Twice I sat in my bedroom chair and wept.

Spaced over the course of a week both instances involved a question of support.  In the first instance, I was overwhelmed by offers of assistance when my wife was unexpectedly hospitalized for almost a week. Friends reaching out to see if we were ok, needed anything, just to say they were here for us. One brought over dinner, another bought us a week of groceries.

I have always been moved by the kindness of others, so my tears were of no surprise. While the uncertainty of my wife’s diagnosis weighed me down, the certainty of support lifted me up.

My wife is feeling better and while we’re still looking to get to the bottom of what landed her in the hospital, we are optimistic. We are so grateful and blown away by the support we received.

The second instance was a surprise text I received from the mother of one of the girls on my youngest daughter’s soccer team – which I coach. I don’t know the mother well but her daughter is an absolute joy to coach. A wonderful player, always positive and just so, so sweet.

The text was sent to all of the parents on the team. It was a simple and graceful request for support. The mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer, requiring surgery, chemotherapy and a very long road to recovery. As a single mom her work and family finances will be dramatically affected by her illness. Friends and family have started a crowdfunding campaign to assist the family during this time.

I’m sharing this story with permission and with hope — that by doing so they might receive the support they needs.

I sometimes get, and always appreciate, requests from readers asking how they can support the work I do. Well this is it.

As a young boy, my own single mom was diagnosed with cancer. We were forced for some time to be separated from her.  It was an awful and scarring experience for my brother, sister and I. We struggled financially and emotionally for some time. Fortunately, she recovered and is still with us. Yet the memory of that time still haunts me.

It is with that context that this text hit me like a punch. When I clicked on the crowdfunding link, a picture of the two of them was both beautiful and painful to witness – a reminder of what support looks like and what is at stake.

Thank you for any support you can offer.

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