Home is more than just a place, it is a feeling. It is a feeling of safety. You can finally relax your shoulders. You can release your fists, and let down all the walls and boundaries. It is a place you can truly just be yourself, without judgment, without fear. A feeling of total acceptance and unconditional love. Home is comfort and peace. I yearn for home. I believe there are sweet moments in life that bring deep feelings of home.
I feel home when Trusten gets out of the car and flashes me the "I love you" sign.
I feel home when I can be with Taylor in her own home, in her own world.
I feel home when I curl up in my bed with all my dogs after a long hard day.
I feel home when I am spending time with treasured friends or family.
I feel home when I'm at church, and my favorite worship song starts to play.
I feel home when I take my first sip of coffee every morning.
I am so grateful for all the big and small moments that God has given me in my life to feel home. But as a Mom, I know now after 17 years of living without my little girl Brooke, that I will truly never feel completely home. A part of me is always missing, and I have spent a large portion of my life trying to desperately find it, to find something that heals, replaces, soothes the deep hole that remains. So when I do find a measure of home, I hold it so tight, I pause and allow this feeling to cleanse my soul. I thank God for it. Who or what or where brings you home? Find it, hold it, protect it!
The month of July is always so hard for me. It is harder than any other time or any other holiday of the entire year. It is Brooke's Birthday month. During July, I find myself wanting to run, to escape, to ignore life, to just sleep for 31 days. This month, Brooke would be 22, and I grieve all the things that would have been and imagine all the ways I would feel at home if she were here. During July, BIG Love always celebrates Brooke in a BIG Way, and I love this! We take cake, and presents and have parties at all ten of our hospital campuses. I love seeing all the little cancer kids celebrating Brooke and enjoying the day. This brings me home - giving in the midst of sorrow - it always heals.
This July, I ask for you to imagine three year old Blake, sitting on his hospital bed hooked up to his IV pole. He is receiving his chemo for the day as our BIG Love volunteer walks into his room with all his special surprises for the week. A firetruck that makes loud noises, gummy worms, Gatorade, and new pajamas. With his cute little voice, he says. "I've been waiting and waiting for you!" Mom replies, "He has asked me everyday, how many more sleeps until BIG Love gets here?" Our volunteer watches as he opens his new firetruck and a great BIG smile covers his face!
Blake and 89 other kids across Texas receive joy from BIG Love every week. And dear friend, as we continue to grow across Texas, I need your help to keep kids like Blake fighting, to keep them hopeful, to keep them strong, to bring them a measure of home in a difficult place.
BIG Love is doing a monthly pledge drive for all of July. Our goal is - 22 new sponsors giving $22 a month, in honor of Brooke's 22nd birthday. For joining Brooke's Incredible Group this month, you will receive a special coffee mug from us. We love you BIG, and we are immensely grateful for your partnership. We thank you, Blake thanks you!