“Relentless” is the word she used to describe us.
“…In a good way, I mean.”
I knew what she meant. I suppose “relentless” is the only word that could be used to describe the crazy family who brought live music in and out of the ward daily; who scheduled rounds of Go-Fish as religiously as the other “therapies” he was receiving; who decorated the largest hospital room on the wing from floor to ceiling with hundreds—possibly thousands—of cards that had poured in from their loving community.
When I received this call from one of the specialists at Duke two weeks after Joshua passed away, I was surprised to hear from this person, who no longer had any professional obligation to our case. She said she felt the need to call and let us know that she had never seen anything like our family and the way we loved Joshua. It was inspiring to her, she said. Made her want to go home and just love her daughter as much as she could everyday.
I hope that my audience is reading far enough, now, to understand that I am not tooting our family’s own horn… Because I realized last night, as I lay in bed from an exhausting but very rewarding day at the Samefight Benefit Golf Tournament, that if these nice things are true about our family, we surely came by it honest. Our friends and “extended family” in Floyd, Southwest Virginia, and other areas of the country mean business when they love. They are relentless. I mean, this individual who awed just at what she saw of us at Duke was not even aware of the fact that an entire community got together to pray for our children just before they left for Durham. She didn’t know just how many people were making up crazy stories about ‘possums just because this happened to make my son smile, or any of the other truly relentless acts of love that they performed.
I continue to be amazed on a daily basis by the “relentless” love that we are shown by everyone. People have given in capacities that I never could have imagined—contributions to birthing centers, musical programs for churches, The Brain Tumor Association, of course, to Samefight. There are others that I am not thinking of at the moment.
Yesterday there was an absolutely awesome turnout at the Golf Tournament. This is due to months of very detailed planning on the parts of numerous individuals—each who brought something unique to the table, I know. Successful as it was, and as much as I like the souvenirs we were graciously presented with, the better portion of the monstrous thank-you I owe them is for the fellowship that they include us in on a daily basis. It is not always easy to participate in day-to-day life, but in the midst of people who love so relentlessly, it is also hard to give up.
A very kind and thoughtful neighbor from Riner sent us a Casting Crowns CD just after Joshua’s services, which I have enjoyed immensely. One of the tracks in entitled, “Love Them Like Jesus,” and it is about those moments in life when there is nothing to say or do to “make it better.” All I can say to all of you who have supported us is: thank you so much for doing just this! Without fail, you remind me of my duty to keep on keeping on; to be just as relentless as you are!!