The first thing I would have to write on my paper would be blood. Yes, blood! Jewish blood specifically! The blood of my savior Jesus Christ first and foremost that was shed for me for the remission of sins. And for the blood of CJ' s donor. When he came in for a spinal tap today we learned that his CBC's had 'bottomed out' and he would need to be replenished with another blood transfusion. When the blood arrived we were told that it was "directly donated" to him. Normally, we would not know whose blood he is receiving but we are pretty sure we know whose blood this is because his Aunt Shirl had just called to tell us she donated blood and had it directly donated to CJ. CJ called and spoke to her as he was receiving her blood and he teased her that her blood tasted good. She teased him that he is officially half Jewish now. I smiled as I thought Jewish blood has saved his life twice now! Once on the cross, and once in a blood mobile. I am thankful for blood!
The next thing I would write is that I am extremely thankful to spend this Thanksgiving with my husband and children. Each and every day I have with them is a precious gift. CJ's cancer has taught me to value each life God has blessed me with and each day I have with them so much more. And to drive the lesson even further home, the man who lives across the street from us is fighting for his life tonight after crashing his motorbike out front of our house a few hours ago. As we stood and watched the helicopter airlift him away, I was even more grateful for Chris and the kids. This getleman will not be coming home for Thanksgiving this year, and possibly not ever. They may never have the opportunity to spend another Thanksgiving with their loved one. As you sit at a table with your loved ones today, stop and take a moment to look around at each and every life represented. Thank God you have had this past year with them. Tell them you love them. Allow a fresh gratefulness to wash over you.
The last thing I would add to my list is that I am thankful for all of you. All of you who have followed CJ's story and prayed faithfully and earnestly on his behalf. I see the fruits of your sacrifice and labor first hand everyday. As I sat in the Pediatric Ambulatory today for 10 straight hours surrounded with overwhelming tragedy, sicknesses and devastating disease I was extremely grateful for how well CJ is doing with his treatments. After being frustrated about his illness last night, and everyone bathing him in prayer, his spirits we back up today and he was no longer struggling with sadness. I believe he is doing so well because he is being covered in prayer thanks to all of you. The nurses notice it, the doctors notice it and Chris and I notice it. Words can not express our deep gratitude for your love and support and friendship. Our family feels a deep bond with so many of you and we have never even met the majority of you. God has taught us whole new meaning of friendship through this trial.
As I look back over those three things I just expressed my gratefulness for, I realize that I am thankful for for those very things that I thought were obvious before. Faith, Family and Friends. Only this year, when I write it on that little slip of paper, I believe it will flow directly from my heart to my hand and settle on the paper in a whole new way.
A Thanksgiving Prayer to all of You."I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and his incomparably great power for us who believe. "