Letter to the Editor:
‘Black Friday’ family flashbacks

Tis time for thoughts of Thanksgiving, turkey, and talk of family,food, and of course, football!

However most of us forget to thank GOD for our blessings this past year. At our house it’s time to count our blessings and especially for granddaughter, Rebecca, our miracle.

While the media promotes a shopping frenzy on ‘Black Friday’, I still suffer terrible flashbacks each time I hear that word! It was on that day in 2006 a date forever etched in my mind like words carved in stone!

Black Friday 2006 – our family didn’t spend that day shopping at the mall. Instead our two year oldgranddaughter had a doctor’s appt. Our Rebecca’s symptoms consisted of a constant ear infection, a ‘boo-boo’ on her knee that would not heal, bruises all over her little body, loss of balance even falling down the stairs, no appetite, and pain if we tried to hug her.

That Fri. evening turned into a ‘nightmare’ for our family! Her mother phoned me with the terrible news! Her diagnosis was ‘acute lymphoma-leukemia’; by midnite she’d become a patient at Cincy Children’s Hospital in the Oncology Dept. With only a glimmer of hope, she was classified as a ‘slow responder’. And so we prayed for GOD’s healing touch upon her. Colored ribbons now recognize different kinds of cancer; we didn’t need a ribbon to be reminded of the deadly diagnosis for our precious ‘munchkin’. After weeks of pricks, probes, transfusions, an IV pole named Sammy became her best pal. Months slowly passed and chosen as a ‘Make a Wish’ child, she visited Disney World with and her family. And we prayed!

Thanks-living became a part of our lives. Faith and prayers to the Lord, the Great Physician, for Rebecca’s recovery, for her doctors, her nurses and staff. People we knew and even strangers prayed for her recovery.

Finally our ‘munchkin’ came home to begin the rocky road of chemo treatments with loss of her golden curls, loss of weight, and the other terrible side effects. And we prayed!

Daily I searched to find things to be thankful for as Psalm 118:24 tells us to ‘rejoice and be glad’. Some days with tears and other times with thanksgiving for her progress. Today our Rebecca, a happy, healthy 13 year old, is a miracle! She’s energetic, loves to play sports, do gymnastics and achieved straight A’s in 7th grade.

Watching her, we don’t need a colored ribbon – she’s our constant reminder of God’s healing hand. At our house its ‘thanks-living time’ each and every day! We pray for those parents sitting by the bedside of their sick child and for doctors, nurses, and staff that care for these suffering children. May GOD’s Healing Hand touch them at this Thanksgiving season!

Libbie ‘Gramma’ Bennett