Brack here again...
A few days ago we had someone drop off a meal at our house. This is not the least bit unusual because a friend set up a meal train for us recently. We have had some incredible meals and shared some even better company when people stop by to show that they care with food (my new favorite way to receive love is through baked goods).
What made this meal drop off different though is that it was a complete stranger. She had signed up and learned about our story through a mutual friend. She dropped off a salad. A salad. Let me just preface this by saying that I grew up in the south and it wasn't a meal unless it had cornbread and meat. So despite fostering several healthy eating habits over the years, a salad has always remained a way for me to sneak in more bacon, croutons and cheese into my diet.
I introduced myself and we chatted for a few minutes about her own story and what led her to want to bring us a meal (surprisingly it wasn't my awesome blogging skills). After she left I put the meal away for later and my family went about its day like normal.
When it was meal time I started unpacking and preparing the salad. There was a small note saying that the salad was prepared with love and that each ingredient had been hand picked from the Farmer's Market in Hood River. The ingredients were:
-Soft, delicate lettuce that had this perfect crunch to it.
-Juicy tomatoes full of flavor.
-Stinky stinky and delicious blue cheese.
-Steak from a cow that probably happily lived out a life here in the Gorge.
-Perfectly grilled onions.
-Beets. B-E-E-T-S. Something I've never even pretended to enjoy eating. These were so good though that I'm rethinking my whole beet stance.
-Bread from a local bakery.
-A great bottle of red wine.
I listed out all of the ingredients because just as the note said this thing was prepared with some sweet sweet love. This complete stranger took the time to carefully shop and prepare this wonderful meal for my family. It had all the details taken care of. I would have taken this thoughtful approach and care to prepare a meal for someone that I loved, cared for and had known for years. She did it for someone she didn't even know.
A friend of ours stopped eating the salad and declared "I'm pretty sure this is the best salad I've ever had". We all soon concurred and began giving this salad some well-deserved shout outs before we went back in for another huge bite. I hope deep down our kind stranger saved a little bit of this salad for herself!
This salad is sticking with me because it was awesome but also because it made me realize a few things (one of which being that beets aren't so bad). All the kind gestures that friends, family, co-workers and not so random strangers are doing for us are having a huge impact on my family. We are blown away several times each day by all sorts of ways that people are reaching out to us.
The little things mean so much right now. They are allowing us to live with joy, smile, laugh and eat like royalty. I sincerely hope that my kids are able to soak up this kindness and that they are as inspired as Jordan and I are.
Now to some nuts and bolts of what is happening right now...
Jordan starts Radiation and Chemo treatments tomorrow in the Dalles. She will have a Radiation appointment there each weekday until September 20th. Her Chemo will be taken orally each day until September 20th as well. Treatment will continue after this date but this will be our first benchmark of how things are going and a revaluation will occur around this time.
Jordan's mobility has continued to worsen. We have gotten a wheelchair for her to use when we leave the house. This allows her to save her energy and also safely get around to all the places I drag her to. We are concerned about this but have continued to plug along and haven't held back from anything because of this.
Yesterday Jordan and I sat down with our principal at Parkdale and officially started the process for her to take a leave of absence from work. We are hopeful that this is short and that Jordan can return to work. She has become a big part of Parkdale in the short time that we have been there. Also since both Benton and Parker will be there this year I need an extra set of eyes in the building to be nosey. So we are hoping for a quick return!
We drop Jordan's mom off at the airport on Thursday and have just a few weeks of summer left with the kids before things get truly crazy around here.