The past few weeks have been more active than usual around the house. So many helpful friends and family members coming and going -- delivering food and care packages, walking Margie, taking Cooper and Katie for play dates, stopping by for random chores and moral support. All of that activity has brought tremendous joy amid such uncertainty.
Still, nothing prepared Steve and I for the bustle of activity outside our house this afternoon.
Our front yard and sidewalk were suddenly overflowing with friends and family, representing a huge group of you who donated money for Steve's care. They presented us with an oversized check (think Publishers Clearing House) of a most generous, unbelievable amount written to "The Damm Family" for "whatever you wish" from "all of the elves."
It felt like a made-for-TV movie or a Hallmark commercial, but we certainly weren't as articulate as a scripted production. I think I managed a "thank you" for both Steve, who was overcome with emotion, and me.
The scene was just so beautiful. Children -- our own and so many others we love -- were running and playing up and down our end of the block (it's as if someone ordered pleasant weather for the afternoon). Clusters of friends offered the best hugs, continuing words of encouragement and endless offers of help. We felt completely enveloped in love and compassion. As Julie wrote me a few days ago, "We love you guys and if warm thoughts and prayers alone would take care of this, Steve would be better already!"
I can't imagine a better send-off before our journey to Houston, which begins tomorrow night. The money, of course, is appreciated beyond description (and we promise to spend it judiciously). The symbolism behind the gift is really the greatest gift -- the significant reminder that we are part of a community that cares beyond measures and that is so willing to make sacrifices to help others.
As I re-read the list of donors, I am reminded about what makes each one of you so special to us. Our family is indescribably honored and blessed to be part of your community. "Thank you" doesn't seem to be enough. So, in addition to our thanks, let's count on us sharing good news about Steve as soon as possible.