Feb 16, 2017

A Quick Exchange

I have a pretty cool story to share today. Since the "for sale" sign is officially up in our yard, we've been chatting with quite a few of our neighbors and sharing the news with them about our upcoming plans. We weren't besties with them or anything- but they were always good to us; just friendly and we made the neighborly chit-cat when we saw them outside. Two of them even brought over gifts when T was born which was so unexpected, but incredibly thoughtful.

While we were all friendly with one another, we just didn't know much more other than the basics. So when one of our neighbors stopped by this week as we were out working in the yard and announced "I have to let you know that you probably saved my life!" we were pretty stunned. She'd written out her story on paper in case she couldn't get through it all so let me share her words with you all:

"A few years back we were decorating our front apple tree for Christmas and I remember you two commenting on how great it looked as you got out of your car one day. I believe it was you, Jared, that made a comment to Bill like, "Wow- that's a tree of awesomeness!" Bill told me and I loved that phrase so much!

Well that next year, I didn't do the tree with Bill and quite frankly he did a poor job of it. I teased him and said, 'This is not a tree of awesomeness!' So I said I was going to go decorate it the right way. I worked hard on it and even bought a stick-like thing to help me reach the higher branches. I loved the idea that my neighbors enjoyed the tree so much each year..

Soon after decorating the outside tree I noticed my shoulder hurting. Makes sense, I was using it a lot. I started to rub it and as I was I felt a lump under my arm pit - near my right breast. I don't know if I ever would have found it had I not been working so hard on "the tree of awesomeness" :) 

And sure enough, after a mammogram and ultrasound they told me I did indeed have cancer and it was in at least 2 lymph nodes, grade 3, stage 2. This means it could have spread very fast. I am very lucky and blessed that I found that lump as it easily could have spread to other organs before we caught anything.

So thank you for complimenting us on our tree that year. I truly believe that quick exchange probably saved my life."

WOW- right?! She has now been in remission for over a year! While it was just a small comment of Jared's that led to her getting something checked out, it really makes you stop and think. You just never know what impact you might have on someone's life. I'm thankful for the neighbors we've had for the past six years and I only hope there are other ways we've impacted or blessed or encouraged them along the way that we might not even know about. And I also hope to be more purposeful in interacting with new neighbors, strangers at the grocery, old acquaintances you bump into... everyone! You truly never know the impact a friendly exchange can have.

29 comments:

  1. Wow, that is pretty amazing. It was really cool that she shared the story with you and I'm happy that she is doing better now!

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  2. That is SO crazy! So thankful to hear that she is okay now!

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  3. Wow - what an incredible story!!! That's amazing. The thought of being kind has been on my heart more lately. Doing intentional acts of kindness for people in need, or just being extra friendly to the cashier at the grocery. You're right! You never know what it could lead to! <3

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  4. What a amazing story! People like you are the pinnacle of awesomeness!

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  5. What an amazing story and how great of her to share her story with you!
    And about new neighbors, our neighbors are moving right now so I can't wait to find out who our new neighbors will be - and it is my goal to be a great neighbor to them. :) (It's not too late to be MY new neighbor!!) :)

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  6. I have chills. This is absolutely incredible. It's amazing that something as simple as paying someone a compliment can completely change the course of their lives. It's awesome of her to share this with you, too. So glad that I checked in today for that story.

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  7. CHILLS. Also, we're on the same page today! Cheers to allllll the kindness.

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  8. I totally have goosebumps after reading this! I love how simple (and hilarious) that comment was yet how powerful to them. I agree it hoping that I am making some small impact in the lives of others even if I never get to hear about it. Glad that she was able to share this with you all. You guys rock!

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  9. Oh wow!!! I think it is awesome that she shared that story with you guys and just goes to show you that even our quick friendly day to day exchanges can have a huge impact on someone's life!

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  10. WOW! That gave me chills. Glad she shared that with you and know you will always treasure that story.

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  11. What a cool story!! That's so sweet that she got the chance to share how much you guys meant to her.

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  12. Holy moly! That's amazing! I got goosebumps reading this!

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  13. That's insane! I'm glad to hear that she's doing well! What a special story.

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  14. Wow this is such an amazing story! Thank you for sharing!

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  15. Well, I'm over here crying. I'm so happy she shared this with you guys. Good luck with the house. So many amazing things are coming.

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  16. What a great story to cherish as you make new friends at your new place!

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  17. This is a beautiful story!! And a wonderful reminder that words have such a huge impact on others, no matter how big or small they seem at the time.

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  18. Wow that's really crazy! life is just the craziest thing. Thanks for sharing that touching story, though!

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  19. Oh my gosh, this story gives me chills! It's so true that you never know the impact that one small act can have!!

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  20. That is such an amazing story! It is so awesome that she took the time to share the story with y'all. Now you have shared it with us. It really makes you think about the impact we have.

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  21. Wow, what an amazing story! Gives me chills. You just never know what you say that will impact someone's lives, that's why we should always comment with nice things and not mean and nasty things.

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  22. That's such an amazing story, I'm glad you got the chance to hear it!

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  23. Wow, what a story! It's crazy what kind of ripple effect little things can have. It's great that she shared that experience with you, and thanks for sharing it with the rest of us!

    ~ Michelle @ FaerieFits

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  24. I try to remember how we really never know how we might impact someone, and sometimes we get to see that and sometimes to don't! It's cool when you do, though!

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  25. Wow, how thoughtful of her to share that story with you! It really does make you wonder about all the small ways you might have meaningfully impacted someone's life along the way...

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Thanks SO much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! I read each one and love to respond and chat with you! :)

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