I first experienced what I now call a “soul day” three years ago this week. It was the day before Thanksgiving and I didn’t have any vacation time to take a random day off, as every hour I had went straight to clinic visits & hospital stays. My sister, nephew & niece were in town and I just really wanted to spend time with them and Kate, who was in great spirits and feeling well. My co-worker (and best friend) Megan donated one of HER vacation days to me and a soul day was born.
It snowed that day. We had breakfast at “the pancake place” and Kate was GLOWING.
See what I mean?
I took another “soul day” today only this time, I got to give instead of receive and it’s all because of Kate. All because of one little girl who so touched the world and inspired others. All because this one little girl found support from around the world and allowed Kate’s Cause to be born.
If you’ve been with us a while, it comes as no surprise how dearly loved the staff are at our clinic. From nurses & clinical techs to doctors to art therapists and child life specialists…each of them have a place in my heart. I wanted to remind them that WE could not care for our children without the work they do. They are the most loving group of people you could ever hope to meet and any way that we can give back to them is an a-plus in my book. BUT, I also knew that the best way to give to them would be to give to the kids, so today’s plan was born.
NO child should ever have to have chemo, but it feels especially cruel to endure what they do over the holidays. Knowing what I know now, those getting chemo today & tomorrow are likely to feel it the worst come Thanksgiving Day.
So, I spent an hour in the toy section at Target this morning and loaded up on prizes. Matchbox cars, sticker books, goofy super hero finger puppets, bouncy balls and light up wands. Kids will get to pick something from the pile because they are heroes and deserve a little love. I also picked up a huge bunch of smiley balloons so large I nearly blew away in today’s wind. Any sibling or patient who needs a “lift” can take a balloon home. (It’s so amazing how one small balloon can make the world of difference.)
The staff was treated to lunch from Moe’s & cookies by Grandma. I also got to give out hugs and verbal thanks, but that was WAY MORE for me than them.
A few bright spots in the day were the two lovely ladies from the caterer & party store who asked what the occasion was and got to hear a bit about our amazing fighters, our loving team of care givers AND about our darling girl.
I ended this soul day with a full heart and a hand-full of warm donuts with my girl. Because Kate’s special nurse moved far away and asked me to promise to take her some every now and again. S&E, this one’s for you.
Kate, it is TRUE what your song says…
“the light that you left me will everglow.”