Every year a local radio station, Warm 106.9 (see link on left), grants certain listeners their Christmas Wish. This year my Mom thought she would nominate us. She asked me to write something up for her but, after looking over the Warm 106.9 web site, I thought maybe I should nominate Lis instead. I didn’t need anything special for Christmas and thought that after a rough year Lis deserved something special. We agreed weeks ago to not buy each other anything. We’re kind of strapped for money and I’d rather us combine our power and buy something for Lukas.
So I wrote up nice little letter to Warm 106.9 explaining our situation (and if you don’t already know it then please read the past seven months of my journal) and telling them how I wanted to buy Lis a bike (she loves bicycling) but wasn’t able to do so this year. She’s had a rough year and this year, more than others, I’ve wanted to get her something.
Well two days after I submitted my letter Delilah – a nighttime DJ from Warm 106.9 and I believe syndicated – called me at work. I couldn’t believe it. She asked me to tell my story and “paint the picture” of the past year to the listeners. I did my best without choking up, but now that I listened to it I wish I could’ve painted a better picture. I guess I was in shock that she called and felt awkward as I was at work. Anyway, she said that they wanted to grant our Christmas Wish so they had gotten a $200 gift certificate for me to buy Lis a bike. They also gave us a $1500 travel certificate to use on http://www.site59.com. I couldn’t believe it. I lost it. I started to cry on the phone and on the radio. Lis and I had wanted to take a vacation somewhere, just the three of us. Take a break from everything. She has needed it. It was awesome. God works miracles and we really feel blessed to have received this. I thank my Mom for pushing me to write something as I don’t like asking for things myself.
You can listen to the clip on their site or click on the following link:
I’m the one that says “Delilah and Kevin”. I will also try and put the clip here, though I don’t like hearing my voice. Plus, everyone will know what Kevin sounds like.
Anyway, it’s a great beginning to a holiday season that I have been looking forward to for a few months now. Lis has a new life, Lukas is at the age where he is starting to figure out the world around him, and I’m just feeling the Christmas Spirit.
Here is the letter I wrote to them:
My Christmas Wish this season is for my wife Lis.
Lis was diagnosed with leukemia on April 7 and has endured a year full of hospital visits and chemotherapy treatments.
Lis was told she had cancer, would need treatment ASAP (or else she would not make it to the end of this year) and was told that she must remain in the hospital for 30-35 days, all on that one dreadful day in spring and all at the ripe age of 27.
What hurt she and I the most was the fact that we had one child and he was just five months old. She would need to stop breastfeeding and wouldn’t be able to tuck him in at night for a month or more.
I was thankful for my Mom who for those 30 days was there for Lis and I, taking care of our son, Lukas. She was there every day at the hospital bringing Lukas to visit his mommy. She was awesome.
For Lis and me, having our son around was a blessing. I can’t count the many nights where I felt like crying myself to sleep, only to look at him and have him put a smile back on my face. He was my hero, she was my inspiration.
Coincidentally…or not, Lis was released from the hospital the day before her first Mother’s Day. It was the best Mother’s Day ever and I couldn’t have given her a better gift than the gift to be with her son – away from the hospital.
Luckily for us the story has a happy ending. Lis finished her final round of chemo a few weeks ago and has gone into remission. There is a great chance this will never comeback and she won’t need a bone marrow transplant. It’s been an amazing journey and we thank God for everything he has done for us.
I can’t even imagine going through what I watched her go through. Like most people, I would’ve given up right away. The numerous blood transfusions, needle pokes, refills on platelets and on and on, but she never said a word.
Looking at her one can’t tell that she has had a year NOT to remember. People are always commenting to me or her about how you can’t tell that she has gone through so much this year. Despite everything she has a smile on her face. This makes it easier for me to put a smile on my face. Her oncologist even mentioned that he had seen big, tough men come in and complain all the time about their situation, and her…nothing. She never let the leukemia affect her attitude and persona. Her answer to everything was, “What is complaining going to do about it? It’s not going to change or help anything.”
It’s been this attitude that has inspired me to be a better husband, father and person. And it’s been this attitude that has wanted me to write and tell you about wanting to grant her a Christmas wish.
This year, along with all the emotional stress that has gone through our life, we’ve also had a great deal of financial stress. We went from a two-income household to immediately becoming a one-income family. Lis lost her job because they didn’t have enough leave time for her and also lost her medical benefits. We still have the COBRA benefits but have to pay the monthly bill ourselves. My job, unfortunately, does not have medical benefits. It’s been quite a year. Thankfully we’ve been blessed with great support from friends and family. They have put together garage sales, car washes and donated food while Lis was in the hospital. It’s been amazing.
This Christmas I wanted to get her something special. She’s had a rough year. However, this Christmas we’ve agreed not to buy a gift for each other as we’ve fallen on hard times.
I don’t know what to wish for and if I ask her what she wants she answers with “nothing as I have life”. If I mention that someone wants to get something for her she replies by saying that she just wants help with our bills, or plane tickets to Brazil to visit her family, or maybe a home of our own…hehe! Of course those three things are a reach and unattainable.
She likes Wal-Mart, she would like a bike that she can ride Lukas around with, or a getaway for the three of us. We’ve had a *insert every emotion here* kind of year. We’re not the type of people that ask for stuff, in fact, my Mom encouraged me to write because I felt bad asking myself.
As silly as this might sound, we’re just happy to have each other and happy to have a loving family during the holiday seasons.
I apologize for writing a lot, I could go on for pages writing about my wife and how well she has overcome such a tough battle.