Katie and Her Big Love

Katie, my second daughter of four, and me, in Alaska

My life seemed to be humming along, although somewhat frenetically, then, all of a sudden, it wasn’t.  I came to Colorado to help Katie with her 3 boys, my terrific grandsons, while her husband, Eric, was deployed. I rented out my house in Seattle, packed up all my stuff – trying to leave half of it at the Helping Hands thrift shop, and settled into the “lower level” of Katie and Eric’s home in the “Springs.” I jumped in with all my heart, so Katie’s burden would be a little lighter. What joy to be a part of this little family!


Toward the end of the deployment, my serving came to a screeching halt, as my stage four breast cancer returned, in all its fury. Suddenly, Katie and my roles became reversed. Mine was and is a hard role for me to step into; I’m the mom! I don’t want to be a burden. Who does? I know Katie’s been stretched in her love and care for me. However, that hasn’t stopped either of us in moving along, in this new dance. It’s a dance of deeper community with each other. We want to be there for each other, showing up as best we can, sometimes stumbling all over, but always hoping to help. Our motives are pure – rooted in Jesus’ love. You should see how gentle Katie is when she wakes me up because it’s time for something important, and I’ve tossed my schedule overboard, and I’m asleep for the third time that day. We have to go where? There’s a schedule?

Katie, top left, and my daughter, Virginia, lower left, during my second chemo treatment

Today, Katie woke from a late “I’m a young mother, up late in the night with Calvin, and I’m so tired” kind of nap. I needed my heart medicine by tomorrow. My bottle was empty. I haven’t driven while on chemo, so Katie had said she could get it. Back she went, out into early evening traffic with an amazing attitude – even texting me that she might be late because they were still filling the prescription. I just stood there, looking at that text. Her kindness. It just gripped my heart. Just seconds ago, it seems, she was my little baby girl that I was holding in my strong and cancer-free arms of I will always be there for YOU kind of love. Now, here she is – holding my care, my needs, my pain, in her I am there for YOU arms of love. Katie has given me Big Love.

The blanket I was given says, “Big Love,” and that’s what Katie has given me.