It is the last Friday of Christmas break, and I find myself looking at the calendar and asking, “How is it possible that time, once again, has gone by so quickly?” We have basked in the joy of being together this season. We’ve filled our days full of friends and family celebrations, laughter and tears, good foods, skiing and snowboarding for Bri and the younger two, shopping, sleeping late and staying up to snuggle under blankets by roaring fires and watch movies. We’ve shared hearts and struggles and fought and forgiven and we’ve been intentional about just being together.
Yesterday was chemo.
I had an extra week in between treatments, and I am always amazed at how well I feel during that extra week. I was able to cook and clean and make meals for friends and get out and do things with my family that I wouldn’t have normally been able to do. And I’ve been able to do it well. In fact, I spent all day Wednesday in the kitchen, content in my happy place. I deeply grieve that loss.
Yesterday was hard emotionally and physically. I was worn from chemo. I was sad because I have to do this—that this is my life—but as we sat with friends who are in in town for the holidays and shared dessert and our lives and the gifts that God has given, I was overcome yet again with just how very much we have.
We learned during the holidays that my PET scan came back with no change. This is a good thing—a very good thing. This means my cancer has not metastasized to the bone in my hip and back like we had feared. While this doesn’t give answers to the pain I’m having, it does give the relief of no spread, and we are enormously thankful.
We have settled into the relief this news brought. Having Brian here for the week has been wonderful. He’s worked around the house and played and shopped. This morning he took Bella and Ash at 6:00 (yes, that’s oh dark hundred) to deliver a gift to a girl we love dearly at the hospital as she awaited wrist surgery.
This morning my Bella baked her brother’s birthday cake. We decided fairly spur of the moment for him to have a party with his friends tonight to celebrate his fourteenth birthday (which is Tuesday), and again I ask, “How is it possible that time has gone by so quickly?”
Our Bear is so dear and so funny and so gentle and so kind, and we are thankful for each and every day God has given us with him. So we turned up the music loudly (The Greatest Showman—-wonderful movie and phenomenal soundtrack. We saw it over the holidays and all loved it. We laughed and I cried and then cried again and then cried some more, but it was such a good kind of cry. We’ve been playing the soundtrack ever since.) This morning Bella taught me new dance moves as she stirred chocolate batter, and she baked the cake and Bear cleaned the kitchen and vacuumed while Brian took Ash to an appointment and picked up groceries and I sat down to decorate Bear’s cake. Tonight ten 13- and 14-year-olds will descend on our home, many of whom call me “Mom.” The significance and beauty of that does not escape me, and I cry just typing it. What gift to know and love Bear’s friends so well.
Earlier this morning I sat with another friend who is walking through struggles and trials and suffering unimaginable to me (we shared of the danger of comparing trials and the comfort of honesty and understanding), and as we talked about God’s goodness in the midst, how truth still stands, how He still has given us so much I’m struck once again at the wonder of it all. By the wonder of each day, the wonder of salvation, the wonder of the season, the wonder of how God became man and lived perfectly and suffered and died and rose again so that we could have life here on earth and life forever to come. I am struck by the wonder of these lives with whom He has entrusted Bri and me… our Bella, Bear and Ash… of each other… of our families… of our friends. We are entrusted to love.
There are only a few days left in Christmas break. I know when Tuesday comes my heart will be sad. The children and I are already lamenting time gone by too fast (and Bear always laments school resuming on his birthday!).
But, oh, y’all… all of this time is a gift not a thief.
This time gives us togetherness. It gives us joy in the midst of struggle, beauty in the ashes, hope of life forever where the only time that will matter is that we have yet one more day with Him.
This year has been a hard one for us, but it has been full of hope.
It will not disappoint.
Happy New Year, my friends… and wonders of His love.