Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's a Beautiful Day

And I am alive for this day. Yesterday was a good day for me. I felt well enough to piddle around my house and clean it up a bit. You see, I was expecting guests. My good buddy, Tina, and her husband traveled here from Colorado to see their son who is a sophomore at one of our local colleges. In the process, they stopped by to see me. Tina was my college roomie and the maid of honor at our wedding and I was her matron of honor. We have been good friends since the eighth grade. Tina is one of the funniest people on earth. If she had not been a teacher, she could have made it as a stand up comic. She visited me last summer with my other friends but it was great fun to see her again. Cancer has touched her life in a big way as well. Her six year old nephew has been fighting non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for two years. He has been going through chemo all of this time. Man, I tell ya, to have a child go through the struggle.....no words. They are hopeful that at this point they may be able to get on with their life. The chemo has done its work.

One of the gifts of having cancer is the visits I have had from old friends and local friends. You cannot know how it lifts my spirit to be able to connect with people I love. My Mom informed me that she and my brother, who I have not seen lately, are flying here for my birthday right after Christmas. I am so excited and hopeful that we will be able to go out to a restaurant to celebrate. Birthdays are at a premium for me now!

I am going to get all religious here again. That's me. I cannot imagine going through something like this without faith. My good childhood friend, Vida, said it well when she said it would be so lonely facing such struggles without God. Yes, indeed. Here is a part of a prayer from my trusty "Praying Through Cancer" book from page 141. I love the words:

Lord Jesus, open my spiritual ears to "hear" Your gentle whispers of comfort, peace, and assurance. Even though I feel like I'm enduring a tornado in my life, I know You desire that I simply be still and know that You are God. Thank You for Your promise to sustain me on my sickbed and restore me from my bed of illness. You are faithful. ...... Amen

I hear the gentle whispers from all of my friends and family and all of those people all over the world who have me in their prayers. Being still and sensing the power of the presence of God was the advice my priest first gave to me when I told him about my diagnosis. Since that time, my now former priest, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Surgery appears to have worked for him but he has faced the same fears and questions. He, too, recently visited me and now we minister to one another. If you listen for those whispers, the mysterious work of God in our lives is truly amazing.

Ok, now to a more mundane subject---TV. The election is over along with the political commercials. We have Billy Mays back as loud as ever and I see now he is touting this glue to mend rips. He even applies it to a parachute for a repair job and shows a person jumping out of an airplane with the fixed parachute. All I have to say about that is that the person jumping out of the plane is not Billy Mays. I wonder what prayer he was saying to himself on the way down. Also, we are beginning to see holiday ads and receive tons of catalogs in the mail. Personally, I am grateful for the early Christmas commercials. There were days back in June when I frankly was not sure I would live to see Christmas. Now I know and I feel deep down inside that I am not leaving this earth for a while.

But, I am bothered by something I see in several of the catalogs. They like to sell Thanksgiving china. Usually, the patterns are of frightening roosters or gigantic fully feathered turkeys. I don't get it. We do not serve a luscious steak on a plate with a colorful living cow. I certainly do not want to eat my Thanksgiving turkey on a plate where when I scrape the gravy aside, I see a puffed up bird who has not yet had his head cut off. Not only this, but the china would only be used one day out of the entire year. At least Christmas china can be used daily for about a month as well as on Christmas day. No offense to those of you who have colorful bird decorated Thanksgiving dishes but this is beyond my understanding.

Yep. This year I am looking forward to all of the lead up to Christmas including everything tacky. Yesterday, I went to the drugstore and walked through the Christmas aisle. I stood there for a few minutes realizing I felt good and knowing I am going to be alive this Christmas.

And I smiled a big smile!