Thursday, June 11, 2015

Girl Scouts Is Family

The past couple weeks have been very trying for me. My family suffered a great loss. My Daddy battled cancer for 6 years and did everything he could do to win. The fact is that cancer is a disease that takes the toll on everyone it touches. The treatments are often as bad as the cancer itself, too. 

I watched my parents go through this battle together. I watched my Dad lose weight, lose his appetite, lose the ability to swallow for 7 months, and lose his strength. It's hard to see the man who was always your hero and always so strong and able to do anything wither away... with tears his eyes when walking across the room is a struggle. I watched my Mom help him with simple daily tasks and continue to be strong and smile and encourage him to fight. 

They were married in 1959. They raised 3 children, of which I'm the youngest by 14 years. My Mom will tell you I was a blessing... not a surprise. They have 5 amazing grandchildren, one who left this earth in 2001 and as a woman of faith I fully believe that my Dad and niece are rejoicing to be together again in Heaven. She was an amazing young woman ripped from our lives way too soon at the hands of a crime which makes no sense. 

I'm sure you are hoping I get to the point. I'll get there.. but there is a lot on my mind. 

When I first started Girl Scouts as a leader 5 years ago, I had moved an hour away from my family and friends. I had started a new job working from home and hadn't really established a lot of friends in my new town. I remember going to the first leader meeting scared to death no one would like me, accept me, or speak to me. Much to my surprise, I was greeted at the door and had several people talking with me and helping me out. Over the years, those ladies and I have established a close bond... one I hadn't really thought of until this past weekend. We don't really get together much outside of scouting activities (though we try!) and we don't get on the phone and chit chat like teenage girls. But, we are supportive and genuine... genuine friendships are really hard to find. We share a common desire to help the future generation and try our best to make sure our young ladies know they can do anything.

I don't think I fully understood how genuine and how wonderful of friends I had because of Girl Scouts until this last weekend. I was surrounded by family, but feeling so alone. My Dad passed away June 4th. My niece was married June 6th. My Mom had planned to do my niece's wedding cake, but I stepped up for that so my Mom didn't have to think about that while her husband of 55 years was passing away. My husband and I had also agreed to take the photos for my niece's wedding. My Dad's funeral was June 7th. So, it was a busy few days. By the time I got to the funeral, I was beyond wiped out emotionally and physically.

I never expected to see any of my Girl Scout friends walk in the door of the funeral home, but 4 of them did and they brought messages from others that couldn't be there. Though, now thinking about it, knowing these ladies it doesn't surprise me at all. Even then, I expected they would say hello, express sympathy, and walk away. But, they didn't. They stayed. They stayed for the service. They went to the cemetery. They joined my family at the church for dinner after. As I sat there with those wonderful ladies, I thought to myself... this is what Girl Scouts is. It's a family away from your family. It's a network of people that care about each other. It's support and friendship when you need it most. Yes, it's fun and it joyous occasions and good times... but it's also for the bad times. It's when you need someone to be there even when you didn't realize you needed them so badly. 

I am forever grateful and honored to be part of such a group. 

2 comments :

  1. Big Hugs, and sending love. Nothing will make you feel better and nothing should. But know that because of GS even more people (your GS Sisters from everywhere) are sending you healing thoughts and wishing you will find peace as soon as you can.

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  2. I am so sorry for your loss. Yes, it is wonderful to be surrounded by those who care...especially when you least expect it.

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Thanks!!