Some of my friends hatched a lovely plan for July 2, our 17th wedding anniversary.
The idea was "love around the clock," and at least once an hour I received a visit, gift, card, phone call, email or text from a loved one.
The morning started with breakfast treats and my favorite Starbucks drink from Julianne, one of the masterminds behind the sweet, sneaky plan.
As the day progressed, there were more visits and treats from Liz, Shannon (via proxy), Jasmine, Melinda, Jackie, Sharon and Brenda, and most of the Mango family. We ended the day with a fireworks viewing with Julie and Allison and all the Damm-Spears-Earwood children.
I received a beautiful floral arrangement from my Bible study friends (plus Sarah). Lots of desserts. Cards with encouraging words. Sweet texts, emails and Facebook posts. A clock that will forever remind me of the love that surrounds me.
Cooper and Katie loved the parade of visitors and the special treats. (The day started, in fact, with Katie at my bedside: "Good morning, Mommy. It's a special day. Happy anniversary!")
Thank you to all of you (many not even mentioned) for clearing the gloom from the day with multiple acts of hesed.
Hesed -- my new favorite word, discovered during our group's study of the book of Ruth -- is a Hebrew word for kindness, but it's much richer and deeper. It's compassion that goes above and beyond what's expected, without expectation for anything in return.
I love discovering a word that describes exactly what sustained our family from the very first MRI of Steve's brain through today. There have been so many acts of hesed on our behalf; I lost track long, long ago. How blessed I am to raise my children in this community!
I've written off and on about people who seem specially placed in our path. I'm convinced that these relationships aren't coincidence.
I'm reminded of three just from Saturday's day of love.
Julianne is a mom at Bledsoe. She and I are serving together on the PTA board beginning this school year. But I knew of her long before I met her.
For a few years, I have been reading Chrys Mundy's blog (taken down recently for privacy reasons). Chrys was a friend of a friend; it turns out we have lots of mutual friends -- meeting and forming our own friendship was only a matter of time.
One of Chrys' friends is Rachel, who I would occasionally read about on Chrys' blog. Eventually I started reading Rachel's blog, where I would also occasionally see her sister-in-law, Julianne.
The same Julianne whose children attend Bledsoe. I sort of felt like I had been spying on her (though not intentionally) and was relieved to "come clean" a few months ago.
The third is Brenda. Brenda is a childhood friend of Sharon, one of my dear friends from the Dallas Morning News. (Sharon is also one of my current editors.)
Brenda teaches P.E. at Leon Heights Elementary School in Belton. Leon Heights is the school that I attended in third grade (and a week of second grade -- that's another crazy story). Some of my Belton friends still live there, and their children are Brenda's students.
Brenda and I have corresponded via email a couple of times but mostly hear about each other through Sharon. Brenda was visiting Sharon in Rockwall this weekend, and they decided to drive to Frisco to visit. It was wonderful to finally meet Brenda in person and give her a big hug.