Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Friday, March 30, 2012

Prayer Shawl Ministry - Kathy Neumeyer-Rake

Newly planted pansies smiled at us while we waited for Kathy to answer the door.  She invited us to sit in the living room while she called Rick to come and join us.  Everything lovely on this spring evening except Kathy just started chemotherapy.  She and Rick hugged each one of us as we found our seats.  We wanted her to be in a special chair because we were on a mission to present a prayer shawl to her -- perhaps to wear during the chemotherapy treatments.
The prayers of Mary Jayne, Jim, Cecilia, and Jackie brought tears to my eyes as I thought of this dear friend who gives so much every day to the clients she serves at local affordable housing projects in our community.  She and Rick have touched hundreds of lives in their professions - he's been the nursing director of a hospital emergency department and a skilled nursing facility.  Now they are on the other end of the caring profession and Rick said, "in clinical work you just tell the patient what the diagnosis is and carry out the doctor's orders and never worry about how they will get their medicine or pay for their treatments.  Kathy and I learned that her insurance won't pay for the chemo drug her physician believes is the best treatment so I've been on the phone for several hours this week.  I had no idea what my patients had to go through before this experience."  

Jackie Ringo made this beautiful shawl.
I don't think anyone can be ready for the experience of cancer.  Everything changes!  But, Kathy can still work a few hours every day and she's grateful for the distraction.  "It's really a blessing that Rick is not working right now because he has a full time job managing my care."  Kathy's sons CJ and Johnny joined us in praying for their mother and telling stories about their Grandpa Neumeyer.  John and Rick's dad inspire the grandsons with their war stories.  Rick's dad was on TV yesterday, receiving a Quilt of Valor.  So life seems normal except the flowers were planted by family, the neighbors are bringing meals and these young men treasure every moment with mom.  Life takes on new meaning for this family and for us...  We pray that Kathy will feel God's gentle, yet strong touch as she faces the reality of her cancer.  We hope that the shawl will be a reminder that her friends will continue to pray and comfort her on this new "un-normal" experience.    

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