Tenaciously Teal grew from my love of spreading hope and kindness through care packs given to those next to me in the chemo room. However, with significant growth it has been tough to pass out care packs myself, but this morning I was able to return to something I truly love.
After loading almost 40 care packs into the T. Teal wagon I waited to get on the elevator and head to the chemo infusion room. As the door opened I locked eyes with an elderly man, in worn overalls, sitting in a wheelchair pushed by his wife. I immediately saw the signs of treatment that weighed heavy on his brow and I asked if he'd just come from chemo. His head turned down as he shook it in defeat, and his wife informed me his platelets were too low to receive treatment. I know the discouragement that comes from being turned away from chemo, and concern that without chemo the cancer may have opportunity to continue growing.
I looked back at this tough looking man whose head now hung in defeat, and noticed he had shed a single tear that was rolling down his cheek. I immediately grabbed a care pack from our wagon, and told him I wanted to give him something. He looked up and when he saw the gift and Bible verse written on the the brown paper sack he began to cry, and the one tear became many as he reached out and took the gift from my hands. He told me he had been fighting lung cancer for three years but it's now in his brain, and still weeping, he said “This is the third year I am not going to get to enjoy Thanksgiving”.
My heart broke even more for him, so somewhat timidly I asked if I could pray with him. There in the middle of the lobby, in front of the elevators that continued to ding for those waiting, I grabbed his hand, bowed my head, and began to pray for William. I prayed he would have peace, feel God’s strength, be surrounded by angels, feel joy from the Holy Spirit, have an appetite, and enjoy ultimately enjoy Thanksgiving! As I said amen Williams rough hands from seemingly years of hard work squeezed mine tightly and he thanked me through tear filled eyes. After the prayer he began looking through his care pack and with excitement exclaimed “wow this stuff is fantastic”, and then his wife followed saying, “he will be talking about this the whole way home”!
What is the moral of the story? First, prayer is always the right thing to do when it feels like there is nothing you can do. Second, this Thanksgiving don’t complain about the food, your plans, family, or when something doesn’t go just right. Instead wake up and be thankful for anything and everything, because someone like William is just fighting to survive and has one wish, to enjoy Thanksgiving!