This has started off as a lazy Saturday morning. I didn’t wake up with any commitments of work related issues leering over me. I got to sleep in, didn’t even wake up until after 8 o’clock. Steven was sleeping so well that I quietly snuck out of the bedroom pulling the door closed behind me so he could get some much needed rest. After the coffee was finished percolating I took a fresh cup out to the deck for a few moments alone with God. I was surprised as the warm air hit me in the face when I first exited the front door. Only about 8:30 and the thermometer already read 73 degrees. Katie (our calico kitty) was basking in the sun in front of my feet and the sounds of birds chirping happily filled the air. Recently my prayers have begun with, “Good Morning…” Since I have started this prayer time every morning, I almost look forward to the sound of the alarm clock! I have realized that this is my perfect time for some uninterrupted time with God!
Today is the annual Relay for Life. This will be the 7th year that I have attended alongside of both of my parents. The 8th year since my dad went to that doctor’s appointment and heard that dreaded word, “cancer”. Every year since then it is almost overwhelming as I watch him make that first lap, “the survivors walk”. Every year I have a new appreciation as I see more and more survivors donning that purple survivor color. Last year I was blessed to have Steven in my life which meant I also had his family, now my family, in my life. We had the opportunity to watch our dad’s make that survivor lap together as they are both survivors of prostate cancer. This was yet another way that our lives parallel from the very beginning.
This is always an extremely emotional day for me. I can vividly remember the words and they almost still sting my ears when my dad was diagnosed. You cannot imagine how many people said, “Well at least if he has cancer this is the good kind for him to have.” “Good Kind?!” There is no “good” when you hear the word cancer and it relates to someone you love, your daddy! I watched as his body became weak as he endured the treatments that saved his life. His stature changed drastically, his skin color changed, and even his hair color changed. It was extremely frustrating as my parents kept a lot of the “bad things” to themselves to spare our feelings. Short and to the point answers were all I received if I inquired about his condition, his treatment. I know they were simply trying to spare me along with my sister and brother, I know that they were only protecting us because that is what good parents do.
Eventually I stopped asking to many questions. I asked what I needed to be informed but I felt that asking too much was only pushing my parents and in light of the situation they were very close to their limit! I turned to God for answers. Answers to prayers. My dad worked hard as far back as I could even remember. And I realized that he was rewarded for his dedication as co-workers were donating their vacation time to him so that he could be away from work for his treatments without missing a paycheck. Eventually, we got those answers! “Cancer Free” was two of the best words I have ever heard in my life! I still hold my breath for a moment every time he goes back to the doctor for a checkup but I realize that everything happens in a moment when it is supposed to happen. God’s will!
“Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart daughter’, he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed from that moment.” Matthew 9:22
My dad was extremely humble through this experience. He took it all in stride with a smile on his face and realized that what was to happen, would happen. I thank God every day that my parents are here on earth to be a part of my kids’ lives a part of my life.
Say a little prayer today as I get the opportunity once again to go spend the day with people who are in celebration of the disease that their loved ones have overcome or there, present in remembrance of the ones that passed on from this disease. I pray that everyone there will take the time to give our Heavenly Father credit for such a beautiful day for us to gather together and that those there that are mourning a loved one can rest assured that those loved ones are in a better place!
“Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to the springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 8: 16-17