Thank you for never leaving us alone
I have found the importance of friends and support as a care giver. Actually I did not even know I was the care giver until about six months ago when Andrea told me. I always thought the term referred to the doctors and nurses. I have tried to never let Andrea feel alone and have tired to always encourage her when the times are tough or just be there when you know words can not take away the pain or the fear. It is equally difficult not being the one receiving the treatment or the one facing death, but being the one facing being left. It offers its own unique challenges and I have found I needed my own support. For me that came primarily from Mike and Lori Jo Duvall Al Jones and Pat Doherty.
By the grace of God we were reunited with the Duvalls at Seymour Johnson AFB for the first year after Andrea's cancer returned. We were always close friends I believe God put us together just for this time. Over the next months as I adjusted to this news Lori Jo was an immense help to us while Mike was deployed. I met Al after I took command of the 4th Training Squadron. Al had just been hired as the registrar for the squadron and from there grew the most important relationship I have had over the past 2 years. Pat Doherty was always there to lend a ear and open his office when I needed to talk. All these friends were strong and mature believers in Christ and helped me through many difficult days with advice but mostly by just listening to me as I tried to work through hard days. I could not have made it without any one of them.
These few examples barely scratch the surface of the support we have had. Encompassed in the past four years are some of the most difficult days of our life, but there is also some of the best memories I ever had. When cancer attacks and draws you into a physical battle it can be overwhelming, and prayer and calling out to God can seem void and without response if it were not for believers who become the hands and words of God, who show in a tangible way the Love of Christ. It is those acts that have given us the strength to make it every day. The smallest of acts can have the greatest impact, when it is done by someone who is willing to be obedient to the Holy Spirit.