Thursday, December 07, 2006

Extreme Makeover

Kate and I had a pleasant trip back to St. Louis this afternoon, until we arrived and stepped out into the 21 degree weather with 15 mph wind. Yikes! I think we should have stayed in Houston a few more days.

On the flight back, Kate overheard a couple in front of us talking with the flight attendant about the man's brain tumor and their recent visit to MD Anderson. Kate took the liberty to introduce herself to this couple and encourage them on their journey. I don't exactly know all of the details but I believe his tumor is inoperable and he will be undergoing chemo and radiation therapy soon. The couple resides in southeast Missouri. Presently, he can't use his legs and is confined to a wheelchair (due to the tumor). Please pray for this couple.

Just when we thought how blessed we were to have such wonderful people supporting us on our trip to Houston, lo and behold a surprise was waiting for us when we returned home. Our master bedroom was painted and completely redecorated. Our upstairs hallway and the boys bathroom was freshly painted. The boys bunk beds were put together. Finally, gas logs were installed in our downstairs fireplace. THIS WAS A HUGE BLESSING! We have procrastinated for years about doing most of these things. I told Kate that she should have had a brain tumor sooner (just kidding, of course).

We a very grateful for the many people that invested their time and money into this endeavor. A special thanks to Em and Big G, Jimmy & Patty, Larry, our church family at ChesPres, and many others involved. Also, thanks to Gram and Aunt Dee Dee for welcoming these people into our home and keeping little Stu out of trouble while they were here.

We continue to be overwhelmed by God's grace working through his people.



Anonymous said...

Dear Kate and Dave,
Welcome home to Fargo, WI! Feels like it out there doesn't it? I'm so glad you are back, even if it's frigid outside.
How amazing that God planted you two on the plane right where He wanted you to be able to minister to and, I'm SURE, encourage that man with the brain tumor! I've no doubt that you were a bright spot to them, Kate! I've already prayed for them and know that others will too.
What a great surprise to come home to a made-over home! Hope you both feel totally comfy in the change. How blessed you both are to be loved on in such a tangible way.

I'm praying for the boys. For all the obvious needs, and also that the lack of "normalcy" will not take a toll on them (or you). I'm sure they're so glad to have you home again, but I know even short breaks from Mom and Dad can make it tough to reacclimate when you least that's true with my kids.

Anyway, I'm thanking God and hoping you feel at least a bit encouraged by your time with Dr Yung. I'm continuing to pray for you all. It's so cliche', but take one step at a time. Kate, you don't have to get it all figured out NOW, and even if you did, the plan would likely change. I believe that's one way God keeps us dependent upon Him.
Love to you all. Get great sleep back in your own bed tonight!
Tiffani Gibbs

Seen it all Gram said...

Gram's version of the home makeover.
Tuesday evening EM and big G, husband and wife arrived to begin painting the master bedroom along with two others. (I must explain that Kate has a habit of rolling a color, mostly toupe, on walls several swipes to look at for a month or so.) Anyway the bedroom group began to paint green. Now being the soft beige person that I am I took notice. A soft beige person never paints green. Not brave enough. This group lasted late into the night.
Wednesday 7 a.m. the doorbell rings and a smiling lady in painting pants announces that she is there to paint the hall stairwell and boys bath. Roberta is a painter by trade and does a great job. Before I could take a breath dropcloths were stretched down hallways and steps, bannisters covered and ladders on steps. Roberta grew up on a farm in Illinois and can she work. She is putting three boys through college painting. Next two more ladies show up from Dave and Kate church to help Roberta. Then a man showed up to reassemble the bunk beds. Next the pastor showed up with single bed frame to match the bed delivered by another couple the night before. In the Wednesday p.m. the master bedroom group was back to work in force. Try keeping a curious two year old out of all this activity.
By evening it was apparent that the existing group would need nourishment. Aunt Dee Dee and I set about to make homemade bread, soup and salad to feed the troops.
Thursday a.m. things went into higher gear upon hearing that Dave and Kate were catching an earlier flight home.I didn't think it could get any highter. Work was completed by 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. A half hour from arrival time for Kate and Dave. During this process others showed up for various things. If not to just see the progress. You know that sometimes in life you say, well I've seen it all. That is the case for Gram this week. And that bold green in the master bedroom, superb!
"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might" Ecclesiastes 9:10
Gram signing off and ready for a quiet weekend in Franklin County

Anonymous said...

Kate and Dave,

We are so glad that your trip to Houston went well and that you feel blessed to have seen Dr. Yung. We thought that getting a second opinion for my cancer was a goodsent to us, and it sounds like it is the same to you both as well. Yeah!

I also relate to you roller coaster of emotions regarding how you're feeling, Kate. I was just sharing with our women's bible study on the topic of God's Provision, and shared a bit of how God provided for us in the midst of our own trial. I have a copy of all the emails I sent out to you all during the trial that I've since compiled into a scrapbook page for my kids should they want to read how their parents dealt with it at some future point. One of my entries was as follows (written a few weeks after my first bout of radiation):

"I'm finally realizing that this cancer thing is not just a health issue, it is a life issue. Cancer affects everything - my marriage, my relationships wtih friends, my time with my son, my ability to work, my future dreams, my energy levels, our hopes for more children in the near future, etc. However, the first morning during my mandatory isolation I came across a verse that really hit me: "My God turns my darkness into light" (Ps. 18:28). How appropriate! This cancer darkness is nothing compared to the trials of some others, yet it is still a very dark personal journey to walk through. I've realized that it is a daily choice to invite the Lord to invade my darkness and overwhelm me and my trials with the understanding that he is still a God of love and of mercy."

I hope this is encouraging to you. We love you....


Anonymous said...

Dear Kate,
I have tried on several occasions to write a note. Am keeping up with the blog - well in reality, I'm hooked - as best I can having to go to the library and use their computors. I'm overwhelmed by your obivious love for each other and for God. Your faith is awesome. I applaud you for you williness to share with others. You are touching more lives than you could possible know. I print out your story so that Wally can read it too. We pray for you and your family daily.
Wanted to share a happening last Sunday with your Mom and I. We arrived at the parking area across the street from our place of worship. As I got out of my car I realized that although parking was not a problem - walking across the patchy lot (more patch than clear) just might be. As your Mom gingerly picked her way over to me - "We will hold each other up",she said. So --- two kinda not so old ladies with arms hooked to gether began to plot our course step by careful step. Fortunatly, a big Van rounded the corner and out jumped two young men and excorted us across the icy frontier to our church - safe and sound. I'm so glad we didn't have to go it on our own. Praise God for all His many Blessings and we Thank Him for you two. Love you Soccer Gram.

Aunt Julie said...

I thought I would share a card I received today from a former work study student of mine in New Jersey. She wrote the following "God bless your father and sister. I pray for a swift recovery. They remain in my prayers daily." And the card said the following:
Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple Love
It cannot shatter Hope
It cannot corrode Faith
It cannot destroy Peace
It cannot kill Friendship
It cannot suppress Memories
It cannot silence Courage
It cannot invade the Soul
It cannot steal eternal Life
It cannot conquer the Spirit.

On the first Monday of each month, a special Mass is celebrated at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Snows for those affected by cancer. You are being remembered in these Masses and the Missionary Oblates are remembering you and your needs in their daily Masses and prayers.
May you find strength and comfort in the dawing of each new day, and may God grant you the many blessings of His healing and hope.