I've fallen behind on thanking all the people who have made this process so much easier. I'm sure this won't be an inclusive list -- so sorry! But know that we appreciate and value every call, note, visit, gift and prayer. There are countless offers of additional help out there, and while we hope we don't have the need for more help, we are indescribably comforted knowing we can rely on you all.
Jim, Betty & Uncle Jim: Most important, they have taken over care of Cooper & Katie. My job right now is to take care of Steve, and I couldn't do that if I were worried about our sweet babes. They've also delivered anything we ask for and anticipate what we don't think to ask for. And they're doing all this while also worried about their own sweet Steve.
Greg: At the direction of Mel, he surprised me yesterday with a midday food delivery and kept me company while Steve was at the imaging center.
Julie: She looked like Santa when she walked in with a bag of goodies -- two comfy pillows for Steve, photos and pictures for the wall at the foot of Steve's bed, a bag of treats, some work papers for me and prescriptions for my nagging upper respiratory illness. She also helped me stand in line with the kids to see Santa and helped pull together gifts on Christmas Eve. We can't forget Andy, who takes charge on garbage day, finds answers to questions quickly and helps in any other way he can.
Andy & Zita: They delivered a full dinner that Steve called "magical," a bag of surprises and cheerful drawings from their sweet girls. Their company was magical, too.
Will & Holly: They brought us dinner our first night home last week, brought extra gifts for the kids and helped us take our minds off everything for a bit. Will visited this week with extra jokes for Steve, who laughed harder than he'd laughed in at least a week, and a Starbucks for me.
Meghan & Denna: They apparently have cleaned the house in our absence and are taking care of Margie (our dog). Actually, all of Denna's family is helping with Margie, most notably our reliable sitter Justin.
Liz & Layne: Liz drove with us to the ER on Christmas morning, leaving her family behind to sit with me during the trying experience. Layne later joined us and helped us settle in at Zale. Layne stopped by yesterday on his way home from work and met some of Steve's closest co-workers.
Chidren's family: Lori, Ray, Wendy, Karen, Leti and more -- they all miss Steve around the office and have been great about stopping by, e-mailing and calling to check on him. They are a tremendous resource as we continue to navigate the medical field.
Kelly S: She adopted Cooper for most of the day Christmas Eve, allowing Steve to rest and Katie & I to get ready for Christmas.
Kerri: She delivered dinner and flowers and provided welcome company.
Bill & Kathy: They walked in just before Steve left for his scan yesterday and brought with them their characteristic aura of faith, peace and sincere concern.
The Walls family: They delivered treats before we left for church Christmas Eve. We can't wait to get home to see them and the rest of our amazing neighbors, who continue to remind us that we live in the best neighborhood and dispel the notion that new suburban neighborhoods are cold and impersonal.
Mystery neighbor: Someone left in our mailbox a Christmas ornament with a Damm family photo.
Mary S: Steve started to feel very ill during Christmas Eve services. I couldn't help him right away, though, because Cooper -- all 60 pounds of him -- had fallen asleep and was draped across me. Mary missed the candlelight part of the service to take care of Steve, and she, Kevin and Alex helped get us all to the car.
Flowers from: Children's ENT & audiology, DMN Editorial department, the Crumb family, the Tarun-Stogsdill family and Linda Swift