My friend called and left a message on my phone on a beautiful Autumn evening last October. She said, “Well, I have leukemia and am headed downtown. They got a bed for me right away, and I will begin treatment immediately. Please say prayers, and put me on the prayer chain. I am told I’ll feel pretty bad soon, but I feel really good right now, love you…”
She’d gone for a skin check and the doc noticed bruises and one call after another call and one appointment after another, and then she was in the hospital and a million times sicker feeling than when she went in. Oh, the irony of chemotherapy and cancer.
Marge endured months of treatment, and every side effect that you can imagine, she had someone with her most the time, her daughter mostly, and other family. Marge is the “card lady” she sends literally hundreds of cards a year to random people, forget about birthdays, you get birthday cards, Marge sends them when you don’t expect them. Her writing is hard to read, which is also a lovely irony about Marge. You can only imagine the cards she received in the hospital, I’m told hundreds. All the years of random kindness turned into mail bags full of mail, returned with love.
Marge is a beautiful Christian woman, she has a naughty side to her, too, and I find that blend of faithfulness and naughtiness so irresistible. She is always laughing, she is always making others laugh, she’s always chatting when we are supposed to be quiet, and she is a DELIGHT to know.
She was a teacher, she got her last degree just a few years ago before turning 80. She’s traveled all around the world, and knows not a single stranger. Marge has maintained lifelong friendships even though many miles may separate them, Marge shows that love has no understanding of miles or space, it’s all what is in the heart.
Marge was declared cancer free in December, and put on low dose chemo that she will take for the rest of her life, until they found out that it wasn’t really doing any good, so she continued on with getting her blood checked weekly, and basically getting infusions weekly of whole blood or platelets, and here it is June and she’s not only ticking, she’s thriving and it’s all because of the goodness and mercy and the burden placed on people to give blood. Oh, and God, she is considered a miracle on two cute feet.
We had a blood drive at church a few months ago that brought the largest crowd ever, and we know it was because of Marge. The phone rang at our house a few weeks ago and Rick saw it was the Heartland Blood Centers and normally, he admits, he would just let the phone ring, but he picked it up…because of Marge. He was told my blood type A+ was in severe demand, we went right over after work, and as I watched the blood flow through the tube, I prayed for the person or persons who would receive it. I saw Marge’s face, her beautiful eyes, and that infectious smile, and I thought about all the people who love the person or persons who will receive this bit of my blood, and how grateful they will be to have the one they love with them longer because of this life source.
The doctors say Marge is a miracle. But the real miracle is not only Marge’s beautiful life, it’s the love that brings people to the blood centers from one ocean to the other because they know that it is saving their beautiful friend, and if it’s saving her, it will save many more. Something so scary and so hard has turned into a lifesaver for strangers across this great land. The miracle is Marge and the way she’s conducted her life and her faith, and gathered friends and honored them, and now their blood is coursing through the veins of others and saving lives.
We make our plans, but truly, God is the One who has it all worked out, and through one person’s faith and friendships, He heals thousands.