You never know which of your friends has a hidden talent you know nothing about. Yesterday when I dropped off Charlie and Poppy at school, a friend / acquaintance of mine met me at the door and said, “I have something for you.” Even though I’ve known Sheral from the beginning of the school year because, well, I pay the tuition check to her, I admit I do not know her as well as I would like. She led me to her office smiling from ear to ear. When we got there, Ms. Barb asked, “Has she seen it yet?” and put her hands to her mouth in anticipation. I was most curious as to what Sheral was hiding behind her back. When she unveiled the pencil portrait of Mary Hazel she had spent hours working on over the last week, I was simply overwhelmed. Not only was I completely impressed with the likeness the portrait bore to my sweet baby, I was floored that Sheral devoted so much time and energy creating this special keepsake for me. She hardly knows me, yet she spent the better part of a week of her free time working on this precious portrait. She wrote me the kindest note saying how much she enjoyed Mary Hazel’s smile at school and felt inspired to capture it on paper. Wow! Another humbling episode along this journey for sure. One of the things I keep noticing since Mary Hazel was diagnosed is that people not only want to give of their time and energy to help us because it’s just a nice thing to do, I think people need to reach out because it helps heal some sadness in themselves, too. We know we can’t beat cancer by cooking casseroles and cutting the grass, but those are exactly the things we can do as individuals to help contribute toward the goal of being better, feeling better. It certainly does take a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to care for the family of the child when the need arises. Each one of the people who has offered us help has given it in the most selfless ways. And each person has given it with currency that is completely unique to his or her own talents, skills, and interests. I have appreciated every note, every call, every visit, and every act of kindness. What wonderful associations and connections I have with people now whom I only knew on the most basic levels before! I really am humbled by what people have given (and continue to give) of themselves. It is one of the brightest silver linings I could have hoped for since we stumbled into the cancer fog.