In researching my "free things for cancer patients" list, I came across something called "Chemo Angels."
This is a group that matches generous people with those of us who are undergoing chemotherapy. They send little things in the mail to lift our spirits (which we often need) and generally offer support.
Naturally, being the responsible investigative reporter that I am, when I found them I signed up. Yesterday, I got my first letter, a lovely card, and a photo of my Angel and her family. And, I can't tell you how thrilled I was. A lot more than I had expected to be.
I don't know how the process goes - how they do the matching. But the woman they matched me with has, at least superficially, many things in common with me. Our two boys are similar in ages - ten years apart.. (Although she has a daughter in the middle, and the girls in my life are my stepdaughters.) We both have been married a long time. Her picture shows a very lovely family, the kind you would want to meet. She looks to be about my age too, maybe a bit younger. (But who isn't?)
Years ago, I participated in a charity called "the Box Project." The idea is similar to Chemo Angels only instead of lifting the spirts of a person undergoing a physically debilitating medical treatment, monthly you send a box of items to a needy family in rural America. I liked the idea of directly helping somebody through personal contact, and getting to know somebody I otherwise might not. I was matched to a woman in Louisiana, and I sent her boxes regularly for a year. But, I realized it takes a special kind of person creative enough to come up with items to send on a regular basis. It's not easy trying to please somebody you don't know.
So, I really appreciate those who participate in projects like this because I know it takes thought and dedication.
You might think that a person with family and friends may not need something like Chemo Angels, and I was uncertain too, until I got the letter yesterday. It warmed my heart more than I could have imagined. Our family and friends are, of course, are supportive. But the funny thing is - we worry about them worrying about us. Each time they do something for us, we know they are frightened or worried or feeling bad for us, which in turn makes us feel a bit guilty for feeling sick.
Or, at least it does me.
So, strangely, support and kindness from a stranger may mean the most because there are truly no strings attached. We don't even have to respond if we don't want to, although, of course, I will.
In fact, I guess I am.
The only thing is, I have a feeling my Angel won't be a stranger forever. But, I'll worry about that when the time comes.
My here and now
1 day ago