Safe in the Tub – the love in the midst of the impossible

Five-Minute-Friday: Safe

This post is written with the gang over at Five-Minute-Friday where we write on a prompt, for five minutes, and then post.  Don’t think, just do it!  This week’s prompt:  SAFE

It’s been sitting for nine years, safe in the bin I threw it in when I tried to return to “normal” after Andrew’s last chemotherapy appointment in December of 2007.  I cherished each card, letter, poster, and note people sent to us. But suddenly, that year, I needed to hide them.  We had more than enough reminders of Andrew’s travel through three and a half years of leukemia treatment.

I felt desperate to return to life.

Safe in the bin where I placed them. Reminders of support and love.

This week my school is kicking off the Pennies for Patients campaign for the Leukemia/Lymphona Society. On a search for the Pennies for Patients poster that featured Andrew, I rifled through that plastic tub that I have kept safe, but untouched for years. Just opening the lid provided a lightning flashback because of the innocuous heplock flush valve lying on top of the last MRI results.  I could not read more than 6 or 7 cards, as the tears blurred my vision. The valves, flush syringes and deadening cream in the bottom of tub ensured the return of the cover.

But not before a huge rush of appreciation and love flooded me.  I saw some imaginative and slightly odd cards decorated with love by children none of our family have ever met – those children who prayed for my boy.  There were recognizable post-it-notes that I would find on my desk after returning to work after a nine-hour-day at chemo.  I read hand-written poems and prayer placed in my mailbox by my high-school students and a note left on my clean pile of laundry by a friend.  A couple of empty envelopes baffled me, but just until I remembered the lady who sent us half of her over-time check for 6 months straight to help us out.  I hadn’t met her then, but she chose to bless us anyway.

There are more.  So many more.

A tub full of blessings and love waiting for when I need it, or when I can handle it.

A safe place full of reminders that our world holds beauty in the midst of ugly, and safety in the middle of a storm.

There is still beauty in our world that keeps us safe and grounded through hard times #fmfparty… Click To Tweet

Confessions my FMF friends:  I honestly have no idea how long this took me to write.  I got hung up on the tub full of blessings tonight, which forced me to write when I thought I had nothing on the prompt!


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  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Carol, y’all brought tears to my eyes with this. I’m so glad, for myself and for all of your readers, that you saved the tub!

    #1 at FMF this week.

    • Me too! I was thinking how sad it would be if I hadn’t kept it. Every time I move I call myself a fool for my sentimentality. But I cannot seem to part with that. I still have the syringes though – that might be approaching ridiculous. 🙂

  • Ahh, those treasures that keep us going in times of darkness and that remind us of how God loves us through others. His Presence keeps me going in the hardest times when I look through my own tub of memories of my Kimberly Joy, who lost her battle with Juvenile Diabetes and all its complications 7 1/2 years ago at 32.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank God for His presence in our storms – and for those tubs that remind us of our support systems!

  • Tara Ulrich

    THIS: “A safe place full of reminders that our world holds beauty in the midst of ugly, and safety in the middle of a storm.” What a beautiful gift. I’m in the 62 spot this week.

  • I’m proud of you that you were able to take the lid off the tub! I haven’t been able to do too much digging around in mine :/.

  • Beautifully written. I am thankful you kept all of those cards. I’m linked up next to you at the FMF today

  • i can’t imagine how emotional a look back in time must have been for you as you walked back to such a difficult, emotional, exhausting, comforting time. i’m sure you would never want to return to it, but the emotion of all those encouragements can’t be beat:) wow!

  • Lovely and honest. Your willingness to see the beauty in the darkness after all that’s happened is a testimony to us all. Thank you.