Sunday, November 23, 2008

Last Thanksgiving

We were excited to be spending Thanksgiving with friends in Florida last year. Little did we know that we'd be staying seven weeks and returning to Virginia without our Emily. Her leukemia relapsed for the second time while we were there. We were thankful that she was cared for by doctors and nurses she had known and loved for eight years. We held out hope for a bone marrow transplant, but it wasn't to be.

It was a gift from God that she was cared for in her last weeks by people we knew and had confidence in at Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital. She was happy to see them and didn't seem to understand that it wasn't a good thing that we were going back there. It was like an odd family reunion. Having spent over 200 nights in that hospital over an 8-year period, we felt like it and the Ronald McDonald House were our second home. Little did we know as we checked in last Thanksgiving that we'd be staying another 39 nights.

We are thankful that Emily was able to see her friends Madison, Alexis, and Amber many times before saying goodbye. Had we been in Virginia when the relapse happened, they might not have seen each other again this side of eternity.

We are thankful for how people ministered to us. Both friends and people we had never met showed us God's love.

We are thankful for the gift of Emily in our lives for over 13 years. She changed us.

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