Monday, December 9, 2013

My Army

I’m so lucky.  Sure, I have a purple golf ball on my boob, black fingernails from chemo, and a big shiny bald head, but I know I am so blessed.  Friday was our office Christmas party and I was looking forward to seeing my second family-my Kentucky Lottery co-workers at Prestonsburg’s newest restaurant McGuire’s Brick House.  My isolation has made me stir crazy and I couldn’t wait to experience, albeit temporary, a sense of normalcy in my day. 
It was pouring the soon-to-be-freezing rain and I was worried the party would be postponed.  I kept checking my e-mail half expecting it to be canceled.  I arrived at the hostess desk and told her I was with the Kentucky Lottery party.  She directed me to the party room in the back.
When I walked in, I first noticed that everyone was dressed alike and thought I missed an e-mail or memo about the party attire.   “Ann!!!!!!!!” they all cheered in unison.  Their big smiles and warm hugs assured me that they missed me too. I was so happy to see Jo Ann, a retired KLC Sales Rep (and breast cancer survivor!) and Bob, our V.P. of Sales, who drove from Louisville for the occasion.

When I looked at their pink and grey camouflage shirts, I noticed they all said “Ann’s Army”.   I was speechless.  My boss had the shirts made for everyone and they (especially the guys) looked adorable in their pink camo.  I couldn’t help but cry…and laugh.  What a site for sore eyes!

After lunch, we had our annual Chinese gift exchange (the draw numbers and steal each other’s gifts game), which is always a blast.  Then…they presented me with a big beautiful basket filled with a thoughtful gift from each of my co-workers.  Wow.  How lucky am I? 

 As if that wasn’t enough, I was given a gigantic card signed by all of my retailers!  This one really got to me.   Sandy and Dwayne, two sales reps in our region, have been covering my territory while I’ve been on medical leave.  God bless them.  I imagined Dwayne and Sandy carrying that 3 ft. card into every store and updating everyone on my condition.   There were so many sweet messages, some with little “inside jokes” meant for only me.  I was blubbering now. 

I was instantly reminded of one of my favorite books Be the Miracle by Regina Brett.  The book is a handbook filled with 50 important lessons in making the impossible possible.  Call me an eternal optimist but I believe that most people are inherently good and want to make a positive impact on the world.  We all become so overwhelmed with our schedules, finances, families, and our need to please everyone that we don’t realize that it’s sometimes enough to make one person happy (Lesson 14 of 50 in Brett’s book).   

Rest assured co-workers.  Mission accomplished.  


  1. Wow Ann! Loved reading about your party! Your co workers are truly amazing - they put deep thought into the entire party. All because you are truly loved by so many! So happy for you and your wonderful experience!!

  2. That must have been so special for you Ann! It's because you have touched so many lives in so many positive ways. Your lovely colleagues are paying it forward for you.

    Love you more than my Keurig!!!!