Last night when I got home from the hospital, my husband and several of our friends were cutting wood in the driveway. They were working by flashlight. As I got closer, I realized they were building my mother a wheelchair ramp. My eyes filled up with tears as I took in the fact that so many people cared enough about her to do this.
When I entered my kitchen, there was food as far as the eye could see. From the beginning of this harrowing journey, there has been food every night, covered dishes brought by neighbors and friends, all organized by my dear friend Linda. The food has not only nourished our bodies, but our souls as I think of the immense kindness of my circle of friends.
This is a journey of a thousand small shuffles, small victories, small setbacks, and then we shuffle forward together again. At times it is hard not to feel alone when someone you love is being erased piece by piece, but I know I am not alone when I look around and see all of the kindness that my friends and my mother's friends have bestowed upon us.
There is good news. Madeline is happy to be home at my house in her new room that we created just for her. She is positive, cheerful, and claims to have changed from a Type-A to a Type-B. Brain cancer does change people's personalities.
Those of you who know Madeline will probably not recognize the new laid back version, but she's actually a lot of fun and doesn't worry about too much. The best part of today, she is now speaking with a southern accent. You know what they say, you can take the girl out of the south, but you can't take the south out of the girl ... There's no doubt, Madeline has come home.
"It Takes a Village" is an excerpt from Amanda Lamb's journal chronicling her mother Madeline's 2012 battle with brain cancer. To read more entries, visit Madeline's CaringBridge site, or ind out more about Amanda's book, "The Living Room."