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AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is part 7 in a series of blog updates on my health status.

When I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was seven I spent a week in a hospital learning how to test my urine (this was before the finger stick method for testing blood sugar was widely available), prepare insulin injections, and plan meals using the Exchange System. A few days into my stay my future sister-in-law’s mom delivered a large gift box full of dolls and other toys. The memory of how special that gesture made me feel brings a smile to face every time I recall that moment. I suspect the same will be true every time I think of the thoughtful gifts friends have sent me the past few months.

The generous gift giving started with a text from my friend Carol asking what she could send. I said I didn’t need anything, but that Scott could use a wildly inappropriate greeting card to make him laugh. Carol ignored that suggestion and sent something much better—a five-pound box of Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Bacon. Scott’s adoration for Carol has increased significantly since that day.

The next week I received a phone call from a fellow member of Les Dames d’Escoffier who owns Fairytale Brownies asking if she could send me some “brownie love.” I said that would be lovely, but that I’d rather have them sent to my family in North Dakota. Eileen said she’d do that plus send them to my doctor as well as send an assortment box to us. My sister and brothers in ND have been rather enthusiastic about how much they love the brownies…and not so subtle about hinting they hope another box will arrive soon.

The nurse who leads the team in my primary care physician’s office called one morning to confirm a referral and to say how much the brownies brightened the moods of the nursing staff. She ended our brief conversation by saying, “Thanks again for the brownies. Life in healthcare has been rather shitty lately, but the brownies have made us all feel better.” I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment!

Meanwhile, Scott has been providing daily brownie assessments. He’s fairly certain at this point that Raspberry and Mint Chocolate are tied for his favorite, but he’s willing to do more research to confirm this finding.

The day I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy my friend Martha texted to ask if she could do anything for us. I said I’d be on high dose prednisone for a week, requiring me to follow a very low carb diet, and that I could use a half a steer, if she had one handy. Later that day she texted to ask if Scott would be home to open the front door in about 30 minutes. I was too preoccupied with my drooling and other side effects to think much more about her question. When Scott opened our front door, he exclaimed, “Oh, wow!” He then carried in three large catering pans filled with pulled pork, smoked tri-tip, roasted Brussels sprouts, and a few sirloin steaks and veal chops ready to cook when we needed them. I happily ate pulled pork for breakfast and lunch every day the following week. I later thanked Martha profusely for bringing Brussels sprouts, not kale. She must have felt very sorry for me; she’d typically be very tempted to torture me with kale.

Most recently, my mentor and friend May Pat sent me a “Corona Fighter” CD with 22 songs she chose just for me. I listen to it in my car, singly as loudly as I can to songs I know well and listening intently to the new songs she’s introduced me to in the most touching, thoughtful manner. That she took time to make the custom CD for me makes my heart so very happy.

Other friends have sent gorgeous flower bouquets, including Heather, Jillian, and Sonia. And many friends have sent cards. My friend Shelley has sent some of THE BEST cards, including the ones featured in this post. The “What the Flock” card was a special reference to my early inability to say F words, an issue I’ve overcome through repeated practice. Shelley also sent a card that included a sticker with a crystal ball on it that says, “Good things are coming.” That sticker sits on my desk reminding me daily that this too shall pass (just not soon enough), but also that I’m very blessed to have so many thoughtful, caring, generous people in my life.