Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Praying For a Miracle

I believe I grew up with the best group of neighborhood girls in the world.  There were 7 of us, and we were called, "The Cool Kids!" ... because we were just that cool... :-)

As "The Cool Kids," we worked for months perfecting dance routines in order to put on neighborhood shows.  We had an admittance fee for our audience- which mostly consisted of our parents and a few others who were willing to pay the price.  We decorated for it, set up chairs, and we even held raffles with legitimate prizes... not bad for a bunch of elementary school kids. :-)

One of "The Cool Kids" really took me under her wing the moment I moved in next door as a little 6 year old girl.  She walked to school with me almost daily and taught me to stand up for myself.  She taught me how to put on make-up, how to dance with boys, how to do back-hand springs,  and how to drive a car through her parent's yard!!  Really, the list of the things she taught me could go on and on... The most important thing she taught me at that young age was the value of friendship; she was my first, true best friend of my life.  Her name is Melody.         

She married her high-school sweetheart, and they now have 2 handsome boys.

Even though our little band of "The Cool Kids" dispersed a bit over the years because our lives took some of us in different directions, we will all be forever bonded by our childhood memories.  We will always love each other.  

This past Fall, just before Thanksgiving, I received devastating news.  Melody had been diagnosed  with stomach cancer!  

The shock- the anger- and of course the tears of sadness flooded my body.  How could this monster of a disease be hurting my friend?  

I returned to Missouri for Thanksgiving; and for the first time in 20+ years, we had a reunion with 5 of the 7 "Cool Kids."  We gathered together in my parents' living room to reminisce.  I spent a lot of that time soaking everyone's presence into my soul and into my memories.  I couldn't help but wonder what Melody would have to endure in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.  I kept feeling urges to express my love to everyone in the room and especially to Melody.  
I knew all too well the physical, emotional, and spiritual pain that cancer brings.  

When I was just a baby, my sister, Christy, died of Burkitts Lymphoma at the age of 11.  I continue to feel the pain that my siblings and my parents feel from losing such a true little angel.  Christy has literally been my angel through the years.

My dear friend's mother, who mothered me while I lived in Utah, died of cancer within days of her diagnosis.  I sang to her at her bedside in the early hours before she died.  The pain of seeing her go is indescribable.   

I also know that cancer can be beat!!!  My mother and my husband's father are both cancer survivors! 

After my mother's surgery to remove her cancer, she reached into her bag and pulled out something very symbolic... She put on a helmet and a shield, and then she held a sword up high in her hand.  When the doctor entered the room, my mother called out with all the feeling and passion in the world:  "Send me home Doctor!!  I'm ready to fight!!"  She was fighting cancer for both her and her daughter!!

Melody's spirit was also strong as we sat in the living room together.  She was strong and pensive about life, yet I could tell there was a heavy weight on her soul. 

Since that beautiful reunion, our family has continued to pray for Melody several times a day.  Everything seemed to be going so well, and we have been grateful.  

Today, one of my dear friends delivered heart-breaking news to me.  

Melody's cancer has spread to her lungs, liver, and thyroid.  The cancer had actually been in her stomach a lot longer than they originally thought- over 2 years!  She has been struggling to even breathe.  She is on oxygen and was admitted into the hospital tonight to start chemo again.  They believe she may have pneumonia on top of everything else... She is still fighting.... 

My friend said it simply: "Rachel, Melody is going to need a miracle."

Melody calls me a "Prayer Warrior."  I ask you to please join me in being warriors in prayer for her.