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Tonight I’d like to take you you back to the beginning of our story with John and Debbie as I continue my posts of gratitude.  When we met John and Debbie, we were still playing rec league hockey up at skate zone in addition to travel.  I know exactly what you’re thinking and you’re right.  We were absolutely crazy back then.  TK had just started skating and was an impressive player out of the gate.  The hubby knew instantly that he needed to make the jump from rec to travel.

It wasn’t until our first year of peewee, however, that TK and Goalielock’s ended up on a team together.  We had incredible group of kids, parents and coaches.  To date, that season remains as one of my favorite and most memorable seasons.  Debbie was our manager and as always was on top of everything.  She did an incredible job!   She organized our out of state tournament to Boston, which ended up being a magical albeit blizzard filled weekend.


For us, Boston almost didn’t happen.  The year before Goalielocks’ peewee A season, we started our own business. It was a huge, scary leap for the hubby and I.  The November of our peewee A season, hubby took a tennis ball to the eye in a freak accident that left him out of work for weeks.  Can you imagine the stress?  We had no employees, as finding qualified help in S. Florida is like finding a needle in a haystack, and the business was starting to gain momentum.   Honestly, I was ready to put him in a bubble.


No sooner had he gone back to work when he had a run in with a SUV and an unscrupulous driver in our neighborhood.  I’ll never forget when he called me from work to tell me he had broken his arm and he was driving to the doctor.  He’s absolutely crazy and did in fact drive himself, with a major break to his dominant arm, to the urgent care.  At the time, Jake was a sophomore in high school and not yet able to drive while the younger two were still in elementary.  To complicate things further each of the boys was playing travel hockey at the time with scattered practice times all week long.

I met hubby at the urgent care where they had tried to convince him to take an ambulance to the hospital.   There was no way my hubby was going to pay $500 for an ambulance ride 1.5 miles down the road to the hospital!  I picked him and got him into the ER right away.   Fortunately, the Bethesda West ER was incredible and took care of him immediately.

Hubby was in incredible pain and was having trouble recollecting what happened.  There was no way I was comfortable leaving him in the ER.  As this craziness was transpiring, our boys were still at school and After the Bell.  Thank God for the John and Debbie!  They had become neighbors when they moved into the Canyons a few months previously.  John and Debbie were our knights in shining armor.  They picked up the kids, fed them and even helped with homework.  Honestly, I cannot tell you what we would have done without them that day.

While we were in the ER, it was determined that hubby would have to be admitted to the hospital.   Moreover, he was scheduled to have major surgery on his arm the following morning.  Hubby was getting some new hardware!  When I went to pick the boys up from John and Debbie’s house, I was a hot mess.  They were so kind.  I left their house to bring the boys up to see the hubby in the hospital.

Fortunately, Hubby’s surgery went well.   His blood pressure was quite low due to the morphine, so he wasn’t able to get out during the day.  Once again John and Debbie came to the rescue taking care of our boys.   Through the afternoon and early evening, his blood pressure stabilized and his pain became manageable.  The doctor wrote the discharge orders with the caveat that he could urinate post surgery.  Oh boy, the struggle was real.  They brought him something he could use bedside, but he was having none of that.

He was finally able to go, so I started to help him un-tether the cords, unplug the IV and take off the blood pressure cuff.  This created a problem as we were at a hospital that serves a largely geriatric population and therefore uses bed alarms.   Long story short, as soon as I took up the blood pressure cuff, we set off a code blue.  As I walked towards the door to see what all the commotion was, I quickly realized that we were the commotion and they, meaning all the doctors and nurses on duty, were coming for us as they responded to the code blue.  I greeted them at the door to tell them he was simply trying to pee.  The nurses laughed and apologized for forgetting to turn off the bed alarm.  Thankfully, he was able to pee and he was discharged from the hospital.H


It was weeks before the hubby could drive again and my mom wasn’t able to come down until a week later.  In the interim, John and Debbie were instrumental in helping us function as a normal family.  They helped us with school and hockey.  We couldn’t have done it without them and are forever grateful to them.  While we were always at ready to return the favor, it was always a favor you didn’t want to return.

You never want your friends find themselves in a health emergency.  I never in a million years thought that in less than six weeks, they’d need us just as we had needed them.  I’ll never forget March 4th, 2015.  I had caravanned up to Orlando for our employee roadshow where I was one of the presenters.  This was my first time presenting to the group, so naturally I was petrified.


No sooner had we finished presenting, when I received a call from my hubby who was hysterical.  I was petrified.  Quickly, I walked out of the meeting room into the long windowed hallway that ran the length of the building.  I thought something horrible happened to the kids while I was in Orlando, so I was terrified.  Once he was able to collect himself, he told me that Debbie had been diagnosed with stage iv cancer.  My heart stopped as I collapsed back against the wall falling to my knees as I began to cry. 

At this time, they only knew that it was stage iv cancer and they needed our help.  We were going to be there for them in anyway they needed nothing more had to be said.  The “Meatloaf rule” went into full effect that day.   Today I’m grateful for the beauty of friends that become family.  For the type for friends that our always there at life’s lowest moments as well as life’s highest.  By the way, John even helped the hubby regain strength with some intense weight exercises.



In sixteen days, we’ll be running the Broward Palm Beach Purple Stride event in Debbie’s honor.  Please help us wage hope by joining us or donating to Team Deb Force Five.

Tonight’s song: Forever Young

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