This Sunday, I said farewell to UPC. Leaving my job to focus on healing has been the hardest part of this diagnosis. It’s been my church home for over 23 years and I have loved my work with the youth. It was a surreal day to say the least.
UPC has always been good at send-offs. These people care for their staff (only one of the reasons why I stayed for over 15 years). But yesterday’s reception was off the charts.
- Beach decor everywhere!
- A 10 minute video with the sweetest messages from my youth – current and former.
- A slide show full of pictures of me over the years, many of which I’d never seen.
- More cards than I could have imagined.
- A beautiful design of UPC by The Merry Sparrow with the verse we use for all of our monumental moments in the lives of our youth.
- The kindest, most dear words spoken by my colleagues.
- An incredibly meaningful tribute from some of our seniors.
- A touching gift from my Cane Creek Baptist family.
- A receiving line a mile long filled with hugs, tears, memories, and laughter.
My favorite card I received over the last few weeks was a blank note with a hand drawn sad face and just “No words!” written below. I love the honesty of it. And it said exactly what I was feeling. In that receiving line, I realized that often no words were needed. I looked into faces that said it all. I hugged those who had let me into their lives during some of the most tender moments. No words. We both knew the feelings that were swirling. “Thank you” is not enough for either of us to convey our gratitude to one another for our shared history. So we hugged, and cried, and both said “You know, right?” “Yep, I know.”
I left UPC yesterday feeling totally overwhelmed with the appreciation and love shown to me. Everyone should have a day like that! A day where there is a no holds barred kind of love coming at you from all directions. A day when you hear just how much you mean to people live and in person. A day when “thank you” carries the weight of 1000 words.
After the reception, a friend sent me the song “Bring My Flowers Now” by Tanya Tucker. The lyrics ring true for me after the amazing ways UPC brought all those “flowers” yesterday.
“So if you got love, then you're sittin' on a gold mine. And you can't take it with you when you go. So don't wait to help your sister, Forgive your brother and your neighbor. We all think we got the time until we don't. Bring my flowers now, while I'm livin'. I won't need your love when I'm gone. Don't spend time, tears, or money on my old breathless body. If your heart is in them flowers, bring 'em on”.
So what now? It doesn’t feel like unemployment yet. That will come in a week or two maybe. Today, I’m starting the drug that will make me feel the worst for a while. I’m preparing to follow a daily routine that is a little daunting. I’m putting together my rebounder trampoline (a gift from the UPC staff) that will be my source of low impact exercise. I’m getting a lymphatic massage to help that system get moving. I’m taking it slow, breathing a little deeper, and all the while, being held and buoyed by the love, kindness, and “flowers” of UPC that will carry me through the coming days.
How can you help?
- Financial support is a big need. This treatment is ringing in at around $600 a month and is mostly not covered by insurance. You can contribute to UPC’s love gift here if you feel so moved. Hit the drop down menu and click “Kim Love Gift”. (venmo is @kimunc03 if you prefer)
- There are lots of products I’ll need that can be gifted. Check out the amazon wish list here.
- Send me fun hobby ideas. I need distractions!
- Send me your best book recommendations or loan me your favorites.
- And of course, I welcome hilarious jokes, memes, or stories from your life. As I start treatment and start feeling worse initially, I hope friends will keep me laughing. Tell me what’s happening in your world! Don’t expect a call back – just know I’m deeply grateful to be connected to you.
2 thoughts on “No Words.”
So very sweet and so well deserved. Best wishes, Kim! ❤️
We’ll pray for you, Kim.