A special gift for two special people

 I have delayed sending this (now long overdue) thank you message to you wonderful women because, frankly, I was so blown away by your generosity that I didn't quite know how to adequately express my gratitude.

One recent Sunday afternoon, with my new baby in my arms, I answered a knock at the door to find two women standing on my front porch with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. "J M?", they asked; and I told them that I was indeed that person. They said that they had a delivery for me, and handed me the flowers and an envelope. As they turned to leave, I thanked them and closed the door.

It briefly occurred to me that these women didn't look like typical couriers, and also that one rarely received deliveries on Sundays. But I brushed aside these thoughts and opened the card to learn the identity of the person or persons who sent the flowers. Inside I found a lovely note from an anonymous group identified only as "12 Ordinary Women".

It turned out that these lovely women weren't just delivering flowers. They were delivering a gift that was far from ordinary. It seems that these extraordinary women - who, to my knowledge, do not know me, nor do I know any of them - had raised a significant amount of money and purchased for my husband and me a night at a very nice hotel, two massages, and dinner at a very nice restaurant.

How could they have known that a night away with my husband would be so meaningful to us? I was stunned, and moved to tears.

You see, just a couple of months earlier, I had given birth to our first and only child - a daughter -  by emergency C-section. Newlyweds in our early(ish) 40s, neither of us ever thought that we'd have children. But during the emergency C-section that brought our little girl into the world, the doctors discovered a mass on my Fallopian tube that turned out to be cancer. And we soon learned that the cancer had spread to many of my other organs, including my other Fallopian tube, both ovaries, my uterus, my colon and parts of my abdomen. The cancer was staged as IIIC, and I was given a 50% survival rate.

The three months since the diagnosis have been a whirlwind of doctor appointments, surgeries, chemotherapy and lots of One Day At a Time-ing. In the midst of it all, we've tried to focus on our love for each other, the love and support of our family and friends, and - of course - our beautiful, healthy little girl. A girl we named Magnolia Grace. But the one thing we haven't had much of is one-on-one time with each other. And - cancer or no cancer, baby or no baby -  we still need and cherish our alone time.  To say that we've missed it would be an understatement.

So, we plan send little Maggie G to Grandma and Grandpa's at the end of this month for her first overnight solo visit, and use our amazingly generous, timely and perfect gift certificates to have a much needed night alone. No middle of the night feedings, no early mornings, no interruptions....our first night alone in the more than 100 days since the night before our daughter was born. We can't wait.

I don't know how you found us, or how you knew exactly what we needed, but you did. And we will be forever grateful to you. We also hope to one day pay forward this extraordinary kindness shown to us by beautiful strangers who are anything but ordinary.

Best to you and yours,
J &M M