Thursday, May 3, 2012

We are Travstrong.

I've  been sitting here for over an hour trying to figure out how 
to start this post.

I just can't find the words.
Nothing seems good enough to express our gratitude.
And the words to explain how loved we felt that night are inadequate.

The idea for a fundraiser was sent to us while we were in Salt Lake.
One of the kindest, most thoughtful people I know sent out a mass e-mail
to all of our friends saying,
'We are doing this.  Who wants to help.'

In her excitement, 
she sent the e-mail to me to.

And I quickly replied,
"NO!  Please don't go to all this trouble.
We are fine, we will make do.'

And then rigors started
and I didn't think much about it.

Next thing I know,
there is a date sent.
And posters.
And a website.
And a million and one volunteers.

And already we were in awe.
These neighbors and friends put
time and effort,
and love,
into this fundraiser.

They spent hours meeting together,
collecting donations,
organizing every single detail.

And we didn't do a single thing to help.
And I still maintain that we don't deserve all this love.

We spotted our faces on posters all over town.
And we made it in the papers,
on the radio,
and pretty much everywhere went.

They plastered the entire valley.

 The night before the fundraiser I didn't sleep.
A wink.

I was so nervous that no one would come.
(And I must clarify, I wasn't worried about us not raising money,
I was worried that our friends who had spent weeks planning,
would have done all of that for nothing.)

The fundraiser started at 4.
And we got there at 2:30 and there were already people there.
And they kept coming!

Lots of kind strangers.
And friends.
So many friends, old and new.
And neighbors.
So many neighbors.
And co-workers.
So many.
And family.
So much family!

It was like a double family reunion, double work party,
double high school reunion,
ward party,
and it was fun!
It was so much fun.

I can't explain how hard it is to be the family
on the poster.
For the past 5 years we have been the cancer family,
but only people who really knew us, knew of our situation.
But now, all of my children's classmates know.
And old friends who had no idea,
now know.
And to random strangers-I am the wife on the poster.
And at first that was very hard to swallow.

But then!
Then we looked around at all of the support we have.
And were. Still are.
OVERWHELMED with love.
overwhelmed with support.

The night for us was not about raising money to help
pay our medical bills,
(Though we are incredibly-incredibly grateful and touched
by the generosity shown to us.  I can't even express how
loved we feel.)
But the night was about how supported we are.

It's been tough, the last few month.
And I know at times we make light of it on the blog,
but it's been harder then I can express.
And at times it just presses down on us
and makes life feel very hard.
That night, every time I turned around I saw love and support
and that was what the night was for us.

It was all about Travis seeing the
mountain of support we have.  He has.
And the army of people, really good people,
we have praying for us.

Thank you to our beautiful friends for 
putting this together for us.
 Thank you seems like such a small thing to say,
for something that was so HUGE,
but know that it is said with the 
humblest of hearts, and it is very sincere.
We love you.
We appreciate you.
And appreciate every single act of service you gave to us 
to make it such a successful and beautiful night.

Thank you to those who came to support us.
To the strangers who came just to run,
because they hate cancer too-
all the way to our closest family members.
 We wont soon forget all those who were there.

Thank you to everyone who donated money
on our behalf.
We feel so blessed and our hearts are so touched.
I wish I could write thank you cards to 
every single one of you.
On top of constantly worrying about cancer,
we've spent the past 5 years paying a hefty amount of
medical bills, and Travis has spent so much time working
while feeling sick to pay them.
 Know that this will help.
So much.  And will not be taken for granted.
And this doesn't seem like enough to make it 
clear how loved and blessed we feel,
but trust me.
We are so grateful.

someday-we will be a cancer free family.
And life will be normal again.
Know that because of the kindness we've been shown,
not just Saturday, but all during our journey has forever changed us.

 We will do our best to be more giving.
And be more aware of others needs.
And less selfish.
 And we will spend our lives 
trying to pay others back for the goodness done to us.

Now: some photos!
(My camera died on the first picture I took that night.
Thank you to my fabulous friend Eileen for hooking me up 
with such great pictures!)

This one was taken by my friend Trisha.
We have oodles of bracelets left if anyone wants one, let me know!
I love seeing so many people with their Travstrongs on!
Our family.
We love the shirts.
They say 'survivoring' on the front.
That came from this night 3 years ago.
I've thought about that made up word a lot since then.
In my made up dictionary it would read,
Survivoring; the act of wanting to be a survivor.
We just aren't quite there yet.
Working on it.
Kidman clan
Johnson Clan
We are Travstrong.

The race was first and there was a lot of lovely people there.
When it began and we saw the mountain of people heading up
the canyon, I couldn't keep the tears in.
It was a beautiful, beautiful sight.

Heather Housley,
dear friend and race organizer.
Love her!

Best friends.
My sister, mom, and SIL.

Can't imagine life without them.
My love.
Oh I really, really love him.
Members of my family who walked.
And Tana, you count as family!
Good friend Hanne and Adyson's bff Lexi finishing the run.
Our kids during the raffle.
They had so much fun!
A few friendly faces and people we adore.

Have I said thank you yet?
Have I mentioned how special the night was?
I can't stop thinking about it.
It was beautiful.

Love to all!

PS-Trav's scan is set for May 10th.  Next Thursday.

We are scared.
It goes like this,
if there is no growth, or any shrinkage we go back.

If there is growth,
we try something new.
And something yucky.

And I have to tell you that our options are
running low.

So let's just keep praying for good scans..mmmkay?


Ktbug said...

I'm crying as I read your post. What a great community we live in! You are loved. And what a great event to remind you of that! I saw your cute girls with whom I assume is grandma at the grocery store when your husband was in the hospital. They made me smile when the cashier asked, "How's your dad?" and they in unison said, "Good." They are so cute and inspiring. Just like their parents ;)

Nicholas said...

Although we live so far away, and are about to move farther away. We think of you often,and pray for you and your darling family. You are loved!

Tasha said...

I really wish I could have been there for the fundraiser! I was so excited to hear that one was being put together for your family. You are truly awe inspiring and deserved every bit of it! I hope Trav kicks the trash out of Cancer for good! Until then, I will be praying for you and sending my love your way!

The Falkers said...

I soooo wish we could have been there... I thought of you and Adam all day...I tried to get out of my judging commitments the day I found out about them both - to no avail. I sooo wish we could have been there!! Please know you are always in my thoughts and prayers! <3

Amber Culp Family said...

Thank you for the post! I so wish we could have ran 2500 miles to be there, now I feel like we almost were. You are so blessed to be loved by so many!!!!

Hiatts said...

Such a fun night. It was an amazing turnout.

Eileen said...

I LOVE this post! And not just cuz it's mostly my pics. But I love looking at all the happiness on all of the faces. What a day of JOY! And fun!

Brittney said...

I have just been waiting and waiting to see pics of this! My heart is beaming just reading this. And you must know you deserve absolutely every ounce of love that is shown you. I LOVE THE JOHNSON'S! The pic of your family just made me smile. I feel so blessed just to know you. I LOVE it.

Mortons Love said...

I'm so, so sorry, I couldn't be there. My thoughts and heart were there! And I heard it was wonderful! Looks like you have seriously awesome friends and family. Praying for your next scan!!!!!

Aaron and Mindy said...

My eyes are blurry right now! I am so sad we couldn't come you guys were on my mind all day. I would have loved to see the masses come to support two of the most amazing people I know. I HATE cancer too and and i am hoping Trav can kick this thing in the teeth! Sending prayers and shrinking vibes your way.

Trisha said...

It really was a fabulous day :)

Amy Johnson said...

Get out a box of tissues before reading this post! Geez! I love Eileens comment about all of the happy faces and it was a night of total joy! It really was! It was freezing....and it was sooooo fun! We really do live in such a great community, and you have such amazing friends! Just think of how big and fun the party will be when Trav beats this crappy cancer!!! Can't wait! Love you!

Superlace Mom said...

Love you guys!!! I couldn't help but bawl at this post and I think you know why. Soon you will be where we stand. You are very strong people and you have so many that love you and look to your example for strength. Thank you for all that you are!