I was signing into our blog today and realized John and I have been married for 11 months and 1 week. We are soon to celebrate our 1 year anniversary of marriage and I cannot help but look back at all the memories we have shared together in this short time. One being the obvious at this very moment…the “C” word… but forget that word for a second. Just for one second when you think of John think of something other than what connotations lie behind it. Cancer does not define John or who he is as a person and/or being. There are several things I personally think about when I see him and look into his eyes. There are a flood of emotions, memories, and life goals I want to share with him now and into the future. This long future I have is a script in my mind that runs together like a melody or screenplay. It keeps repeating over and over again in my mind. He is this being who is so strong yet has such a sweet heart. Even through his pain and exertion, he still tells me he loves me more times in a day than I can even count. He is the one who reminds me of the team effort we go through and the one who reminds me what love is every day…even before what many think define him now.
Fighter. This is the one word his friends have defined John as since the beginning. This amazing group of friends back in Indiana have all rallied around John and taken the saying, “It takes a village” to an entirely different level. Since they found out about John, there have been a flood of calls, emails, events and Team Goddard bracelets from every angle. For their efforts, John and I devised a plan to…in a sense, thank them for everything they have done thus far. Since John was done with treatment, we decided to surprise everyone this past weekend at the Team Goddard Texas Hold’em Tournament at Justin and Jessica’s house. It was a plan we had in place for a few weeks and an extra incentive to make it to the end of the radiation cycle with his head held high. So there we were…walking up to their house just as excited as children on Christmas morning. The plan was for his closest friends to meet prior to the poker tournament so he could say a few words via Skype. Weeks before that, they were practicing and testing their laptops to ensure the meeting would run smoothly…but as you can see, we had something else more exciting in mind. John wanted to personally thank them for everything rather than over the computer. So John walked through the door and exclaimed, “I heard there is a poker tournament here tonight!” The looks on their faces were priceless. I thought I caught it all on video but unfortunately, I did not hit record fast enough. Their expressions were of shock and complete love and awe for this man. Some cried and some had no words…they were just so happy to see him and the trip was so much more worth it just for those few seconds of gratitude. Of course, seeing family this weekend was another beautiful highlight. We both love our parents, siblings and extended family so much and it feels good to see and hug each one of them.
It is not the monetary donations everyone has selflessly given to us that make the difference…though it is so unbelievably helpful and thoughtful, it is the way they think of him on a daily basis. All of these events do have the end result of wanting to raise money (gaming and poker tournaments, hog roasts, marathons, wrist bands, etc.) but that does not seem to be everyone’s main motivation. The main motivation is to help John in any way they can as much as they can. Every single person who shows up in support and in spirit loves him and wants to just be a part of the movement. That is why I posted the wrist bands in one of my entries and called it “The Movement”. I was showing how something so small could bellow so loud in support. The compassion that not only his friends show in Indy, but our incredible families, friends we cannot hug often enough, and my remarkable coworkers are all a part of this movement.
So as I sit here on the plane with our hearts and our spirits flying higher, I look at my partner sitting right next to me and wonder where I would be without him. He has taught me so much about love and life way before his diagnosis…and since then, about solidarity. This is far from over, but after this rejuvenating trip with family and friends, we are more than ready. Thank you to everyone, once again, for being a part of our lives and a part of what lies ahead. He is what we are all fighting for…so it makes it pretty easy to battle.