On Saturday Uncle Time came and picked John up and took him back over to his friend’s with that beautiful backyard with a pool. John was thrilled to be going and he loved every minute of it. He swam and swam, jumped off the diving board (Yes Grandpa, with a life jacket on!) and to top it off had spaghetti for dinner. It was an outing perfect for our swimming-spaghetti loving son!

While John was gone Jon and I decided to tackle our bedroom. I know I’ve talked about it a lot this past year..the clutter, the chaos, the potential tripping hazards. The time was now to get it done! The pictures show the contents I emptied from my closet. It had been stuffed, smashed and thrown into our closet….clothes, school things,letters, cards, memorabilia from this past year, medical supplies (Lots!), binders, papers, medical records, bills. Jon took care of his things…that didn’t amount to much and I was responsible for the rest. Ok…..when Jon saw the magnitude of what was coming out of our closet he offered and offered to help. He repeatedly asked me how he could help. Stubborm Shelly told him not to touch a thing…insisting I was the only one that could go through it all correctly. What you see is the content of what didn’t belong in my closet.

It was quickly evident to me that this was going to be a huge undertaking! I was ready! Bins…check! garbage bags…check! Time…check!  I was motivated. The pace was decent at first, going through the clothes and some of the papers, but then I hit all of the “stuff” that has accumulated since April 2012 when John was first diagnosed. His first hospital band, our parent badges, discharge papers, the label from the bag of life saving stem cells, the plastic stitches from when he got his tummy tube (I know…it sounds gross, but it’s not), posters created by my class….. to name a few. The pace became a little slower. Then there were the projects John made in the playroom on the 7th floor. The pace became significantly slower as I remembered who was in the playroom with us and  how many of those  brave children are now angels. Then I hit the loads and loads of cards. I was at a stand till. I sat on that messy floor for a long time and read each and every card….feeling the love and support from so many all over again. I smiled. I cried. I was in awe of so much…Team John that walked every step with us, lifting us up, cheering us on….of my little boy that fought like heck and taught us all so much….of our extended families that put their lives on hold to see us through and gave unconditionally…of our little Gegen 5..we made it through, but we’ll never be the same. We are stronger, “tighter” as a unit, and full of grace for the blessings that have come our way (We still need to remind each other occasionally of the blessings and to act like people full of grace! 🙂 )

I was in that bedroom for hours and hours that day. I think that I wouldn’t have been ready any sooner to go through all those memories and I was in the right place with myself and our situation, to face it when I did. John is doing so well, it almost seems surreal when I look back on all he’s endured.

While the bedroom is considerably better, it’s not quite up to qualifications for an “after” photo. That will be coming soon!

Love, Hope & Blessings,


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