I don’t know where to begin… so I will just start writing in hopes it will make some sense.
For a couple years, I have been watching the journey of a young woman who I did not know beforehand, and that I never will know. I will give a little background before I reveal the “why” that surely popped into your head. I assure you, I am not a stalker… simply a secret admirer.
She’s younger than me by a couple years (I hit the big 4-0 soon), she has young children… 3 to be exact… the youngest is pre-school age, middle is kindergarten age, and the oldest I believe is the age of my youngest boy, who is 10. ~ If anyone reads this who knows her, please forgive anything I get not ‘quite right’.~ Her husband has been by her side for many, many years… over a decade, but I believe less than 15yrs… close to it though. It seems her life was
going as planned. She stayed home with her children, being the best loving Mother she knew to be, a Christian, and raising her little ones to love our Creator too. Her singing voice so pretty, delicate in that moment, it motivated me to sing Jesus Loves Me to my children( though I do not conform to any organized religion). Her presence captivating, her smile held your attention, and you get this feeling that she is someone you just want to know… and from what I could see as someone on the outside looking in, I witnessed how people were drawn to her… speaking to her was like talking to an old friend, someone you had known your whole life. She certainly draws your attention, not only that, but she holds your attention as well when you come to realize she is much more than a pretty face, and made of substance… not one who insincerely, and out of habit, asks how you are, but rather asks and then waits with kind eyes, revealing that she is truly wanting to know how you are. She loves, and inspires, and you can’t help but want to be near her… to know her and call her a “friend“.
How can I gather this without speaking a single word to her?? Observation. More than two years ago, she created a blog at CaringBridge.org… to share her story with friends and family, and keep everyone “in the loop” so-to-speak. What she didn’t expect was how her story reached so many people, touching peoples lives and hearts, across the states (and beyond I am sure). She became an inspiration to many.
You see, she created that blog after finding out she had stage 4 pancreatic cancer… Lets pause a moment to let that all sink in. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The picture at the top of this post, “Heathering the Storm”, is the mantra that friends came up with… utilizing it on t-shirts that could be purchased in support of this awesome Lady… and the proceeds went directly to her to be used paying for her treatments, and for memorable life time experiences with her children and family.
STAGE 4 INOPERABLE PANCREATIC CANCER. On top of this diagnosis, she has a very rare form affecting only 1% of those diagnosed with this cancer, and those who are diagnosed with it are elderly men, not young women… so pretty much, this was uncharted territory. ~~~This woman, I believe, was only 35 when she heard those words. Three very young little ones to raise… a loving and devoted husband who adored her and the family they built together. They were a growing, and blossoming family… planning a long future together.
Then life happened.
Completely blind-sided, they knew their life~ as they knew it, and planned it to be ~ was about to change completely, and drastically.
She was now in the fight of her life, never wavering in her love and trust of our Creator.
Who is this woman I came to admire from a distance?
Her name is Heather. Heather Bailes.
Since this post is long already… I have decided to break it into parts so hopefully it will encourage more people to read about this inspiring woman.