in front of me. I am just barely holding on when she puts a particularly colorful one in front of me. On the cover is a picture of a plump, laughing child, and there is a shooting star in the left top corner.
"This," Joyce says quietly. "Is the Make a Wish Foundation."
She goes on to explain that when Charlotte is two and a half, she will get the chance to fulfill a wish- for instance, Disney world, with her whole family. Just because she is sick with a life threatening disease. And I am all wrapped up in the whole spiel when suddenly it hits me like a ton of bricks-
The reason this is all so appealing is because MY daughter has CANCER.
She IS SICK.
And everything from the past two days is slamming into me at once, and I feel like I am sort of slipping into this catatonic state, and when I come out of it, Joyce is directing us back to our room and Kevin is saying WOW over and over.
We just get settled in and my phone rings. It's Patrick checking in. Co-worker Patrick. My favorite Peter's on the planet Patrick.
"I have some news for you."
And Kristi, the sarcastic bitch that she is even now in the face of a CRISIS (That was a Joyce word, crisis) spouts out:
"I'm not fired, am I?"
And Patrick laughs and says,
"No no no. Actually, I wanted to let you know that we are using your PTO, and when that runs out Bill got you approved for forty more paid hours of leave. And in the event you have to be out longer than that, he MIGHT be able to get you more."
And I am speechless. Who's supervisors do that?? Who goes out on a limb like that? I thank him the best I can with tears running down my face, even though I want to say more all I can get out is how much it means to me, and that they have already done enough, and Kevin and I are so grateful. And I am figuring out that grateful is a very under appreciated word.
And then my mom calls, and I tell her and she chokes up and tells me that Brandon Hendrickson and my dad are actually putting together a benefit ride in our honor.
I can honestly say that in all my time on the planet this is not the path I would have chosen for my family, but now that we are here I am SO grateful (see, there is that word again) that we have the friends and family that we do.
They are here, all around us, in our time of need, in my world.
And even if there isn't a God, or a Heaven, I have NEVER felt more surrounded by angels than I do now.
Thank you to EVERYONE who is following our story, who has said a prayer, made a phone call, even just took ONE SECOND to think about us this day, because I can assure you it makes a difference.
Bless you all.