Today it is her birthday and I am over-the-top thankful for the gift of our beautiful and beloved daughter, Heather!

This day is another excellent reason to daily praise and thank God!

Jennifer Bunderle shares a time that drew her close to God in Over-the-Top Thankful! at HeartWIngs Blog todayThe summer she was 11, Heather developed a painful lump on her right forearm.  She had barely noticed it until the pain was constant and the lump was obviously increasing in size. When she showed us, her father (the family-practice PA) examined it and immediately arranged for x-rays to be taken.

Within an hour the radiologist called with explicit instructions for me to take Heather immediately to the Children’s Hospital.  He had called ahead and scheduled an urgent appointment with a pediatric orthopedist.  We were told the intent was to determine the extent of a likely osteosarcoma (bone cancer).

Thus began an intense week of doctor exams, bone scans, MRIs, CTs, lab tests and finally, surgery. Although we were offered a stay at the Ronald McDonald house, Heather and I chose to drive to and from the hospital each day. The Willie Nelson classic “On the Road Again” became our theme song (to this day).

As they prepped Heather for surgery, her doctor shared that he wasn’t sure what he’d find but would let me know before doing an amputation. He and I agreed this was in God’s hands and we were trusting Him for the best outcome.  I sat alone in the waiting room having made a purposeful decision to stay focused on Bible reading, prayer and thanksgiving.

Hours later, the doctor explained they had found and removed a large osteoid osteoma and 98% of Heather’s right ulna. Heather would be spending the rest of her summer recovering in a cast but praise the Lord, she did not have to lose her entire arm and she did not have metastatic bone cancer!

Heather has had several birthdays since that summer.  She regularly expresses her gratitude for life and strives to make the most of every day.  She has a long scar on her right forearm as a reminder of the fragility of life.  Thank You, Lord, for another day to celebrate her life!

Although we aren’t together often, Heather continues to be my joy, my heart, the girl most connected to me in myriad ways.

I am forever grateful and OVER-THE-TOP THANKFUL for the gift of our beloved Heather!

For whom do you give thanks daily?

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Jennifer Bunderle

Jennifer has spent the most recent five years living/serving in the coastal and northern sierra regions of Ecuador. Looongtime wife of Brad, fondly referred to as “mominator” by her two awesome now-adult-kidlets, Heather & Evan and new-daughter-in-love, Ann. Companion and therapy dog assistant to her beloved Bichon Frise, Coquette. AKA teacher, writer, reviewer of Christian lit and fitful blogger. Passion project = Carpe Diem (make the most of your day. . .every day!). Life verse = Phil. 4:13 – I KNOW I can do all things through Christ (undoubtedly He empowers my Carpe Diem) because HE is my strength/my all-in-all.

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