Words of gratitude are powerful in any language
It’s not often that Kathy’s House hosts newlyweds. For Norman and Sandy Hill of De Pere, however, marriage was only one of several significant events this year. The couple stayed at Kathy’s House for six weeks recently as Norman underwent outpatient treatment for cancer at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Norman’s journey through treatment was not an easy one. Nausea, chills, and hair loss were all side effects that he both expected and experienced. Norman, who had not had a haircut since 1987, was prepared to lose his hair during treatment – but he was not prepared to get married without it. As a result, the couple adjusted their wedding plans. They set a date for June 9, five days after his discharge from the hospital.
Norman recounts, “With what little long hair left, we got married. We’re traditional Native American Iroquois people and we dressed appropriately in our attire for our wedding. We had a very traditional Iroquois wedding.”
Norman cited his heritage on the last day of their stay. He gathered the Kathy’s House staff, saying, “I’d like to express gratitude from my heart in my language because of what you guys have done for us.”
Surrounded by the silent staff, Norman spoke Cayuga words of gratitude and blessing. He then translated them into English, including these words:
“You have a very deep compassion. I can say the best thing from the bottom of my heart – from our hearts – Thank you. Yes, thank you. From here on in keep your encouragement up for everyone.”