“Framily”

I didnt expect to wake up in Connecticut today.

I dropped Morgan off to volunteer for her last day at vacation bible school, ran into school and got a few things to work on at home, got Morgan again, and then packed her up.

My brother in law Jake came and got her to bring her to his summer cabin up in Maine. It’s just Jake with his mom, three little girls and au pair, and as they drive away I laughed at all the estrogen he has surrounded himself with this weekend. He’s a brave man. I’ll be heading up there on Monday for three days with my dad, sister, Quinn and nephew Hunter.

My family has been so supportive through this all. So many women in support groups talk about how family fades away and hurts you while you’re essentially dying a slow death.

It hurts more than the cancer sometimes seeing how family can treat someone with stage four cancer. I pray for those who cannot or won’t show caring, empathy or love.

That’s when you count your blessings with “framily”. I used to hate that word. Someone I used to know used that word and it was like nails on chalkboard.

Now I’ve got so many wonderful people who have stepped up and in that they are like family, and the sting from the word is gone.

I had a whole bunch of “framily” surrounding me yesterday. I always think I am a little crazy whenever I decide to host a party. I really am not someone who throws parties with ease. Add on being the first day of my week off from chemo with two weeks of painful fingertips, feet, eye issues, a new growth on my leg that may or may not be the beginning of skin cancer, and it was a bit crazy to throw a party with no idea how many people would show up.

My work family is amazing, and everyone showed up with food and beverages. I had run into my friend Tony who owns a deli earlier on in the week, and he loves my assistant principal as well. He told me he wanted to drop food for everyone and he gave us off three amazing three foot long heroes from his deli and managed to get a goodbye hug from Vanessa. That’s how much she is loved.

We all laughed and ate and talked about the coming year. When you work with children every day and share these children through the years, it binds you together. You become a family. I’m so glad I have all of these people in my life.

It was a great send off for a great lady who is a great loss for this district. West Islip has no idea what a knowledgeable, caring, empathetic, hard working, classy lady they are getting. Not many administrators remember they were teachers first, and she was a teacher always, remembering what it was like in the classroom, and supporting us any way she could. She will be missed.

Everyone pitched in and helped clean up, and by 7:00 or so the last guests left. Rob and I had checked the ferry schedule for today and it was sold out, which meant we would have to drive five hours around each way to visit Quinn today at the Andrew McMorris dedication and family day. That’s a lot for me so we decided at the last minute to book a 9:00 ferry and a Howard Johnson’s hotel Room. We quick packed up our bags and hot the road. It’s about an hour to the ferry, and the ride on the boat is about an hour and twenty minutes. I packed school work and started learning names of my new batch of kinders. The boat docked and we got to the hotel at 11:00.

What a day.

Being diagnosed with stage four cancer makes you appreciative of every moment and the people who step up and stay. I was surrounded by “framily” yesterday, and my family as well. My dad picked up Maddie from work and managed to sneak in some hugs and kisses from people at my party. Rob and I are so blessed.

My parents now have our wonder dog Kasha, my sister’s husband has our Morgan, and we are with Madison heading up to Camp Yawgoog to visit Quinn. Today will be a sad day as the camp is honoring a young boy who was killed by a drunk driver last fall. A boy just like Quinn. It will make us all hug our Scouts a little tighter when we see them today.

Life is precious.

Friends who step in when family steps out become “framily.” I no longer hate that word, because I’m too busy loving the people who have stepped into this crazy, messy, hard life of mine.

May everyone be surrounded by good, loving, kind people who love you through all the hard times, and show up….(and help clean up any mess).

May I continue to heal and be here for years and years to come.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

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