Snow Angels

Hello, everyone!

I hope this post finds you well.

Today I want to recognize supporters outside the home. I don’t think I mentioned we had visitors a couple weeks ago (a day before the snow moved in). My husband’s childhood friends came to town just to see us. Let me repeat that – just to see us. They didn’t come to go shopping. They weren’t in the area and stopping by. They reached out to find out if we would be available and made the trip just to see us. Just to hang and talk with us, at home, in the streets, anywhere.

I can’t tell you how good that feels. It’s nice to feel seen. I’m going to be honest; it feels like we aren’t seen by certain folks (I won’t name names here). I get it, life happens. But, let’s be real, seems like the only family or friends that come by here are my family and friends. He does have one family member who calls and tries to hook up with us. He has another we talk to often. Other than that, it feels like we are mostly invisible. Hey, I told you I was going to be transparent.

Anyway, my husband’s friends (a couple he knows from school) both know what he is going through. They came, we hung out, talked, laughed, discussed events/current state of affairs, etcetera. It was nice. It was really nice. I’m not sure if they knew how touching their visit would be to the two of us, but it was. What made it special was the love shown by taking the time to devote a whole day to come to our city to spend time with us. My husband is a really caring man with a big heart for others. I was just happy he could see people he cares about also care about him.

Fast forward to the next few days – our most recent SNOWmageddon that I told you all about last week. My husband missed dialysis two days because what was initially thought to be a two-day weather event turned into a full week. Seemed like every day they were calling for two more days of something. His dialysis center is so far off the interstate with so many hills, twists, turns, bridges, and overpasses we wouldn’t be able to navigate it. Other outside supporters showed up for us during this time.

We have no close family here. If my parents lived nearby, I have no doubt my father would have been over here in his truck every dialysis day to get my husband to dialysis. We’re talking about a man who would pick me up from my home on his way home from work to take me to their house so I wouldn’t be snowed/iced in by myself. Unfortunately, my parents live hours away and were iced in themselves.

I am blessed to have two sorority sisters who live within five minutes of our neighborhood. One on one side, another on the other side. I mean, I knew I loved these ladies and they were awesome. However, I now know how blessed I am the Lord saw fit to have us select the home and neighborhood we are in now. We were placed right in the middle of where we need to be.

On Wednesday, my sorority sister (I’ll call her Mrs. B) said her husband would try to take my husband to dialysis. Unfortunately, when I called to tell the center he had a ride to dialysis, I found out the center had a burst pipe and couldn’t do dialysis that afternoon. Thursday morning, Mrs. B texted again to say her husband, Mr. B, would pick us up in his four-wheel drive truck to take us to the local hospital for dialysis. Due to “low water pressure” in the city’s water system and no dialysis nurse on site, we were told they were unable to do dialysis on anyone. Mr. B was going to try taking us to another hospital in a neighboring city, but we saw accidents and terrible roads everywhere. My husband decided he wanted to go home. Mr. B asked if we were sure we wanted to go home. My husband said he was, but he later admitted to me he was concerned about inconveniencing my sorority sister’s husband.

Hours later, the other sorority sister (I’ll call her Mrs. W) sent a text reminding us her husband, Mr. W, is a retired trooper with a four-wheel drive truck who drove on these types of roads for twenty years. She let me know in no uncertain terms we needed to let her know what time we wanted to go and Mr. W would be there to pick us up. I don’t think we had a choice not to go at that point (to be honest). I told my husband what she said. He agreed to go the following day. I was so relieved.

We were unaware, but the two sorority sisters and their husbands were all concerned and had been talking to each other all day about what to do. I’m not sure any of them slept well that night. Early the next morning, Mrs. B texted to see about getting my husband to dialysis. I texted back that Mr. W was taking my husband and Mrs. W had really given us no choice. I could tell when she responded she was happy to hear he was going. Anyway, he got there, he felt better, I felt better, and I believe my sorority sisters and their husbands all felt better.

My husband told me to thank my sorority sisters and their husbands. He seemed really excited and felt like someone loved him. Y’all, I want you all to know you and your patient have people who really love you out there. They are concerned about you both. We know life happens. People get busy. They have things to do, families to take care of, etcetera. We are disappointed by what seems to be a lack of concern by some we once thought we were close to. However, we all have outside supporters who really care. They will be there. We just need to give them the opportunity to show up for us.

I was initially hesitant to ask Mrs. B if her husband could take my husband to dialysis so he wouldn’t miss a second day. Let’s face it! No one wanted to be out there in that mess! I didn’t really want to ask anyone to put themselves or their vehicle on the line. However, I didn’t know what else to do. I knew my husband was limiting his fluids. I also knew he hadn’t been retaining fluids, but I didn’t know how long it would take for the toxins to reach a concerning level again.

In the span of seven days, we realized how much six people who are not blood relatives really cared about us. When you and your patient find your SNOW ANGELS like we did, recognize them. Let them know how much their visit, call, text, and refusal to sit by without helping means to you both. They may not know you feel “invisible” to others. They don’t really have to know. That said, you should let them know it feels good to be seen. It feels good to be loved. And you should let them know you really appreciate whatever it is they have done, whatever prayer they have said, whatever kind words they have texted. They may not know how much their action touched you, but they should.

Until next time. May you and your patient have love, joy, and the strength you need to get through this next week.

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