This is a picture of our six children when we went to go see "Jungle Book" with one of Tony's coworkers last week. Our kids loved it!
I was thinking about the lyrics to this song as I was browsing through my pictures on my phone yesterday. "The bare necessities of life will come to you." I've always thought this was a song about laziness and living the "easy" way in life, just floating around without a care in the world. And for Baloo, it may be that way. But that is not the case for our family.
The past several months and even extended to Tony's initial diagnosis back in 2009, the bare necessities of life have not just "come" to us with no thought or care. It has been YOU who has put in so much love and work to help our family; it is by no coincidence that we have been blessed beyond measure.
Recently our kids have been spoiled. We received many anonymous Christmas gifts over the holiday season, we received a (may I say super cool!) play set for our back yard. Movie nights, yummy meals, fun yard working days, outings, lunch dates, help with driving Tony to treatments, prayers and fasts, treats, having our kids over to play at your house... all of these things have spoiled our children--- in a very good way. They are able to offset any distress in our family by these great memories they are making with us and with you. And all because you wanted to help. For that, I sincerely say thank you.
When Tony was in the hospital longer than expected, I felt I needed to leave one night in order to be back at home with our kids. We both were at a very emotional state as we wanted so much to be home as a family, yet nothing was falling into place to allow Tony to leave. Before I left for the night, Tony needed help with getting ready for bed and he checked his Facebook account before handing me his phone to be charged for the night. He glanced up at me with tears in his eyes and without saying anything, handed me his phone. One of his seminary students had started an online fundraiser for our family and it then quickly started to exceed the goal amount of money they wished to raise. Over the next few days, I saw many people I knew, some that I had never met, and many anonymous donors pitching in to help our family. There are few moments where I have been so humbled. Tears streaked down my face every time a donation was added, many in amounts that must have been a sacrifice for their families. We were reminded of the story in the New Testament, the widow's mite. Donations in amounts of $5 by students taught me great love and sacrifice; their contributions are great in our eyes. I stand amazed at the gift of love from you. Please accept my heart-felt thank you.
I can't relay everything that has been done to help us. There is so just so much. I desperately want to hug everyone who has helped us and tell you personally what it has meant to us. But I know my words fall short of the gratitude Tony and I share. There is no way to express it but I hope this can be at least a small token. We have bound our hearts of gratitude to yours.
The bare necessities of life did not just simply "come" to us, God has worked through your hands to aid our family in our time of need. We have spent several hours pleading on our knees praying for help and you have been our answers. There is no way someone goes through an experience like this without the support of their family, friends, and community. We feel your prayers raising us up, giving us strength to push forward and fight.
One of the greatest insights I have recognized so far is the need to be humble. With six young children and a husband who is sick, I can't do it alone. But I desperately want to do it alone! I want to be supermom and "the best wife ever" who can keep everything together and flowing smooth during this time. I don't want to show my tears and my worries, and I definitely don't want to be needy or a burden. I don't want to be that way because of praise, I just want to be strong enough for my family.
I cannot be that person. No one can. During a time like this, we all bond together and buoy each other up. There are only so many hours in the day and always so much to be done. I thank you for stepping in when I physically cannot.
We have to learn to accept help. It is so hard. So, so hard. Really, it is something I have struggled with learning. But it is necessary. Humility is the only way we can access the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the gift that is ours if we choose it. His gift is the only way to be happy, to have peace, to fully love, and to one day, have a complete fullness of joy. We learn from Him as we are humbled to be helped and in turn, our hearts are moved as we choose to be humbled to help others.
So, the bare necessities of life did not come to us by floating down a river on our back, watching the clouds go by. They came through you and, most importantly, through our Father in Heaven.